Saturday, February 19, 2011

Saturday Notebook

-- NBC Sports' Tony DeMarco has the Pirates spring camp preview. His prediction? A 62-100 record, good for last place in the Central.

-- Over 150 players filed for arbitration this year; only three went as far as a hearing. Ross Ohlendorf and Hunter Pence won, while Jared Weaver lost.

-- Marc Hulet of Fangraphs posted his Top Ten Pirate Prospects list yesterday; there are no surprises in his rankings.

-- RHP Joe Martinez, who the Pirates shipped to the Indians in a waiver deal, was outrighted off the Tribe's roster according to Jordan Bastian of Martinez came to Pittsburgh with John Bowker at the deadline last season as part of the Javier Lopez deal.

He's still in camp as a non-roster invitee and "in the mix" for a long man spot in the Cleveland pen.

-- RHP Chris Bootcheck compiled a 55-to-7 strikeout-to-walk ratio and ranked third in the International League with 20 saves for Indy as its closer in 2009, but it didn't translate in the show, where he ran up an 11.05 ERA in 13 appearances for Pittsburgh.

He went to Japan last year, with not very good results. But he showed enough that he was signed by Tampa Bay recently, where along with old Bucco Jonah Bayliss, he'll try to land a spot in the pen, as reported by Matt Eddy of Baseball America.

-- It was sort of a mystery why the Pirates let talented reliever Ron Belisario go to the Dodgers in 2009 as a free agent, where he put together a 2.04 ERA as the set-up man in their pen.

The FO's thinking is becoming clearer. The 28 year old Venezuelan is late for camp for the third straight year, after compiling a DUI and two trips to the reserved list in 2010.

Now Mark Polishuk of MLB Trade Rumors reports that he not only is going to be late, but may miss the entire season because of visa issues. Belasario says he lost his passport; his agent says that he may not be issued one.

Sometimes addition by subtraction is a valid concept.

-- How responsible is a team for its fans? A judge will decide that question soon in response to a lawsuit filed by a Pirate supporter.

A Pittsburgh man is suing the Atlanta Braves after he was beaten in a 2008 game at Turner Field, losing 11 teeth and breaking his jaw after a thrashing delivered by a half-dozen supposedly drunk Atlanta rooters, allegedly upset because he sported a Bucco cap. The man had complained to stadium personnel twice over the gang, who finally cornered him outside a restroom, as reported by Rhonda Cook of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Hey, maybe the guy ran across the New York Islanders. Still, beer and baseball sometimes mix poorly, and the teams have a responsibility to the fans to make sure that the combination doesn't turn ugly. We hope the judge sends a strong message against hooliganism in the stands.

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