On the Pirate front: Ryan Doumit was named the NL's co-Player of the Week, along with Florida Marlins starter Ricky Nolasco. Doumit batted .400 (10-25) with 4 home runs.
He had a .960 slugging percentage and 24 total bases, tied for the league lead with 8 runs scored, and drove in 7 runs. Nolasco went 2-0 with 15 strikeouts in 2 starts lasting 14-2/3 innings.
> Xavier Nady has a sprained left shoulder, but the team has no plans yet to place him on the DL. The MRI scan showed a Grade 1 acromioclavicular joint sprain in the shoulder, which sounds worse than it is. There is no damage to the cuff or labrum.
The Pirates said they will take the next coupla days to see how Nady's wing heals. He'll rejoin the team tomorrow in Chicago.
On the minor league front: Chris Duffy returned to Altoona, and the 2004 Curve MVP started in CF and led off. He went 0-for-3. We think he may be there for awhile, but he's been so far under the radar this year that we'll just have to wait and see what he has and what the Pirate plans for him are.
> The 2008 South Atlantic League All-Star Game will be held Tuesday night. Hickory's 3B Bobby Spain and SS Jose De Los Santos will start for the Northern Division team, while 1B Miles Durham also made the team as a reserve.
On the draft front: The Pirates signed five more picks from the 2008 draft.
3B Jeremy Farrell, the 8th choice from the U of Virginia, is the son of Boston Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell. He led the Cavaliers with 11 homers and 51 RBIs and was hitting .320 with 47 strikeouts in 200 at-bats during the regular season.
His swing mechanics improved this season, and he hit with more pull power, but there is still some question about his bat speed. 1B is probably his best position because he's a tad slow with an average arm, though he might be athletic enough to play a corner OF position.
> Calvin Anderson, from Southern A&M, the 12th choice, is a 1B, and the son of former Pittsburgh Steeler Fred Anderson. He's a big galoot at 6-7, 240 lbs., and hits from the right side. Like most guys from the SWAC, Anderson is still raw.
He has a long, powerful swing with full extension but has shown good bat control as well. Anderson has been a steady hitter as a three-year starter at Southern, hitting .328-8-34 this spring.
> They also signed SS Jarek Cunningham, their 18th pick from Mt. Spokane HS. Cunningham had a commitment to Arizona State but opted to go pro. The Bucs signed a slew of SS's, so Cunningham may see time at 2B.
There are no recent stats available - Cunningham missed most of his senior season to rehab a knee injury.
> And finally, twin picks from West Point: catcher Christopher Simmons (41st round) and outfielder Cole White (42nd round). Simmons hit .318 with 8 HR's, and is thought to be an organization-type C.
White was an effective two-way player for Army. For much of his career he was the team's best hitter while also pitching. The Pirates plan to try him as an outfielder. He hit .373 with 8 HR's this year.
They'll get a break in their military assignments, much like David Robinson. Athletes can fulfill their commitments by engaging in recruiting and other related activities.
By our count, that's 21 guys they've signed. We hope they're aiming for 30 or so, seeing that so many of the toolsy players they picked have yet to ink a deal. We're a little surprised at how many late picks they've signed. It could portend a major housecleaning in the Pirate minor league organization.
On the high school front: Pittsburgh lost a great coach today, Peabody's Norm Frey. Although he enjoyed plenty of basketball success, it surprises some to discover that baseball was his first love.
He and Ken McDonough had a unique coaching relationship. Frey was Peabody's head baseball coach from 1955-68 and won 6 City League championships. When he resigned, McDonough took over, and Frey became his assistant. With the McDonough-Frey combo, Peabody won 14 City League baseball titles during the days when Peabody was usually as good as any of the WPIAL's best teams.
"He was my mentor," McDonough said. "I knew a little about baseball, but I had no idea how shallow I was until I sat down and talked with him after I got hired."
Both retired from teaching and coaching in 1992. After retiring from Peabody, Frey still was an assistant baseball coach in the Pittsburgh Federation League. When Mike Wilson became Duquesne's coach in the fall of 1993, the first person he called was Frey to offer him an assistant coach's job. He coached seven years at Duquesne.
"When I first got the job, I called Norm before I even called my wife," Wilson told the Post Gazette. "There wasn't anybody better than him who knew and could teach fundamentals." Frey even had two batting cages in the back yard of his North Side home, so he could give hitting lessons to kids.
God speed, Norm Frey.