Bucs Bits: Pirates News & Notes 2/3/15

lombardozzi

– Earlier this evening, the Pirates acquired Steve Lombardozzi from the Baltimore Orioles for cash [Press Release]. This is unrelated to last week’s Travis Snider trade; Lombardozzi is not the player to be named later.

Updated Pirates Offseason Tracker

The son of a former big league second baseman of the same name, Lombardozzi has now been traded three times since last winter. He was part of the Tigers-Nationals trade that sent Doug Fister to Washington and himself, Ian Krol, and Robbie Ray to Detroit in December. The Tigers then flipped him to Baltimore last March for veteran Alex Gonzalez when they were desperate for a shortstop. Lombardozzi only played 20 games in the majors last season, recording 74 plate appearances. He spent most of the year in Triple-A Norfolk, where he hit .270/.307/.311.

Now 26 years old, Lombo can play second, third, short, or even left field. He’s consistently hit for average, but refuses to walk and carries little power. He’s nothing more than depth at this point; however, his versatility could be useful later. Lombardozzi isn’t on the 40-man, but has been invited to MLB spring training.

You might remember him having a big game against the Pirates in July of 2013 — he went 3-for-5 with two doubles and made this spectacular play in a crazy 9-7 Nats win:

lombo0001

– If anything, the Lombardozzi trade could be related to this: Jake Elmore — DFA’d when the Pirates signed Jung-Ho Kang — elected free agency on Monday, rather than accepting his outright assignment to Indy. Though they’ve lost him, they get the same kind of depth in Lombardozzi about 24 hours later: “meh” hitter, versatile infield defender, probably won’t matter anyway.

– A couple of former Bucs pitchers signed minor league deals the last couple days: Paul Maholm with the Reds; John Axford with the Rockies.

– Buster Olney on the Pirates, via Bucs Dugout:

"The franchise just gets better and better, from anchor Andrew McCutchen all the way through the depth of its 40-man roster, and more and more the Pirates are viewed within the sport as a club with a culture of success. Pittsburgh is a place where pitchers turn around their careers, where there is a next-level employment of defensive metrics, where you go to find a manager, such as Jeff Banister (hired by the Rangers). Other teams are trying to emulate what they do."

Well, file that under “things I thought I’d never hear.”

– If you saw our post on the Pirates’ 2015 Free Shirt Fridays, you’ll remember that there are a few to be decided by fan vote. The poll is now open at pirates.com, and you can cast your vote for one of these seven designs:

free shirt vote

Pitchers & Catchers Report: 14+ days

First Grapefruit League Game: 27+ days

Opening Day: 61+ days

Our annual Opening Day countdown/player preview posts (“In … Days”) will begin on Friday…

Go Bucs

Pittsburgh Pirates Free Shirt Friday Designs 2014

The Pirates released their promotional schedule a few weeks ago. Free Shirt Fridays, arguably the best promotion over the years, will return in 2014. They added some small pictures of next year’s shirts to the website… check ‘em out:

April 4th vs. St. Louis

Pirates Free Shirt Friday April 4 2014

April 18th vs. Milwaukee

Pirates Free Shirt Friday April 18 2014

May 2nd vs. Toronto

Pirates Free Shirt Friday May 2 2014

It’s hard to read the fine print on this one, but you can definitely read “CHEESE” right in the middle. Some sort of Jason Grilli shirt, pretty cool.

May 9th vs. St. Louis

Pirates Free Shirt Friday May 9 2014

Russell Martin.

May 23rd vs. Washington

Pirates Free Shirt Friday May 23

June 6th vs. Chicago

Pirates Free Shirt Friday June 6

Let’s go Bucs.

June 27th vs. New York

Pirates Free Shirt Friday June 27

Looks bizarre.

July 4th vs. Philadelphia

Pirates Free Shirt Friday July 4

Cool shirt for the Fourth of July.

July 18th vs. Colorado

Pirates Free Shirt Friday July 18

Cole 45.

August 8th vs. San Diego

Pirates Free Shirt Friday August 8th

“Don’t Stop BUC’N” hahaha this is real apparently.

August 29th vs. Cincinnati

Pirates Free Shirt Friday August 29

Nice “El Toro Alvarez 24″ shirt.

September 12th vs. Chicago

Pirates Free Shirt Friday September 12

Cutch is clutch.

September 19th vs. Milwaukee

Pirates Free Shirt Friday September 19

All the shirts should be on display at next weekend’s PirateFest.

Go Bucs

Dissecting the Schedule: July

We’ll spend time this week breaking down the Pirates’ 2013 schedule, month by month. 

schedule July
(Click to enlarge)

Notes:

– The Bucs will open July with a three-game set against the cross-state rival Philadelphia Phillies. The two clubs will celebrate America’s independence with a 1:35 pm start on the 4th.

– Billy Beane’s Oakland Athletics will travel to PNC Park for the first time since 2002. One of the best stories in baseball last season, Yoenis Cespedes and the A’s are a team you don’t want to miss.

– The only weekend series of the month will be July 12th – 14th when the New York Mets come to town.

– Only three promotions at PNC in July, all during the Mets series – Free Shirt Friday, Zambelli fireworks on Saturday, Kids Day/Kids Tumbler Cup on Sunday.

– The 84th MLB All-Star Game will be hosted at Citi Field on Tuesday, July 16th.

– The Pirates start the second half on the road in Cincinnati for the beginning of a 10-game roadtrip. That trip will take the team to Washington and Miami.

– After the All-Star break, the Bucs will play 17 straight games into August.

Tickets to any 2013 Pirates game can be purchased HERE.

Previous Editions:
April
May

June

Dissecting the Schedule: May

We’ll spend time this week breaking down the Pirates’ 2013 schedule, month by month.

Schedule May
(Click to enlarge)

Notes:

– The Pirates will spend a good amount of time at PNC Park in May; their 18 games at home will be the most of any month this season.

– A total of 11 afternoon games will played in May. These start times range from 12:35 to 4:05.

– One of those games, May 4th vs. Washington, will be televised on FOX.

– The club gets a taste of interleague play starting this month. The Mariners finally return to PNC for the first time since 2004, but only for a two-game set. The Houston Astros will come to Pittsburgh for the first time as an American League team. Finally, the “natural rival” Detroit Tigers will play a home-and-home against the Bucs at the end of May.

– The series vs. Houston is slated to be military appreciation weekend at the ballpark. The Pirates will once again rock their camouflage jerseys, which made an appearance last May. The weekend will start off with a camouflage free shirt on Friday, an A.J. Burnett camo jersey bobblehead on Saturday, and finish up on Sunday with kids 14 and under receiving an A.J. Burnett replica camo jersey.

– Most played opponent in May: the Milwaukee Brewers. The Bucs will see Ryan Braun and the Brew Crew on eight different occasions – four at PNC, four at Miller Park.

Tickets to any 2013 Pirates game can be purchased HERE.

Previous Editions:
April

2013 Free Shirt Fridays

Since the amount of bobbleheads has diminished in recent years, “Free Shirt Friday” has emerged as one of the top promotions at PNC Park.  Each fan receives a Pirates-themed t-shirt upon entering the ballpark on Friday nights. No matter what game you’re attending, you can usually find a Bucco fan sporting a previous free shirt. Without further ado, here are the designs for 2013…

All photos from Pirates.com. Click HERE to view more promotions.

April 12th Pirates vs. Cincinnati Reds
April 12th
Pirates vs. Cincinnati Reds

The first shirt, featuring new fan-favorite A.J. Burnett, is arguably the slickest on the list; the Bucs play the defending NL Central champion Reds in their first home weekend series.

April 19th vs. Atlanta Braves
April 19th
Pirates vs. Atlanta Braves

The second shirt of the year is also pretty cool, featuring the eyes of the Pirates logo with the team brand directly beneath it. The Upton brothers and Chipper Jones-less Braves come to PNC for this one.

May 3rd
May 3rd
Pirates vs. Washington Nationals

A pretty standard gray shirt with “Pittsburgh Pirates” and “Established 1887,” as the star-studded Washington Nationals come to town.

May 17th
May 17th
Pirates vs. Houston Astros

Definitely cool to see another camouflage shirt this year. This will kickstart the Bucs’ military appreciation weekend, as the Astros come to Pittsburgh as an American League team for the first time. A.J. Burnett camo jersey bobbleheads will be given away on Saturday night, and kids will receive a replica Burnett camo jersey on Sunday afternoon.

May 31st
May 31st
Pirates vs. Cincinnati Reds

This one almost looks a play on the Run DMC logo, as well as The Classy Yinzer’s “Run PNC” shirt. Pretty nice looking shirt; the Reds are back in town on this weekend.

June 14th
June 14th
Pirates vs. Los Angeles Dodgers

The classic Pirates script is featured here; it seems fairly generic but still has some character to it. There should be a good crowd on hand, as the summer sets in and the loaded LA Dodgers visit the ‘Burgh.

June 28th
June 28th
Pirates vs. Milwaukee Brewers

The Bucs close out the month of June with a weekend date with Ryan Braun and the Brewers. This unique shirt with Pedro Alvarez’s swing will be given out on Friday night.

July 12th
July 12th
Pirates vs. New York Mets

The Pirates are rarely home in July, with just one weekend series that month. The Mets visit PNC starting Friday the 12th; the shirt that night is not one we particularly care for.

August 2nd Pirates vs. Colorado Rockies
August 2nd
Pirates vs. Colorado Rockies

Another pretty bland shirt, as Troy Tulowitzki and the Rockies come to town.

August 16th
August 16th
Pirates vs. Arizona Diamondbacks

The gritty D-backs visit Pittsburgh for this one. It looks like there is some sort of design inside the ‘P’ logo, but the picture is too small to tell.

August 30th
August 30th
Pirates vs. St. Louis Cardinals

The last weekend of August brings the always competitive Cardinals to PNC Park, and this ‘Pirates Baseball’ shirt will be handed out on Friday.

September 13th
September 13th
Pirates vs. Chicago Cubs

Hopefully this September Friday night game against the Cubs is better than last season’s September Friday night game against the Cubs.

September 20th Pirates vs. Cincinnati Reds
September 20th
Pirates vs. Cincinnati Reds

The final homestand of 2013 brings the Reds to Pittsburgh. This cool shirt featuring Andrew McCutchen will be the last Free Shirt Friday of the year.

All Friday home games start at 7:05 pm. Get your tickets HERE.

Go Bucs

Pittsburgh Pirates Tickets