Pirates GM Neal Huntington “still waiting for relievers to step up”

 

By John Perrotto_The focus of the Pirates’ spring training camp has been the starting rotation but the bullpen is even more unsettled with the April 6 opener at St. Louis less than two weeks away. The rotation is 60 percent set with left-handers Paul Maholm and Zach Duke assured of spots along with right-hander Ian Snell while two jobs remain open in a three-man competition between Jeff Karstens, Ross Ohlendorf and Virgil Vasquez. Conversely, less than half of the seven bullpen jobs have been filled as the Pirates are still looking for four relievers to fill in behind closer Matt Capps, left-handed set-up man John Grabow and right-handed set-up man Tyler Yates. “Quite frankly, we’re, still waiting for people to step up,” Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said. “Nobody has really distinguished themselves.” Left-hander Sean Burnett appeared to be all

Wednesday’s Spring Training Report

 

Brian Kelly Live from Bradenton Reports the following The buzz around Spring training continues to be Nate McLouth who signed a three year – $15.75 contract yesterday. Management has gone into spring training with a open mind regarding Prospect 3B Neil Walker. Walker begins Spring Training #2 on the Major League depth chart behind 3B Andy LaRoche. Laroche is expected to be the Pirates opening day starter at third but the Pirates are not very high on him. They were active in free agency pursuing a veteran third baseman. Good opportunity for Walker to make a strong impression in Spring Training for a potential callup by mid-season. Walker has fared well so far. Another very good day for the Pirates

Spring Training Report

 

Pirates catchers and pitchers have already arrived to Bradenton and a number of position players have arrived early including 2008 1st round draft Pedro Alvarez. Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus released his top 100 minor league prospects with Pedro Alvarez coming in as Goldstein‚Äôs #4 prospect. Orioles catcher Matt Wieters is rated as the top minor league prospect in the majors. Two other Pirates prospects received some recognition. Centerfielder Andrew McCutchen came in at #25 and outfielder Jose Tabata #91. Alvarez who showed up to minicamp 20 lbs over his normal playing weight (235) is in good shape as the official start of training camp begins on Tuesday. Alvarez has been running the base pads well and his bat speed is impressive for a power hitter.¬†The Pirates seem very excited to see how Alvarez performs in Spring Training games which begin on February 25th. It is very early but theRead More »