So most of this week I’ve spent working on some of the behind the scenes stuff for this site, so that we can be full speed ahead come opening day. But at the same time, I don’t want to completely ignore the spring games that are being played each day now.
One week is in the books, and the Buccos already have 4 wins, not counting the Manatee rout. They had 7 real spring training wins all last spring. Does this guarantee wins come April? Of course not. But it can’t hurt, especially when you are teaching a team how to win. So winning at any time is better than losing any time in my book. And being 4-3 so far is just fine. More importantly though, we should look at individual performances so far this spring, and that is the intent of this article today.
Leading the offensive attack in the first week of spring is the guy who should be our rock this year, Pedro Alvarez. Pedro is off to a .357 start, with three doubles and a triple despite no long balls just yet. In a funny spring quirk, he is leading the team in hits, doubles, triples, RBI and total bases, but not home runs. He also has a team high 4 k’s so far.
Jose Tabata is also off to a good start, hitting .417 with 5 hits in 12 at bats. But despite taking more pitches, our possible leadoff man did not draw a walk yet this spring and all five of his hits are singles so far. T-Bats does have 2 stolen bases during the first week. Legend (Garrett Jones) had a decent start to spring with 3 hits (2 doubles) in 10 at bats so far, while Andrew McCutchen is one of the few Buccos to go deep this week as one of his 3 hits in 14 at bats (.217). Neil Walker went 3 for 12 with a triple during the week (.250) (though Walker just singled against the Phillies as I am writing this) and likely starting catcher Chris Snyder was 4 for 7 and a walk for a decent start to the exhibition season. Newcomer Lyle Overbay also has a home run as one of his two hits in 10 at bats during the past week (.200), though also just singled against the Phillies to make it 3 for 11 (how about that for up to the minute batting average stats?).
Some guys struggling so far include starting shortstop Ronny Cedeno (o for 11 so far) which is disappointing to see, but something to keep an eye on over the next few weeks. Matt Diaz is also starting a little slow with one hit in 12 Pirate at bats this year. Well, until just now, like Walker and Overbay, as he just singled as well to move to 2 for 13 on the season. Three straight hits for the Buccos I’m typing about right now in today’s game. No such luck for Garrett Jones who ended the first inning and stranded a couple of runners.
But back to spring’s week in review. No real surprises or strong starts from guys needing a big spring to make the team. Corey Winberly is 0 for 8 despite some early hype. Andrew Lambo is 1 for 4 and Alex Presley 1 for 6.
On the pitching side of things, both Brad Lincoln and Charlie Morton are off to good starts, each giving up one earned run on three hits in five innings. Lincoln has 2 K’s while ChuckMo has 1. James McDonald has two scoreless innings under his belt, while Paul Maholm gave up 2 runs on 4 hits in his two inning outing. Ross Ohlendorf gave up 1 run in an inning and two thirds, and Kevin Correia had a couple of runs in his first start as well as two more today in his first inning, but he did settle down today with 4 k’s (so far) today to have a team high 5 K’s on the spring season. Nobody else is really standing out one way or the other, except maybe Mike Crotta having tossed three scoreless innings so far in the past week.
Defensively, Ryan Doumit has given up 2 stolen bases on 2 attempts, which was a major issue last year, which Chris Snyder gunned down the lone steal attempt against him. Doumit also has been charged with two passed balls this week. As a team, the Pirates only have three errors in these first seven games, one each from Josh Fields, Gorkys Hernandez, and Josh Rodriguez, none of which likely to break camp with the Pirates.
So, while not to take too much of this too seriously at this point in the season, it is a first look at even a small sample size of what we might see in 2011. The biggest thing I noticed is the lack of surprises so far, and I am very curious to see if anyone steps up with one of those big springs that force the team to consider adding them to the roster, lineup or rotation. I’ll check back with an update like this each week of spring, and also capture the final spring statistics to keep them for next year and throughout the season so that we can see what these numbers do or do not mean in the grand scheme of things once we have the 2011 season in the books.
Category: Spring Training