Davis and Chavez removed from 40-man roster

The Pirates removed Jason Davis and Raul Chavez from the 40-man roster today. These moves were expected, and they leave two open spots on the roster. The team will likely select at least one player in the Rule Five Draft on December 11.

40-Man Roster

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Posted in Jason Davis, Raul Chavez, Transactions. Comments Off on Davis and Chavez removed from 40-man roster

Pirates add five to 40-man roster

The Pirates added five players to the 40-man roster today, protecting them from the Rule V Draft. As expected, Neil Walker and Jose Tabata were among those additions. Reliever Jeff Sues also was added. This was not surprising after his impressive return from an injury in 2007. Over 64.1 innings with Lynchburg and Altoona last season, Sues struck out 72 and walked 26.

The unexpected additions were catcher Steve Lerud and reliever Ronald Uviedo. I expected those two spots would go to Kyle Bloom and Jamie Romak. Bloom struggled with control this year, but picked things up in the second half of the season. He was also impressive in winter ball in Hawaii, striking out 32 and walking 11 in 30 innings. Romak hit .279/.360/.552 with a .398 wOBA in 331 plate appearances with Lynchburg. He struggled after being promoted to Altoona, and was lousy during a stint in the Arizona Fall League.

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Game #120: Maholm Mows Down Reds

PNC Park | 7:05 | Maholm vs. Josh Fogg | Box
Paul Maholm allowed two runs on seven hits over eight innings to get the win. The runs came on solo homers from Corey Patterson and Jay Bruce.
The Pirates went off on Josh Fogg in the fifth inning to take the lead for good. Jason Micheals hit a two run homer and Ryan Doumit just missed a two out grand slam, but settled for a ground rule double when a fan in right field reach out and touched his high fly ball. Brandon Moss, who had doubled and scored on Michael’s tater, added a solo homer off of former Bucco Mike Lincoln in the 8th.
Maholm tossed 69 of his efficient 97 pitches for strikes. John Grabow finished for the save.
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Posted in 2008 Pittsburgh Pirates, August, Cincinnati Reds, Game Threads, Home, Josh Fogg, Mike Lincoln, Nate McLouth, Paul Maholm, Raul Chavez. Comments Off on Game #120: Maholm Mows Down Reds

John Russell scoffs at logic

I try not to worry too much about quotes from baseball managers. I understand that they are rarely going to say exactly what they are thinking, often resulting in weird, illogical quotes. But John Russellís reasoning for keeping Freddy Sanchez at the top of the order left me speechless:

“Without going into a lot of detail, you have to look at it a lot of different ways,” Russell said. “Yeah, we’d like to get Freddy going. But you also have to look at how the lineup balances out. Best case scenario: Freddy hits in the two-hole, and we’ve got a very potent top of the order. If we move him to the bottom, now we’re looking at too many potential outs in one spot. If Freddy’s not hitting where he is now, we’ve got Nate McLouth and Ryan Doumit right there. If you put him near the bottom, the pitcher’s there.”

So, in an effort to keep the 7-8-9 guys productive, you would prefer to sacrifice the top of the order? I guess that makes sense, considering the players at the top get the most plate appearances.
Sure, I guess the occasional inning of Raul Chavez, Sanchez and the pitcher would be uninspiring. One would not have high expectations for scoring runs in that inning. But that is no reason to purposely hinder the top of the order.

Posted in 2008 Pittsburgh Pirates, Freddy Sanchez, John Russell, Nate McLouth, Raul Chavez, Ryan Doumit. Comments Off on John Russell scoffs at logic

Game #75: Long Ball Leads Efficient Offense

PNC Park | 7:05 | Maholm vs. Jesse Litsch | Box
The Pirates only had seven base runners tonight. Fortunately, six of them scored. All the damage came via two run homers. Jason Bay, Raul Chavez and Jose Bautista did the damage. Bautista has four homers in his last seven games.
All the homers came off Jesse Litsch. Bucs starter Paul Maholm was effective in seven innings. He allowed three runs on seven hits and three walks, but whiffed just one.
Quick game at just over two hours in duration.
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Posted in 2008 Pittsburgh Pirates, Doug Mientkiewicz, Game Threads, Home, Interleague, Jason Bay, Jose Bautista, June, Paul Maholm, Raul Chavez. Comments Off on Game #75: Long Ball Leads Efficient Offense

Game #63: Big Inning, Dumatrait Pace Bucs

PNC Park | 1:35 | Dumatrait vs. Doug Davis | Box
The Pirates continue to get just enough from Phil Dumatrati. He went 5-2/3 and gave up two runs. The Pirates supported him with a five run fourth inning and hung on to win 6-4.
A two run, two out double from Jason Bay capped the scoring in the fourth, an inning in which the Bucs sent 10 men to the plate. Dumatrait was pulled with two on and two gone in the fifth. Tyler Yates walked the first man he faced, but got out of the jam by getting Mary Reynolds to ground out.
That was about the only time Reynolds didn’t come through. He hit a solo homer off Dumatrait and added a two run shot of Franquelis Osoria for the final tallies of the game.
Matt Capps surrendered a two out single en route to his 14th save of the year.
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Posted in 2008 Pittsburgh Pirates, Freddy Sanchez, Game Threads, Home, Jason Bay, June, NL West, Phil Dumatrait, Raul Chavez, Tyler Yates. Comments Off on Game #63: Big Inning, Dumatrait Pace Bucs

Doumit activated, Paulino demoted

After tonight’s victory over the Astros, the Pirates activated Ryan Doumit from the disabled list and optioned Ronny Paulino to Triple-A Indianapolis. It has been a quick fall for Paulino, who has gone from starter to backup to minor leaguer in less than six months.
This move was not unexpected, and it makes sense. Paulino was not hitting much better than Raul Chavez, and Chavez is clearly the best defensive catcher on the team. Paulino serves very little purpose as a backup at this point, and this allows him to collect some at-bats instead of wasting away on the Pirates’ bench.
Doumit’s return should be a welcome boost to the Pirates’ lineup, as he was providing superb offensive production before his injury.