Monday, March 15, 2010

Florida Sun Hot; Florida Bats Cold

The Bucs had one bad inning from the pitching and no good innings from their hitters today as they fell to the Phillies 5-1.

Zach Duke posted the second consecutive strong start, following Charlie Morton's effort yesterday, with 3-2/3 frames of one-run ball. He allowed two hits and three walks while striking out four and struggled with command of his curve. The Zachster ran into trouble in the fourth, giving up his run, and Evan Meek came on to get the last out.

But in the fifth, the Phils got to Meek for three runs on four hits. The Pirates had him stressing his hook today, and apparently it still needs some polishing.

Jeremy Powell worked two innings and gave up a solo homer. Javier Lopez and Jack Taschner each pitched scoreless innings, though Taschner danced between the raindrops a bit, giving up a hit and walk to go along with two whiffs.

The Bucs were held to four hits, as their sticks continue in feast or famine mode.

The Pirates will be off Tuesday before returning to Grapefruit League action on Wednesday when they host the Tigers at 1:05 PM. Kevin Hart will make the start, and needs to step up his game after being smacked around in his first two appearances.

-- AAA ump Justin Vogel was behind the plate, and his strike zone was all over the place, and said to be especially generous for Roy Halladay. Of course, with his rep, Doc is going get his share of the calls, but remember when you cry about the calls, it can always be worse.

-- The Turk roamed around Pirate City again today, chopping seven more players. RHP Brad Lincoln and LHP Donnie Veal were optioned to Indianapolis. RHP Bryan Morris was sent to the Bradenton Marauders. C Tony Sanchez was reassigned to the minor league camp, as were RHP Virgil Vasquez, RHP Jeff Sues and LHP Justin Thomas.

Sanchez is almost certain to start the season at High A Bradenton; the final landing spot for the three pitchers is yet to be determined between Indy and Altoona.

-- Daniel McCutchen pitched four innings of intrasquad ball today to get some innings in; he's been the odd man out in the rotation. He gave up three hits with three strikeouts in a scoreless outing. Still, that's a sign that the Pirates are going to give Hart every chance to take that last rotation spot.

-- Octavio Dotel threw today, and is expected to get in a minor league game soon. He should be ready to rejoin the club this weekend, and is on course to be on the opening day roster.


Anonymous said...

I've followed infielder Kevin Melillo for years. The lefty hitter has pop in his bat (hit 27 homers one season), fields very well and is a consistent team and locker-room leader. Fully recovered from injuries and given the chance, he can help the Pirates offensively and defensively. Watch him: he's tearing it up at the plate and showing excellent fielding prowess at third for Indianapolis in Minor League Camp. The former USC (Carolina) captain played in THREE college world series, and played for the world champion Junior Olympic team, the national 13-year-old Babe Ruth League champs, and a nationally ranked high school team (Lake Brantley FL) - Jack Prather, Hendersonville NC.

WilliamJPellas said...

It's amazing to look at guys like Melillo, who if anything have an amateur and minor league resume that's even better than that of many current big leaguers. Just goes to show how much can and does happen over the course of a player's career that shapes how it ultimately turns out. I sometimes wonder how many great players never saw the light of day in the majors due to injuries, or personal issues, or organizational pique, or what have you. Sounds liek Melillo might be cut from the Garrett Jones mold. Maybe he'll get a shot.

The guy I really wanted to see get some AB's in Pittsburgh was Bryan Myrow, but he's at Indy once again.

Ron Ieraci said...

Jack - Thanks for the heads up on Kevin; I will keep an eye on him this season. He's in a tough place, though, with Pedro Alvarez and Neil Walker both at Indy, but all that could clear up by mid summer.

And Will, after that performance against the Phils farmhands, even the suits couldn't keep a straight face discussing Hart's stuff; they did the right thing for both the team and him. Hopefully he'll develop into something more than another AAAA arm.