BRADENTON, Fla. — Veteran scribe Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, writes that the Indians expect the Pirates to return Rule 5 pick Josh Rodriguez before the end of spring training. The Indians are low on shortstops in the upper levels of their farm system.
Pirates GM Neal Huntington has said he would like to work out a trade to keep Rodriguez, rather than send him back. If the Tribe says no, they must return half of the $50,000 purchase price in exchange for J-Rod.
»»» A bit more reaction from Kevin Correia, who today was named the Opening Day starter:
… On pitching the opener: “To do it at a place like Wrigley Field should be a lot of fun. It’s a good honor for me, but I know there’s going to be a lot of work involved with (pitching) every five days. It’s not just one start.”
… On finally becoming a top-of-the-rotation guy: “It’s not going to change the way I pitch. I can’t go out there like I’m the Opening Day guy, so all of the sudden I’m the ace. I’m not going to strike out every guy and win every game. I’m going to have to pitch the same way I’ve always done, and, hopefully, that will be good enough. I’m going to give it my best shot.”
… On pitching at Wrigley, where he’s 1-2 with an 8.49 ERA in six outings (two starts): “The park can play a number of different ways, just with the wind direction. Some days, balls are flying everywhere. Others, you can’t hit it out, no matter how hard you hit it. I’ve never played there this early in the season; being in the (NL) West, we usually went later in the year when it’s warmer. But it doesn’t really change the way I pitch a great deal. It’s probably going to be cold. But once you get out there and start throwing the ball around and your adrenaline gets going, the weather really isn’t a factor.”
»»» Manager Clint Hurdle, talking about how well Charlie Morton reacted to the challenge of fighting for a rotation spot: “Charlie’s pitched better than anybody in camp, and good for him. The next step will be the more interesting one, as the season will come and we’ll see what that brings. But a lot of confidence has been built.”