Pirates minor league report 8/3

By Stephen J. Nesbitt / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette about 17 hours ago

INDIANAPOLIS (63-47) lost to Durham, 4-3. RHP Radhames Liz (3-4, 1.25) was the loser, allowing 4 runs (2 earned) and 2 hits in 6 innings. RF Willy Garcia (.250) homered. C Tony Sanchez (.235) went 2 for 3 with an RBI.

ALTOONA (58-51) did not play.

BRADENTON (55-51) did not play

WEST VIRGINIA POWER (63-43) beat Greenville, 5-1. RHP Austin Coley (13-5, 3.83) was the winner, giving up 1 run and 5 hits in 7 innings. RF Jerrick Suiter (.304) went 2 for 4 with 2 RBIs. 2B Pablo Reyes (.247) had 2 RBIs.

WEST VIRGINIA BLACK BEARS (23-20) beat Auburn, 6-3. RHP Juan Paula (3-2, 5.06) was the winner, allowing 3 runs and 4 hits in 5 innings. 2B Kevin Kramer (.236) went 3 for 3 with 2 RBIs and walked twice. LF Ryan Nagle (.242) had 2 RBIs.

GCL PIRATES (20-11) vs. GCL Tigers, ppd.

BRISTOL (17-20) did not play.

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A.J. Burnett amped for rehab, hopes to pitch again for Pirates

By Stephen J. Nesbitt / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette about 16 hours ago

RHP A.J. Burnett (Ben Margot/AP)

Monday’s news that A.J. Burnett would miss about four weeks with a right flexor strain was a big sigh of relief for Burnett.

"Of all the news that could have come,“ he said, ”this is the most positive."

Burnett met with media for a few minutes before the Pirates’ game Monday night. He seemed grateful the diagnosis hadn’t been far worse, as many had feared. 

Here’s most of what he had to say ...

On when he might return ...

"The timetable is iffy. We're shooting at four weeks. Could be before, could be after." Waiting for soreness of shot to go away. Plan is to pitch again. "This is the news you want in order to get back on the mound. If it was anything ligament-wise, I'd have to reconsider. ... I was hoping for no bad news, but this was the news I was more hoping for than not, because guys come back from this." GRILLI. Talked with a few guys. "It's my best shot to get back on the mound."

Did you let yourself go to that dark place of thinking you’d thrown your last pitch already?

"Everybody was writing it, so you can't help but think about it. I was prepared for both. I've been down this road 12 years ago with the Tommy John. The feeling is so similar when it happens."

Is it encouraging that you should be able to go out on your own terms?

"Honestly, this ain't my terms. This is just what I've got to deal with. The fact I can get back on the mound healthy is what I'm going for. If it's like the other night, I can't take the mound. I won't feel right. If I'm not at a level to compete the way I need to compete and stay within myself where it's not affecting me as a player and a human on the field, then I won't. But this is the news and situation where I can get back to where I can just compete the way I compete without having anything in the back of my mind slowing anything down."

An arm injury made Mariano Rivera decide to play another year. Might you reconsider, too?

"This is my last year. ... I'm not Mariano Rivera. My mind is made up. I have the news now where I feel 100 percent positive that I will return. Now, if the results were different my mind wouldn't be made up, it'd just be a terrible way to go out. The way I look at it is I have given my heart to these guys and this city the best I can, the best I could with coming back, and I'm very pleased I'll get the opportunity hopefully to do that again in four weeks."

Hard to have patience at a time like this? 

"One hundred percent. Yeah. But I'm going to be smart about it, too. There's no going out there like the other night. I can't do that to myself or these guys. It's not fair. But I'm looking forward to it, man, to having no doubts, to putting a step forward every day and getting back out there. I'm not going to jeopardize anything for me not to be able to get on the field. I'm going to do everything in my power to get back on the field."

Did you have your family in town for moral support?

“Yeah, yeah. ... And the support of the fans and the city ... social media has been off the hook. It's really humbling to know everybody is there and has your back."

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Pirates pregame: Francisco Liriano vs. Jon Lester

By Stephen J. Nesbitt / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 1 day ago

LHP Jon Lester (Nam Y. Huh/AP)

Game: Pirates (61-43) vs. Cubs (57-47)

Time: 7:05 p.m.

Site: PNC Park

TV, radio: ROOT Sports, KDKA-FM 93.7

Weather: 73 and partly sunny


1. Gregory Polanco RF

2. Starling Marte LF

3. Andrew McCutchen CF

4. Aramis Ramirez 3B

5. Jung Ho Kang SS

6. Francisco Cervelli C

7. Michael Morse 1B

8. Sean Rodriguez 2B

9. Francisco Liriano LHP


1. Dexter Fowler CF

2. Chris Denorfia LF

3. Kris Bryant 3B

4. Anthony Rizzo 1B

5. Jorge Soler RF

6. Starlin Castro SS

7. David Ross C

8. Jon Lester LHP

9. Addison Russell 2B

 • Michael Morse getting the start at first in his first day as a Pirate. He was acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers at the trade deadline in exhange for Joe Tabata and is expected to start against most left-handers.

• Jon Lester getting the start for the Cubs. He is 6-8 with a 3.26 ERA this season, his first with the Cubs, but he had a 1.66 ERA in six July starts, spanning 43 1/3 innings.

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Minor league report 8/2

Post-Gazette Staff 1 day ago

INDIANAPOLIS (63-46) beat Charlotte, 4-2. RHP Angel Sanchez (5-1, 2.54) was the winner, allowing 1 run and 7 hits in 5 2/3 innings. RF Willy Garcia (.248) and LF Keon Broxton (.236) homered. C Elias Diaz (.272) had 2 RBIs.

ALTOONA (58-51) beat Akron, 7-2. LHP Steven Brault (5-3, 3.21) was the winner, allowing 2 runs and 4 hits in 6 innings. 1B Hunter Morris (.500) went 2 for 4 with 3 RBIs. SS Adam Frazier (.350) went 2 for 5 with 2 RBIs. 3B Edward Salcedo (.237) homered.

BRADENTON (55-51) split a doubleheader against Tampa, losing, 5-2, and winning, 10-5. In the first game, RHP Luis Heredia (4-5, 5.94) was the loser, giving up 4 runs and 7 hits in 2 innings. LF Justin Maffei (.295) homered. In the second game, LHP Cody Dickson (4.25) allowed 4 runs and 7 hits in 2 2/3 innings. RHP Junior Lopez (3-0, 3.12) was the winner. CF Jeff Roy (.357) went 3 for 5 with 2 RBIs.

WEST VIRGINIA POWER (62-43) lost to Lakewood, 5-3. RHP Colten Brewer (3-9, 5.04) was the loser, giving up 4 runs and 7 hits in 6 innings. 1B Chase Simpson (.255) doubled twice and had an RBI. DH Connor Joe (.229) had 2 doubles.

WEST VIRGINIA BLACK BEARS (22-20) lost to Connecticut, 4-2. RHP Dario Agrazal (4-3, 2.87) was the loser, allowing 4 runs (3 earned) and 8 hits in 5 innings. 3B Mitchell Tolman (.250) went 3 for 4.

GCL PIRATES (20-11) did not play.

BRISTOL (17-20) beat Danville, 6-4. RHP Mitch Keller (3.00) gave up 1 run and 4 hits in 3 innings. RHP Tanner Anderson (3-0, 1.80) was the winner. 2B Trae Arbet (.333) went 2 for 4 with 2 RBIs.

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Pirates, Reds discuss hit-by-pitches, dugout-clearing scrum

Bill Brink 1 day ago

CINCINNATI -- In case you missed it, here is Sunday’s benches-clearing issue (wouldn’t call it a brawl), or as Reds manager Bryan Price, put it, “More rugby than cage fighting.”

Quick recap: Joe Blanton hit Marlon Byrd high, up near his head, last night. 

“The line is whenever you go above somebody's shoulder -- that's where it is, that's the line,” Byrd said today.

Today, Pedro Villarreal hit Andrew McCutchen in the upper back.

“I was a bit surprised that they would want to retaliate,” McCutchen said. “You should do that early in the game and get it over with.”

Tony Watson then hit Brandon Phillips. 

“I just pound fastballs in, you guys have seen that for the last four years,” Watson said. “Got away. I don’t need to sit here and explain. It’s just one of those things.”

Benches clear at this point. They get heated, then relax, three different times, but nobody really does anything. Involved: Byrd, Todd Frazier, Skip Schumaker, Sean Rodriguez, Joey Votto. Votto, Rodriguez and Byrd were tossed.

In the ninth, with a man on and a three-run lead, Mark Melancon hit Tucker Barnhart. This one, it would seem was unintentional -- brought the tying run to the plate -- but because the benches were warned, Melancon was ejected.

“Knowing the situation, guy’s already on base, tying run comes up to the plate if you hit him ... I feel like the feel for the game is necessary there,” Melancon said. 

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