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Navarro HBP, sent for X-rays

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CLEARWATER, Fla. — A few quick updates in the wake of today’s 5-4 loss against the Phils:

»»» Infielder Yamaico Navarro was hit by a pitch on his left forearm. He left the game and was taken back to Bradenton for x-rays. No other information is available.

»»» Jeff Karstens was The Dominator this afternoon in a minor league game at Pirate City. The righty tossed 7 1/3 shutout innings, allowed three hits, walked two and racked up 10 strikeouts. “It went very well for him,” manager Clint Hurdle said.

»»» Scott Podsednik won it for the Phils with a walkoff homer off lefty Daniel Moskos. It was the first earned run Moskos has allowed in eight outings this spring.

»»» Pedro Alvarez snapped an 0-for-18 skid, which included 11 strikeouts, with a single to center off Cliff Lee. It was a good at-bat, as Alvarez fouled off three tough pitches before getting the hit. Alvarez went 1 for 4 with three strikeouts — raising his average 14 points to .135 — and made a fielding error at third base. He appears to have dramatically cut down on his toe tap, moving his foot back only a couple of inches as the pitcher begins his delivery, then picking it up and planting it.

»»» Josh Harrison, Navarro, Clint Barmes and Neil Walker have put in a lot of work every morning at 8 on the main field at McKechnie, trying to get in sync with first basemen Garrett Jones and Casey McGehee. That kind of preparation is vital, so the fellas at first know what kind of throws to expect from around the infield. “We’ve done a great job with all the early work,” Hurdle said. “We’re working on turns, pivots and throws. We’re also doing that work on the back field after b.p. They’re figuring out who’s ball does what, when his arm’s high does it drop down or now, does the ball carry or is there some sail to it.”

»»» Charlie Morton is slated to pitch five innings tomorrow against the Rays. Evan Meek (two innings), Chris Leroux and Juan Cruz (one apiece) also are scheduled to pitch.

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Comments

  1. Rick says:

    As usual, Pedro whiffs (or looks at third strike) 3 more times and has another error in the field. But he did manage to raise his average 14 points!

  2. Paul says:

    Funny how everybody focuses on Pedro’s short comings while Neil Walker is being touted as the likely four hitter and deserving of a big, long-term contract while he’s managed 0 walks, 0 home runs, 9 strike outs and a grand total of 1 extra base hit, a double, this spring… quick now let’s all talk about him in the same breath as Andrew McCutchen and explain why he should have a similar contract because he’s part of the “young core.”

    Following baseball in Pittsburgh is like living in an a never ending loop of the movie Groundhog Day and I can already see we’re going to repeat the Jack Wilson, Aramis Ramirez debacle aaaaaaall over again with Walker and Alvarez.

    The Pirates are going to go into the season with perhaps the worst number 4 hitter in the history of major league baseball hitting behind one their best on base guy – who should be hitting lead off but isn’t because guys who don’t like to take walks and have terrible on base percentages but have “speed” will be in the 1 and 2 spots instead – and when the team finishes 28th or 29th in the majors in run production it’ll all be Pedro Alvarez’s fault no matter what he does.

    The local sport’s media-idiots will run Alvarez out of town where he’ll eventually find an organization that understands the value of walks, doesn’t keep trying to change his stance, his hitting approach and make him into something he’s not – and he’ll flourish away from Pittsburgh – while they yap endlessly about what a great guy Walker is, how valuable his “intangibles” are and won’t stop until he’s gotten a giant millstone of a contract that the team regrets giving him before the ink is even dry on it and they spend the better part of the term of it trying to unload it – while the same press box morons who lobbied for it fuel rumors of potential trades of their weak hitting, grossly over paid second baseman in return for Albert Pujols, Clayton Kershaw, Roy Halladay and the resurrected Babe Ruth…

    … and on and on, losing season after losing season it’ll go.

  3. Rick says:

    Paul, I don’t agree with the decision to put Walker as clean up either but I do know this. Walker was drafted as a catcher and since then, moved to 3rd, then moved to 2nd because of the drafting of Pedro and also asked to play winter ball to improve his skills. Difference is, he went. And as far as I can tell, didn’t complain. In the long run, it benefitted the team, but it also benfitted him. He was among the league leaders in many offensive and defensive stats for his position. Is he a number 4 hitter? I don’t think so. I’d love for it to be Pedro. Pedro, on the other hand is asked to play winter ball and refuses. So, he put himself under the microscope with his actions. But believe me, I hope Pedro succeeds because first and foremost, I am a Pirate fan and would love it if the Pirates had a winning season. But you make it sound as if his poor play is all management’s fault. Are they messing with his defense too? Hitting or not, you can still help the team with your glove. But he has looked awful in the field. I hope he turns it around.

  4. piratemike says:

    Paul… If Walker bats cleanup it is because there is no one else to put there. Lee would have been there if he would have signed. Walker has proven in the past that he is able to drive in runs Pedro was their long term plan but that isn’t working too well.

    Pedro isn’t being scruntinized any more in Pittsburgh than any other city that had a 1st rd pick that was paid 6.3m I would love to see if he would have been drafted by the Mets. ESPN would be running a story about him every day. You sound like a typical Nutting hater.

  5. JoeBucco says:

    Not a single post today? The lack of Pirates coverage here blows my mind, it really does.

  6. @JoeBucco — Here’s a news flash for you: I don’t work 24/7. Sorry, but I have a life. If that blows your mind, well …

  7. JoeBucco says:

    Classic quote, thanks sir. That pretty much explains a lot of things.

    Blow my mind, no. It’s quite apparent that the Pirates beat is not a priority over here. I guess we’ve been spoiled over the years by having one of the best in DK on the beat.

    I guess it really isn’t that big of a deal, considering how many other options there are for Pirate news, apparently by people who work 24/7.

  8. Paul says:

    @Rick “He was among the league leaders in many offensive and defensive stats for his position.”

    No he wasn’t and this is the problem with Walker, the hype around him has created the false perception that he is a better hitter and more valuable than he actually is. Go to ESPN where they have a nice set of sortable stats tools and allow you to sort by position and you will see that only the most meaningless of stats, batting average, does Walker compare favorably with others. Amongst the 17 qualifying starting second basemen he is 10 to 13th in runs created, adjusted runs 27, isolated power, secondary average etc average or below in every way. When compared to all hitters in the league he is in the bottom third in these categories.

    Players with his profile hit 7, 8 or 9 on other teams but not in the top half of the order.

    @piratemike “If Walker bats cleanup it is because there is no one else to put there.”

    No, he hits fourth because Clint Hurdle like the three managers who preceded him doesn’t know how to manage a lineup and is a throw back who falsely believe you can create offense with speed in the modern age. When managing in Colorado he was constantly criticized for his weakness in this area and it’s continued here in Pittsburgh.

    The number four hitter is a power position in the lineup who is supposed to first not make outs and drive in the hitters ahead of him, who are presumably getting on base, with extra base hits. In that regard Garret Jones would be a vastly superior choice over Walker for the number four spot as probably would be Barajas. Even Pedro with his current problems and playing below his potential will hit more home runs, more doubles and draw more walks, and drive in McCutchen at a greater rate, than Walker given the same number of plate appearances.

    Get used to see Andrew McCutchen left on base or part of double play ground outs A LOT or worse yet a record number of bunts from a number four hitter, if Walker is hitting behind him in the order.

    Neil Walker hitting fourth is going to be an unmitigated disaster for this offense.

 
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