Tag: Tony Watson

Tough Day For Ciriaco And The Indians

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Joe Beimel pitched one quick inning










Toledo Mud Hens  4,  Indianapolis Indians  2
(box score

It was a beautiful afternoon at Victory Field, with sunny skies and a little wind, but not a happy afternoon for the Indianapolis Indians, who lost the second game of a short 2-game series to the Toledo Mud Hens.  Even with the wind blowing in for most of the game, two Mud Hens and one Indian were able to blast home runs, and those accounted for half of each team's runs.  

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Brian Burres (photo) got the start for the Indians.  He gave up just two hits over his first 5 innings -- but both of those were solo home runs.  The first homer came off the bat of LF Scott Thorman with one out in the top of the 2nd inning, sailing over the right field wall.  RF Andrew Lambo made a leap -- but he would have had to have been another 6 feet taller to have had any chance.  Burres hit SS Cale Iorg with a pitch (right foot) after the homer, then retired the next 9 batters he faced.  With one out in the 5th, CF Clete Thomas also homered over the right field wall.  



The Indians had managed just 3 hits off Toledo starter Andy Oliver by the end of the 5th inning.  LF Alex Presley slipped a single through the hole into right field in the top of the 1st, but was left on base.  2B Pedro Ciriaco walked on 4 pitches and stole second base in the 3rd, but he was not careful taking his lead off second base and was caught too far away from the base.  A brief rundown, 1-5-4-1, and he was out.  

SS Chase d'Arnaud (photo below) led off the 4th inning with a low liner down the right field line.  The ball bounced under the bench in the Mud Hens' bullpen, and RF Andy Dirks just looked at the bench and lifted his arms into the air.  Sorry, Dirks, this isn't the Wrigley Field ivy -- the bullpen benches in Victory Field are in play, and you don't get to just bail out like that.  He realized his mistake after a couple of seconds, and dove under the bench for the ball, but by then IMG_5130d'Arnaud had rounded second and was heading into third base.  Unfortunately, the Indians could not take advantage of the man on third and no outs.  Oliver struck out both Presley and DH Andy Marte, then got 1B Matt Hague to ground out, leaving d'Arnaud still on third.  

3B Josh Harrison had the only home run for the Indians.  With one out in the bottom of the 5th, he blasted another long fly ball to the left field wall -- just a little to the left and two feet further than his bomb last night, which ended up bouncing on the narrow top of the scoreboard.  This one definitely went over the wall, onto the grass, and into the hands of some of the students who were sitting on the berm.  

The only other Indians' batter to reach base against Oliver was CF Gorkys Hernandez, who got on when his grounder to second skipped up and off the glove of 2B Scott Sizemore.  Hernandez stole second base, but a short fly out and two strikeouts left him stranded.  Oliver struck out a total of 8 Indians' hitters in his 6 innings of work. He allowed one walk along with those 3 hits, and he threw 101 pitches (65 strikes). 



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Tribe Come Within Inches Again

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Pitching coach Tom Filer, catcher Wyatt Toregas, and pitcher Justin Wilson









Columbus Clippers  8,  Indianapolis Indians  7
(box score)

For the third night in a row, the Indians were down by one run in the bottom of the last inning with at least one runner on base -- and couldn't capitalize.  In addition, it was Pedro Ciriaco who was the last man to bat in each game.  That's not to place the blame for the losses on Ciriaco -- other players had also had opportunities to drive in runs and were not able too.  It's just an odd coincidence that Ciriaco ended the three games with a grounder into a double play, a ground out, and tonight a pop out.  

IMG_5009Like in the first two games, the Clippers were first onto the scoreboard.  Indians' starter Justin Wilson (photo) retired the first 8 batters he faced, including 5 strikeouts, with 4 of those in a row.  He struck out the side in the 2nd inning, then struck out the first batter of the 3rd inning.  Like the first two games, this game featured a diving catch of a low line drive by the Indians' shortstop.  In the first two games, that shortstop was Ciriaco; tonight it was Chase d'Arnaud, who recorded the second out in the 3rd inning.  The Clipper's ninth batter, RF Jerad Head, then rocketed Wilson's 2-1 pitch over the wall in right-center field for a solo homer.  Wilson then walked the next batter, CF Ezequiel Carrera, who promptly stole second base on the first pitch to the SS Cord Phelps.  Phelps slipped a grounder up the middle, just out of reach of d'Arnaud, and Carrera came around to score from second.  A walk to 3B Lonnie Chisenhall prompted a visit by pitching coach Tom Filer (photo above).  After catching his breath, Wilson got a fly out to end the inning.
 
Wilson also had to work around base runners in the 4th inning.  After another strikeout, Wilson gave up an infield single to 1B Jordan Brown.  Brown grounded back to the mound, and the ball tipped off Wilson's glove and over towards short.  SS d'Arnaud had to change his direction, but he got to the ball and made a rushed throw to first.  The throw pulled 1B Matt Hague off base, though it appeared that Brown might have beat the ball to the bag anyway.  DH Wes Hodges also tapped back to the mound, where Wilson whirled and threw to second, forcing out Brown.  But 2B Brian Friday's throw on to first went wide, and Hodges was safe.  C Paul Phillip walked, but then Head grounded to short, and the inning ended on the force out at second base.  

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2011 Prospect Watching: Wilson, Watson, Lincoln, And Valdez

A few more pitchers in the Pirates' minor league organization:

Justin Wilson --  L/L,  6' 2",  233 lb
Wilson was chosen by the Pirates in the 5th round of the 2008 draft.  He signed late, so made his pro debut in 2009 with A+ Lynchburg.  He had a 6-8 record there, with a 4.50 ERA, but in the last two months of the season, he was showing some improvement, with 10 earned runs in 47.1 innings over his last 9 games (1.90 ERA).  Wilson was promoted to AA Altoona for 2010, and he began with a rough month of April, when he allowed 9 runs on 13 hits in 12.1 innings (6.57 ERA).  He also walked 10 batters that month.  Wilson turned it around in May, when he allowed just 5 runs on 19 hits in 32.2 innings, for a 1.38 ERA.  Though he still walked 12 batters, he also struck out 36 batters in the month, including a 10-strikeout game and a 7-strikeout game.  Wilson settled out in the middle in July, when he earned a 3.65 ERA with 10 earned runs in 24.2 innings, and then a 3.19 ERA in August/Sept with 13 runs in 36.2 innings.  He finished the regular season with an 11-8 record in 27 games (one relief appearance), with 49 earned runs and 109 hits in 142.2 innings.  Wilson has had control problems, and that continued in 2010.  He walked 71 batters (4.5 walks/ 9 innings), and he also struck out 134 batters (8.5 K/ 9 innings).  Wilson won both of the games he started for the Curve in their playoff run, pitching 6 scoreless innings with 2 hits in the first round, and then 7 scoreless innings with 5 hits in the championship round.  After the regular season, Wilson participated in the Arizona Fall League, where he got into 6 games for the Mesa Solar Sox.  He gave up 9 runs on 19 hits, including 2 homers, with 8 walks and 16 strikeouts.  The 23-year-old Wilson is ready for AAA, where he'll need to keep working on his command and keep up the strikeouts.  He might get sent to Altoona again, though, if the Pirates fill up Indianapolis with a lot of "major league ready" pitchers.  


Tony Watson  --  L/L,  6' 4",  223 lb
The Pirates took Watson in the 9th round of the 2007 draft.  Watson was named the Pirates' minor league pitcher of the year in 2008, when he pitched in Lynchburg.  He was promoted to Altoona to begin 2009 and made 5 starts there.  He pitched just 15.1 innings and allowed 14 earned runs and 22 hits, which were probably due to the elbow problems that put him onto the DL for the rest of the season.  Watson returned to Altoona for 2010, where he pitched mostly in relief and stayed healthy.  He began with a hot April, allowing 3 runs on 5 hits in 13.2 innings over 5 relief appearances for a 1.98 ERA.  He made 8 appearances in each of May and June, and continued to do well, with 10 runs on 20 hits in 36.2  innings (2.45 ERA).  July was going well for Watson until the end of the month, with just 2 runs in 15.1 runs in 5 relief appearances.  Then he was moved back to the starting rotation -- and gave up 10 runs in a combined 10.2 innings.  Watson stayed in the rotation for the rest of the season, and finished the year well, with 10 runs on 30 hits in 40 inning over 7 starts.  that gave him a 6-4 record and 2 saves for the season, with a 2.67 ERA and 111.1 innings, with 33 earned runs and 82 hits.  His control was solid, with 24 walks for the season (1.9 walks/ 9 innings) and 105 strikeouts (8.5 K/ 9 innings).  Like Wilson, Watson also made 2 starts in the Curve's playoff run, allowing 2 runs in each of 2 starts, and winning both games.  The Pirates placed the 25-year old Watson onto the 40-man roster last fall.  He should be promoted to Indianapolis for 2010, where he' likely be used out of the bullpen.  He has a chance of making a trip up to Pittsburgh by the end of the season.  

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Indians Shut Out, Nieve Released

Iron Pigs  3,  Indians  0
The Indians' pitching staff threw 7 solid shut-out innings, but the Iron Pigs rallied for 3 runs in the 8th to take the win.  An RBI double, an Indians' error, and a sacrifice fly brought in Lehigh Valley's runs.  Starter Jeff Karstens pitched 4 scoreless innings, scattering 2 hits, no walks, and struck out 4.  Tony Watson followed with 2 scoreless innings, and Ramon Aguero pitched one scoreless frame.  The Tribe posted 5 hits over the first 4 innings, but could not push a run across.  Three Iron Pigs relievers finished the game, and allowed just one hit among the three of them.  

The Pirates had the day off today, and the Indians have the day off on Wednesday.

The Pirates have released pitcher Fernando Nieve.  Nieve had just been reassigned from the big league camp to the minor league camp just yesterday. 

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Indians Top Yankees; Pirates’ Top Red Sox

Indianapolis Indians  7,  Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees  2
The Indians had both the pitching and the hitting tuned up this afternoon as they defeated the Yankees at Bradenton.   SS Jordy Mercer, 2B Josh Harrison, and C Eric Fryer each drove in two runs.   The scoring started when Harrison tripled in the 3rd inning, when 3 runs came in. Mercer blasted a solo homer, then Fryer's 2-run double was the gem of the 8th inning, as 3 more runs scored.  Starter Justin Wilson pitched 3 scoreless innings, with 4 strikeouts, to earn the win.  The Yankees scored their 2 runs in the 5th, with reliever Jared Hughes on the mound.  Hughes pitched 2 innings and also struck out 3 batters.  Tony Watson pitched 2 scoreless innings (3 K), and Anthony Claggett (2 K) and Ramon Aguero each pitched a scoreless frame.  

Pirates  7,  Red Sox  5
A 5-run 4th inning put the Pirates well on their way to a win this afternoon at Bradenton.  The rally began when 2B Neil Walker reached base on a fielding error and CF Andrew McCutchen walked.   1B Lyle Overbay lifted a double into left field, which brought in both Walker and McCutchen.  3B Pedro Alvarez grounded to third, where Overbay was out, leaving Alvarez on first.  RF Matt Diaz lined a single up the middle, and C Dusty Brown loaded the bases on an infield grounder that bounced off Red Sox pitcher Josh Beckett.  With two outs, Pirates' starter Kevin Correia slipped a grounder into left field, driving in Alvarez and Diaz.   When the throw in to the plate was not in time to get Diaz, the Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia tried to throw back to third to surprise Brown.  The real surprise was when Saltalamacchia's throw sailed into left field, allowing Brown to score and Correia to move up to third.  LF John Bowker gave the Pirates 2 more insurance runs with a homer in the 7th inning.  Correia also singled in the 3rd inning but was out in a force play at second.

2B Pedro Ciriaco doubled after Bowker's homer in the 7th.   CF Corey Wimberly, RF Josh Fields, and SS Josh Rodriguez got into the game.  Steve Pearce played a few innings at third base as well.

Correia pitched 5 innings in his start.  He gave up two singles in the top of the 1st and one in the 2nd, but double plays got him out of both innings.  He zipped through the 3rd and 4th innings, then gave up 3 runs in the 5th.  A walk, a single, and a sacrifice fly brought in the first run.  Two more singles added a second run, then a throwing error by Walker at second and a sacrifice fly added an unearned run.  Joel Hanrahan pitched a scoreless 6th, with 2 strikeouts.  Then Justin Thomas allowed a run to score in the 7th on a run, a double, and a wild pitch.  Fernando Nieve pitched the final two innings and earned the save even though he gave up a run on a double, a walk, and a single in the 9th.  

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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.  


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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.   

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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

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Beckman’s Surprise Appearance

Pirates  10,  Rays  3

The Pirates posted 13 hits on their way to 10 runs in their McKechnie Field opener on Sunday afternoon.  CF Andrew McCutchen had three hits, including a solo homer for the Pirates' first run of the game, and a double.  RF Garrett Jones also had three hits -- 2 doubles and a single.  McCutchen began a rally in the 4th with a single, and doubles by Jones and C Ryan Doumit drove in 2 runs, all off former Pirate pitcher Chris Bootcheck.  Another former Pirate, Jonah Bayliss, came on to pitch the 5th inning for the Rays.  Bayliss got the first two outs, then gave up a triple to 2B Neil Walker, and doubles by McCutchen and 3B Pedro Alvarez, and the Pirates had 2 more runs.  Chase d'Arnaud came into the game for Walker in the 6th, and he led off the bottom of the 7th with a walk.  D'Arnaud moved to second base on a ground out, then scrambled around from second base, surprising the Rays, to score on an RBI ground out by 1B Steve Pearce.  The Pirates added another 4 runs in the bottom of the 8th.  That inning began with a solo homer by C Jason Jaramillo.  SS Josh Rodriguez singled, then with two outs and Rodriguez on third, d'Arnaud lined an RBI single up the middle.  CF Corey Wimberly walked, and 3B Andy Marte drove in both d'Arnaud and Wimberly with a double into right field.  

Kevin Correia made the start for the Pirates.  He gave up a run in the top of the 1st, with a lead-off walk and two ground outs.  Correia got into trouble in the 2nd inning, giving up two singles and a walk to load the bases with one out.  That was all for Correia.  Minor leaguer Ryan Beckman, who pitched for State College in 2010, came on in relief of Correia.  Beckman got the first batter he faced to ground to second, which allowed the runner from third to score.  Another ground out ended the inning.  Usually that would be the end of the outing for a minor leaguer who is filling in.  But, Joe Beimel, who was scheduled to pitch after Correia, had some elbow soreness and did not pitch.  So, Beckman kept going.  He threw three more pitches, and retired three batters in the 3rd inning, with a line out and two ground outs.  Brian Burres earned the win with 2 scoreless innings following Beckman.  Joel Hanrahan, Jose Veras, and another minor leaguer, Tony Watson, each pitched one scoreless inning.  Watson worked around a lead-off single in the 8th.  Chris Leroux pitched the 9th, and gave up a solo homer and two singles, but ended the inning with a pop out and a double play.  

LF John Bowker and RF Andrew Lambo also got into the game.  

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Roster Updates

Gone for a few days, and all kinds of changes going on....

006_06The Pirates have removed starting pitcher Zach Duke, infielder Andy LaRoche, and outfielder Delwyn Young from their 40-man roster.  

Duke (photo) was the starting pitcher for the Indianapolis Indians on Opening Day in 2005, the beginning of the Pirates' affiliation with the Indians.  Duke faced the rehabbing Curt Schilling, and he and the Indians beat Schilling pretty easily.  

The open spots on the 40-man roster, plus two other already open spots, went to a group of minor league pitchers:  

Mike Crotta, a righty who made 4 starts for Altoona before he was promoted to Indianapolis.  He made 24 starts for the Indians and pitched 131.1 innings, with a 4.93 ERA.
Daniel Moskos,
who split the season between the Indy Indians and the Altoona Curve.  The lefty was outstanding for the Curve, with a 1.52 ERA and 21 saves, though he struggled for the Indians, where he earned a 10.38 ERA in 17.1 innings of relief.
Tony Watson, another lefty who spent the season with the Curve.  He made a few starts (9) but mostly worked in relief, earning a 2.67 ERA in 111.1 innings.  
Jeff Locke, split the season between Altoona and the Bradenton Marauders.  After earning a 3.54 ERA in 17 starts for Bradenton, Locke was promoted to AA, where the southpaw made an additional 10 starts and earned a consistent 3.59 ERA.   
Kyle McPherson, a right-hander who spent most of the season with A-level West Virginia.  McPherson made 21 starts and 5 relief appearances for the Power, with a 3.59 ERA in 117.2 innings, though he had some hot and cold swings.  McPherson also pitched 4 scoreless innings for Bradenton in September.  

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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...