Monday, February 18, 2013

Around the Campfire

Monday notes n'at...

  • Talking on 93.7 The Fan, Zachary Levine of Baseball Prospectus said that while it’s hard to be critical of any individual Pittsburgh off-season move, it doesn’t seem like the Pirates are building towards anything. He added that if they’re not  ready to spend money,  they could be wasting McCutchen’s prime.
  • Brad Inge told Tom Singer of that his shoulder has healed since September surgery, but he's still building his arm strength; that will be a camp project. In the same story, Neil Walker told him "I became a switch-hitter because of Bobby Bonilla." 
  • John Perrotto of the Beaver County Times sat down with Mark Melancon and discussed his tough 2012 season. “I just didn’t pitch well at times last year and then got into a pattern where I was pitching irregularly and had a hard time staying in a rhythm,” Melancon said. “It was a good learning experience. It’s not a cliché when people say you learn more about yourself during the bad times than in the good."
  • Tony Sanchez said to Bill Brink of the Post Gazette "I'm not naïve. I know the chances of breaking camp with the team are slim to none. You play as well as you can now and you go into Indianapolis and get off to a hot start," he said, "...and let everything else take care of itself." Speaking of catchers, Brink also notes that this year, unlike last, the Pirates are putting an emphasis on controlling the opposition's running game.
  • Rob Biertempfel of the Tribune Review asked Jordy Mercer about his college days as a closer (he still holds Oklahoma State's career saves record). Mercer said “Every since I got to the Pirates, they told me to never go on the mound - and I've listened to them.” Biertempfel also reported that Brandon Inge has a late March opt-out date on his contract if he's not on the MLB roster, as do Jonathan Sanchez and Brad Hawpe, and that the catchers are taking charge of their charges this season.
  • Baseball Prospectus projects that the Bucs will win 79 games in 2013 while ZIPS projects the Pirates to win 75 games. Guess Russell Martin and Francisco Liriano didn't impress them much.
  • The Pirates spring training schedule will be aired on radio almost in its entirety, with Root Sports carrying five games on the tube before the real deal begins against the Cubs on April 1st.
  • The Pirates made a trio of minor league signings, inking C Devin Ivaney, OF Brett Carroll and RHP Roman Colon. None have MLB invites and are considered organizational depth guys.
  • Didja ever consider the logistics of whom to sit by whom in a locker room, especially when you have 60-some ballplayers of various nationalities, experience, positions and temperament in one space during spring training? Clubhouse manager Bones Bonnett, wrote Tom Singer of, has it down to a science. And hey, if you don't the spot where he put ya, Bonnett says "I can get you one at Pirate City (the minor league camp)."
  • For the first time since arb was introduced in 1974, there are no hearings scheduled; everyone settled amicably this year.

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