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Pregame: Is Pagnozzi the future?


pagnozziLOS ANGELES — It will be interesting to see how much playing time catcher Matt Pagnozzi gets over the final 12 games of the season. He joined the team today, but is not in the lineup against the Dodgers. The Pirates claimed Pagnozzi, 28, off waivers yesterday from the Rockies. A former eighth-round pick, Pagnozzi started his career with the Cardinals, the same team that once employed his uncle, Todd Pagnozzi, also a catcher.

If, as expected, the Pirates opt not to pick up the pricey options for Chris Snyder and Ryan Doumit, Pagnozzi could have the inside track as the starting catcher next season. The free-agent market for catchers this year will not be strong. Neither Jason Jaramillo (who will be out of minor league options next year) nor Michael McKenry projects as an everyday catcher in the majors.

»»» Here’s a reason to give Doumit ample playing time in this four-game set against the Dodgers: he’s hitting 7 for 12 against them this season, and is 38 for 106 (.358) with 22 RBI in 33 games in career vs. Los Angeles. In 12 games at Dodger Stadium, Doumit is 14 for 41 (.341) with eight RBI.

»»» Jinx alert! Neil Walker is riding a career-best streak of 44 games without making an error at second base. Earlier this season, he went 42 games without making a miscue. He ranks second in the NL with a .992 fielding percentage. The club record for best single-season fielding pecentage is .993, set by … Johnny Ray in 1986. (Betcha thought I was going to say Maz.)

»»» The Pirates are 33-38 on the road, their most wins away from PNC Park since they went 34-47 in 2002. Last year, they won 17 road games.

»»» The Dodgers have five rookies in their starting lineup tonight.

Lineups for tonight’s game:

Pirates (67-82) – 1. Alex Presley lf, 2. Neil Walker 2b, 3. Andrew McCutchen cf, 4. Derrek Lee 1b, 5. Ryan Doumit c, 6. Ryan Ludwick rf, 7. Josh Harrison 3b, 8. Pedro Ciriaco ss, 9. Ross Ohlendorf rhp (0-0, 8.03)

Dodgers (73-75) – 1. Dee Gordon ss, 2. Justin Sellers 2b, 3. Matt Kemp cf, 4. Juan Rivera rf, 5. James Loney 1b, 6. Jerry Sands lf, 7. Russell Mitchell 3b, 8. Tim Federowicz c, 9. Dana Eveland (2-0, 0.60)



  1. Good pick-up by B M T I B.
    Strong back-up——yes
    Good defense, barely adequate hitting. Oh . . sounds like the Fort.

    ‘Dumpster jumping’ smells like roses sometimes.

  2. Bizrow says:

    Depth, thats it

    Groat, you made me laugh with that last one

  3. James Thompson says:

    I would like very much to be as upbeat about the Pirates in the future as is the team itself and the long suffering fans. After all, the Bucs did have that strong first half and they have won 33 on the road as opposed to only 17 last season. And the Pirates are not about to have the atrocious 57-105 record they had last season. And yet, one can only hope that the 2012 edition will be able to justify the hopes that everyone has invested in them, and that they’ll be able to point next season to much more than just a few modest improvements.

  4. Chuck H. says:

    No matter how well the Pirates start the season or how many games they win early in the season, they always have that bad streak in July or August when they can’t even beat the Cubbies or teams they are supposed to beat. I had hopes that when they were in first place, and playing well, they would shake that mid-season bogdown. Well, they didn’t and have now clinched another losing season-nineteen, I believe.They just don’t have those one or two players that would help them prevent those late season doldrums.

  5. samman says:

    yes, a better road record, but don’t the Pirates have an even worse record at homethis year than last season’s??

    also, why not pick up Doumit’s option. He’s been hitting

    Leave Snyder, but they can afford Doumit, Dammit.

  6. samman says:

    We agree; pick up Doumit,
    how much will he cost????????????

  7. James Thompson says:

    There are those who fear that the Pirates, having gone through yet another second half collapse, might have lost all momentum going into next season, although I would certainly hope that that isn’t all we have to look forward to…

  8. James Thompson says:

    Actually, some members of my mother’s family would get together on infrequent occasions and talk about nothing but the Pirates, much to everyone else’s boredom and disgust. My Grandma would get sick of it, but then, she’d join in a little bit since, as she’d say, if can’t lick ‘em, join ‘em. Meanwhile, my father refused to talk about the Pirates during those horrendous 50s, and then, he got back on the bandwagon after Maz won the 1960 World Series for us. But now, I frankly doubt that anyone on either side would be much interested after these last 19 years of futility.

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