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 »

Ohman sweepstakes down to PIT & FLA?; Padres out of the running?


The Pirates, Padres, and Marlins all have offers on the table for reliever Will Ohman who is considered one of the best lefty relievers remaining on the market. The sweepstakes for Ohman may be down to the Pirates and Marlins. It was reported today that the Padres appear to be a long-shot and may be out of the running for Ohman. It’s believed the Pirates and Marlins have higher offers on the table. The Pirates offer is believed to be in the $1.1 million range. As of yesterday Ohman, 31, was reportedly waiting for other offers from three contenders. The Phillies, Cardinals made inquiries and were considered two of the three contenders Ohman was waiting on but reports surfaced today that both teams won’t be pursuing Ohman. The Mets and Dodgers have remained in touch with Ohman but no offer has been made to this point