Tag: Zach Duke

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.  

Claggett Takes A Loss; Homers For Cedeno And Gimenez

Happy Thanksgiving to all!  
Everyone has probably seen that Zach Duke has been traded to Arizona for a player to be named later.
Also, former Pirate Bryan Bullington, who was removed from the Kansas City Royals' 40-man roster last week, was released by the Royals yesterday.  Then Bullington signed a contract to play in Japan for the Hiroshima Toyo Carp for 2011.

Cheering for Pirates' players and friends in the winter leagues on Wednesday..... 

VENEZUELAN LEAGUE
Tiburones de La Guaira  4,  Bravos de Margarita  1  (Game 1)  --  
This was supposed to be a 7-inning game, but the score was still tied at 1-1 after 7.  A bases-loaded walk forced in Los Bravos' run in the bottom of the 1st.  Los Tiburones tied the score with a run on a single, a ground out, and another single in the 3rd.  Anthony Claggett had pitched a scoreless 7th inning -- he gave up a single, but then picked the base runner off first.  But he started the top of the 8th with a single and a sacrifice bunt, and was then relieved.  The next pitcher loaded the bases with a pair of walks, then he was relieved too.  Two singles and a sacrifice fly brought in 3 runs for Los Tiburones, with the first one charged to Claggett, making him responsible for the loss.  Margarita won the second game 3-0, holding Los Tiburones to just 3 hits in the 7-inning game.  Former Pirate farmhand Ronald Belisario allowed one of the hits along with a walk in the 7th inning, earning his 8th save.

Tigres de Aragua  7,  Navegantes del Magallanes  5  --  Both SS Ronny Cedeno and 1B Hector Gimenez hit 2-run homers for Los Tigres in this win.  Gimenez's blast got Aragua going in their 4-run 1st inning, and Cedeno's homer made the score 6-1 in the 2nd inning.  Gimenez also doubled in the game.  CF Jorge Cortes walked and scored for Los Tigres, and C Raul Chavez was 0-for-3 at the plate.  

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.  

Rain Delays Indians and Mud Hens: Indians Pull Out The...

The Indians were leading the Mud Hens 6-3 in the 6th...

FINAL:� Indianapolis Indians� 6,� Toledo Mud Hens� 4 (box)

The big news, even before the game began, was the player moves made by the Pittsburgh Pirates.� With pitcher Zach Duke done with his rehab assignment in Altoona and ready to come back onto the Pirates' active roster, someone else had to be removed from the roster.� That someone is reliever Justin Thomas, who has been optioned back to the Indians.

Secondly, the Pirates have announced that they are optioning back-up catcher Jason Jaramillo to Indianapolis.� The reason given is that he has had minimal playing time during the first half of the season, and needs to get the work in.� Jaramillo will become the regular catcher in Indianapolis after the All-Star break.� The Pirates have also moved pitcher Chris Jakubauskas to the 60-day disabled list, opening up a spot on the 40-man roster.� So, who will take his place?

The Pirates intend to make that announcement later in the week.� Possibilities include Indians' Erik Kratz and Luke Carlin, and Altoona Curve catcher Hector Gimenez (who played for the Indians in 2009).� Kratz is the Indians' only representative for the AAA All-Star game, which will be played on Wednesday in Lehigh Valley -- just a short hop from Kratz's home town.� He has a lot of family and friends coming to see him play, though he will not be the starting catcher in the game.� SO -- is the delay in the Pirates' announcement so that they can give Kratz time to participate in the All-Star game?� If he were pulled at the last minute, it might be tricky to get someone else there to represent the Indians.� Carlin has only just come back from his ankle injury and is not entirely up to speed yet.� Gimenez could certainly handle things at the major league level -- but what would that say to Erik Kratz?� "Sure, Erik, you're a great guy and we were considering you for the major league back-up back in March, and sure, you are an All-Star for two years running at the AAA level -- but we're going to promote Gimenez from AA over you.� Oh, and when you get back to Indy, you won't be the starting catcher either."

Back to the game.. which was delayed for about 15 minutes before even starting, then halted again due to rain in the 2nd inning.� That delay lasted over an hour.

LF Kevin Melillo got the Indians started with a double driven into right field to begin the game.� 3B Akinori Iwamura followed with a single into right field, and Melillo raced around from second to score.�� The Mud Hens came right back in the bottom of the frame, against Tribe starter Dana Eveland. SS Will Rhymes led off with a single through into left field, then Eveland struck out 3B Brent Dlugach.� LF Ryan Strieby doubled, moving Rhymes to third, and DH Jeff Larish brought in both Rhymes and Strieby with a single up the middle, to give the Mud Hens a 2-1 lead.� Eveland walked 1B Jeff Frazier, but then got CF Casper wells to bounce into a double play, ending the inning.

Eveland had gotten two outs and had 2B Max Leon on first base after a single when the rain halted play in the bottom of the 2nd.� The delay was long enough so that Eveland did not come back out, with workhorse Jeremy Powell taking the mound instead.� Powell ended the 2nd inning, then pitched two more scoreless innings, allowing only a walk.

Duke Pitches Well In 2nd Rehab Start; 3 Rehab Hits For...

Saturday's action with the Pirates' lower minor league affiliates:

Altoona Curve� 2,� Richmond Flying Squirrels� 1 (box)

Zach Duke pitched 4 rehab innings, allowing only one run on two hits and a walk.� Double plays got Duke out of the 1st inning, when a runner reached on Duke's fielding error, and out of the 2nd, when he walked a batter.� He retired the side in order in the 3rd, then with two outs in the 4th gave up a solo home run followed by a single before ending the inning.� Duke did not strike out any batters.

The Curve gave Duke 2 runs worth of support in the bottom of the 1st.� CF Anthony Norman led off with a single, and two outs later, 1B Matt Hague blasted his 8th home run of the season for a 2-0 lead.� Three innings later, the Squirrels homered off Duke, and that was all the scoring in the game.� The Curve had only two other hits in the game -- a single by 2B Jordy Mercer immediately following Hague's homer, and a double by Hague to lead off the 4th.� After Hague's double, the next 15 Curve batters went down in order.

Not that the Squirrels were doing much better.� After the homer and the single in the 4th, Richmond posted only two more hits.� Those came back-to-back to open the 8th inning off reliever Anthony Claggett. Claggett struck out the next two batters and got a line out to end the inning without a run scoring.� Tony Watson pitched 3 scoreless innings, allowing only one walk, and he was credited with the win.� Ramon Aguero earned his second save with a perfect 9th inning.

Don't forget to watch Gorkys Hernandez and Bryan Morris in the Futures Game on Sunday at 6pm (Eastern) on ESPN2 and MLB.TV.� Hernandez will be the starting center fielder for the World Team.� Tony Sanchez was invited too, but he's still on the DL due to jaw surgery.

Duke Pitches In Altoona

The Bradenton Marauders and the GCL Pirates were both rained out on Monday.

Altoona �Curve �6, �Binghampton Mets �1 (box)

Things went well for�Zach Duke as he made a rehab start with the Curve. �He needed only 29 pitches to get through his scheduled 3 innings, allowing one run on 3 hits, no walks, with one strikeout. �The game began with a double, a ground out to move the runner to third, then an RBI single. �Duke ended that first inning with a double play. �He gave up a single in the 2nd, but another double play erased that runner, and Duke retired the side in order in the 3rd.

That was the only run the Mets had in the game. �Justin Wilson took over when Duke was done, and he pitched 4 shutout innigs, scattering 4 hits and a walk, to record his 7th win of the season. �Ramon Aguero pitched the 9th inning, also scoreless, with a walk and 2 strikeouts.

The Mets' pitching staff was not so fortunate. �The Curve batters posted 15 hits, with each position player except LF Brandon Jones collecting at least one hit. �1B Matt Hague had his third 3-hit game in 5 days, and RF Miles Durham also had 3 hits. �The Curve responded to the Mets' 1st inning run with 2 of their own, on a single by SS Chase d'Arnaud, a double by CF Gorkys Hernandez, a sacrifice fly by Hague to bring in d'Arnaud, and a double by C Hector Gimenez which scored Hernandez.

The Curve put at least one runner on base in each of the next four innings, though did not get any of them around to score. �In the 6th, they added one run when 2B Shelby Ford smacked a ground-rule double, and scored on Durham's RBI single. �Another double-single combination, from Hague and Gimenez respectively, added a run in the 7th inning. �They picked up two more runs in the 8th, on a rally started by Durham when he singled and stole second base. �Pinch-hitter Anthony Norman and Hernandez also singled, driving in Durham. �After a pitching change, 3B Josh Harrison's RBI single brought in Norman to give the Curve their 6th run.

More Hits, But Pirates Lose

Tigers 8, �Pirates 5 � (box)

The Pirates found their bats again today, but still could not overcome the Tigers in Wednesday's Grapefruit League action. �The Pirates posted 12 hits, and scored all their runs in one inning, a 5-run 4th. �Starter Zach Duke got into trouble in the 2nd inning, when he gave up back-to-back singles, then got a strikeout, then gave up two more back-to-back singles. �The fourth single brought in two runs. �A fly out was next, then another RBI single and a 2-RBI double, and the Tigers had a 5-0 lead.

The Pirates' 4th inning began with LF Lastings Milledge reaching base on a fielding error. �1B Jeff Clement continued his hot hitting with a single into right field. �3B Andy LaRoche brought in both Milledge and Clement with a triple into center field. �Zach Duke contributed an RBI double, plating LaRoche. �SS Bobby Crosby walked, and 2B Aki Iwamura singled into left to load the bases. �CF Andrew McCutchen lifted a sacrifice fly, scoring Duke from third. �After a pop out, C Ryan Doumit singled in Crosby before a ground out ended the inning. �The 5-run rally tied the score, but it didn't stay tied for long.

The Tigers led off the bottom of the 4th with a solo home run, followed by a single and a walk. �A double play erased the walk, but left a runner on third base. �Johnny Damon singled to bring in that run, and an RBI double by Magglio Ordonez scored Damon. �Another single had Ordonez heading for the plate, but an excellent throw in from Milledge in left field to Doumit at home was in time to tag out Ordonez as he tried to score.

Duke took the loss, as he allowed 8 runs on 9 hits over 3.2 innings. �Corey Hamman finished up the 4th inning for Duke, though he allowed 2 hits. �Brendan Donnelly and Jack Taschner each pitched a scoreless inning, and Jeff Sues pitched 2 scoreless innings.

Also in the game: �3B Jose De Los Santos, LF Austin McClune, RF Steve Pearce, and CF John Raynor.

The Indianapolis Indians were scheduled to play a AAA game against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees in Bradenton this afternoon -- no word about the results.

9th Inning Rallies Sink Indians and Pirates

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees 4, �Indianapolis Indians 1

The Indians and the Yankees took a 1-1 tie into the top of the 8th in this afternoon's game in Bradenton, Florida. �But that was when the Yankees got to reliever Jean Machi, who gave up two singles, including one for an RBI, to give the Yankees a 2-1 lead. �Back-to-back singles and a 2-RBI double added two more runs in the 9th. �The Indians scored in the 1st inning, on a double by 1B Brian Myrow and an RBI single by 3B Pedro Alvarez. Machi suffered the loss, with 3 innings of work, including one walk and one strikeout. �Octavio Dotel started the game for the Indians and pitched "one inning", with 3 strikeouts, though in order to get in a little more work, he actually got to face 5 batters and make 5 outs. �He threw 21 pitches.

Astros 6, �Pirates 4 � (box)

Starter Zach Duke pitched 6.2 scoreless innings and allowed only 2 hits and a walk, with 2 strikeouts, to get the Pirates off to a good start in their afternoon Grapefruit League game in Kissimmee, Florida. �Duke had been scheduled to throw either 6 innings or 80 pitches, and after going back out to begin the 7th inning, he finished at right around 80 pitches. �He also contributed 2 of the Pirates' 8 hits, both doubles, one into each outfield corner, though he did not come around to score either time. �The Pirates got onto the scoreboard first, with one run in the 4th inning off the Astros' Roy Oswalt. �LF Lastings Milledge doubled to lead off the inning, then advanced to third base on a ground out, and scored on an RBI single by Jeff Clement. Clement scored in the top of the 7th, when he doubled, went to third base on SS Bobby Crosby's single, and then scrambled home when 3B Ramon Vasquez bounced into a double play.

Duke took it into the 7th inning, but when he gave up a 2-out single (only the second hit he'd allowed), he was relieved by Javier Lopez. Lopez finished that inning, but gave up a bunt single and a sacrifice bunt plus a fielding error by 3B Josh Harrison, who was up from minor league camp. �A triple off Jack Taschner, and the Astros had a 4-2 lead.

Led by the minor leaguers, the Pirates came back to tie it up in the top of the 9th. �LF Brandon Moss walked, and CF Robbie Grossman singled. �A wild pitch brought Moss across the plate, then SS Benji Gonzalez singled to score Grossman. �Tie score, 4-4. �Unfortunately, the Astros rallied in the bottom of the frame. �With reliever Jeremy Powell on the mound, a double and a walk-off 2-run homer gave Houston the win, with Powell charged for the loss.

Also in the game: �2B Shelby Ford, 1B Steve Pearce, PH Erik Kratz, and C Luke Carlin.

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...