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On location: Rays 4, Pirates 1, exhibition

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. — Looking ahead to first pitch …

Game: Pirates vs. Tampa Bay Rays, exhibition

Time: 1:05 p.m.

Site: Charlotte Sports Park

TV, radio: None.

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, photographer Chris Horner and I are on the scene for the Trib.

If you missed it this morning, here was the Thursday column on Andrew Lambo, as well as the accompanying video …

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. John Perazich says:

    Dejan – We were in Beograd last summer and had a very good Serbian wine with your (last) name on it! Any relation?
    Will be in Bradenton next week for several games.

  2. Jim S. says:

    I see Martin and Cutch are both slumping. They each made an out in the 1st. Averages dropped to .500 and .556, respectively.

    Jeanmar with a lock down 1st inning

  3. Nate83 says:

    I really hope Jeanmar isn’t the odd man out in the bullpen. He was so valuable last year I would have to think he earned the trust of the coaching staff more then someone like Morris but we will have to wait and see in a few weeks how it all shakes out. Maybe injuries happen and it all takes care of itself.

  4. 21sthebest says:

    The convenience list!

  5. Jim S. says:

    I don’t see any way that happens, Nate, for the exact reasons you gave. Jeanmar is much more valuable than a Morris or Mazzaro, since he is a swing guy. They are giving him starters innings so far, to keep him built up. I think he is safe. Clint loves him, I think.

  6. Arriba Wilver says:

    Jeanmar is a lock IMHO. Need to re-read DK’s points about Cole and Spring Training.

  7. Jim S. says:

    Tampa is knocking him around quite a bit, though, today. 7 hits and a couple of runs in 2.1 so far.

  8. Jim S. says:

    Bengals released James Harrison. And, I was certain he had several more good years left after the Steelers released him. Ok … no, I didn’t.

  9. Jim S. says:

    Travis says sinker not sinking for Jeanmar. DK says he might want to go with something off-speed. Both are right, I would guess.

    My take is ST is the time to stubbornly insist on throwing the pitches you need to improve upon because you need them in April, which are not necessarily the ones that you think you can get guys out with in March.

    Pitchers who are fighting for spots on the team are trying to get guys out. I think Jeanmar is definitely safe.

  10. Jim S. says:

    Thornton – 3 batters faced, 2 K’s so far. I am really intrigued by this guy. I have not seen him pitch, but he strikes out tons of hitters w/o the benefit of a mid-90’s fastball. He may get a shot at some point this year in Pittsburgh.

  11. Nate83 says:

    I am as well Jim. I saw him on a list of 3-4 possible surprise players that may contribute at sometime this year for the Pirates. Just like last year when they had a few guys step up and play well like Jeanmar, Cumpton and Irwin they will need the same this year. I really like the pitching depth and feel comfortable with being able to replace guys because of performance.

  12. Careful, 21. That list upsets some folk when mentioned. Although it truly exists. And nobody uses it better than our PBC.


  13. Jim S. says:

    Honestly, I wonder what scouts see that doesn’t get him to the show yet. His stuff has pretty much played everywhere. For his career:

    245 innings
    213 hits
    62 BB
    277 K’s
    13 HR
    1.12 WHIP
    11.3 K/9 & 1.8 BB/9 in AA
    11.0 K/9 & 1.4 BB/9 in AAA

    Oh yeah, he’s also been better at AA/AAA than lower levels.

    He’ll be 26 in May, so I don’t know what the holdup is. Just goes to show you, I guess, it isn’t all about stats in the minors. But, I don’t know what he needs to show them.

  14. theplanisworking says:

    Any rumors he beat his g/f over this news?

  15. Nate83 says:

    His 2012 didn’t look all that impressive. He’s has only had 4 years in the minors so that one hiccup probably delayed him a little. He only pitched 53 inning that year and bounced back nicely last year so maybe there was an injury that cost him a few months and maybe hurt his performance as well. Also 23rd round pick so he wasn’t exactly going to be moved too quickly through the minors unless he was just destroying the competition.

  16. Jim S. says:

    We got him from Oakland in a trade.

    Morris threw 2 perfect innings with 3 K’s. Maybe he’s feeling a little nudge.

  17. The Gunner says:

    Didn’t old man Rooney say that behavior was acceptable since he & the g/f (or wife) were arguing over whether or not to take their child to Bible school or Sunday school?

  18. Unpunch his bus ticket to Indy for now.

    But, of course, ST means nothing, right?


  19. Jim S. says:

    I think it means what we want it to mean. If a guy we like is hitting or pitching well, ST stats are important. If a guy we don’t like is not hitting or pitching well, ST stats are important.

    And vice versa.

  20. Jim S. says:

    Wandy threw 3 scoreless vs. Toronto minor leaguers. Only significant because he keeps tacking on innings with no apparent issues.

  21. Brendan says:

    I’ve been very skeptical about his health. But so far so good.

  22. Jim S. says:

    Baptism, I believe.

  23. Jim S. says:

    I’m with you, Brendan. I keep thinking he might have a setback.

  24. I agree, Jim. If ST meant nothing, there would be no competitions or nothing determined by players’ play who are on the bubble or fringe.

    Now, guys like Cole, Liriano, Morton, etc. are definitely working on stuff and throwing certain pitches and hitters are doing things with their stances, etc., but nobody can tell me that ST means nothing.

  25. NMR says:

    “Pitchers who are fighting for spots on the team are trying to get guys out.”

    Wouldn’t this imply that coaches care about spring training stats?

    NO chance Hurdle is sitting down at the end of spring and pulling up ERA to make roster cuts.

  26. NMR says:

    “If ST meant nothing, there would be no competitions or nothing determined by players’ play who are on the bubble or fringe.”

    When was the last time you actually heard somebody say Spring Training meant nothing?

    I can’t say I ever have.

  27. Milo Hamilton says:

    Something to keep in mind about Spring Training. I think the Pirates showed last year that poor spring performances by unproven players wont keep them from making the club. Last year the Pirates determined Jeff Locke was going to get a shot in the rotation. He had a pretty lousy spring but still came north. Same probably goes for Andrew Lambo. If they decided over the winter he was going to get his shot, then I’m thinking they’re ignoring his awful spring. And I’ve got $5 million reasons why Edinson Volquez can give up all the runs he wants in March.

    About today’s game in Port Charlotte – I got too much sun. And the Pirates got too few hits. But on the bright side, I did get to see Jerry Sands play 1st base !

  28. Milo Hamilton says:

    Oh, and I did run into legendary former Knoch basketball coach Les Shoop.

  29. NMR says:


  30. Brandie says:

    Thank you for the update Milo. I hope you feel better soon.


  31. Milo Hamilton says:

    Burnt but unbowed. :)

  32. Milo Hamilton says:

    Bryan Morris struck Jerry out in his only AB. Today was the best I’ve ever seen Morris throw. Not even close.

  33. NMR says:

    Jerry Sands sighting brings back memories of the great 1B/RF backlog of ’13. How are they ever gonna get all these guys at-bats?!

  34. Brandie says:

    You sir are a hockey player!

  35. NMR says:

    Let me ask, would you feel the same if there wasn’t confusion about possibly maybe having arthritis?

  36. theplanisworking says:

    Wait, did the Pens secretly trade for Milo and Lambo?

    I am confused……….

  37. Milo Hamilton says:

    As I was out for my walk this morning (I fit in so well down here), and I ran into a guy who was here to fix the furnace in one of the condos in the building I’m staying. He said the guy wanted it done today because it was going down to 50 tonight. Hysterical. I’ll be opening the windows.

  38. Nothing is probably the wrong word.

    Should have said very little or not as much.

    Take a day off, NMR. You’re working too much.

  39. NMR says:

    Ah, you’re definitely right on that Lucky. I’m cranky lately. My apologies.

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