-- The Bucs split a pair of games today. Oddly, they managed to beat Edison Volquez and the Reds, 6-5, but fell to the mighty Manatee CC Lancers 6-4.
In the spring game, Jesse Chavez may have dealt a fatal blow to his bullpen chances by giving up three runs on three hits and three walks in the opening inning (eight relievers pitched today; Ian Snell was sick).
The Bucs banged out 12 hits, five for extra bases, topped by Craig Monroe's team-leading seventh HR of camp. He and Brandon Moss had a pair of knocks to pace the attack.
The Pirates that worked the seventh, eighth, and ninth innings for the win, hold, and save were farm hands Eric Krebs, Harrison Bishop, and Lincoln Holdzkom.
One thing we have noticed all spring is that the Pirates are paying more attention to baserunners, and the results have shown. Ryan Doumit threw out 2-of-3 base stealers, and Jason Jaramillo gunned his only would-be sack snatcher.
The highlight of the game may have been when Sarasota's Mayor received a standing boo from the crowd. The Reds are leaving town for Arizona this year after the Sarasota town fathers decided not to upgrade the facilities, and apparently at least one segment of the voting public disagreed with the decision.
The Pirates finish their McKechnie Field schedule against the Twins tomorrow afternoon. Zach Duke will start against Kevin Slowey. The Pirates have one to go after that, the camp-closer on Saturday against the Twins again, at their place.
-- Meanwhile in Pirate City, Virgil Vasquez and Dave Davidson were rocked as Manatee beat the Bucs for the first time in the 11-game charity series 6-4. Steve Pearce homered.
-- Craig Hansen, Sean Burnett, and Donnie Veal were officially named to the staff today, and we expect that Evan Meek will join them soon if he can leave Bradenton germ-free.
We are surprised that they didn't keep a long man given the April slate, but as Neal Huntington told the beat writers, some business decisions had to taken into account during the sausage-making.
All three could have left the Pirate organization if cut from the MLB roster. To us, Hansen was the only one that actually earned a position, but nobody else really stepped up to make the decision hard with the exception of Jason Davis, who they plan to use as a part of Indy's rotation. So c'est la vie, and let's hope the starters can get into the seventh inning.
-- Ian Snell was still under the weather and missed the start today. If he can't fit in a couple of innings, even in minor league camp, before the Pirates head north, they may have to shuffle the rotation a bit. The Pirates still believe he'll be able to go Tuesday against St. Louis.
-- A couple of tidbits GW stumbled upon while googling uber-prospect Steve Strasburg. First, he can be represented legally by Scott Boras during the season - in an "advisory" capacity - because the NCAA considers college baseball players draftable after their junior season, and Strasburg is a senior.
Yahoo!Sports Steve Henson did an article on Strasburg that included guys that topped 102 on the radar gun. He did a follow-up of some greats that could bring it before the days of the gun: Ryne Duren, JR Richards, Herb Score, Bob Feller, and Nolan Ryan. That's pretty good company for the kid to be running in.