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Vlad

  • joined Mar 26, 2008
  • last login Jul 24, 2014
  • posts 390
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User Blog

Pirates Re-Sign Tim Wood to Minor League Deal

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No complaints from me about this move. Wood didn't experience any notable success in the majors last year, but he has some good natural abilities that just need more refinement. 94 MPH fastballs don't grow on trees, after all. He'll be a solid depth player to have in camp as a NRI during spring training, and if he puts it all together during the season, we might really have something.

Jordy Mercer Playing For A Gold Medal Tonight

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Team USA defeated Cuba yesterday in the semifinals, 12-10, and will play Canada for the championship at 8:00 P.M. this evening. Mercer was 1-for-3 with two runs scored, two RBI, and two sacrifice bunts. The full box score is here. The games are being televised on ESPN3, if you have a much fancier cable package than I do (i.e. none). There's also an online stream for some cable subscribers at this link.

Twins slip Anthony Slama through waivers

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Too bad. I would've probably claimed him, if given the opportunity. Particularly if I was planning to non-tender one or more of the team's veteran relief arms from 2011... Slama's primarily a fastball/slider reliever (also throws a change and cutter), 27 years old, and over the last three seasons at AAA he's put up a 2.59 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, and 10.3 K/9. He experienced some elbow pain last year, but surgery ultimately wasn't needed, and he's got one option remaining. What do you guys think?

How Derrek Lee is Spending His Offseason

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Hanging out with talk show host Larry King and astronaut Walter Cunningham, on a quest to find the most beautiful pair of children's eyes in the country. No, I'm not drunk. Why do you ask?

ray (burlington, NJ): Keith-thanks for the chat. Is Robbie Grossman a top 100 prospect in...

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ray (burlington, NJ): Keith-thanks for the chat. Is Robbie Grossman a top 100 prospect in 2012? Keith Law (1:50 PM): Yes.

ESPN: Chat with Keith Law, 10/20/2011

Three Pirates prospects to play winter ball in Australia

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Calvin Anderson, Ryan Beckman, and Rinku Singh are joining the Adelaide Bite of the Australian Baseball League. The Bite are managed by Pirates scout Tony Harris, and Quincy Latimore is already with the team, as well as former Pirates minor leaguers Adrian Burnside and Paul Mildren.

zMLE Numbers for 2011 Released

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These are minor league numbers translated into a MLB context by Dan Szymborski, the same guy who creates the ZiPS projections. Remember, these are the approximate ML equivalents of 2011 performances, not 2012 projections. Most prospects will have improved over the offseason, and can expect to do at least a little bit better in 2012.

Ask BA: October 10th, 2011

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In this week's "Ask BA," Jim Callis compares Starling Marte and Robbie Grossman, elaborating somewhat on his criticism of Grossman last week.

Starling Marte: MinorLeagueBall Prospect of the Day

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Always interesting to see Sickels's take on players.

Old Cy Young Shuts Out Pirates

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One hundred years ago today, pitcher Denton True "Cy" Young earned the 511th and final win of his storied career, pitching a complete game shutout against Babe Adams in a 1-0 Boston victory. Given the current trends in pitcher usage, it seems unlikely that his career wins record will ever be broken. The link goes to the NYT's recap and box score for the game.

Pittsburgh appears to be shaving the budget of general manager Neal Honeycutt’s (sic) advisers....

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Pittsburgh appears to be shaving the budget of general manager Neal Honeycutt’s (sic) advisers. Longtime Pirates special assistant Pete Vuckovich beat the posse out of town, accepting a similar role in Seattle, where he is reunited with general manager Jack Zduriencik and Ted Simmons, also a special assistant in Seattle. Zduriencik is a former scouting director in Pittsburgh and Simmons is a former Vuckovich teammate in the big leagues. Pirates also have informed Keith Champion and Larry Corrigan — both given four-year contracts and among Huntington’s initial hires — that their deals won’t be renewed.

-Tracy Ringolsby, FoxSports.com

Jordy Mercer Chosen for Team USA

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The Pirates shortstop prospect will represent America at both the Baseball World Cup and the Pan American Games this fall. Here's the schedule for both tournaments. Mercer is the only true shortstop on the roster, so it seems likely that he'll be starting. Four other players with Pittsburgh connections also made the team. Reliever Scott Patterson was born in Oakdale and graduated from West Allegheny High School. Starting pitcher Todd Redmond is a former Pirates prospect who was traded to the Braves for Tyler Yates. First baseman Matt Clark was the Pirates' 28th-round draft pick in 2007, though he elected not to sign. And catching prospect Travis d'Arnaud is of course the younger brother of Chase d'Arnaud. Congratulations to all the players who were chosen, and best of luck in October.

Pirates Sign Aaron Heilman to Minor League Deal

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Per Langosch (see link). I suspect that this move is insurance against an unfavorable result from Dr. Andrews's examination of Paul Maholm's shoulder. Heilman has already been released twice this year, but you don't need to have much left in the tank to soak up a few innings at AAA. UPDATE by Charlie: Vlad beat me to this by three minutes. Here's what I wrote about it. The Bucs have signed veteran pitcher Aaron Heilman to a minor-league deal, and he'll head to Indianapolis. We'll see whether this is purely a depth addition, or if Heilman actually comes up at some point. His strikeout and walk numbers earlier this year with Arizona were very good. The problem is that a full fifth of his fly balls were homers. He'll allow more than his fair share of homers, but that many is probably just bad luck. He might - might - still be able to help in the right role.

Orioles DFA Luis Lebron

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Lebron's command is very poor, and he's coming off TJ surgery, but he's got absolutely killer stuff. I wouldn't mind a waiver claim here, to give our staff a chance to take a look at Lebron. You just can't teach a guy to have that kind of a power arm. Stats here.

Colton Cain (Temporarily) Moved to Bullpen

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I figured I'd better mention this, since it'd undoubtedly be the source of much angst and speculation otherwise. For the rest of the season, the Power are going to use Cain out of the bullpen, in an effort to manage his workload and keep his innings pitched total down. This doesn't mean anything about his role or ceiling going forward - it's just preventative medicine, in an effort to keep him healthy.

Diamondbacks Sign Overbay, Save Us a Few Dollars

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Arizona's going to be paying him the prorated MLB minimum for as long as he's part of their roster, and that money comes out of what we owe him for the rest of 2012 on his guaranteed contract. It's not a huge amount of money, but every bit helps, right?

Catching Up With Adam Boeve

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As you may recall, Boeve was our 12th-round pick in 2003, and he played for the organization through 2008, making it to AAA before a vertigo-like condition forced him to retire. So what's he up to now? Hit the link and find out.

The Pirates, Giants and Braves need catching help and it's known that at least the Pirates...

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The Pirates, Giants and Braves need catching help and it's known that at least the Pirates contacted the Cubs at one point about [Geovany] Soto.

-Bruce Levine, ESPN.com, 8/2/11

Aaron Baker homers in first game with Frederick Keys

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Kind of an amusing bookend, given Lee's early success with the Pirates. Looks like a win-win deal!

Pirates sign Dominican RHP Jose Regalado

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I know basically nothing about this kid, and only stumbled across the move on MLB.com's transaction log while I was looking for something else. He's apparently 6'3" and 180 lbs, from the central part of the D.R. (which looks like a pretty nice place), and has a listed birth date of 11/19/91. That makes him a little old for a Dominican signee, but not implausibly so if they like his stuff enough. The signing was official on Monday, and he's already appeared once for our DSL team, pitching a perfect inning with one K in yesterday's game. Here's hoping he has a long and successful career, and that we find out a little more about him in the future.

FanPost
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Bucs Draftee Rand Ravnaas Stars in NECBL

As the end of MLB's 2011 draft signing period approaches, Georgetown's Rand Ravnaas has likely enhanced his status in summer league play. Will his star turn with the NECBL's Newport Gulls be enough...

Philadelphia's Pence Negotiations Open an Intriguing Opportunity?

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It seems unlikely that the Pirates will be able to trade for Hunter Pence, but that doesn't mean that they can't benefit from a Pence deal. Could a three-way deal bringing Domonic Brown to...

Shelby Ford Released

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Per BA's transaction log. Another small piece of the Littlefield era bites the dust.

Cards Shoot Selves in Feet, Trade Rasmus to Toronto

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Earlier today, the Blue Jays acquired starting pitcher Edwin Jackson and expensive bench ornament Mark Teahen from the White Sox in exchange for reliever Jason Frasor and rookie SP Zach Stewart. There was widespread speculation that Jackson would be heading to St. Louis in a follow-up deal, and the other shoe has finally dropped on the second half of the transaction. The Cardinals will receive Jackson, ex-Buc Octavio Dotel, lefty swingman Marc Rzepczynski, and well-traveled outfielder Corey Patterson in exchange for Rasmus and three marginal bullpen arms: Trever Miller, P.J. Walters, and Brian Tallet. John Jay likely becomes St. Louis's starting CF, with Kyle McClellan moving to the pen to make room for Jackson. Jackson is a decent starter, but not a shutdown guy, and he'll be a free agent at the end of the year, whereas Rasmus only has three seasons' worth of service time. This move makes the Cardinals significantly weaker in the long term without providing much (if any) short-term benefit. As such, we owe La Russa a debt of gratitude - without his inability to peacefully co-exist with his young star, our path toward contention in 2012 and beyond would look much tougher than it does today. Edit: Per Toronto's press release on the trade, the Cardinals will also receive "three players to be named later or cash considerations". If any of those players are significant talents, it could alter the balance of the deal somewhat, though that "or cash" might tend to suggest that none are particularly noteworthy if a small payment is potentially a viable alternative.

July 17th, 1914: NY Giants 3, Pirates 1

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If you need something to wash the taste of umpire Jerry Meals's clownish incompetence out of your mouth, you may enjoy a look back at what I believe to be the longest game in Pirates history. Both Bucs starter Babe Adams and Giants Hall of Famer Rube Marquard pitched 21-inning complete games, with Adams also setting an obscure record for most innings pitched in one game without allowing any walks, and Honus Wagner was ejected in the sixth after a bizarre play where he attempted to conceal a loose ball in his armpit while running the bases. At the time the game was played, it was the longest in terms of innings in the history of the National League. It was also fairly long in time elapsed, clocking in at a robust three hours and forty-two minutes from end to end.

13th Round Draft Pick Brandon Platts Has MRI on Elbow

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According to Platts, a high school RHP from Mason City, Iowa, the results were clean. Still, you'd have to think that his elbow pain might be a concern for the Bucs when they're entering into negotiations, particularly if it limits his ability to throw for the team in workouts. Platts has a commitment to Missouri, and in a post-draft interview, he said, "I set my (signing bonus) number up there high. It’s going to take a lot for me to forgo Missouri, and I haven’t signed anything yet."

Pirates Win 6-4, Eye Sweep of Boston Sunday

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The Pittsburgh Pirates defeated the Boston Red Sox tonight, 6-4, putting them one game away from a possible sweep. It was a night of near misses and back-and-forth action, with further details...

2003 Pirates Stayed in Haunted Hotel

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Specifically, the Renaissance Vinoy Hotel in St. Petersburg, Florida, which was featured in an October 1, 2008 episode of the TV show Ghost Hunters. The header link goes to a preview chapter from the book Haunted Baseball, which includes anecdotes about the hotel from several Pirates players and coaches. Hat tip to the Miami New Times.

I'm told there is no $ figure that would do it. Could change his mind I guess. RT @gobuccos88: what...

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I'm told there is no $ figure that would do it. Could change his mind I guess. RT @gobuccos88: what will it take to sign josh bell? 6,7 mil?

Keith Law, via Twitter
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