Pirates sign Mike Zagurski

The Pirates announced this morning that they have signed minor league free agent Mike Zagurski. The deal includes an invite to spring training.

Zagurski, a 29 year old lefty reliever, has never posted an ERA below 5.40 in the big leagues. He’s 1-0 with a 6.13 ERA in 83 career MLB games with the Phillies and Diamondbacks.

We found this while searching for Zagurski:

Zagurski
(Credit: D-backs Memes on Facebook)

That picture was associated with the following caption:
“My apologies for bringing up Mike Zagurski, but it seemed fitting. (No, he is no longer a Diamondback, hopefully it stays that way).” Yeah…

Go Bucs

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Frustrating Game 3/26/12 Pirates vs. Orioles

Monday night’s game at McKechnie against the Orioles was the last game to be televised on ROOT until Opening Day, and it wasn’t an impressive showing by the Bucs.  It was a fast paced pitcher’s duel through 6 innings, but the Pirates ended up losing 4-1.  All five runs scored came in the 7th inning or later.

Offensively, the lineup couldn’t get anything going.  The only two hits were Neil Walker‘s double and a Michael McKenry single.  The lone run scored was on a weak groundout by Garrett Jones, which was set up by Andrew McCutchen swiping second base and then advancing to third on the throw into center fielder by Oriole catcher Matt Wieters.

Three errors were committed by the Pirates’ defense, all fairly routine plays.  Pedro Alvarez fielded a ground ball cleanly but then air mailed the throw past Jones at first and into the stands, which allowed Mark Reynolds to score.  Minor leaguer Gregory Polanco dropped a ball that Adam Jones hit off the right center field wall, which allowed him to get to third base instead of holding him to a double.  Jones was pinch run for and the runner ended up scoring.  The third error was committed by GI Jones at first when he tried to backhand swipe at hard hit ground ball.  The ball was hit hard enough that Jones could have gotten in front of it and at least knocked it down to get the out at first.  That runner also ended up scoring.  Baltimore also had two errors, one on the errant throw by Wieters and a fielding error by Wilson Betemit.

On the mound, starter Erik Bedard pitched very well through the sixth inning, until he gave up a few hits in the seventh.  After giving up a run and putting guys on first and second, Bedard was replaced by Jason Grilli.  Overall though, Bedard was very efficient, walking one and striking out six, and only giving up two runs, one of which was unearned.  Grilli came in and got Ronny Paulino to ground to Alvarez, who then sent the throw into the stands.  After that, Grilli struck out two and got a groundball out.  Juan Cruz and Tony Watson pitched the eight and ninth innings, each giving up a run.  Not at all a bad showing by the pitching staff, giving up only two earned runs.

Pedro was very tough to watch tonight.  Not only did he make an error, he looked bad at the plate.  He stuck out swinging in his first at-bat, then was up 3-0 in his second.  The pitcher worked it back to a full count, and Alvarez looked at strike three.  In his third AB, Pedro rolled over a ground ball to the first baseman.  Twitter was not happy with the Pedro’s showing, which is expected.  With about a week of Spring Training games left, you have to hope that he’ll be able to get his game together.

Box Score

The Pirates head to Clearwater tomorrow for a 1:05 game against the Phillies.

Go Bucs

Spring Training Update: Week 3

Sunday, March 4 – Saturday, March 10

Sunday 3-4

The Pirates fell to the Blue Jays, 8-5, on Sunday afternoon. Erik Bedard took the mound at McKechnie for his Pirates debut. He surrendered 2 runs in 2 innings. Bedard struggled in the first, but settled down in the second. Shairon Martis took the loss, giving up 2 runs on 4 hits. Evan Meek also struggled, giving up 4 runs on 3 hits and 2 walks in two-thirds of an inning. Joel Hanrahan, Doug Slaten, Jason Grilli, and Daniel Moskos all pitched scoreless innings. On the offensive side, Rod Barajas went 2-2 with two RBI. Nick Evans added a solo homer in the 7th.

Monday 3-5

The Buccos pounded the Orioles on Monday night, 10-3, under the lights in Sarasota. “The Hit Collector” Matt Hague went 4 for 4 with a homer. Starling Marte went 3 for 3 with a SB. Alex Presley also went 3 for 3. He and Quincy Latimore both hit triples in the game. Marte and Robbie Grossman both had trouble playing balls in the outfield, which hopefully only had to do with poor lighting at Ed Smith Stadium. Jo-Jo Reyes got the start an gave up 1 run in 1 2/3 innings. Duke Welker gave up 2 unearned runs in the 6th inning. Michael Dubee, Justin Wilson, Jared Hughes, Bryan Morris, Mike Crotta, and Tim Wood all pitched scoreless innings for the Pirates.

Tuesday 3-6

The Bucs put up at least 16 hits for the second consecutive game at the beat the Yankees, 7-4, in Bradenton. Kevin Correia got the start and pitched two scoreless innings. Chris Resop and Doug Slaten each gave up a run. Daniel McCutchen gave up two runs in the 9th. Ryota Igarashi, Juan Cruz, Chris Leroux, Tony Watson all threw scoreless innings. Andrew McCutchen, who signed a new deal earlier in the day, went 2 for 3 with 2 RBI. Clint Barmes (2 for 3), Starling Marte (2 for 2), and Yamaico Navarro (3 for 4) also had muti-hit games.

Wednesday 3-7

The Pirates lost 8-6 to the Blue Jays on Wednesday afternoon. Jeff Karstens got the nod and pitched 3 scoreless innings, allowing just 2 hits. Brad Lincoln gave up 4 runs on 6 hits in his inning of work, and Jeff Locke gave up 3 in 2 innings. Evan Meek also gave up a run. Starling Marte continued his offensive tear, going 2 for 2 with a homer. Pedro Alvarez went 2 for 3 with a solo shot. Garrett Jones hit a homer as well.

Charlie Morton threw in a “B” game at Pirate City. He threw 1 1/3 before being pulled because of his pitch count. Morton continues to progress well in his rehab.

Thursday 3-8

The Phillies beat the Pirates, 5-4, on Thursday in 10 innings. J-Mac got the start and gave up one run over 3 innings. Justin Wilson gave up a run, Jared Hughes gave up 2, and Michael Dubee gave up the game-winning homer in the 10th. Starling Marte continued his hot streak and hit another home run. Casey McGehee went 1 for 3 with an RBI.

Friday 3-9
The Pirates took down the Red Sox, 7-4, on Friday night in Fort Myers. Andrew McCutchen collected 3 hits and 2 RBI. The Pirates got 4 runs on 5 hits against Vicente Padilla. Shairon Martis got the start for the Bucs and pitched 2 scoreless innings.

Video of Andrew McCutchen’s 3-hit night 

Saturday 3-10
– In the first ROOT Sports game of the year, the Bucs lost 4-2 to the Minnesota Twins in sunny Bradenton, Florida. The afternoon got off to a promising start when the Pirates jumped out to a 2-0 lead. Casey McGehee made a pair of defensive gems and went 3 for 3. Rod Barajas also hit the ball hard and went 1 for 3 with a double. Nate McLouth was 2 for 2. Erik Bedard looked sharp in his 2nd start as a Pirates. Bedard went 3 innings, giving up no runs and just one hit, striking out three. Joel Hanrahan pitched a scoreless innings as well, striking out two of the three batters he faced. However, Jo-Jo Reyes gave up 4 runs on 5 hits in his 3 innings of work. Jason Grilli and Juan Cruz pitched an inning a piece, neither giving up any runs or hits.

Spring Record: 3-5

On tap for next week:
Sunday @ Tampa Bay 1:05
Monday vs. Philadelphia 1:05
Tuesday – Off Day
Wednesday @ Baltimore 1:05
Thursday @ Minnesota 1:05
Friday vs. Philadelphia 1:05
Saturday vs. Tampa Bay 1:05

26 days until Opening Day

Go Bucs

First Impressions of Spring Training Game #1

The Pirates opened up the 2012 Spring Training season today with a game at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium in Dunedin against  the Blue Jays.  Unfortunately, it was a disappointing start to 2012 for the Bucs.  Of course, its important not to read too much into one meaningless Spring Training game, but there are a few things that stood out today.

Josh Harrison drew a rare walk and also got hit by a pitch on the elbow.  He did  stay in the game after the HBP and also swiped a bag.  As for the walk, hopefully Harrison will be working on being patient at the plate and become more disciplined.  He’s a guy with a lot of speed, and will need to prove that he can get on base and use that speed if he wants to break the Opening Day roster.

Gorkys Hernandez played pretty well.  He singled, stole second, and then came around to score the lone run of the day for the Pirates.  He also played well defensively according to Greg Brown on the radio call.  Hernandez came over in 2009 from the Braves in the McLouth trade, and was considered one of the top prospects in the system.  He hasn’t done a lot since then, but is someone to keep an eye on.  It’ll be interesting to see how he does knowing that there’s really no room for him on the 25 man roster.

-Nothing to really say about the pitching.  No one was great on the mound, but it was one game.  We’ll wait until everyone has a few appearances under their belts to start speculating about the pitching.

-For the Blue Jays, third baseman Brett Lawrie tore it up.  He came up last year and played really well.  Many believe that he’s the next superstar third baseman in the league, and he showed that he definitely could be today.  He went 2-3 with a pair of doubles and 4 RBIs.

Tomorrow, the Bucs and Jays will meet again, this time at McKechnie Field.  The game is at 1pm and will be on 93.7 The Fan if you’re in the Pittsburgh area.  For the Bucs, Erik Bedard will get the start.  It will be our first look at what the newly acquired lefty, and he’ll go against Blue Jays lefty Aaron Laffey.  Hopefully the Pirates can get their first win of the Grapefruit League season and avenge the 7-1 loss from Saturday afternoon.

      

Go Bucs

Spring Training Update: Week 2

Sunday, February 26 – Saturday, March 3

Sunday 2-26
– Charlie Morton threw a bullpen session. He appears to be on schedule with his rehab.

(Video by Bill Brink of the Post-Gazette)

– The Pirates took part in their photo day for pictures/videos to be used on the PNC Park scoreboard this season:

Monday 2-27
– Notable pitchers that threw live BP: Erik Bedard, Joel Hanrahan, Tony Watson, James McDonald, etc.

Jeff Karstens working on bunting

 – The Pirates are willing to work out a multiyear deal for Andrew McCutchen.

Tuesday 2-28
– Notable pitchers to throw live BP: A.J. Burnett, Jeff Karstens, Kevin Correia, Gerrit Cole, etc.

Erik Bedard works on baserunning. Euclides Rojas looks on.

– A.J. Burnett has started a college fund for Daniel McCutchen’s daughter in exchange for the number 34.

Wednesday 2-29
– Charlie Morton threw live batting practice for the first time this spring.

– The pitchers continued their bunting competition:

– During the bunting competition, A.J. Burnett bunted a ball into his right eye socket, forcing him to return to Pittsburgh for further examination. 

Thursday 3-1
– Brad Lincoln won the bunting championship:

– A.J. Burnett will undergo surgery on Friday to repair his right-eye orbital fracture, which was suffered on Wednesday.

– Thursday was the last day at Pirate City for the big league team. They will move over to McKechnie Field for the remainder of spring training.

– After a short day, the team participated in a charity golf outing at the Bradenton Country Club:

Friday 3-2
– Lineups from Friday’s intrasquad scrimmage:

Team Black Team Yellow
Presley, LF Tabata, RF
Barmes, SS Harrison, 2B
McLouth, CF McCutchen, CF
Walker, 2B Jones, 1B
Evans, 3B McGehee, DH
Boggs, RF Alvarez, 3B
Hague, 1B Navarro, SS
Clement, DH Hernandez, LF
McKenry, C Fryer, C
   
Karstens, SP Correia, SP

The game ended in a 4-4 tie. Highlights: Andrew McCutchen went 2-for-2 with a double and 2 SB. Chase d’Arnaud and Starling Marte both hit triples in the game. Tony Sanchez hit a 3-run homer.

Gerrit Cole pitched a scoreless inning for the Gold Team

– After surgery, it has been decided that A.J. Burnett will be sidelined for 8-12 weeks. Cursed?

Saturday 3-3
– The Pirates agreed to terms with 25 players, all one-year deals, including Andrew McCutchen and Neil Walker.

– The Pirates dropped their Grapefruit League opener to the Blue-Jays, 7-1. The Bucs collected just three hits on the day: Michael McKenry RBI single, Gorkys Hernandez single, and Starling Marte double. On the mound, McDonald gave up 2 runs, Watson 3, Leroux 1, and D. McCutchen 1.

Despite the poor performance in the spring debut, it’s great to have Pirates baseball back in action. 33 days until Opening Day in Pittsburgh.

Go Bucs