Tag: Matt Walbeck

Milledge and Gimenez Spark Los Tigres; Julio Returns To Pirates

The Pirates finished up a chilly mini-camp in Bradenton, and now there is just a month until pitchers and catchers report for spring training.

A few notes:
Wil Ledezma, who went to the Blue Jays last week (off waivers),  was outrighted to the Blue Jays' minor league system.
Last year's Curve manager, Matt Walbeck, has found a job in the Braves' organization, managing at the A level.  

RHP Jorge Julio has been signed to a minor league contract, but has not been invited to the major league camp for spring training.  The Venezuelan native was first signed by the Expos in 1996.  He reached as high as the A+ level in the Expos organization before being traded to the Orioles at the end of 2000.  Julio made his major league debut with the Orioles and pitched in Baltiore from 2001 to 2005.  In early 2006, he was traded to the Mets (as part of a deal for former Pirate Kris Benson), then subsequently traded to the Diamondbacks, to the Marlins, and to the Rockies.  In January 2008, Julio signed with the Cleveland Indians, and appeared in 15 games, all in relief, in the major league level.  He pitched only 17 innings, with a 5.60 ERA, and was released in early June.  He was signed by the Braves in the same season, and did well for them at both the AAA level (2.04 ERA in 39 innings in 38 appearances) and at the major league level (0.73 ERA in 12 innings in 12 appearances).  Julio split the 2009 season between three organizations:  The Brewers, the Rays, and the Pirates, right here in Indianapolis.  For the Indy Indians, Julio made just 4 relief appearances, allowing 7 runs on 8 hits in 5 innings.  He also made 19 appearances (22 innings) for a 5.96 ERA for the AAA Durham Bulls, and 15 appearances (17 innings) for a 7.79 ERA for the Milwaukee Brewers.  During that time, his walk rate rose while his strikeout rate plummetted.  Julio pitched for Bridgeport in the independent Atlantic League in 2010, and did well there.  In 55 appearances, he pitched 55 innings and allowed only 7 earned runs on 39 hits, with 57 strikeouts, for a 1.15 ERA.  Julio has also had a strong showing in the Venezuelan Winter League over the past few months, with a 1.88 ERA for Los Caribes de Anzoategui.  In 28.2 innings, he allowed 6 runs on 26 hits and 12 walks, with 22 strikeouts, and a 3-3 record and 6 saves.  The Pirates are hoping that Julio, who will turn 32 in March, will be able to continue this trend in the 2011 season.  Not inviting him to the big league camp seems to indicate that they want to see some proof, most likely at the AAA level.

Just a few winter league games on Thursday night  (Click on "Read More")

The Confusing Case of Matt Walbeck

The confusing case of Matt Walbeck, the Eastern League Manager of the Year, now jobless since the Pirates have declined to renew his contract....� I have no direct knowledge, not being in or around Altoona.

From Corey Giger of the Altoona Mirror:� "It's simple and complicated",�� and� it's going to give Walbeck the opportunity to find a AAA position elsewhere.�� And, "it was a communication issue", and maybe even a personality issue, with some players really liking Walbeck, and others not liking him at all.

From Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:� "not following the prescribed development programs and a lack of communication".

There are two sides to every story -- and there may even be more than two in this instance.� It does seem like there's more to this than we're going to hear about.

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Brad Lincoln needed 15 pitches (11 strikes) to strike out the side in the bottom of the 7th in last night's Pirates' game against the Marlins.� Joe Martinez pitched 2 innings in relief for Pittsburgh.� He gave up a 2-out double in the 5th, but left the runner on base.� Then he gave up another double and an RBI single in the 6th.

Brandon Moss was 1-for-19 when he entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the 8th, but he added 2 hits in the game -- a slow dribbler down the third base line for an infield single to load the bases.� He came around to score in that inning, then doubled in the 9th, scoring again on Pedro Alvarez's homer.� John Bowker played both right field and first base, and went 1-for-4, with a walk in the 8th to force in a run.� Argenis Diaz also walked to force in the next run in the inning.� Alex Presley came in to play center field in the bottom of the 7th, but he struck out in the both of his plate appearances.� Pedro Ciriaco had a pinch-hit single in the 5th inning.

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Team USA begins their first game in the Pan American Games/World Cup Qualifying Tournament tomorrow at 7:30 pm in Ponce, Puerto Rico, facing the Puerto Rican team.

The Arizona Fall League, with the Pirates' farmhands playing with the Mesa Solar Sox, begins play in 11 days.

Minor League Managers and Coaches — Part 1

Who's who in the coaching box for the Pirates' minor league affiliates: � (part one)

Indianapolis Indians (AAA)

Manager Frank Kremblas

  • second season as Indians' manager
  • had four seasons as manager of AAA Nashville (Brewers)
  • former catcher and infielder in the Reds' organization
  • played for the Indians (mostly infield) in 1993 - 96, and hit .227 with 9 home runs and 68 RBI

Hitting Coach Jeff Branson

  • second season as Indians' hitting coach
  • spent two seasons as manager at Lynchburg and 4 seasons coaching in the Pirates' organization
  • played as an infielder for the Indians in 1997 and 1999, and in the major leagues for the Reds, Indians, and Dodgers

Pitching Coach Dean Traynor

  • first season as the Indians' pitching coach, replacing Ray Searage
  • Curve pitching coach in 2009
  • has been manager and pitching coach for 23 seasons in the minor leagues for the Marlins, Dodgers, Expos, Padres, and Cleveland Indians
  • 5 seasons as a minor league pitcher in the Reds' organization

Altoona Curve (AA)

Manager Matt Walbeck

  • second season as Curve manager
  • managed in the Detroit Tigers' minor league season for 4 seasons
  • Texas Rangers' third base coach in 2008
  • 11 years as a major league catcher �with the Cubs, Twins, Tigers, Angels, and Phillies

Site Updates

The 2020 Prospect Guide is Now Available!

Pirates Prospects took the leap to being my full-time job at the end of the 2010 season, all thanks to the release of our...