MLB: Team to meet with McLouth’s agent; Iwakuma not on radar at this point; Latest on Jeff Francis


Latest Pirates Buzz — When free agency opened up, the Pirates were among the first teams contacted by Jim Lindell, the agent for free agent starting pitcher Jeff Francis The two sides have remained in contact leading into this weeks Winter Meetings which are underway in Dallas. The 30 year old Francis went 6-16 with a 4.82 ERA in 31 starts last season for Kansas City. Francis who has been “injury plagued”, dealing with shoulder issues, logged 183 innings in 2011, showing for at least one season that he can endure a starters load. Francis was one of Clint Hurdle’s aces for the Rockies 2007 team that advanced to the World Series. That season Francis won 17 games and earned the nickname “Jeff Franchise”. The Pirates pursued Francis last off-season and made an offer. Francis made $3.65 million last season with the Royals after reaching incentives. He is looking forRead More »

Pirates take 2 of 3 from the Tigers


Pirates move four games behind Brewers for first place Ross Ohlendorf picked up his first win in his last five starts as the Pirates took two of three from the Detroit Tigers to move four games behind the Milwaukee Brewers for first place in the National League Central. Ohlendorf had his strongest outing of the season, limiting the Tigers to one run and two hits over 6 innings to end a two game losing streak. Delwyn Young, replacing the slumping Brandon Moss, had three hits and Andrew McCutchen was 2 for 3 as Tigers pitcher Dontrelle Willis gave up a career-high eight walks and six earned runs in 3 2/3 innings and took the loss. Young pushed his batting average to .358 and has earned himself more playing time as the Pirates begin a three game road trip in Minnesota on Tuesday. The Andrew McCutchen era is off to aRead More »

Pirates Weekly Report: Huntington starting to develop a plan for the future?


5/31 – 6/7 (Record: 3-4) The Trade of Nate McLouth showed Pirates fans and Major League Baseball that Pirates GM Neal Huntington is a risk taker. The trade sent shockwaves through the Pirates fan base and the reception of the trade has been aboout 90% negative. Huntington knew the trade of McLouth wouldn’t go over easy with fans but whether you agree with the trade or not, at least Huntington is starting to develop a model of how he wants to construct his team in the future. Buster Olney reported this week that he heard the Pirates were concerned about Nate McLouth’s defensive abilities, so they moved him now before his trade value diminished. Based on Neal Huntington’s comments that appears to be the truth and despite winning a gold glove in 2008, many scouts felt McLouth was the most over-rated center fielder (defensively) in the game. Looking to acquireRead More »

Pirates stressing speed at the top of their lineup


New York Mets (28-23) @ Pittsburgh Pirates (24-28) The Pirates begin life without All Star center fielder Nate McLouth this afternoon as the Pirates take on the second place New York Mets at PNC Park. The trade of McLouth has caught fans and teammates by surprise and today’s game will be all about the debut of AAA top prospect Andrew McCutchen. The Pirates who have talked about building a team in the model of the Minnesota Twins are stressing

Pirates trade Nate McLouth to Atlanta; Move paves the way for Andrew McCutchen


In this day and age of instant information, hardly any trade talks are secret. Yet nothing foretold the bombshell the Pirates dropped Wednesday night. The Pirates traded center fielder Nate McLouth to the Atlanta Braves for three minor-leaguers less than four months after signing him to a three-year, $15.75-million and just one season after he hit 26 home runs, stole 23 bases, played in his first All-Star Game and won a National League Gold Glove for fielding excellence. McLouth was hitting .256 with nine homers, 34 RBIs and seven stolen bases in 45 games this season. “We had been talking for a couple of weeks but we kept it very tightly under wraps,” Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said. “The Braves felt they wanted to make an early strike in the trade market this season. Though we didn’t want to trade Nate, we also realize that no player is everRead More »

Pirates to consider using McCutchen in RF?


The Latest Pirates Buzz The Pirates struggles in Milwaukee continue as the Brewers beat the Pirates 10-5 Monday night. The Pirates rallied to tie the game at 5-5 in the top of the 8th inning but the Pirates bullpen imploded, surrendering 5 runs. The Pirates are 11-8 through 19 games. Moss batting .216 on the season. With Nyjer Morgan among the Pirates top hitters this season, there is some talk that the Pirates have had internal discussions about using Andrew McCutchen in right field and going with an outfield of Morgan ‚Äì McLouth ‚Äì McCutchen, when the Pirates decide to call up McCutchen. The Pirates will stick with right fielder Brandon Moss for the time being as the Pirates have to find out what they have in Moss. It will be a PR nightmare if Moss doesn‚Äôt pan out as it will look like the Pirates basically traded Jason BayRead More »

Duke throws CG, 4-hit shutout in 7-0 win


In front of a sell out crowd, Zach Duke threw a four hit, complete game shutout leading the Pittsburgh Pirates (4-3) to a 7-0 victory over the Houston Astros (1-6), Monday afternoon at PNC Park. Duke (2-0) is off to a strong start after a 5-14 season in 2008 and credits pitching coach Joe Kerrigan for the turnaround. Duke‚Äôs complete game shutout was the first by a Pirates pitcher in a home opener since 1978 While Duke dominated on the pitchers mound, Freddy Sanchez had three doubles, starting a five run third inning for the Pirates. Adam LaRoche who is notoriously a slow starter in April had three hits including a two run homer in the third inning to give the Pirates a 4-0 lead. Nyjer Morgan capped off the Pirates 5-run third inning, with a two-run single, scoring Ramon Vazquez and Jack Wilson. Ryan Doumit added a solo homerunRead More »

McLouth, Doumit power Pirates to 10-2 win


Nate McLouth went 2-for-3 with a homerun, 3 rbi‚Äôs and Ryan Doumit hit a 9th inning grand slam as the Pittsburgh Pirates (3-2) thumbed the Cincinnati Reds (1-3) 10-2 Saturday afternoon. McLouth‚Äôs 1st inning 2 run home run gave starting pitcher Paul Maholm a early 2-0 lead and Maholm took over from there. Maholm pitched 7 innings, allowing three hits and one earned run. Maholm (1-0) threw 101 pitches, 65 for strikes, including three strike outs. Maholm has a 1.32 era in two starts this season. Nyjer Morgan continues his strong play through the first week of season. Morgan went 3-for-4 with 2 runs scored, 1 RBI, 1 BB and has established himself as the Pirates leadoff hitter. Ryan Doumit‚Äôs grand slam in the 9th inning was his first career grand slam. Doumit went 3-for-5 on the afternoon as Morgan, McLouth and Doumit combined for 8 of the Pirates 12Read More »

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