Bucs Bits: Pirates News & Notes 1/16/14

Four weeks from today, pitchers and catchers will report to spring training. Here’s some Pirates news to hold you over…

Update 7:50 pm: Joel Sherman has just reported that the Bucs avoided arbitration with Travis Snider, signing him for $1.2 million. He was projected to earn $1.4 million by MLBTR.

– Another great report on Gregory Polanco, via Peter Gammons:


“The single most significant winter ball story has been 22 year old Pirate outfielder Gregory Polanco, the Darryl Strawberry lookalike who was the MVP in the Dominican as he put up an astounding .428 on base percentage. He is close to being another huge chip in the rebirth of a franchise that had the third best record in the National League in 2013 and has Baseball America’s rating as the best farm system in the game.

Says one National League GM: “Polanco, Andrew McCutchen and Starling Marte will be the best outfield in the league. Their all-around games are really good.”


– Other top prospects in the system are getting recognition as well. MLB.com is currently releasing their Top 10 lists by position; LHP, RHP, C, and SS have been named so far. The Pirates have a prospect ranked in three of those four categories:

MLB’s Top 100 Prospects list will be released next Thursday, January 23rd. Expect to see quite a few Bucco farmhands on there.

– Two members of the 2013 Pirates signed minor league deals today: catcher Michael McKenry with the Rockies and infielder John McDonald with the Angels.

An all-around good guy, McKenry spent the last three years with the Bucs, hitting .226/.293/.381 in 187 games.

McDonald, 39, spent time with the Pirates, Indians, Phillies, and Red Sox in 2013. He hit just .065/.171/.097 in Pittsburgh before landing on the DL in mid-May and being traded less than a month later.

– Major League Baseball has officially expanded instant replay for 2014.

Matt Snyder posted the Pirates’ all-time single season team over at CBS’ “Eye on Baseball.” Their list is a little bit different than the one Wilbur Miller posted on Bucs Dugout last night.

Dock Ellisstory will be featured in an upcoming film, “No No: A Dockumentary”

74 days until the opener.

Go Bucs

Monday Morning Links 4/15/13


– If you missed it yesterday, Josh Harrison was optioned to Class AAA Indianapolis.

– James Santelli of Pirates Prospects believes that more teams should shift their infield for Garrett Jones.

– Kyle McPherson was placed on the seven-day DL in Triple-A. He’s dealing with forearm tightness.

 Brandon Cumpton and Tim Alderson were promoted to Indy.

– The Pirates and Major League Baseball will be celebrating Jackie Robinson Day on Monday. All players will be wearing the number 42 in honor of Jackie.

– James McDonald will start for the Bucs on Monday night vs. St. Louis.

– Wandy Rodriguez hopes to return to action by Friday.

– Some videos from yesterday’s thrilling sweep of the Reds: Michael McKenry’s solo homer and game-tying shot, Starling Marte’s go-ahead HR, Travis Snider’s reviewed double.

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Around the League:

– The Atlanta Braves have won nine consecutive games.

– Matt Harvey took a no-hitter into the seventh inning on Saturday, and Clay Buchholz carried one into the eighth on Sunday.

– Carlos Quentin dropped his appeal and will serve an eight-game suspension.

– Zack Greinke underwent surgery to fix his broken collarbone.

– Johnny Cueto is headed to the disabled list.

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Updated NL Central Standings:



Games Back

St. Louis














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On tap this week:

Monday vs. St. Louis 7:05 pm
Tuesday vs. St. Louis 7:05 pm
Wednesday vs. St. Louis 7:05 pm
Thursday vs. Atlanta 7:05 pm
Friday vs. Atlanta 7:05 pm
Saturday vs. Atlanta 7:05 pm
Sunday vs. Atlanta 1:35 pm


Go Bucs

Monday Morning Links 4/1/13


It’s Opening Day!

Here’s your starting lineup for Game 1 of 162:

1. Starling Marte, LF
2. Garrett Jones, RF
3. Andrew McCutchen, CF
4. Pedro Alvarez, 3B
5. Gaby Sanchez, 1B
6. Neil Walker, 2B
7. Russell Martin, C
8. Clint Barmes, SS
9. A.J. Burnett, P

– Brandon Inge, Jeff Karstens, Francisco Liriano, and Charlie Morton have been placed on the 15-day disabled list.

– Utility man John McDonald will wear number 17.

– Today’s starting pitcher, A.J. Burnett, might retire after this season.

– Pirates season ticket sales increased by 20 percent.

– A total of 93,433 fans passed through the gates of McKechnie Field this spring.

– Dave Brown of Yahoo picks Travis Snider as NL’s breakout hitter and Gerrit Cole as Rookie of the Year.

– There are plenty of new food and drink options on the menu at PNC Park this year.

– Information about the first homestand can be found HERE.

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Around the League:

– The Houston Astros cruised to a big win in their first game as an American League team. Former Pirate Erik Bedard pitched 3.1 innings of relief, picking up the save.

– Alex Rodriguez will earn more money than the entire Astros roster combined in 2013.

Justin Verlander and Buster Posey got big contract extensions this past weekend.

– Johan Santana’s career is in jeopardy.

– Zack Greinke will make his Dodgers debut on Friday against the Pirates.

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On tap this week:


vs. Cubs

1:35 pm


– off –


vs. Cubs

7:05 pm


vs. Cubs

12:35 pm


@ Dodgers

10:10 pm


@ Dodgers

9:10 pm


@ Dodgers

4:10 pm

Go Bucs

Bucs Bits: Pirates News and Notes 2/26/13

An abbreviated collection of links on this final Tuesday of February…

– The Pirates were slated to take on the Orioles today at 1:05, but the game was postponed.

– The Bradenton skies actually cleared up shortly after the game was called off (via Rob Biertempfel):

bradenton 2-26

– Although they didn’t play, Russell Martin was scratched from the lineup this morning due to “upper body soreness.”

– They’ll turn around and play the Rays tomorrow; A.J. Burnett will start on the hill. Wandy Rodriguez, who was scheduled to pitch this afternoon, will relieve him. Top prospect Gerrit Cole will get into the game as well.

Brandon Inge sees parallels between the Bucs and the 2006 Detroit Tigers, who reached the World Series.

– Tim Williams of Pirates Prospects wonders if Tyler Glasnow, who stands 6’8″ tall, can be as good as Cole or Jameson Taillon.

– R.J. White of CBS Sports weighs in on the Pirates’ farm system.

– The Altoona Curve will have some cool promotions this season:

– The Lancaster Barnstormers signed former Pirate pitcher Yoslan Herrera.

– Just added to our Shop – A.J. Burnett “Preparation for Domination” – available for only $14.99.

Preparation for Domination Shirt

Only 34 days until Opening Day.

Go Bucs

Bucs Bits: Pirates News and Notes 1/30/13

Here are some links on the final Wednesday of January…

– MLB.com released their Top 100 prospects. Gerrit Cole (9th), Jameson Taillon (15th), Alen Hanson (54th), and Gregory Polanco (65th) represent Pittsburgh on the list.

– Alex Dickerson was named the 7th-best first base prospect, while Hanson was ranked 8th for shortstops.

– John Sickels of Minor League Ball ranked the Pirates as his 5th-best farm system in baseball.

– Several big leaguers are being linked to performance enhancing drugs from a closed clinic in Miami. A few of these players include Alex Rodriguez, Gio Gonzalez, and Nelson Cruz. Here’s what Gio had to say on Twitter:

– Kyle Waldrop, a 27 year old right-handed pitcher, has signed a minor league deal with the Bucs. He allowed six runs in 21.1 innings for Minnesota last season.

– Former Bucco Ronny Cedeno (above) agreed to a one-year deal with the St. Louis Cardinals.

– Francisco Liriano could be coming to Pittsburgh on a minor league contract.

– The Pirates were interested in Freddy Garcia, but the veteran pitcher picked San Diego.

– Grant Brisbee on SB Nation looks at the Pirates’ offseason.

– The Dodgers are getting their own television network.

Photo: Jared Wickerham/Getty Images