Tag: Donnie Veal

Veal Moves Up To Altoona, But Curve Bombarded

Sunday action with the Pirates' lower minor leaguers:

Portland Sea Dogs  12,  Altoona Curve 4
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The Sea Dogs posted 17 hits on their way to 12 runs, scoring in three big innings.  They began with 3 runs in the top of the 1st off Curve starter Aaron Pribanic, who suffered the loss.  A walk, two singles, and two doubles brought in the runs in the 1st.  Portland added a run in the 2nd on a single, two stolen bases, a fielding error, and an RBI ground out.  Pribanic retired the side in order in the next two innings, but gave up one more run in the 5th on three singles.  Pribanic gave up the 5 runs on 8 hits and 2 walks, with 4 strikeouts.  He threw 90 pitches with 61 strikes.  

The Curve were held to 6 hits, and three of them belonged to C Kris Watts, including a solo homer.  SS Jordy Mercer had 2 hits, both solo home runs.  CF Starling Marte's double was the other run.  Watts singled and 3B Jeremy Farrell was hit by a pitch in th 2nd inning, but both were left on base.  Mercer put the Curve onto the scoreboard with his first home run in the 4th, and Watts also singled after the homer.  

Aaron Thompson pitched a scoreless 6th inning for the Curve, then Donnie Veal, who was just promoted from the Marauders, pitched the 7th.  Veal gave up a solo homer to lead off the 7th, then gave up a single and a 2-run homer, giving Portland an 8-1 lead.  Things got even worse in the 8th, with Diego Moreno on the mound.  a single, a double, and a walk loaded the bases, then a grand slam raised Portland's lead to 12-1.  

Mercer's second home run came in the bottom of the 8th, after Marte's double.  Watts picked up his third hit in the bottom of the 9th, a solo home run, but that was all the Curve could get.   

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Locke Strikes Out 8; Veal Makes A Start

Thursday evening's action with the Pirates' lower minor leaguers...

Altoona Curve  5,  Trenton Thunder  1
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Starter Jeff Locke struck out 8 Trenton batters in his 5.1 innings of work, while getting plenty of run support -- 3 home runs from his offense.  The only run Locke surrendered came in the bottom of the 2nd, when Trenton loadd the bases on a walk, a hit batter, and a single.  Another walk by Locke forced in the run, then a strikeout and a double play got him out of the inning.  Locke allowed only a walk and a double over the next three innings.  He began the 6th with a pair of walks and a strikeout before being relieved by Diego Moreno.  

Meanwhile, the Curve were pounding out the hits -- a total of 15, including 3 by 2B Brock Holt.  Each Curve batter had at least one hit.  1B Matt Curry, who had two hits in the game, began the Curve scoring with a solo home run to lead off the top of the 2nd.  Holt led off the 3rd with a line drive single to short, then moved to second on LF Quincy Latimore's walk, and scored on SS Jordy Mercer's RBI single.  

Back-to-back solo homers by Latimore and Mercer added another 2 runs in the 5th inning.  The Curve loaded the bases on three consecutive singles in the 6th -- by RF Jose Hernandez, Holt, and CF Brad Chalk, but Latimore struck out to end the inning and leave all three runners on base.  The final Curve run scored in the 8th.  The inning began with back-to-back singles by DH Travis Scott and 3B Greg Picart.  Picart was picked off first and caught stealing, but Scott advanced to third, and he was plated by Hernandez's sacrifice fly.  Holt also tripled in that inning.  

Moreno finished the 6th inning for Locke with a strikeout and a pop out.  Then he struck out the side in the 7th inning.  Michael Dubee pitched 2 scoreless innings to end the game.  He loaded the bases with a double, a single, and a walk in the 8th, but got out of that jam with a strikeout and a force out.  Then he worked around a single for a scoreless 9th.  


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Losses For All The Affiliates

The Pirates and all four of their minor league affiliates lost in Sunday's play:

Hickory Crawdads  4,  West Virginia Power  3
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Jameson Taillon pitched well in his 5-inning start this afternoon.  He surrendered one run on two hits, with no walks, and he struck out 4 batters.  Taillon zipped through the first two innings, retiring the Crawdads in order.  He gave up the only run in the 3rd inning, when the first Hickory batter of the inning homered.  Taillon set down the next three batters, then gave up a ground-rule double to the first batter in the 4th.  He retired three more batters in the 4th, then pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the 5th.  Taillon was on the short end, 1-0 when he left the game.

The Power put one runner on base in each of the first three innings -- singles by CF Mel Rojas in the 1st and 3rd, and  C Elias Diaz in the 2nd.  Each time they were left on base.  2B/CF Andy Vasquez got as far as third base in the 5th inning, with a single, a stolen base, and a throwing error, but he too was left stranded.  

Victor Black pitched a scoreless inning for the Power in the 6th, taking over for Taillon.  It was only his second appearance this season, and his second scoreless and hitless inning.  

Casey Sadler came on to pitch the 7th.  He walked the first batter he faced, then got two outs.  A single and a hit batter loaded the bases for Hickory.  A ground-rule double brought in two runs, to give Hickory a 3-0 lead.  The Power tied the score in the bottom of the frame.  RF Justin Howard started the rally with a single up the middle.  C Kawika Emsley-Pai walked, and a wild pitch moved both runners into scoring position.  Diaz lined a single in to right field, scoring both Howard and Emsley-Pai.  3B Eric Avila singled on a liner into left field, then a bunt by Vasquez again moved two runners into scoring position.  SS Drew Maggi singled, driving in Diaz from third base.  The rally ended when Avila was caught trying to steal home and Rojas struck out.  

The tie did not last long.  Sadler struck out the first two batters in the top of the 8th, then gave up a walk and a double, which brought the lead runner racing around from first to score, to give Hickory a 4-3 lead.  Jason Townsend pitched the top of the 9th, giving up two singles, but no runs.  RF Dan Grovatt led off the bottom of the 8th with a single, but he was the only Power batter to reach base in the final two innings.  
 

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Curve Have A Hit-Happy Morning; Cumpton Strikes Out 8

The Indianapolis Indians have a scheduled day off on Wednesday, and the Curve played a morning game.  The Marauders and the Power play in the evening.

Altoona Curve  7,  Bowie Baysox  1
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After allowing a run in the top of the 1st, the Curve pitchers held Bowie scoreless for the rest of this morning's game. The Curve posted a total of 14 hits, double the number they allowed the Baysox, and every hitter in the Curve lineup but one had at least one hit.  

Starter Mike Colla began the game by giving up a double into center field to the Bowie lead-off hitter.  A ground out moved the runner to third, and a sacrifice fly brought him in with the first run of the game.  The Curve managed only a single by CF Starling Marte in the bottom of the 1st, but they got things going in the bottom of the 2nd.   3B Jeremy Farrell and C Eric Fryer led off with back-to-back singles.  DH Kris Watts dropped down a bunt, but a quick move by the Bowie catcher forced out Farrell at third and left Fryer on second and Watts on first.  After a pop out by 1B Miles Durham, RF Brad Chalk lined a single into right field, scoring Fryer.   Watts advanced to third base and Chalk moved up to second base on the throw.  2B Brock Holt brought in both Watts and Chalk with a triple into right field, giving the Curve a 3-1 lead.

Four consecutive singles began the bottom of the 3rd for the Curve.  LF Quincy Latimore, SS Jordy Mercer, Farrell, and Fryer all singled, adding 2 more runs as Latimore and Mercer scored.  A ground out by Watts moved both Farrell and Fryer into scoring position, and after another out, Chalk singled to first base, plating Farrell and chasing the Bowie starter to the showers.  The Curve had a 6-1 lead.  

Colla worked around at least one runner on base in each of his 5 innings.  The biggest threat he faced after the 1st inning came in the 4th, when he gave up a ground-rule double and a single, to put runners on the corners with one out.  Colla got out of the jam by striking out the next two batters to end the inning.  Colla pitched 5 innings, throwing 76 pitches (53 strikes).  He gave up the one run on 5 hits and a walk, while striking out 4 batters, to earn his 3rd win of the season.  Tim Alderson took over for Colla for the 6th inning.  Alderson pitched a scoreless inning, allowing one hit.  Bryan Morris came on for the last 3 innings.  He earned his first save with 3 scoreless innings, allowing only a walk and a single in the 8th.  

The Curve added their final run in the 7th.  Marte led off with a double, moved to third on Latimore's ground out, then scored on Mercer's sacrifice fly.  Marte, Holt, Farrell, and Chalk each had 2 hits in the game, and Fryer went 3-for-4.

The Curve play another morning game on Thursday.  

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Veal Back In Action, Walk-off Win For Curve

Sunday afternoon action with the Pirates' lower minor league teams:  

Altoona Curve 5,  Akron Aeros  4
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2B Brock Holt singled up the middle in the bottom of the 9th, scoring 1B Miles Durham from second base, for the Curve's walk-off win.  
Curve starter Aaron Thompson began his outing by facing only the minimum over the first three innings.  He gave up a single in the 2nd, but erased that runner with a double play.  The Aeros scored the first run of the game in the top of the 4th, when they loaded the bases on two singles and a walk before Thompson could record an out.  A sacrifice fly drove in the runner from third, but Thompson got another double play to get out of the inning.   

The first 11 Curve batters also went down in order, until LF Quincy Latimore singled in the 4th.  He was forced out at second on SS Jordy Mercer's grounder.  The Curve got onto the scoreboard and tied the game when 3B Jeremy Farrell blasted a solo homer to lead off the 4th inning.   

Thompson again retired the side in order in the 5th.  The Aeros took the lead again in the top of the 6th with 2 runs off Thompson.  A single, a stolen base, and another single put runners on the corners with one out.  A wild pitch moved the runner from first to second, though the runner on third had to stay there.  Two more strikeouts drove in two runs, to give Akron a 3-1 lead.  

The Curve answered with one run in the bottom of the 7th.  Mercer and Ferrell led off the inning with singles, and C Tony Sanchez walked to load the bases.  After a pitching change, RF Eric Fryer bounced into a double play, which let Mercer score from third base, though Fryer did not get credit for an RBI.  The Curve added two more in the bottom of the 8th to take the lead.  Pinch-hitter Kris Watts singled up the middle, and was replaced by pinch-runner Brad Chalk.  Holt sacrificed bunted Chalk to second.  CF Starling Marte beat out an infield single, moving Chalk to third, and Marte stole second base to put two Curve runners in scoring position.  Latimore drove in Chalk with a sacrifice fly, an Mercer brought in Marte with an RBI single.  Curve ahead, 4-3.

Mike Dubee relieved Thompson and pitched 2 scoreless innings.  He retired the side in order in the 6th, then gave up just a walk in the 8th.  Noah Krol took over for Dubee for the 9th.  He was charged with a Blown Save when he gave up a solo home run to tie the score.  Then he was credited with the win because he was the pitcher of record in the bottom of the 9th.  The bottom of the frame began with a fly out, then Fryer singled and Durham reached on a fielding error at shortstop, moving Fryer to third.  Chalk bounced to short, giving the Akron shortstop the opportunity to fire back to the plate, and Fryer was tagged out at home.  With Durham on second and Chalk on first, Holt singled into center field, and had the walk-off win when Durham raced around third base to score on the single.  


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The Wounded Warriors

The Pirates have three pitchers who are beginning the year on the (long term) disabled list.  When they eventually are ready to return, they will have to do some minor league rehabbing.  

Donnie Veal  --  L/L, 6' 4", 230 lb
Veal was a Rule 5 draft pick for the Pirates in 2008, coming from the Cubs' organization.  He did spend the entire 2009 season officially on the Pirates' roster, though he also went onto the Disabled List with vague injuries twice.  He pitched 7 "rehab" games in Altoona (5 starts, no record, 13.1 innings, 1.35 ERA), and 9 "rehab" games in Indianapolis (0-1 record, 14 innings, 6.43 ERA).   Veal got in only rare work out of the Pirates' bullpen, and his control suffered all season.  However, after the season, Veal was assigned to the Arizona Fall League, where he got in regular work -- and dominated.  Veal returned to Indianapolis to begin the 2010 season.  His control was improving, and in his first 4 starts, he allowed 8 runs over 22.1 innings (3.22 ERA) with 9 walks and 14 strikeouts.  The next three starts were rough, with 13 runs in 15.1 innings.  Then Veal had his best outing, throwing 7 shutout innings and allowing just 2 hits.  He made one more start, and allowed 3 runs on 5 hits.  Then Veal was shut down with elbow problems, which eventually led to Tommy John surgery.  Overall for the season, Veal earned a 3-2 record and a 4.35 ERA in 49.2 innings of work, with 24 earned runs and 42 hits, 23 walks (4.2 walks/ 9 innings), and 41 strikeouts (7.4 K/ 9 innings).   Veal was non-tendered at the end of the 2010 season, but was quickly signed to a minor league contract.  He came to spring training and worked on things like fielding drills, but did not pitch competitively.  The 26-year-old is tentatively on track to return by the middle of the 2011 season.  


Jose Ascanio  -- R/R,  6' 0",  170 lb
Ascanio, a 25-year-old Venezuelan native, was first signed by the Braves, then traded to the Cubs, and in July 2009 was traded to the Pirates.  After the trade, Ascanio made one start in Indianapolis, then moved up to Pittsburgh, where he made 2 relief appearances.  He developed some shoulder problems at that point, and was out for the rest of the season, eventually having shoulder surgery.  He was ready to pitch again in mid-2010, and made one rehab start with the GCL Pirates and another with A+ Bradenton, throwing a total of 3 scoreless innings.  Unfortunately, Ascanio injured his hand (off the field) at that point, which shut him down for the rest of 2010.  He did get in some work for Los Leones del Caracas in the Venezuelan Winter League,throwing 9 scoreless innings over 8 games, with 5 hits, one walk, and 7 strikeouts.  Ascanio, who is on the Pirates' 40-man roster, came to spring training, but pitched very little, and when he did pitch, he did not have good command.  He was placed on the DL to begin the 2011 season, but it's unclear where he will go from there.  He is not even close to being ready to pitch at the major league level, but he is out of options, and might not make it through waivers without being claimed.  

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First Round Of Reassignments

Nothing unexpected here, though maybe a few days earlier than they had earlier suggested....

Catchers Tony Sanchez and Eric Fryer and pitchers Donnie Veal and Cesar Valdez were all reassigned to minor league camp this morning.  Sanchez and Fryer are both likely to begin the season at AA Altoona.  Both had their 2010 seasons at A+ Bradenton shortened by taking pitches to the head.  Veal is still in the process of rehabbing from elbow surgery, and is not likely to be ready to pitch competitively until June or July.  Valdez, who came to the Pirates' from the Diamondbacks (Zach Duke trade), has spent the last two seasons at the AAA level, but was a very very long shot to make the major league club to begin the 2011 season.

Minor league spring training games will begin in about 10 - 12 days. 

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Veal Re-signed; Hits For Brown And Hague

Southpaw Donnie Veal will likely be back in Indianapolis in 2011.  He has signed a minor league contract with the Pirates today, and has also been invited to the big league camp for Spring Training.  After struggling through his mandatory year on the Pirates' major league roster as a Rule 5 Draft pick in 2009, Veal was assigned to the AAA Indians to begin 2010.  He made 9 starts for the Indians, with a 3-2 record and a 4.35 ERA over 49.2 innings before being shut down due to elbow issues.  Veal had Tommy John surgery in early June, and is expected to be ready to go for Spring Training.  

The signing of 1B Lyle Overbay is going to make things more difficult for the likes of Steve Pearce and Jeff Clement.  Both are working their way back from knee problems.  Pearce was granted one more option year because of his injuries last season.  

Other news of minor league contracts signed: Former Pirate Denny Bautista has signed with the Mariners.  INF Doug Bernier, who spent 2010 with the Indy Indians, signed with the Yankees.  P Vinnie Chulk signed with the A's.  Former Pirate P Jonah Bayliss signed with the Rays.  INF/OF Jonathan Van Every signed with the Nationals.  

Cheering for Pirates' players and friends in Wednesday's winter league games:

VENEZUELAN LEAGUE
Caribes de Anzoategui  4,  Bravos de Margarita  0  --  
Los Bravos were held to just 3 hits, along with 2 walks.  The first 13 Margarita batters went down in order before the first base runner reached on a walk.  They had 2 runners on base in both the 6th and 8th innings, but could not get them around to score.  Los Caribes scored one run in each of the 3rd, 4th, and 5th innings, then one more in the 7th.  In the 4th, LF Jose Tabata was hit by a pitch, then scored on an RBI double.  

Tigres del Aragua  3,  Cardenales de Lara  1  --  A 2-run homer in the bottom of the 11th by C Wilson Ramos broke the 1-1 tie for Los Tigres.  The homer came off Lara reliever Romulo Sanchez, who was charged with his second loss of the season.  Each team scored a run in the 2nd inning.  Los Cardenales' rally was started with a single by former Pirate farmhand CF Ray Sadler, then another single and two walks forced in a run.  Ramos doubled to lead off the bottom of the 2nd for Los Tigres.  He scored on a single by 1B Hector Gimenez and a sacrifice fly.  Both teams missed scoring opportunities in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th innings, but there was only one base runner for either team over the next four innings -- that was DH Lastings Milledge, who doubled in the 9th.  


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Contract Deadline: New Free Agents

When the deadline for offering contracts passed last night, four new free agents were created.  
The Pirates offered contracts to pitcher Jeff Karstens and SS Ronny Cedeno, both as expected.  But they elected not to tender contracts to pitchers Donnie Veal and Brian Burres, SS Argenis Diaz, and OF Lastings Milledge.
Veal is still recovering from elbow surgery, and is expected to sign a minor league deal with the Pirates.  Since he is going to have to spend some time in the minors when he returns anyway, this is not likely to affect his progress much.  The other three are all free agents now.


Other notes:  Former Pirate C Ronny Paulino was also non-tendered by the Marlins, and he also is now a free agent.  Pittsburgh native INF Josh Wilson, who played for the Indy Indians in 2008, was resigned by the Mariners. (NOT Jack Wilson, who is also on the Mariners' roster.)  OF Eric Hinske was signed as a free agent by the Braves.  P Zach Duke signed a contract with the Diamondbacks, avoiding arbitration.  

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Indians Blank First-Place Clippers

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Indianapolis Indians �5, �Columbus Clippers �0 (box)

IMG_3446The Indians shut out the Columbus Clippers, who currently reside in first place in the International League Western Division, at Victory Field tonight, to begin an 8-game home stand. �Four Indians' pitchers, starter Mike Crotta (photo above), Vinnie Chulk, Justin Thomas, and Brian Bass, combined to hold the Clippers to 4 hits and 4 walks, while the Tribe batters piled up 10 hits for 5 runs.

Mike Crotta pitched 5.1 scoreless innings to earn his 3rd win with the Indians, needing 87 pitches (46 strikes) to get the job done. �He was responsible for 3 of the hits and 3 of the walks. �He kept his infielders busy, as all of the outs he recorded were either ground outs, except for two strikeouts and one runner thrown out at second base.

IMG_3447Crotta gave up a 2-out double to Columbus catcher Carlos Santana in the 1st inning, but ended the inning with a bouncing grounder to SS Argenis Diaz (photo above). �Crotta retired the Clippers in order in the 2nd and 3rd innings, then gave up a walk to former Indy Indian 2B Brian Bixler (photo) to begin the 4th. �Santana followed with a grounder to third base, and as 3B Pedro Alvarez made the scoop and throw to first, the speedy Bixler got a good jump and broke for third base, where he slid in safely before 1B Brian Myrow could return the throw across the diamond. �Bixler was left standing there, though, as Crotta struck out 1B Wes Hodges and got DH Jordan Brown to ground out to second.

Crotta had to have a little help from his friends to get out of the 5th inning. �LF Nick Weglarz worked a walk to open the inning, then 3B Brian Buscher hit a high hop right to Brian Myrow at first base. �Myrow turned and fired to second base, forcing out Weglarz, then scrambled back to cover the first base bag and take the return throw from Argenis Diaz for the double play. �SS Anderson Hernandez followed with a line drive into center field for a single, but when he tried to steal second base, C Luke Carlin's throw was right on target, and the inning was over.

Crotta and Carlin did not have the same luck in the 6th. �With one out, CF Michael Brantley slipped a single through the hole and into left field. �He stole second base, and as he slid in, Carlin's throw might have hit the ground near second base, or maybe even hit Brantley, but either way, the ball ricocheted into center field, and Brantley took off for third base. �Argenis Diaz chased down the ball and threw to third as Brantley was reaching the base there, but Diaz's throw went way wide of third, and very nearly sailed into the Indians' dugout. �Brian Bixler worked his second walk of the game, and that was all for Crotta.

Vinnie Chulk came on in relief, and the speedy Bixler stole second base without drawing a throw from Carlin, putting two runners in scoring position. �But Chulk made it not matter -- he struck out both Carlos Santana and Wes Hodges to end the inning without the Clippers scoring.

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