Monday, April 18, 2011

Before The First Pitch

-- Kevin Correia takes on Travis Wood in the 7:10 finale against the Reds. No TV tonight; the Pens are playing.

-- The lineup: Andrew McCutchen CF, Jose Tabata LF, Matt Diaz RF, Neil Walker 2B, Steve Pearce 3B, Lyle Overbay 1B, Chris Snyder C, Ronny Cedeno SS, Kevin Correia P

Pedro gets the night off; Steve Pearce mans the hot corner against the LHP Wood and slides into the five spot, pretty high in the order for a bench guy. Maybe we'll see him giving Overbay a blow along the line, too, and start catching a few more at-bats as a two-position platoon player.

-- Garrett Jones has gone 6-for-10 with two homers and three RBIs in his last three games after an 0-for-10 home stand.

-- The Central Division race doesn't have anyone breaking away from the pack yet; five of the six teams are bunched within two games of the top spot, with only Houston eating dust.

-- Ben Badler of Baseball America said this about Gorkys Hernandez: "(He plays) Gold Glove defense, but cutting down on the length of his swing has been a problem for him back to his Tigers and Braves days. I want to see him keep this (good start) up for more than a week, but there's definitely a chance he's in store for a real breakout."

-- LHP Aaron Thompson of Altoona won the Eastern League Pitcher of the Week Award by going 2-0 with twelve innings worked, giving up one earned run, three hits, two walks and K'ing seven. And he's not alone.

There was some excellent starting pitching in the organization yesterday: 26 innings, 3 runs (2 earned), 16 hits, 1 walk, 23 Ks, 0.69 ERA. And they were still just 2-2! The individual lines:

-- LHP Brian Burres threw seven innings of shutout ball for Indy, giving up four hits and whiffing eight. The Tribe bullpen wasted his effort, though, losing 6-4 in extra innings.

-- RHP Aaron Pribanic of the Curve allowed one unearned run in six innings, giving up five hits and whiffing a pair as Altoona won 4-1.

-- RHP Kyle McPherson threw seven innings for Bradenton, allowing two runs on six hits while striking out eight. The Marauders lost in 13 innings 5-4.

-- RHP Colton Cain went 6 innings for West Virginia, giving up a hit and a walk with 5K in the Power's 7-0 win.


WilliamJPellas said...

Presley is off to a scorching start at Indy. Surely that has to put pressure on Bowker if not Jones before much longer.

WilliamJPellas said...

Also, it's nice to see Burres being professional and doing the veteran platoon sergeant thing at Triple-A Indianapolis. I suppose he's really a fringe big leaguer - four A type, but it's always good to have a couple of players like him stashed at Indy who can help you on a moment's notice. If present trends continue, ie, if Rudy Owens keeps mowing 'em down at Indy and if Ross Ohlendorf keeps coming up lame, surely Owens will get the callup in June. But if there's another injury before then, or if the big league club decides it needs a lefty for the 'pen, Burres might yet see some action for the Pirates this season. Here I'm assuming that he would be the next guy up rather than one of the other kids, as they are probably not ready just yet (Wilson, Morris, Locke, Watson, Moskos, etc).

Ron Ieraci said...

Yah, Will, I still think the team would be better off with a bench OF'er that could give McCutch or Tabata a blow. Bowker is kinda redundant as a corner OF/1B guy, though he is lefty, his saving grace.

And I wouldn't be the least surprised to see Burres get the call to replace Ohlie, who I think, or at least hope, will hit the 60 day DL when his turn is due next.

WilliamJPellas said...

Hmmm, you've evidently soured on Ohlie, I take it? Or are you thinking he needs surgery and that that's why he would go on the 60 day DL?

I'm about ready to pull the plug with him, myself. He was an intriguing guy when he was brought here, and he's definitely had his moments, especially when you consider the horrendous teams the Pirates have had around him. But it just looks more and more like he's yet another Bucs starting pitcher who's always "a little bit hurt" and is rarely 100%. You just can't get anywhere when you have more than one or at most two guys like that on your staff. It's okay to take the occasional outing if you're waiting on someone like Pedro Martinez to round into form and pitch half a season for you as your fifth starter down the stretch. It's quite another thing to constantly wait on guys like Ohlendorf, Duke, and Maholm. That's not a winning formula, sorry. Nothing personal against these guys, but we're not going anywhere like that.

Ron Ieraci said...

Actually, Will, I've haven't given up on him yet. But as you note, he's been more or less hurt for a couple of seasons. And to have the shoulder/back thing repeat after last year, I'd have to think that he's got a chronic problem.

The DL thing is just because he missed the last 6 weeks of last year with the same issue and says himself that he need another month to get back on the mound. To me, that's going through quite a spell one man short on the staff and a recipe to burn out the giys that are able to toss.

The 7-day DL was a good idea; I think a 30-day DL would be nice, too.