Goodbye, Jonathan Sanchez

The Jonathan Sanchez era is over.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Pirates announced that Sanchez was designated for assignment, and RHP Bryan Morris would take his spot on the 25-man roster.

Here’s how the 30-year-old southpaw fared in five appearances as a Bucco:

Rk Date Tm Opp Rslt IP H R ER BB SO HR HBP ERA Pit
1 Apr 5 PIT @ LAD L,0-3 5.0 6 3 3 1 4 1 0 5.40 88
2 Apr 10 PIT @ ARI L,2-10 3.1 8 9 9 4 2 2 1 12.96 93
3 Apr 21 PIT ATL W,4-2 3.0 4 2 2 3 5 0 0 11.12 74
4 Apr 26 PIT @ STL L,1-9 0.0 3 2 2 0 0 2 1 12.71 17
5 Apr 29 PIT @ MIL L,4-10 2.1 4 2 2 0 4 2 0 11.85 48
PIT 13.2 25 18 18 8 15 7 2 11.85
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/30/2013.

Problems with each of his four starts…

April 5th – He wasn’t awful, but only lasted five innings. The Pirates offense wasn’t hitting yet, so three runs was plenty for the Dodgers.

April 10th – Awful outing in Arizona… nine runs, four walks, and two home runs in 3.1 innings.

April 21st – Sanchez was pretty lucky to allow only two runs after surrendering four hits and three walks, but he only lasted three innings.

April 26th – He faced four batters, and they went like this: home run, home run, single, hit by pitch.

Here’s the HBP that led to his ejection:

Jonathan Sanchez Pirates Ejected

(HERE is the link for that GIF; credit: @CrashburnAlley)

MLB ruled a six-game suspension after he was tossed from Friday’s game, although Sanchez appealed it. He made his fifth and final appearance in a Pirate uniform out of the bullpen on Monday night, giving up two home runs in the 10-4 defeat.

It was puzzling as to why the Sanchez experiment ever started. After all, the Bucs will now have to eat his entire $1.375 salary. The good news though is that Sanchez won’t be taking the mound every fifth day, and Francisco Liriano, Charlie Morton, and others are on the way.

Jose Contreras has been on a rehab stint in the minor leagues, and it sounded like he’d be available as soon as today (Tuesday). Therefore, it seemed like he’d join the bullpen with the departure of Jonathan Sanchez; instead, Bryan Morris will assume the role.

Morris, 26, hasn’t had the opportunity to shine in the big leagues, though he should be given the chance. He’s enjoyed a solid minor league career, and has dominated the Triple-A level in the past two seasons. Morris appeared in once this season for the Pirates (April 15th vs. STL) – his final line from that game: 3.0 IP, 0 runs, 0 hits, 3 BB, 1 K.

On a side note – Francisco Liriano had another encouraging outing today in his rehab stint with Indianapolis. He went six innings, allowed one run on four hits, struck out nine, walked none, and picked up the W. Liriano may get another start or two in AAA to tune up, but hopefully he’ll be in Pittsburgh soon.

Updated Pirates Depth Chart | Bucco Bullpen Workload

Game #26: Brewers 10, Pirates 4

Tonight’s final score doesn’t quite illustrate how ugly of a game it was at Miller Park.  To sum it up quickly, the Brewers absolutely mashed the Pirates pitching.

Starling Marte drew a leadoff walk against Yovani Gallardo to start the game, and things were looking up for the Bucs against the unbeatable Brew Crew.  Russell Martin stayed hot with a single that moved Marte over to third, and Cutch brought home a run with an RBI-groundout.  That was all the Bucs could get in the first, but it was still a 1-0 lead.

That lead held for all of five minutes before Wandy Rodriguez gave up a two-run homer to Jean Segura in the bottom of the inning.  In the first inning alone, Wandy walked four batters, gave up three hits, and allowed five runs to come across.  He wasn’t helped out by the easy double play ball that Clint Barmes bobbled, but he still looked very bad on the mound.  He lasted just 3.2 innings in all, and ended up allowing seven runs.  Gallardo and Norichiak Aoki took him deep consecutively in the 3rd.

Things didn’t get much better when Jonathan Sanchez came out of the bullpen in relief.  Carlos Gomez and Yuniesky Betancourt took him deep back to back again in the 5th, bring the Brewers home run total for the game up to five.  Jared Hughes and Vin Mazzaro each pitched an inning late in the game, with Hughes giving up the tenth and final run.

The only other offense against Gallardo, who struck out five in 7 innings, was a Gaby Sanchez RBI-double.  Garrett Jones destroyed a two-run home run in the 8th, but it was way too late for any comeback by then.

Just one of those games that you have to forget about.  Besides, the Bucs are still in first place.

Pirates (15-11) – Brewers (13-11)

Win: Gallardo (3-1)
Loss: Rodriguez (2-1)

BOX SCORE

Go Bucs

Series Preview: Pirates @ Brewers

preview MIL

Pittsburgh Pirates (15-10) vs. Milwaukee Brewers (12-11)

April 29, 2013 – 8:10 pm
April 30, 2013 – 8:10 pm
May 1, 2013 – 1:10 pm

Miller Park

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Resources: Pirates Depth Chart | Bullpen Workload

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Probable Starters:

Game 1 – Wandy Rodriguez (2-0, 1.66) vs. Yovani Gallardo (2-1, 4.97)

Game 2 – James McDonald (2-2, 4.38) vs. Marco Estrada (2-1, 3.86)

Game 3 – Jeanmar Gomez (1-0, 2.63) vs. Hiram Burgos (1-0, 3.27)

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Batting Leaders (Among Qualifiers):

Pirates

Brewers

AVG

Starling Marte (.323)

Jean Segura (.349)

HR

Russell Martin (5)

Ryan Braun (7)

RBI

Three tied with 13

Braun (21)

SB

Starling Marte (7)

Segura (7)

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Pitching Leaders (Among Qualifiers):

Pirates

Brewers

Wins

Jeff Locke (3)

Five tied with 2

SO

A.J. Burnett (48)

Marco Estrada (28)

ERA

Locke, Burnett (2.83)

Kyle Lohse (2.53)

Saves

Jason Grilli (10)

Jim Henderson (6)

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Opponent Blogs: Brew Crew Ball, Reviewing the Brew, The Brewers Bar

Player to Watch: Yovani Gallardo, who gets the ball for Milwaukee on Monday night. Gallardo was arrested for DUI on April 16th, but didn’t even miss a start. His outing two days later was his best of the season, but other than that, he’s been decent at best. Brewers’ manager Ron Roenicke said, “I don’t know why he’s out of whack like he is.” Gallardo has pitched well against the Pirates in his career, posting a 9-2 record, 2.59 ERA, and 100 strikeouts in 87 innings pitched. The Buccos need to get to him early and often to maintain their spot atop the NL Central division standings.

Go Bucs

Russell Martin earns NL Player of the Week

Pirates’ catcher Russell Martin has earned National League Player of the Week honors for his solid hitting from April 22 – April 28.

In that time frame, Martin hit .375 with two doubles, four home runs, and a 1.333 OPS. He collected base knocks in five of six games, including three of the multi-hit variety:

Date Tm Opp Rslt AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BA OBP SLG OPS
Apr 22 PIT @ PHI L,2-3 3 1 2 0 0 1 1 .241 .349 .426 .775
Apr 23 PIT @ PHI W,2-0 4 0 1 0 0 0 0 .241 .343 .414 .757
Apr 24 PIT @ PHI W,5-3 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 .226 .324 .387 .711
Apr 26 PIT @ STL L,1-9 4 0 1 0 0 0 0 .227 .320 .379 .699
Apr 27 PIT @ STL W,5-3 4 2 2 1 0 1 2 .243 .329 .443 .772
Apr 28 PIT @ STL W,9-0 5 2 3 1 0 2 3 .267 .345 .547 .892
PIT 75 12 20 6 0 5 9 .267 .345 .547 .892
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/29/2013.

Click HERE to watch some of his blasts from the past week.

Previous winners of NL Player of the Week this season: Clayton Kershaw, Matt Harvey, and Carlos Gomez.

Martin is a big reason why the Bucs have won eight of their last ten games. His defense has been a nice addition as well, already showing signs of improvement over Rod Barajas. He’s been suiting up behind the plate quite a bit, so hopefully he doesn’t wear himself out. It’d be nice to see Martin continue his sharp hitting, especially after starting the year on an 0 for 17 skid. He’ll make a lot of fans in Pittsburgh if he keeps producing, both at the plate and behind it.

Go Bucs

Monday Morning Links 4/29/13

Pirates:

– The Bucs have plenty of momentum headed into Milwaukee’s Miller Park, which has been a “House of Horrors” for the club in recent years.

Neil Walker may return to action this week, even though the stitches in his hand won’t be removed. Risky? Seems like it. Walker injured his hand while sliding into second base on Friday night.

Jose Contreras, who’s 41 years of age and appeared in more than 17 games since 2010, could join the Bucco bullpen soon.

Charlie Morton‘s line from his third rehab start: 6.0 innings, 3 hits, 1 run, 1 walk, 4 K’s

– John Dreker at Pirates Prospects reports that some of the top pitching prospects for the 2013 MLB Draft are performing well at the collegiate level.

Josh Harrison impressively stole home on Friday night for Class AAA Indianapolis.

– Here’s the “Shadows of the City” video that they have been showing on the scoreboard prior to games at PNC (via Pirates Scoreboard on YouTube):

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Around the League:

Lyle Overbay – yes, the former Pirate – hit a go-ahead homer in the seventh inning on Sunday, leading the Yankees to their first four-game sweep of the Blue Jays since 1995.

R.A. Dickey, the 2012 National League Cy Young Award winner, will be getting an MRI for an apparent back/neck injury. Dickey, 38, is 2-4 with a 4.50 ERA for Toronto this season.

Yasiel Puig, the top prospect in the Dodgers’ system, was arrested on Sunday.

– Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz has been activated after serving a 25-game suspension for using a banned substance.

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Updated NL Central Standings:

Team

Record

Games Back

Pittsburgh

15-10

St. Louis

14-10

0.5

Cincinnati

14-12

1.5

Milwaukee

12-11

2.0

Chicago

9-15

5.5

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On tap this week:

Monday @ Brewers 8:10 pm
Tuesday @ Brewers 8:10 pm
Wednesday @ Brewers 1:10 pm
Thursday – off –
Friday vs. Nationals 7:05 pm
Saturday vs. Nationals 4:05 pm
Sunday vs. Nationals 1:35 pm

 

Go Bucs