Blogs | Sports | News
Dejan Kovacevic's Blog

Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Red Sox 4, Pirates 1, exhibition

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates vs. Boston Red Sox, exhibition

Time: 1:05 p.m.

Site: McKechnie Field, Bradenton, Fla.

TV, radio: Root Sports.

Here’s the official live box score.

Here’s TribLIVE’s Pirates page. And here’s our Bucco Blog with all the pitching matchups, lineups, etc. Travis Sawchik and photographer Chris Horner are on the scene for the Trib.

Author: Dejan Kovacevic

Dejan Kovacevic, a lifelong Pittsburgher, is an award-winning sports columnist for Trib Total Media covering the Steelers, Penguins, Pirates, Pitt and, recently, his fourth Olympics in Sochi, Russia. He also appears on WPXI-TV's 'Subway Final Word’ and hosts a weekly show on TribLIVE Radio. For 2011, he was named one of the country's top four columnists by the AP Sports Editors. For 2012, he was named one of the country's top three columnists by the National Headliners. For 2013, he was named the state's top columnist by the Keystone Press Awards and top columnist in Western Pennsylvania by the Golden Quills.


  1. Yogi Berra’s wife Carmen has just passed away at 85. May she rest in peace. Their son Dale Berra was at one time a Pirates infielder.

  2. bpn8pitt says:

    For those in the know down there, how is Lambo doing? Stick? Is he a defensive liability?

  3. bpn8pitt says:

    Id like to think if he continues at this .111 clip with no extra base hits, either they make a move or Gaby’s just gonna be the everyday 1B. For awhile anyway.

  4. JRay3 says:

    Well Edison Volquez is getting roughed up in his start versus the Orioles, gives up single, double, HR to first three batters and its 3-0 in the game in Sarasota. Hope Jeff Locke and his back tightness is not too serious, as Bucs may need options for the #5 spot in the rotation.

    Off to Goodyear to take the kids to see the Indians and Brewers play some Cactus League baseball, just a perfect time of year out here in Arizona.

  5. bpn8pitt says:

    After watching the Lambo AB and hearing about Volquez, growing a little concerned.

  6. bpn8pitt says:

    Carp goes yard. Smh

  7. Thundercrack says:

    Trade for Carp. Now! Hurry.

  8. bpn8pitt says:

    He looks like he could put his fare share in the river…NMR might be right though. What do the Red Sox need? What can we give up?

  9. NMR says:

    I promise you that Andrew Lambo’s spring training batting average will have nothing to do with his playing time when the games actually count.

  10. bpn8pitt says:

    That’s fair.

    But I think even you have to be a little disappointed he hasn’t hit at least a little better.

    Believe me, my expectations for the team overall are tempered BUT 1B has been a black hole for a long time now.

  11. Thundercrack says:

    Grilli looks good – and ready for the season.

    (Knocking on wood)

  12. NMR says:

    Sure, I’d love for all these guys to light it up during spring training.

    But I lose absolutely zero sleep when they don’t. It Just. doesn’t. matter.

  13. NMR says:

    Looking at it another way, he’s only struck out in 15% of his attempts. If he only strikes out 15% of the time during the regular season, he’s gonna end up hitting a hell of a lot higher than .111

  14. bpn8pitt says:

    No worries about Volquez?

  15. NMR says:


    Nobody should be expecting that his issues are solved in the first couple weeks of spring training. It’ll be a process.

  16. NMR says:

    I should clarify. I absolutely have worries about Volquez, but none that weren’t present before this spring training.

  17. bpn8pitt says:

    Track records is what im looking at. McCutchen his below .200, im not worried. Guys young coming off an MVP, healthy from what I can tell.

    Lambo? Im all about giving him a shot, but he has no ML track record. Or at least its very limited. Yeah, he hasn’t struck out but he’s hitting a hell of a lot of the end of the bat, grounding out everywhere.

    Volquez? Been sometime since this guy was effective, man. Worst starter in the NL last year.

    Uncle Ray’s good, but he might not be that good.

  18. Baywatch says:


  19. bpn8pitt says:

    Man, Volquez got absolutely hammered…

  20. Baywatch says:

    So, I haven’t been paying close attention (getting ready for work): Is Blass holding his own in the booth with these Red Sox guys. Please don’t tell me he’s still finding a way to get his Chamber of Commerce greetings in!

  21. bpn8pitt says:

    Steve Blass has been really good TO the Pirates. Back in the day, he was even GOOD for the Pirates.

    But Im done with him, in the booth. I feel terrible saying that. But id like a fresh perspective. Honestly, someone younger than him, Walk and Wehner. That’s me though. Im entering my mid 30s and would like to a guy of similar age give me his analysis and opinions.

    I feel awful saying this too, but I think its starting to get away from him a little.

  22. bpn8pitt says:

    I got things to do. I realize its just another day in early March and we have a long long way to go…

    But today made the offseason moves, or lack their of look pretty bad.

    But again, its March 9th.

  23. Arriba Wilver says:

    They showed a picture of Neal in an Amherst baseball uniform and cap.

    Bring back the Opie comments.

  24. NMR says:

    So then if track records are what you’re looking for, why are you paying attention to spring training?

    I’m of the opinion that spring training certainly matters for players, but very little can be seen as fans from box scores.

  25. Arriba Wilver says:

    The good news is at least the Bucs didn’t get no hit. Polanco just got the first hit in the 7th.

  26. Even though it took something called a “Dalier Hinojosa” to give it up.

  27. Or a “Rubby De La Rosa”. Gameday is behind.

  28. bpn8pitt says:

    C’mon NMR. If Spring DOES matter somewhat, your boy Volquez is awful.

  29. Thundercrack says:

    Blasts is a big hit today. For those guys from Boston, his jokes & sense of humor are new to them

  30. Eric Bowser says:

    Career defining moves…

    Cam Bonifay – Derek Bell
    Dave Littlefield – Matt Morris
    Neal Huntington – Edinson Volquez

  31. NMR says:


  32. Eric Bowser says:

    I bet penny pinching Bob Nutting is laughing when he’s told by Huntington that a pitcher making $5 million needs to be cut by mid-June.

  33. bpn8pitt says:

    I wonder, Eric

    * Does he get handed the #5 spot, so they can justify the money spent?

    * Or does he become a 5 million dollar long reliever on one of the few teams that cant justify that.

  34. bpn8pitt says:

    Is there a buyout?

  35. bpn8pitt says:

    Yup, 1 million dollar buyout. That’s very interesting.

  36. NMR says:

    Career defining! Think about what you just said, dude.

    Career defining.

    Absolutely freaking ridiculous.

    Do you say stuff just to see how extreme you can get? Great “journalist” here, folks!

  37. Brandie says:

    I must admit I am waiting to see how all of this pans out before I pan Edinson or the move to get him. Here is hoping we do not see James McDonald the second coming.

  38. bpn8pitt says:

    That’s fair Brandie.

    Me? Guy was the worst starter in the NL last year. He’s been their worst pitcher in Spring so far.

    Im not giving up on him yet either. But if he doesn’t pitch better in the next 20 days, they have one hell of an interesting decision to make.

  39. NMR says:

    Can’t justify?

    They’ve got about $15m still on the table, buddy.

    Edinson Volquez’s salary isn’t stopping them from doing anything right now, nor has it all winter.

  40. bpn8pitt says:

    HA ! 5 million for a long reliever is not good business for a team with a payroll under 75 million.

    Tell you the truth, they may have 19 million on the table, cause as it stands now they should just let him go and pay the buyout.

    Stolmy’s in your rotation right now. As it stands anyway. Bet they didn’t plan on that. Hell he might be there 4.

  41. Andrew says:

    This is just trolling correct?

    Derek Bell: 2years/$9.75 million (2001), 183 PAs
    Matt Morris: 1year/$10 million (2008) left on contract that Pirates were responsible for, pitched 22 innings
    Volquez: 1 year/$5 million, so he is less of an investment and has a fairly low bat to surpass in terms of playing time.

  42. Brandie says:

    I don’t tho k it would be a proper Pirates season if there were not some interesting decisions to make.

    Besides I sm not sure if Edinson has not Bern asked to overhaul everything to become a Pirate. Maybe complacency was his enemy and he is getting the reality check beatdown by Uncle Ray. I bust hope this works. I am still burned by the ghost of Raul Mondesi.

  43. NMR says:

    No, no he’s not.

  44. bpn8pitt says:

    They did leave Bradenton with Sanchez at 5 last year, so it might not matter anyway.

    Still though, you let Byrd, Morneau, and AJ walk. Fine.

    This was their only external move that was beyond modest. Looks awful right now.

  45. bpn8pitt says:

    Whos your 5 then?

  46. NMR says:

    Liriano, Cole, Rodriguez, Morton, Volquez

    Locke, Cumpton, and Gomez next up.

    Taillon in June.

  47. Thundercrack says:

    I had to read that twice AW. The first time I thought they showed NH sitting in the stands wearing an Amherst uniform.

  48. Brandie says:

    Not tho k…that should be think.

  49. bpn8pitt says:

    Cole, Liriano, Wandy, Morton Gomez/Pimental

    Locke just got shutdown, Cumpton and Volquez have been knocked around a lot so far.

    Id rather pay 1 million for Volquez to go away now than pay him 2 million or so to be ineffective and useless until June when Taillon comes up.

    FWIW Taillon’s been knocked around too. Pimental is out of options.

  50. Thundercrack says:


    And last year they may have been saying that Liriano was a career defining move.

  51. Brandie says:

    Point is he did not have it today. Edinson better find out where to get his mojo back in the mean time.

  52. NMR says:

    You won’t find one big league team that puts as much meaning on spring training stats as you do, bpn.

    It just does not work like that.

  53. Arriba Wilver says:

    No, back from his college days, as well as a couple other guys.

  54. Arriba Wilver says:

    Like you say, it’s March 9. A little early to be making any conclusions. And Volquez may end up stinking, but it’s way early to come to that conclusion, especially when everybody knows they are changing things he does.

  55. Really?


    Just because Jandy is in hiding, you don’t have to make up for it.

  56. Truly, though. What do you suppose they saw in him? I know his situation has been compared to Lirano and others, but he doesn’t have the talent and background Lirano had, nor the upside of some of these others Searage has helped.

  57. Bizrow says:

    They saw that one year where he was pretty dominant. They think they can fix him. Actually I would be much more worried if he was not being “reconstructed” by RS.

    Lets see if we see improvement the next couple of starts

  58. NMR says:

    A 94 mph fastball, swing and miss changeup, career K-rate pushing one an inning and a FIP than was a run and a half below his ERA.

  59. bpn8pitt says:

    Hey, I didn’t laud the Volquez signing like you did. Your backtracking there.

    Again, been a long time since Volquez was an effective pitcher in this league. And unlike Burnett and Liriano, he isn’t coming from the AL. He stunk last year in Dodger Stadium and Petco. And the NL Central is very familiar with this guy.

    The back of the rotation sucks right now. Add to that Wandy is the only guy who’s ever thrown 200ip before. I’m nervous, fellas. Sorry.

  60. I don’t know about the FIP, but it sounds like Jonathan Sanchez redux to me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m pullin for the guy and I have nothing against him. Just not sure if this is too big a mountain to climb.

    And all a 94 mph fastball does is fly out of the park faster if everything he throws is up.

    And what are you doing in the office on Sunday, NMR?


  61. Arriba Wilver says:

    Who lauded the signing?

  62. NMR says:

    @Lucky – I’ve had one day off in the last month. Gotta get all the plans out in time for construction season.

    @bpn – there wasn’t a single person on this blog who lauded the Volquez signing, certainly myself included. There’s a very distinct, wide difference between lauding a signing and not taking every spring training outing as an opportunity to remind everyone that he was the worst pitcher in the National League last year.

    By the way, Volquez is a year removed from +180 IP at a 4.14 ERA. You’re wildly overstating how bad he’s been.

  63. Mercy. One day off in a month.

  64. Arriba Wilver says:

    +++ to NMR.

    I’m agreeing with you entirely too much lately. :-D

  65. Brandie says:

    Revvie…these typos aren’t going to create themselves! That’s where Jandy, Plancakes and Sausage, and I come in.

  66. NMR says:

    @AW – Well that’s just not any fun, is it? ;)

  67. Thundercrack says:

    They think they can fix him so he can be the #5 starter….not at the top of the rotation.

  68. 21sthebest says:

    I’m more worried about Dejan’s mentoring skills.

  69. Thundercrack says:

    Someone mentioned there is a $1 million buyout with contract to Volquez. Is that true. I haven’t seen or heard anything like that. There is no second year of the contract to have a buyout attached to

    If it is the type of buyout that they would pay him if he didn’t make the squad on opening day, then it is an even better risk. But I don’t think that is the case.

  70. Eric Bowser says:

    What is success for the Pirates this season?

    A. Winning record without making the playoffs
    B. Wild Card but lose game
    C. Division Title but fails to make NLCS
    D. League Pennant but lose World Series
    E. World Series

  71. Andrew says:

    I do not think it is the case either, I didn’t read anything like that and I was just looking around, I certainty could have missed it. However, why would a player sign a contract like that? Maholm who signed an incentive laden contract that does not guarantee a roster spot, received $1.5 million guaranteed. Last year Jonathan Sanchez was paid $1.375 million just by making the roster as an NRI.

  72. Arriba Wilver says:

    First time I ever heard anything like that, too.

  73. The regular season starts on March 31st so they’d better figure out what to do about Volquez soon.

  74. Leo Walter says:

    If you don’t know anything about Rubby De La Rosa,you probably would be better off not saying anything snarky about him.

  75. Leo Walter says:

    + NMR. Sometimes I wonder why I even read some of these comments.

  76. Leo Walter says:

    Thyats why ” they ” are working in MLB and people like you aren’t James. Because they know a lot more about it.

  77. Baywatch says:


  78. Baywatch says:

    Yeah, but Morris’ $10 million was a lot more back then! :-)

  79. Jandy says:

    Spunky! you??? Snarky????

Other blogs
Sports: Rob Rossi | Steel Mill | Chipped Ice | Bucco Blog | iPreps | Pitt Locker Room | Penn State Sports
News: This Just In | Trib List | ICycle | Flow Back | Stories Behind Trib Stories  

» Top Sports
» Top News
» Top Breaking News