Found March 16, 2013 on
Jameson Taillon didn’t have his best stuff today.
Jameson Taillon made his first start in minor league camp since being sent down. The last time the right-hander threw was in the World Baseball Classic. John Dreker described the game, noting that Taillon had good overall numbers, but was hit pretty hard. That was the case today.
Taillon threw three innings this afternoon, and had his usual stuff. The fastball was 92-97 MPH, with the two-seam fastball coming on the low end of that scale. He only threw one changeup, and threw a handful of sliders. He was leaving the four-seam fastball up in the zone, and the ball was being hit hard, but the right-hander managed to avoid any issues. Taillon had good movement on the two-seam fastball, and seemed to be throwing the pitch a lot after the first inning.
In his first inning he only needed seven pitches, although one of those was a hard hit ball right to the left fielder. He needed 13 pitches in the second inning, including a strikeout looking on a very nice curveball against the leadoff batter. He was more up in the zone in the second, and had one pitch that was hit hard and one hopped the wall, but went foul.
Taillon ran into control problems in the third inning. With a runner on first, the right-hander issued two straight walks. He gave up a single through the hole past a diving Gift Ngoepe at short, which brought in two runs. The inning was rolled with Taillon at 22 pitches, ending his day.
Pimentel Will Be a Starter
Today was the first time I had a chance to see Stolmy Pimentel pitch a real game. I use that disclaimer because I’ve seen Pimentel throw this Spring, but it came against Spain, and that was hardly a challenge. The right-hander went three innings this afternoon in the Double-A game, giving up a run on two hits, with no walks and four strikeouts.
The thing that stood out to me was Pimentel’s slider. The right-hander started throwing the pitch in late 2011. The pitch was a little rough in 2012, which was his first full season throwing it. After the outing today, Pimentel said the pitch was feeling better this year. It definitely looked better. He was throwing the pitch in the 80-85 MPH range, and got a few strikeouts on the pitch. It’s got some nice break, almost to the point where it looks like a hard curveball. He was mostly 82-84 with the slider, but threw one at 85 MPH to get a strikeout.
His fastball started off around 89-91 MPH, but quickly moved up to 91-93 in his first inning of work. In his second inning he was topping out at 94 MPH, hitting that number a few times. The pitch has some nice late arm-side run. A few right-handed batters were turning on the pitch, hitting some hard shots down the third base line. The two hits allowed both were hard grounders to third, with one of them going right over the bag. There were also two foul balls which were hit pretty hard down the third base line. I’m not sure if this is because batters are getting a good early look at the pitch, or if it was just coincidental.
I spoke with Larry Broadway after the outing to get a feel for where Pimentel will start off this year. Broadway mentioned that Pimentel will be a starting pitcher. The right-hander was optioned to Triple-A, but Broadway said that’s not necessarily where he’ll start the season.
**There weren’t a lot of prospects to watch today. A.J. Burnett threw five innings in the Triple-A game. Garrett Jones and Travis Snider were rotating between the two games taking at-bats. They both had six at-bats. I was also talking to Jones and Burnett after they came off the field, then Pimentel and Broadway, so I didn’t watch much of the later innings.
**Tony Sanchez had an opposite field home run, which was helped by the wind blowing out to right. The catcher also showed off his defense, blocking a few balls in the dirt on a day when A.J. Burnett didn’t have a good curveball.
**Matt Hague had a nice double, going downstairs to get a curveball, and pulling it into left field.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
The Pirates are playing the Yankees over at McKechnie Field. Here at Pirate City, the Pirates are playing the Yankees minor league teams. The A-ball teams are home today, featuring a lot of interesting hitting prospects. A group of hitters just came over from McKechnie, so they’ll probably be jumping in to take at-bats each inning. I saw Ali Solis in uniform, so it looks like he’ll...
The minor leaguers take on the Yankees farm system today. The lineups, pitchers, and notes are below. First, a few notes from camp.
**Andy Oliver was optioned to Triple-A today. The Pirates plan on stretching him out in minor league camp and using him as a starter.
Luis Heredia might not be in West Virginia until the end of April.
**Luis Heredia may have a shot at West Virginia this...
Garrett Jones took some swings today at Pirate City.
Garrett Jones took some swings at Pirate City this afternoon, rotating between the Triple-A and Double-A minor league games. The first baseman went 2-for-6 on the day, but most importantly hasn’t been feeling any pain from his oblique injury last week. After his six at-bats, Jones went to the batting cages where he took some...
Wandy Rodriguez made his final appearance in the World Baseball Classic, the final game for any Pittsburgh Pirates player, and he made it count. He shut down Team Puerto Rico for six innings today, en route to a 2-0 win for Team Dominican. Rodriguez got up to 74 pitches, throwing 49 of them for strikes, in a game that decided seeding for the WBC Finals.
Rodriguez allowed just four...
A.J. Burnett threw five innings today at Pirate City.
A.J. Burnett got a start today at Pirate City, going up against the Toronto Blue Jays’ Triple-A squad. The right-hander went five innings, giving up two runs on three hits, with two walks and three strikeouts.
Burnett got off to a rough start, throwing 22 pitches in the first inning and having the inning ended with two outs...
The Triple-A and Double-A teams are home for the second day in a row. Today they’ll be going up against Toronto’s farm system, and the highlight from a prospect standpoint will be Jameson Taillon getting the start for the Double-A team. Over on the opposite field, A.J. Burnett will be getting the start for the Triple-A squad. Garrett Jones will also be in camp, getting at-bats...
With Jerry Sands' demotion earlier this week, it became pretty clear that Jose Tabata will start 2013 out in Pittsburgh, most likely as Travis Snider's primary backup/platoon partner in right field. Tabata's only 24, but this is almost certainly his last chance to play regularly for for the Pirates. If he can't hack it in the early part of this season, Sands will...
The Pittsburgh Pirates made their second round of cuts this morning, optioning catcher Tony Sanchez and left-handed pitcher Andy Oliver to Indianapolis. The Spring Training tracker has been updated. There are now 49 players remaining in camp.
Some quick Bucs notes from the past week:
World Baseball Classic:
Jason Grilli did not make an appearance in the second round, as Team Italy foolishly failed to use him while blowing two late leads to get knocked out of the tournament. The Italians tried waiting until the ninth to use their closer, but lost the lead before the ninth against both the Dominican Republic and Puerto...
Let’s get one thing straight. Travis Snider‘s nickname is Lunchbox. There is absolutely no way that a guy with the nickname “Lunchbox” can be held off this team. That is easily the best nickname on the club. The only thing better than his nickname is his twitter handle – @LunchboxHero45. If you’re interested in things…
Outfielder Travis Snider didn’t pay immediate dividends after coming over from Toronto last season. In 50 games, Snider hit .250 with one home run and nine RBI. He was hampered by a nagging hamstring injury, now healthy Snider told PiratesDugout.com's George Von Benko he hopes to be a big contibutor in Pittsburgh.
The fifth weekend of college baseball wrapped up today with one of the higher ranked college pitchers on the mound. Check out the draft preview posted here and the recap of the fourth week’s action here. Just a reminder, the Pirates pick #9 and #14 in this year’s June amateur draft, so for the duration of the college season, leading up to draft day, we are following the players...
When you punch Nyjer Morgan in the face, that’s the picture I use when making a post about you. It’s just that simple. The Pirates acquired Gaby Sanchez last year from the Marlins in a trade that sent Gorkys Hernandez and a competitive balance pick to the Marlins and Kyle Kaminska to the Bucs, along with Sanchez.…