Found February 20, 2012 on
It looks like a good time to buy stock in Anderson Hernandez. The Pirates’ decision to place Rule 5 pick Gustavo Nunez on the 60-day disabled list greatly narrows the competition for utility infielder spots. They have a lot of players available to compete for bench spots, but many, such as Nick Evans and Jake Fox, are strictly corner players. Somebody has to backup Clint Barmes at short and the Pirates want Chase d’Arnaud and Jordy Mercer to get more time in AAA. Nunez, a good-glove, no-offense player who by all accounts is a legitimate shortstop, seemed like a good bet to make the team, because Clint Hurdle values defense highly off the bench.
Now it looks very likely that either the veteran Hernandez or Yamaico Navarro, acquired over the winter from the Royals, will make the team. Hernandez has played over a third of his major league games at short, although he’s really better at second. He doesn’t have much of a bat. Navarro has good hitting potential but is not regarded as a guy who do more at short than fill in occasionally. That doesn’t bother me much. Bench players are used proportionately much more for offense than starters, due to pinch-hitting duties. If the Pirates need a fill-in for an extended period due to injury, d’Arnaud or Mercer is a phone call away. For some reason, though, a lot of baseball people, apparently including Hurdle, think defense is more important off the bench. In any event, Nunez should become available in April, so he may yet end up as Barmes’ backup.
BEST OF MAXIM
BRADENTON — Opening day continues to look promising for right-hander Charlie Morton. After undergoing offseason left hip surgery to repair a labrum tear in mid-October, the 28-year-old looks to be ahead of the six months recovery time.
“Everything’s in a good place for Charlie, everything’s in a good place,” Pirates Manager Clint Hurdle said. “He’s continued to knockdown...
The top of the Pirates prospect rankings is dominated by starting pitchers and outfielders. A trio of each vie for collectively cracking the top five. The three starters have as much upside as any group of triplets in baseball.
Top 5 fantasy prospects
1- Jameson Taillon, SP
Taillon ranks behind Cole on most prospect lists, and usually, I'd go with the crowd. This...
The first weekend of the 2012 NCAA Division I season is in the books, giving us our first look at some of the top 2012 draft prospects. A few of the top guys got off to great starts, with the top performer being Victor Roache.
Roache went 4-for-10 at the plate in his opening weekend, homering twice. The outfielder hit a Division I leading 30 home runs in 2011, and started his 2012...
BRADENTON — Since getting traded to the Atlanta Braves in July of 2009, Nate McLouth hasn’t played like the All-Star center fielder and Gold Glove winner that Pittsburgh saw during the 2008 season.
But this year, McLouth is making sure that will change.
After several trips to the disabled list last season and having to undergo sports hernia surgery in August, McLouth played...
Jim Callis of Baseball America has announced that the bonus pools for the 2012 MLB draft are set. The only player who could impact the potential bonuses would be Derrek Lee, who is expected to either retire, or sign a minor league deal. Neither option would generate a compensation pick for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The bonus pool for the Pirates is $6,563,500. That’s the 16th biggest...
Jim Callis of Baseball America released the bonus pools for the 2012 draft today. The Pittsburgh Pirates will end up with a pool of $6,563,500, which includes their first round pick, valued at $2.9 M. That total doesn’t include any compensation for Derrek Lee, since Lee isn’t expected to sign a major league deal.
When the new Collective Bargaining Agreement was announced, it...
Photo Credit: Pittsburgh Pirates
BRADENTON — This offseason infielder Casey McGehee said his first goal was to step as far away from baseball as he could. After the Milwaukee Brewers were eliminated from the playoffs, McGehee turned off the post season games and the World Series.
“I didn’t want to talk about it, look at it, anything,” McGehee said Tuesday at Pirate City...
Good morning from Pirate City. I’ll be updating this blog throughout the day with news and notes, but be sure to check the main site for the full stories.
— Earlier this morning, the Pirates placed infielder Gustavo Nunez on the 60-day disabled list with a right ankle injury. The move opened up a spot on the 40-man for right-hander A.J. Burnett.
— And speaking of A.J. Burnett...
For almost any player, getting traded from the mighty New York Yankees to the lowly Pittsburgh Pirates seems like a cruel and unusual fate. That fate is exactly what befell A.J. Burnett this past weekend as the Yankees were so eager to rid themselves of him, that they paid the Pirates to take them off their hands. In many ways, it is the low point of Burnett's career, but...
Paul McCartney's Yesterday was voted to be the best pop song of all time by Rolling Stone. The line "Yesterday... love was such an easy game to play. Now I need a place to hide away. Oh, I believe in yesterday." can be applied to baseball. There are dozens of guys that played the game with such ease one year, then fell flat on their face the next, and I would guess...
Nate McLouth checked into camp -- tanned, ripped, ready to go -- and was promptly welcomed to the club. To the Pirates? No. The outfielder received an immediate initiation into the Mac Pack.
First base After Derrek Lee opted for free agency, the Pirates appeared resolved to platoon the position internally.
BRADENTON, Fla. Neil Walker had a bird's-eye view. Walker played in 159 games last year, meaning he participated in the middling early portion of the season, the improvement in June, the division-leading play in July, the 10-game losing streak that began in August and the struggle to the finish line in September.
If Russell Martin truly intends to lay one down on "my boy," A.J. Burnett, the Yankees catcher had better already be practicing his bunting.