Found August 07, 2012 on Pirates Prospects:

It’s only been less than two weeks in the big leagues for Starling Marte, but we’ve already seen flashes of exciting plays from the 23-year-old that makes you see his special potential.

He showed off his power in his very first pitch in his very first at-bat launching a home run in his 2-for-4 debut. We’ve seen him show off his cannon arm by nailing a runner trying to stretch a single into a double. And we’ve seen his speed on the bases, legging out extra-base hits and swiping a bag.

Marte entered game action hitting for a .244/.271/.422 line over 11 games. But on Tuesday against Arizona in Pittsburgh, which Marte said was a dream to play in because of his role model Roberto Clemente, Marte showed off his threat at the top of the order with his speed and power.

The outfielder led off the first inning with a single into center field. Marte showed off his wheels after Travis Snider hit a base knock into right field, allowing the outfielder to aggressively advance from first to third on the play. Marte scored the first run for the Pirates after Andrew McCutchen drove him in with a sac fly.

After Marte struck out, then drew a walk, the rookie came through big in the seventh inning. Marte took a 3-2 fastball and crushed it to center field into the shrubs for a leadoff solo home run. It marked his third already this season over 48 at-bats. The blast also tied the game up at 3.

Although it’s still a short time frame, Marte continues to flash the potential of a star in the making that ranked him as the club’s No. 1 position player prospect in their system.

“So far, so good,” Manager Clint Hurdle said. “We’re just going to let him play. He’s also getting to see some things that he hasn’t seen before. He’s a young man with a very big skill set that just needs to play. He comes as advertised.”

“He squared that ball up. Hit it to dead center 434 [feet]. That gets your attention. Going first to third on a pretty good right-fielder with a strong throwing arm. His throw last night. He just needs to play because there are some other things at this level that are going to continue to challenge him as well.”

 

Correia Adjusting to New Role; Set to Make Spot Start on Wednesday

When the club decided to move Kevin Correia into the bullpen, the right-hander made it known that he was disappointed with the news. Correia requested a trade, saying that he wanted to start, but the club kept him to pitch in long relief and make some occasional spot starts. On Wednesday at PNC Park, Correia will make his first since moving to the bullpen.

“I think I’ve pretty much made it clear that’s what I like doing,” Correia said. “Any chance I get to do it, I love it. I’ve been kind of trying to make the adjustment in to more of getting a routine down and to be able to come in as a relief pitcher in the past couple weeks. It’s always fun for me to go out there and start again.”

Correia said he hasn’t been working on anything in particular since his last start and the time off in the ‘pen, just trying to stay as sharp as possible without pitching a lot of innings. He’s made one relief appearance while the club was in Houston. Correia allowed four runs on five hits over two frames. That was his last outing, which came on July 29.

“I don’t feel like I needed the rest,” Correia said on whether the time down could help him during the long season. “I wasn’t tired at all. I don’t feel like rest is going to help anything. I look forward to get back out there because it’s been a while.”

The right-hander said he’s not looking at the opportunity tomorrow as an audition back into the rotation. He’s aware of his role as of now with the five healthy starters in place.

“I’m not thinking I need to go out there and pitch well,” Correia said. “I was winning games before that. It’s not a situation. We added to our team. I’m not going out there trying to win a spot back, I’m just going out there to give these guys an extra day and hopefully give these guys an extra day.”

Not since when Correia was with the San Francisco Giants, spanning from 2003-08, has he been called upon to spot start. Correia said it will take some time getting used to the new role, but is looking forward to the opportunity to start.

“Years ago, I used to do it all the time,” Correia said. “I’ve been in the rotation for the most part the past few years. It’s just an adjustment. It’s something I’ve done before, it’s just been a little while so it might take a little while to get the routine down.”

 

Cruz Feels Rust, but is Healthy After First Rehab Start

Juan Cruz made his first rehab start on Monday with Double-A Altoona, but struggled. After whiffing his first batter, Cruz went on to allow four straight singles and two runs to score before getting pulled after just 0.1 inning.

“They matter a little bit,” Cruz said of the results. “I haven’t thrown in a while. I feel good. My arm feels good and everything.”

The right-hander was slated to throw a frame, but was able to get his pitch count to a good place with 25 on the night. Cruz’s velocity was 91-94.

“Basically we wanted Juan to get out and pound the fastball,” Hurdle said. “And repeat his delivery and arm slot, and that’s what he did.”

“I feel good, but I didn’t do good,” Cruz said. “I feel great. I think I’m going to have a couple more days off, then I’m going to go back on Thursday. After that, I don’t know.”

Cruz worked out and ran today. Hurdle said they will determine how he feels before he and pitching coach Ray Searage decide what his next step will be.

 

Bullpen Explodes for Seven Runs

The Pirates bullpen has been impressive so far this season. But two strong arms towards the back end of the bullpen, Jason Grilli and Jared Hughes, struggled on Tuesday night after the Pirates battled back for the third time to finally take the 4-3 lead.

The ‘pen entered game action with just a combined 2.79 ERA — second best in the Majors. And even despite the seven earned runs over one-plus inning, they still rank among the best.

“It’s just a night that you don’t want to have as a reliever,” Grilli said. “It doesn’t feel good. It left a bad taste in my mouth. Tomorrow is a new day, and that’s the life of a reliever. I haven’t done that, that much this year. There’s still a lot of ballgames left. I’ve just got to forget about it, try to wash it away.”

Grilli dished up three straight hits, the first going for extra bases, before Chris Johnson deposited a three-run homer into the seats to tack on four earned off the right-hander. The outing snapped Grilli’s 5.1 scoreless inning streak. In the ninth, Hughes gave up three of his own after issuing a walk, double then a three-run long ball to give the D-Backs a six run lead.

The Pirates snapped their impressive record of 53-0 when leading after seven innings on Tuesday’s loss.

“I don’t think one game is going to change how we go about our business,” Grilli said. “This is a marathon. This is a long season. I think we have a pretty good track record to not blow this up, set a bar for [the media] to write, like, ‘Oh my god. What happened to us tonight?’ There are games like this. It’s not just us, it’s throughout the league. It’s baseball. It’s not always how you depict it and script it. You’ve got to just go out there and battle.”

“I don’t want to worry about it,” Hurdle said of the bullpen struggle. “We’ll make some evaluations of what we saw, what we see on tape and we’ll move on…You never like it to happen.”


THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Locke Will Serve as Long Man After Correia’s Start

Jeff Locke will serve as the long man in the Pirates’ bullpen. Jeff Locke was promoted to Pittsburgh on Wednesday to provide the club with a volume of innings if the team needs him. With Correia making the spot start against Arizona, and Jason Grilli deemed unavailable in relief due to pitching on back-to-back nights, the bullpen was short arms. The left-hander has been a starter...

Jeff Locke Headed to Pittsburgh

According to a source, Jeff Locke is headed to Pittsburgh to join the club. Kevin Correia is slated to spot start on Wednesday for the Pirates. Locke, who was scheduled to start for Triple-A, was promoted likely as insurance arm. The move is not yet official. No word yet on the corresponding roster move.

Pirates Notebook: Correia Adjusts in Spot Start; Presley in Triple-A to Get More At-Bats

It’s been two weeks since the last time Kevin Correia made a start for Pittsburgh. He was moved into the bullpen when the club acquired Wandy Rodriguez a few days before the trade deadline. Correia made one appearance during that span in relief, where he struggled and allowed four earned over two frames, in adjusting to the new role. Not since when he was with the San Francisco...

Prospect Watch: McPherson Shines in Triple-A Debut

TOP OF THE SYSTEM A look at how the current top 20 prospects did today.  Note that this list doesn’t include players currently in the majors. Rankings are from the post trade deadline update. 1. Gerrit Cole, RHP, Altoona (2-4, 3.93) - DNP 2. Jameson Taillon, RHP, Bradenton (6-7, 3.91) - DNP 3. Luis Heredia, RHP, State College (2-1, 2.28) - DNP 4. Alen Hanson, SS, West Virginia...

Prospect Watch: Leroux and Irwin Pitch Well, Big Day of Rehab For Lambo

TOP OF THE SYSTEM A look at how the current top 20 prospects did today.  Note that this list doesn’t include players currently in the majors. Rankings are from the post trade deadline update. 1. Gerrit Cole, RHP, Altoona (2-4, 3.93) - DNP 2. Jameson Taillon, RHP, Bradenton (6-7, 3.91) - DNP 3. Luis Heredia, RHP, State College (2-1, 2.28) - DNP 4. Alen Hanson, SS, West Virginia...

Justin Wilson moves to the bullpen (and the implications)

Yesterday afternoon, like two hours after I mused on Twitter about a Justin Wilson call-up to be used as a LOOGY down the stretch, the Pirates announced that Wilson would be moved to the bullpen. Given that Wilson throws hard as a reliever and that a lot of his control problems stem from his breaking stuff and that Tony Watson is occasionally homer-happy, having Wilson as an option...

Erik Bedard Dominates DBacks in 4-0 Shutout Win

Final: Pirates 4, Diamondbacks 0 WP: Erik Bedard (6-12, 4.53 ERA) LP: Wade Miley (12-7, 2.85 ERA) I only got to see the first four innings of this game, but from what I saw, it was easy to tell that Erik Bedard was on. And he absolutely rolled through Arizona’s lineup with seven scoreless innings. He struck out five, didn’t walk a batter, and allowed only two hits. Miley pitched...

Prospect Watch: Another Great Start For Holmes, Allie Hits His Third Homer

TOP OF THE SYSTEM A look at how the current top 20 prospects did today.  Note that this list doesn’t include players currently in the majors. Rankings are from the post trade deadline update. 1. Gerrit Cole, RHP, Altoona (2-4, 3.93) - DNP 2. Jameson Taillon, RHP, Bradenton (6-7, 3.91) - DNP 3. Luis Heredia, RHP, State College (2-1, 2.28) - DNP 4. Alen Hanson, SS, West Virginia...

This Date in Pirates History: August 9

Three former Pittsburgh Pirates players born on this date, plus we have a transaction of note, that involved a future Hall of Fame manager. In his Jolly Roger Rewind, John Fredland covers a Pirates no-hitter from 36 years ago. The Trade On this date in 1919, the Pirates traded outfielder Casey Stengel to the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for utility fielder Possum Whitted. Stengel...

This Date in Pirates History: August 7 Part Two

Earlier in the day we covered seven former Pirates players born on this date. That article can be read here. In part two we have Hall of Fame manager Bill McKechnie, who also played with the Pirates. There are also five transactions of note, including the signing of a Pirates legend, plus we have a Jolly Roger Rewind from John Fredland, dealing with a scoring outburst during a long...

Game 109 Live Chat: Pirates vs Diamondbacks

iPhone on staging

53-1

The Pirates entered the night 53-0 when leading a game after seven innings. That’s how good the back end of the bullpen has been (plus some luck, since the few times the ‘pen blew a lead the offense managed to bail them out). All good things must come to an end, unfortunately, and that’s what happened on Tuesday. The Pirates were poised to win their third in a row in exciting...

Game 109: Bucs Bullpen blows eighth inning lead for first time this year

The Pittsburgh Pirates and Cincinnati Reds are in a chase for the NL Central as well as the best record in the National League. A big reason for each team’s success have been their bullpens. They are the best two teams in the league in bullpen ERA and it’s not even close. The next best team is almost a full run behind them. The Pirates came into Tuesday night’s game against...
Pirates News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.