Tag: Garrett Atkins

Atkins Released; Thomas And Nieve To Minors

The reassignments were not as sweeping as some had thought they'd be, but the Pirates did make three roster moves this morning:

Garrett Atkins was given an unconditional release.  He had signed with the Pirates as a minor league free agent over the off-season, and had been in competition for the back-up corner infielder spot.  But Atkins was not able to get his bat going this spring.  In 17 Grapefruit League games, he was just 4-for-31 at the plate (.129) with 11 strikeouts.   

LHP Justin Thomas and RHP Fernando Nieve were reassigned to minor league camp.  They were both signed as minor league free agents over the winter, and were long shots to make the big club's bullpen.  Thomas has pitched 4.1 innings this spring in 5 games, and allowed one earned run on 8 hits, for a 2.08 ERA.  He's walked 4 and struck out 4.  Nieve has also pitched in 5 Grapefruit League games this spring, and has earned a 1-1 record and 2 saves.  In 7.1 innings, he's given up 17 hits and 2 walks, for 8 runs, and he's also struck out 8 batters.  Both Thomas and Nieve should be assigned to Indianapolis.  

Morton Looks Good, As Does Owens

Pirates  3,  Astros  1
Starter Charlie Morton continued to show the Pirates' management that he belongs in the starting rotation with a 6-inning shutout performance today in Kissimmee, Florida.  Morton scattered 4 hits over his 6 innings and did not walk a batter.  He struck out 5 Astros.  C Humberto Quintero had two of those hits -- a single in the 3rd, when he reached as far as third base before being stranded, and a two-out single in the 5th.  Astros' starter Jordan Lyles followed that second single with a line drive into left field, and Quintero raced around the bases.  Pirates' LF Josh Fields got the ball back into the infield quickly, and Quintero was caught in a run-down and tagged out by C Ryan Doumit.  Evan Meek and Chris Leroux each pitched a scoreless inning of relief.  Neither gave up a hit, but both worked around base runners who got on due to fielding errors.   SS Benji Gonzalez had a tough afternoon, with a fielding error in the 7th, back-to-back fielding errors in the 8th, then another fielding error in the 9th that lead to an unearned run.  With Mike Crotta on the mound in the 9th, the error, a single, and a walk loaded the bases, and a sacrifice fly drove in the Astros' only run.  Crotta has not allowed an earned run in his previous 6 appearances (8.1 innings).  

SS Ronny Cedeno provided the Pirates with their first 2 runs, on a 2nd-inning home run that followed Josh Fields' double.  Ryan Doumit picked up the RBI in the 3rd inning with a triple into left field, driving in 1B Andy Marte, who had singled.  Steve Pearce, who started at third base today, singled twice in the game.  CF Pedro Ciriaco, 2B Corey Wimberly, RF Cole White, 1B Garrett Atkins, and pinch-hitter Josh Rodriguez also got into the game.  

More roster moves are expected on Monday, as the Pirates head into the final full week of spring training.

Six-Run Inning Stops Pirates, But Indians Get A Win

Orioles  13,  Pirates  3
Indianapolis area native C Jake Fox beat up on the Pirates' pitching this afternoon in Bradenton, with two booming home runs and 4 RBI.  The first homer capped a 6-run 3rd inning, when Pirates' starter Ross Ohlendorf gave up four singles and a double before the homer.  Fox struck again in the 7th -- Scott Olsen gave up a double to DH Matt Wieters, followed by Fox's second homer.  Olsen surrendered a single and a walk after the homer, and he was relieved by Mike Dubee.  Dubee struck out the first batter he faced, then gave up an RBI single, before ending the inning with a fly out.  The Orioles added 3 runs in the 8th off Joe Beimel.  A double, a walk, and a single loaded the bases, then a single and two ground outs drove in the runs.  Former Indy Indian C Michel Hernandez singled for the Orioles in the top of the 9th, and scored on an RBI triple off reliever Sean Gallagher.  Daniel McCutchen pitched 2 scoreless innings for the Pirates, allowing 3 hits.  

While the Orioles were busy posting 20 hits, the Pirates managed 8.  Two of those were by 3B Pedro Alvarez, who also had the Pirates' only extra base hit, a double in the 7th, which was ruled a ground-rule double.  That made a difference, because 2B Neil Walker had opened the inning with a walk.  He raced around and crossed the plate on Alvarez's double, but then was called back to third base when the umpires ruled it a ground-rule.  Walker was left standing on third base, when a strikeout and a ground out ended the inning.  

The Pirates did score one run in the 2nd inning.  1B Lyle Overbay began the rally with a single lined into right field.  RF Matt Diaz grounded to short, forcing Overbay out at second, but Orioles' shortstop (and another former Indy Indian) JJ Hardy made a throwing error on his relay to first, allowing Diaz to reach second base.  Diaz advanced to second on a fly out, and scored on C Jason Jaramillo's RBI single.  LF Jose Tabata led off the 5th inning with a walk, and moved to second base on Walker's ground out.  CF Andrew McCutchen plated Tabata with a single up the middle.  Overbay reached base on a catcher's interference call, then Diaz brought in McCutchen with a line drive single into right field.  

Also getting into the game:  LF John Bowker, 3B Andy Marte, Corey Wimberly in center field, RF Miles Durham, RF Steve Pearce, 2B Josh Harrison, pinch-hitter Pedro Ciriaco, 1B Garrett Atkins, C Dusty Brown, and SS Josh Rodriguez.  Durham entered the game to play right field in the top of the 8th.  In the top of the 9th, he crashed into the wall trying to catch the ball that turned out to be a triple.  Durham was down for a few moments, but was able to get up and walk off the field under his own power.  Pearce took over for Durham in right field, then singled in the bottom of the inning.  Josh Rodriguez also singled in the 8th inning, and Josh Harrison worked a walk in the 9th.  

Two More Rounds Of Reassignments, Plus Game Notes

Catching up after being away for a few days...

On Saturday, the Pirates sent four pitchers to minor league camp:
RHP Bryan Morris and RHP Kyle McPherson, both on the 40-man roster, were optioned down, with Morris going to AAA Indianapolis and McPherson going to A+ Bradenton.   
Two lefties, Rudy Owens and Justin Wilson, were also sent to the minor league camp, and though their exact level is still not official, both should begin the season with the Indy Indians.  

More moves were made today:
From the 40-man roster--
LHP Jeff Locke, LHP Aaron Thompson, and RHP Ramon Aguero were optioned to AA Altoona 
LHP Daniel Moskos and LHP Tony Watson were optioned to Indianapolis
Outfielders Gorkys Hernandez and Alex Presley were optioned to Indianapolis
Moskos and Presley both spent part of 2010 with Indianapolis, while Watson and Hernandez will make their debut at the AAA level.  Locke, Aguero, and Thompson all spent part of 2010 with Altoona.

Not on the 40-man yet --
Infielders Chase d'Arnaud and Brian Friday and outfielder Andrew Lambo were reassigned to minor league camp.  Friday played in Indianapolis for most of 2010 and should return there.  D'Arnaud and Lambo were in Altoona for 2010;  Lambo is ready for AAA, though d'Arnaud may be asked to go back to Altoona for part of 2011.  


Pirates Shut Out By Jays

Blue Jays  5,  Pirates  0
 
The Pirates were held to just 4 hits in this afternoon's game against the Blue Jays at McKechnie Field.  3B Pedro Alvarez had two of the hits --  a two-out single up the middle in the 1st inning, and a single on a pop up in the 6th.  The single in the 1st moved CF Andrew McCutchen, who had walked, to third base, and the single in the 6th followed a line drive double by 2B Pedro Ciriaco and moved Ciriaco to third base.  Both times, however, the innings ended without the Pirates being able to get the run in.  The only other hit in the game was by 2B Brian Friday, who led off the top of the 9th by beating out a grounder to third.  After a strikeout, 1B Andy Marte walked, putting two runners on base.  But pinch-hitter Gift Ngoepe struck out and C Jason Jaramillo grounded out to end the game.  

James McDonald made the start and was responsible for 4 of the Jays' runs.  He gave up a double, two singles, a walk, and a sacrifice fly for 2 runs in the top of the 1st.  He retired the side in order in the 2nd, but got into trouble again in the 3rd.  A double and a throwing error by SS Corey Wimberly gave the Jays a run in the 3rd.  With two outs and a runner on second base, McDonald had reached his pitch limit (about 50 pitches), and he was relieved by Justin Thomas.  Thomas gave up an RBI single and a walk, then ended the inning with a strikeout.  Chris Resop surrendered the remaining Toronto run in the 5th.  Back-to-back doubles by former Pirate Jose Bautista (who went 3-for-3) and Travis Snyder brought in that run.  Resop struck out the next two batters, and ended the inning with a ground out.  Joel Hanrahan, Aaron Thompson, Daniel McCutchen, Justin Wilson, and Jeff Locke each pitched one scoreless inning for the Pirates.  McCutchen gave up two hits and Locke gave up one.  Wilson walked one batter and struck out the other three he faced.  

Also in the game:  SS Chase d'Arnaud, LF Gorkys Hernandez, CF Alex Presley, RF Andrew Lambo, 3B Garrett Atkins

Walker Homers In Karstens’ Win

Pirates  4,  Phillies  3
 
A 2-run homer by 2B Neil Walker in the top of the 6th gave the Pirates the go-ahead run and one more for insurance, as the Pirates beat the Phillies in Clearwater, FL.   A solo homer by Phillies' DH Ben Francisco off Pirates' starter Paul Maholm put the first run on the board in the bottom of the 2nd.  It was the only run Maholm allowed in his 3 innings of work.  He did not walk any batters and struck out two.  Jeff Karstens took over for Maholm to begin the 4th.  He also gave up a run, when Francisco and 2B Delwyn Young both doubled.  Karstens retired the side in order in the 5th inning.  

1B Lyle Overbay had 3 hits for the Pirates, beginning with a lead-off single in the 2nd inning.  That time, he was forced out at second on a subsequent play.  Overbay led off the 4th with a double into left field.  He moved to 3rd base on Neil Walker's ground out, then scored on DJ Garrett Jones' sacrifice fly.  RF John Bowker tied the score in the top of the 5th, when he doubled into left field, then scored on ground outs by SS Chase d'Arnaud and CF Andrew McCutchen.  Overbay's third hit of the game was a line drive single in the top of the 6th, and Walker followed that with his blast over the right field wall to give the Pirates a 4-2 lead.  

Tony Watson came on to pitch the 6th inning.  He had two runners get on base, with a walk and a throwing error by d'Arnaud.  But d'Arnaud redeemed himself moments later, when he took the throw from Watson on a bouncer back to the mound, and turned the inning-ending double play.  Watson gave up a run in the 7th on a pair of singles, a sacrifice bunt, and an RBI single.  That inning also ended on a double play, when Watson struck out former Pirate Brandon Moss, then C Dusty Brown threw out the runner from first as he tried to steal second base.   Sean Gallagher buzzed through three batters, retiring all on a total of 5 pitches in the 8th inning.  Chris Leroux took the top of the 9th, and he also got out of a jam with a spectacular double play.  A walk, a sacrifice bunt, and another walk put two runners on base with one out.  SS Freddy Galvis lifted a long fly ball to left center field, but LF Alex Presley tracked it down with a long running catch, then whirled and fired in to the infield.  A relay by SS Brian Friday, then to 1B Garrett Atkins, and the runner from first base was doubled off, ending the game.  Leroux was credited with the Save, and Karstens got the win.

Also in the game:  2B Pedro Ciriaco singled in the 8th and stole second base.  CF Corey Wimberly, 3B Josh Fields, PH/DH Andrew Lambo, an PH/RF Steve Pearce all got into the game.   

2011 Prospect Watching: Harrison, Plus Atkins, Marte, and Fields

Winding up with the third basemen in the Pirates' organization.  

Josh Harrison --  R/R,  5' 8",  175 lb
Harrison was chosen by the Cubs in the 6th round of the 2008 draft, and he came to the Pirates at the trading deadline in 2009.  He hit a solid .270 in 34 games at A+ Lynchburg to finish up that season, and went to the Carolina League Championship with his new teammates.  He moved up to AA Altoona for 2010, where he played about 60% of his games at third base and the rest at second base.  He's also played outfield a few times.  Harrison's bat took a step forward with the Curve.  He's not a big power hitter, but he did hit 33 doubles while he hit an even .300.  Harrison drew 32 walks (5.5%), which was an improvement over previous seasons.  He swings at a lot of pitches, but can hit the bad ones, so his strikeout rate (10%) dropped in 2010.  He also has some speed -- stole 19 bases for the Curve.  Harrison was named to the Eastern League All-Star team, and had a nice All-Star Game:  a 2-RBI triple and a single.  In the Curve's playoff run, Harrison hit .297 with 7 RBI.  After the regular season, Harrison was invited to the Arizona Fall League, where he hit .330 for the Mesa Solar Sox.  He contributed 10 doubles, 2 triples, one homer, and 8 RBI, while walking 10 times and striking out 12 times.  Harrison should be ready for a move to Indianapolis, but he might be competing with players who don't make the major league team.

Nice Pitching By Dubee, Crotta, and Boleska

Twins  4,  Pirates  2
The Pirates fell to a 3-3 record in Grapefruit League play this afternoon at McKechnie field.  Both teams posted 9 hits, but the Twins did a better job of pushing runs across.  Ross Ohlendorf made the start and was charged with the loss, but the only run he gave up was unearned, and 4 of the 5 outs he recorded were strikeouts.  The run came in the top of the 1st, on a walk, a passed ball, and an RBI double.  Ohlendorf got the first two outs in the top of the 2nd, then gave up a single, and by then he had reached his pitch limit.  Mike Dubee, up from minor league camp, finished the inning for Ohlendorf, blowing three pitches past Jason Repko for a strikeout.  Tony Watson pitched the 3rd inning, and gave up a run on a walk and an RBI double.  

The Pirates got one run back in the bottom of the 5th.  RF Andrew Lambo started the rally with a ground rule double down the left field line, and then he scored on LF Jose Tabata's single up the middle.  Mike Crotta pitched 2 scoreless innings, working around a hit in each (4th and 5th).   Joel Hanrahan took over for the 6th.  The first batter he faced, 2B Luke Hughes, drove a 3-2 pitch over the left field wall to give the Twins a 3-1 lead.  After the homer, Hanrahan got two outs, then loaded the bases with a walk and two singles.  Hanrahan was relieved by another minor league pitcher, Tom Boleska, who needed just one pitch to end the inning with a fly out, leaving all three runners stranded.  

Jose Veras pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the top of the 8th for the Pirates.  Justin Thomas gave up another unearned run in the top of the 8th.  With one out, a fly ball to center field should have been either an out or a harmless single, but CF Gorkys Hernandez had trouble with the windy conditions.  He dropped the ball, then when he tried to pick it up off the ground, he dropped it twice more.  That allowed the runner to reach third base (3-base error).  An RBI single brought him in from third base.  Chris Leroux finished things up by retiring the side in the top of the 9th.  The Pirates rallied again in the bottom of the 9th.  With one out, DH Steve Pearce lifted a double into center field.  C Dusty Brown lined a single into right field, plating Pearce from second base.  Pedro Ciriaco pinch-ran for Brown, and he reached second base on RF Starling Marte's ground out, but another ground out by LF Alex Presley ended the game.  Marte had singled in the 7th inning, but was out at second on a force play.

Also getting into the game:  SS Corey Wimberly, SS Chase d'Arnaud, 3B Garrett Atkins,  2B Brian Friday, and 1B Josh Fields

Pirates Shut Out Yankees

Pirates  2,  Yankees  0

Six Pirate pitchers combined to shut out the Yankees at McKechnie Field this afternoon.  James McDonald and Aaron Thompson each pitched 2 scoreless innings, and each allowed 2 hits.  That was all the hits the Yankees could get.  Daniel McCutchen pitched 2 innings, retiring 6 batters in order, including 2 strikeouts.  Chris Resop, Ramon Aguero, and Daniel Moskos  all contributed one scoreless and hitless inning, and Moskos earned the save.  

The Pirates posted just 6 hits.  Two of those belonged to C Chris Snyder.  He singled to lead off the 3rd inning, but was caught trying to steal second base, then singled again to begin the 6th, and was replaced by pinch runner Jeremy Farrell.  2B Josh Rodriguez bunted Farrell to second base, and SS Pedro Ciriaco drove in the first run of the game with an RB double into left field.  The Pirates scored again in the 7th, when DH Garrett Jones opened the frame with a walk.  1B Steve Pearce bounced a ground-rule double over the left field wall, moving Jones to third base.  3B Josh Fields brought in Jones with a sacrifice fly.  

CF Alex Presley walked, singled, and was hit by a pitch in the game.  LF John Bowker also singled.  Also getting in the game:  CF Gorkys Hernandez, LF Miles Durham, RF Andrew Lambo, 1B Garrett Atkins, RF Matt Diaz, C Wyatt Toregas, 2B Brian Friday, and SS Corey Wimberly.  Doug Bernier, who played for the Indy Indians in 2010, got into the game for the Yankees.   




Other notes:
The Pirates have signed 3B Christian Colonel to a minor league contract.  Colonel was the Rockies' 5th round draft pick in 2003.  He has played all around the field, he has spent more time in the infield, and most of those at third base.  More about Colonel to come in the next few days.
Former Pirate farmhand C James Skelton (Bradenton 2010) signed with the Brewers.  



 

Durham And Atkins Both Homer For Pirates

The Pirates played two split-squad spring training games this afternoon (Monday):

Orioles  6,  Pirates  4
The Pirates were held to 5 hits at McKechnie field this afternoon, but one of the big ones was a 2-run homer over the left field wall in the bottom of the 9th by RF Miles Durham, who was up from minor league camp.  1B Lyle Overbay also singled for the Pirates, scoring the first Pirates' run of the game in the 5th.  3B Pedro Alvarez knocked in the remaining run for the Pirates, in the 6th inning.  LF Jose Tabata led off the inning with a single, stole second base, then scored on Alvarez's single    Alvarez also doubled for the Pirates.

LF John Bowker, SS Brian Friday, CF Mel Rojas, 3B Andy Marte,  1B Steve Pearce, 2B Chase d'Arnaud, 2B Jim Negrych, and C Wyatt Toregas all got into the game for the Pirates.   

Paul Maholm took the loss for the Pirates.  He gave up a run in the 1st inning on a double and a single, then another on a solo homer in the 2nd.  Jeff Locke allowed a run on two hits in the 6th.  He allowed a single and a walk, then with two outs, an RBI single brought in a run.   Justin Wilson got the first out, then walked the next three batters to load the bases in the 8th.  A double and a sacrifice fly drove in all three of the base runners.  Jeff Karstens pitched 2 scoreless innings, then Tyler Yates, and Mike Crotta each pitched a scoreless frame.   Cesar Valdez finished up the 8th for Karstens, then pitched a scoreless 9th, facing only 4 batters.

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