Tag: Jeff Karstens

Homers By Alvarez And Moss Can’t Overcome Four Errors

Toledo Mud Hens 7, �Indianapolis Indians 4 (box)

IMG_2286The Mud Hens spoiled the Indianapolis Indians' home opener at Victory Field with a 4-run 8th inning, taking advantage of four errors committed by the Indians themselves. �3B Pedro Alvarez and DH Brandon Moss both homered for the Indians, but the homers couldn't overcome the errors.

The Indians got onto the scoreboard first. �After his teammates went down in order in the 1st inning, 3B Pedro Alvarez led off the 2nd inning with his first hit at Victory Field, a single through the hole on the right side of the infield. �Neil Walker, in his first pro appearance as a first baseman, worked a walk, moving Alvarez to second base. �Brandon Moss dropped down the perfectly placed sacrifice bunt to move both runners into scoring position. �C Erik Kratz pushed Alvarez across the plate with an RBI ground out to short.

IMG_2299Jeremy Powell made another spot start for the Indians, and did a reasonable job over 4 innings of work. �Powell gave up a splintered-bat single and a walk in the first inning, but left both runners on base. �He also gave up a lead-off walk in the 2nd inning, but SS Argenis Diaz made a slick double play,�scooping the ball just two steps from second base, and making that force himself before firing on to Walker at first.

The first error of the game came there in the 2nd inning, when former Indy Indian C Robinzon Diaz grounded towards third base. �Alvarez went to his left a couple of steps, but the ball slid just under his glove and into left field and was ruled an error -- it might have ticked his glove as it went by, but I couldn't tell from where I was sitting. �That error turned out to be moot, luckily. �The next batter, 3B Danny Worth, grounded another ball right to Alvarez, and on his second try, he made a nice throw to second base for the force out.

Indians Fall In Toledo After Early Lead

Toledo Mud Hens 6, �Indianapolis Indians 3 (box)

The Indianapolis Indians had the early lead at Fifth Third Field in Toledo, Ohio tonight, but a 5-run inning by the Mud Hens took the victory away.

Compared to the games they played in Columbus, which lasted way over 3 hours, this 2 hour 19 minute game must have seemed lightning-fast to the Tribe. �With a flurry of roster moves made by the Pirates (see below), the Indians' scheduled starter, Brian Burres had already left for San Francisco. �The ever-flexible Jeremy Powell stepped up to made the start for the Tribe. �Powell breezed through the first two innings, needed only 10 pitches for the 1st and 14 pitches for the 2nd.

The Indians scored in the top of the 2nd using the "bloop-and-blast" method. �3B Pedro Alvarez opened the inning with his first non-homer hit of the season, a line drive single into right field. �1B Steve Pearce followed with the blast -- a homer that sailed over the back of the concourse behind the left field wall. �Pearce knew as soon as it left his bat that it was gone, turning to watch it when he still had one foot in the batters' box. �The Indians had a 2-0 lead.

Leads in Toledo are always tenuous for the Indians, though. �Sure enough, Powell ran into trouble in the bottom of the 3rd. �A lead off walk to LF Clete Thomas was followed with a single by former Indy Indian C Robinzon Diaz, which slipped past SS Brian Friday. 3B Danny Worth grounded to his counterpart Pedro Alvarez, and it would have been a double play, but Alvarez bobbled the ball and only had time to get the out at first base, leaving runners on second and third. �RBI singles by 2B Will Rhymes and SS Brent Dlugach brought in Thomas and Diaz to tie the score at 2-2. �Then RF Brennan Boesch took Powell's 0-1 pitch on a line drive over the right field wall for a 3-run homer and a 5-2 lead.

Indians Win Slugfest In Columbus; Two Homers For Alvarez

Indianapolis Indians 14, �Columbus Clippers 12 (box)

It was another slugfest at Huntington Park in Columbus, Ohio, but at least tonight it was not one-sided. �The two teams combined for 31 hits and 26 runs, and the Indians held on for the win. �After having posted 4 home runs last night, the Clippers put up 5 more home runs tonight. �The Indians homered only once last night, but added 4 homers tonight including two home runs by 3B Pedro Alvarez.

After a "boring" top of the 1st, in which CF Jose Tabata led off with a double and RF Brian Myrow walked, but were both stranded on base, there was at least one run scored in each of the next 10 half innings.

Columbus got started in the bottom of the 1st with back-to-back doubles by 2B Jason Donald and C Carlos Santana, then a 2-run homer by DH Shelley Duncan. �Santana, who homered twice yesterday, nearly had another homer here, but the ball bounced off the top of the wall in right-center field and fell back onto the playing field. �After Duncan's homer, Brad Lincoln gave up a walk, then an infield single to 3B Brian Buscher that bounced off either Lincoln's glove or the mound itself, and headed over toward second base, where it came to rest in the grass out of everyone's reach. �SS Anderson Hernandez followed with a line drive to left field. �Tribe LF Jon Van Every raced in and made a dive, but the ball hit his glove and popped out, making Van Every chase it down. �It was ruled a single, and the bases were loaded. �At that point, new Indians' batting coach Dean Traynor made a visit to Lincoln on the mound. �After a brief chat, Lincoln got RF Chris Gimenez to chop a high bounce to the first base side of the mound. �Lincoln made the quick hop to his left and the leap to snag the ball, then fired to C Erik Kratz, who turned and made the throw to first for a 1-2-3 double play. �Clippers ahead, 3-0.

It was Kratz who put the Indians right back into it in the top of the 2nd. �DH Neil Walker led off with a single slipped through the right side of the infield, and Kratz launched the first pitch he saw on a rising line drive over the left field wall to make the score 3-2. �Not to be outdone, the Clippers came right back in the bottom of the inning, with a lead-off home run by CF Jose Constanza. �Jason Donald doubled, and when he went to steal third base, Kratz's throw went sailing past 3B Pedro Alvarez, allowing Donald plenty of time to come home. �Clippers up 5-2.

Prospect Watching: Jeff Karstens and Jeremy Powell

A pair of pitchers, one a prospect and one a returning veteran:

img_2015Jeff Karstens is a 27-year-old righty, who was drafted by the Yankees in the 19th round of the 2003 draft. �He began his pro career at the A+ level in 2004, and rose quickly, reaching the major leagues on August 22, 2006. �He made 6 starts and 8 relief appearances for the Yankees that season, earning a 2-1 record and a 3.80 ERA. �Karstens broke his leg and missed most of the 2007 season. �When he returned, he began the season at the Yankees' AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre affiliate. �He made 12 starts at AAA, with a 6-4 record and a 3.80 ERA, before being traded to the Pirates in the big trade that also brought Ross Ohlendorf, Daniel McCutchen, and Jose Tabata to Pittsburgh. �Since Karstens had been doing well at AAA, the Pirates assigned him to the major league club, where he jumped right into the starting rotation. �His first two starts were excellent -- 6 shutout innings, then 7 no-hit innings -- but he struggled over the rest of the season. �He made a total of�9 starts and earned a 2-6 record and a 4.03 record. �After having thrown 68.2 innings in the Yankees' organization, Karstens pitched another 51.1 innings over the rest of the season for the Pirates. �He gave up 32 runs (23 earned) and 56 hits. �He did not walk a lot (13) and struck out 23.

Karstens returned to the Pirates' starting rotation to begin 2009. �He made 11 starts, which generally did not go well. �In June, when Charlie Morton joined the team, Karstens was moved to the bullpen, where he usually pitched in long relief. �He made 23 relief appearances, but continued to struggle with his command. �In mid-August, back problems put Karstens onto the Disabled List. �He made three relief appearances in Indianapolis on a rehab assignment, pitching 6 scoreless innings, with 4 hits and 7 strikeouts (no walks).

Pirates Cut Relievers; Morton Pitches Well In Loss

The Pirates moved six pitchers and one catcher to minor league camp today. �Jeff Karstens, who had been a starter for the Pirates in 2009 but was removed from the 40-man roster after the season, could be either a starter or a long reliever in Indianapolis to begin 2010. �Relievers Brian Bass, Anthony Claggett, Vinnie Chulk, Steven Jackson, and Jeremy Powell were all sent to Indianapolis. �Powell pitched for the Indians in 2009, and signed a minor league contract for 2010. �Bass and Chulk also were signed as free agents over the winter. �Also sent to Indy was another free agent, catcher Luke Carlin, who will likely play a back-up role for the Indians.

That leaves the Pirates with relievers DJ Carrasco and Jack Taschner. Neither of them are on the Pirates' 40-man roster, so two roster moves will have to be made to accommodate them. �There are a few more players and positions who remain in question. �Infielder Ramon Vasquez seems to have lost out to a group of other infielders (Aki Iwamura, Delwyn Young, Bobby Crosby, and Ronny Cedeno) and the Pirates are trying to trade him before they have to just release him. �A decision has to be made between the two prospective back-up catchers Erik Kratz and Jason Jaramillo. The Pirates have to determine whether or not they will keep Rule 5 outfielder John Raynor. �Steve Pearce might also be optioned back to the Indians, since he has an option left and is being squeezed out by Jeff Clement at first and a host of outfielders. �Then, the Pirates just picked up reliever Hayden Penn yesterday and have promised to give him a good look before making a decision.

In today's Grapefruit League action: � �Twins 4, �Pirates 1 �(box)

Apparently the Pirates used up all of their extra bat-power in yesterday's 15-hit attack. �Today at Fort Myers, they managed only 4 hits and one run in the loss to the Twins. �A host of minor leaguers got a chance to have some fun with the big leaguers today, but they were no match for Twins' starter Francisco Liriano, who allowed just 3 hits and 3 walks in 6 scoreless innings. �In fact, the Pirates didn't have a hit until the 5th inning, when LF Robbie Grossman singled. �SS Bobby Crosby and C Jason Jaramillo also singled. �The Pirates' only run came in the 9th inning, when 2B Shelby Ford tripled, then scored on C Erik Kratz's RBI ground out.

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