MLB Draft: Latest Pirates Draft Buzz


By John Perrotto Who will the Pirates take with their first-round pick in the first-year player draft? Your guess is as good as anyone else’s. “Beyond No. 1, this is the most unsettled draft I’ve seen in a long, long time,” said a scouting director for an American League who asked not to be identified. “There are a million different scenarios that could play out.” The one certainly is that the Washington Nationals will take San Diego State right-hander Stephen Strasburg with the first pick. He is, by far, the best player available in this year’s draft crop, which is generally considered below average. North Carolina first baseman Dustin Ackley, ranked as the top hitter in the draft by most sources, will almost certainly be off the board by the time the Pirates pick as either Seattle will take him at No. 2 or San Diego will grab him withRead More »

Young see’s opportunity to succeed in Pittsburgh


By John Perrotto Delwyn Young has found out what is feels like to be wanted. The Pirates have been trying to trade for the switch-hitting outfielder ever since Neal Huntington became general manager late in the 2007 season. The Pirates finally landed Young on Wednesday, trading either two players to be named or cash consideration to the Los Angeles Dodgers for him. Young, 25, joined the Pirates on Friday night and popped out as a pinch hitter with runners on first and second to end the seventh inning “He’s someone who we’ve had an interest in as an organization for quite some time, particularly for his bat,” Huntington said. “We feel he gives (manager) John Russell another option off the bench, gives him a third or fourth bat off the bench that he can use as a pinch hitter or in double switches.” Scouts who regularly watch the Dodgers feelRead More »

Hampton stifles Pirates in 4-1 win


By John Perrotto Ross Ohlendorf and Mike Hampton both faced 23 batters Wednesday night at PNC Park in the Pirates‚Äô 4-1 loss to the Houston Astros. Ohlendorf, the Pirates‚Äô right-hander, threw the first pitch for strikes to 14 of those batters. Hampton, the Astros‚Äô left-hander, threw 17 first-pitch strikes. That might not seem like a big difference but Pirates manager John Russell felt it was the deciding factor in his team dropping back to .500 at 4-4 and the Astros snapping their five-game losing streak. ‚ÄúHampton got ahead of the hitters all night and put our guys on the defensive,‚Äù Russell said. ‚ÄúRoss was the opposite. He kept falling behind and running a lot of 3-2 counts and it‚Äôs tough to pitch effectively that way.‚Äù Ohlendorf used his two-seam fastball effectively in his first start of the season against the St. Louis Cardinals last Thursday as he allowed three runsRead More »

Pirates acquire Delwyn Young from the Dodgers


TIOPS contributor and baseball insider John Perrotto of has learned, the Pittsburgh Pirates have acquired acquired outfielder Delwyn Young in a trade from the Los Angeles Dodgers for two players to be named. The switch-hitting Young, 26, batted .246 in 83 games for the Dodgers last season and will likely replace infielder Luis Cruiz on the roster, according to Perrotto. Young can also play

Pitching Rotation: Vasquez a player to watch?


BRADENTON, Fla. _ The Pittsburgh Pirates have their first of three off days during the exhibition season Tuesday and have played 12 Grapefruit League games. Thus, it is a good early checkpoint to see how the battle for the four open spots in the starting rotation is shaping up. Finding out who will fall in place in the rotation behind left-hander Paul Maholm, the nominal ace of the staff despite winning just nine games last season, is certainly the most intriguing aspect of the spring for the Pirates. While the Pirates brass says the other rotation spots are unsettled, that is more motivational tactic than cold and hard fact. They are trying to light a fire under some pitchers after their 5.08 team ERA last season was the worst in the National League. Left-hander Zach Duke and right-hander Ian Snell are going to be in the rotation, even if noRead More »