Tagged: Pirates

First spring roadtrip: Twins at Pirates 3/2

By: Kelly Thesier/MLB.com

BRADENTON, Fla. — It’s been a little bit of a busy morning so far with both Michael Cuddyer and Justin Morneau returning from separate visits to see doctors yesterday.

As you’ve likely already read on this blog, Morneau had a scheduled visit with his doctor in Pittsburgh on Tuesday and he still has not been cleared to play in games. But Morneau said this doctor’s visit is not a sign of a setback. He’s continuing to make progress, there is just no timetable for him yet.

Cuddyer said that it was a mutual decision between himself and the team to have the plantar wart on his left foot removed. The hope was that the cream was working but it was just taking too long. So now, Cuddyer is happy that he should have time at the end of spring to prepare himself for the regular season.

I also spoke with Joe Nathan this morning, who said he was experiencing just normal soreness the day after his first game action. He said it’s no different than what he felt after throwing bullpen sessions, so that’s a positive sign. He also said that scouts had his fastball touching 92 mph on their radar guns Tuesday with his slider around 86-88 mph. Those are good numbers for a guy that typically doesn’t gain velocity until later in spring.

Gardy also said that Brian Duensing has earned the right to be in the rotation, which is the first time this spring that it’s sounds like Duensing might be close to a lock for one of the starting  spots. I’ll have more updates later.

Here are lineups and pitchers today:


Ben Revere, CF
Trevor Plouffe, SS
Kubel, DH
Danny Valencia, 3B
Luke Hughes, 2B
Jeff Bailey, 1B
Brian Dinkelman, LF
Steve Holm, C
Jason Repko, RF
Pitching: LHP Brian Duensing

Others scheduled to pitch: Matt Capps, Pat Neshek, Phil Dumatrait, Jeff Manship, Dusty Hughes

Pirates (3-2)

Jose Tabata, LF
Corey Wimberly, SS
Andrew McCutchen, CF
Pedro Alvarez, 3B
Neil Walker, 2B
Lyle Overbay, 1B
Steve Pearce, DH
Ryan Doumit, C
Andrew Lambo, RF
Pitching: RHP Ross Ohlendorf

scheduled to pitch: Tony Watson, Joel Hanrahan, Jose Veras, Mike Crotta, Chris Leroux

Twins vs. Pirates 3/30

By: Kelly Thesier/MLB.com

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Today marks the final spring outing for Francisco Liriano.

The Twins have yet to name a fifth starter, although manager Ron Gardenhire has made it clear that Liriano has the edge for the role. So we’ll see if the manager decides to name his fifth starter or will wait a little longer to make the decision.

Glen Perkins and Ron Mahay are both scheduled to pitch in Minor League contests today. Delmon Young will also get some swings down on the other side of the complex as well.

Pirates (7-16)
John Raynor, RF

Ramon Vazquez, 3B

Bobby Crosby, SS
Ryan Church, CF
Steve Pearce, 1B
Delwyn Young, 2B
Robbie Grossman, LF
Jason Jaramillo, C

Pitching: RHP Charlie Morton

Twins (13-11)

Denard Span, CF

Orlando Hudson, 2B
Joe Mauer, C
Justin Morneau, 1B

Michael Cuddyer, RF
Jim Thome, DH
Jason Kubel, LF
J.J. Hardy, SS
Nick Punto, 3B
Pitching: LHP Francisco Liriano

Others scheduled to pitch: Jesse Crain, Matt Guerrier

A reminder you can follow me on Twitter  @kellythesier

Twins vs. Pirates 3/18

By: Kelly Thesier/MLB.com

The Twins made one cut this morning, optioning right-handed pitcher Rob Delaney to Triple-A Rochester.

Justin Morneau is back in the lineup as expected. Jim Thome also makes his return to Grapefruit League contests after going 1-for-3 with a double and a walk in four plate appearances in a Minor League contest yesterday against Boston’s Class A Greenville affiliate.

Thome wasn’t the only one who played in that Minor League game as Jon Rauch also threw a scoreless inning, walking one and striking out three.

Pirates (4-9)
Ronny Cedeno, SS

Delwyn Young, 2B

Garrett Jones, RF
Jeff Clement, 1B

Lastings Milledge, LF
Brandon Moss, DH

Pedro Alvarez, 3B

John Raynor, CF
Jason Jaramillo, C

Pitching: RHP Ross Ohlendor

Others scheduled to pitch:Chris Jakubauskas, Javier Lopez, Jack Taschner, Brian Bass, Jean Machi

Twins (5-8)

Ben Revere, CF

Orlando Hudson, 2B
Joe Mauer, C
Justin Morneau, 1B
Jim Thome, DH

Michael Cuddyer, RF
Jacque Jones, LF
Brendan Harris, 3B
Matt Tolbert, SS
Pitching: RHP Carl Pavano

Others scheduled to pitch: Jose Mijares, Clay Condrey, Anthony Swarzak, Kyle Waldrop

A reminder you can follow me on Twitter  @kellythesier

Watching from afar

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire always knew that Garrett Jones had power potential, so he hasn’t exactly been surprised by the show that Jones is putting on with his new organization.

Jones was the hero for the Pirates on Friday night when he hit two home runs — including a walkoff shot in the 14th inning — to carry Pittsburgh to a 2-1 win over the Giants.

It was a continuation of the success that Jones has been having with the Pirates. Since being promoted from Triple-A Indianapolis on June 30, Jones has hit seven home runs in 12 games for the Pirates. He’s currently homered in four consecutive games and has batted .313 with nine RBIs in those 12 games.

“I think everybody has always said that if this guy could figure it out and get going and relax enough to let it happen, boy,” Gardenhire said. “Because you watch him in batting practice and sometimes in games when he got ahold of a one, the ball went as far off his bat as anybody’s. I don’t think you’ll find anybody more excited than us to watch those highlights and see those home runs because he’s a quality, quality, person.”

Prior to this season, Jones had spent the last seven years in the Twins organization — including the majority of his past four seasons at Triple-A Rochester. His only previous Major League experience came in 2007, when he batted .208 (16-for-77) with two home runs in 31 games for Minnesota.

Jones didn’t get a call-up last season, playing all year for Rochester. There were some pundits who said that perhaps the club had kept the power hitting infielder in the organization for too long.

But Gardenhire said that the club always knew Jones had the potential, now he has just taken advantage of getting consistent playing time. With the Twins he was expected to come off the bench since the club had Justin Morneau entrenched at first base and a crowded outfield.

“That was a role that was really hard for him,” Gardenhire said. “His swing needed to be out there every day. He needed to be getting 500 swings. I don’t think there was a question he could hit 20 home runs if he got 500 at-bats,. it was whether he could do the role we had for him.”

Things didn’t work out for Jones in Minnesota, but Gardenhire said that there can’t be any regrets about that.

“Sure you wish you could have kept some guys but they move on,” Gardenhire said. “That’s the game of baseball…If they didn’t get it done here, you root for them to get it done somewhere else if they are a quality person. So [to see what Jones is doing], that’s what you hope for”.