May 2009 - Pittsburgh Pirates Wiretap
Pittsburgh's Capps Escapes With Serious Injury
Pirates closer Matt Capps has no fractures or other damage in his right elbow after being hit with a line drive on Sunday. The incident occurred late in the team's 10-8 win over the Cubs. Capps had X-rays after the game, and was experiencing extreme stiffness and soreness.
Sanchez Goes 6-For-6 For Pirates
The Pirates injected second baseman Freddy Sanchez in the lineup on Monday, and he rewarded them by going 6-for-6. Sanchez had been stuck in an 8-for-45 slump. Pittsburgh manager John Russell was thinking about sitting Sanchez against the Cubs. "I guess I was smart enough to keep him in [on Monday]," Russell said after the game. "An outstanding night for him."
Pirates Claim Steven Jackson From Yankees
The Pittsburgh Pirates have claimed minor league right-handed pitcher Steven Jackson off waivers from the New York Yankees organization. To make room on the 40-man roster, right-handed pitcher Jimmy Barthmaier was unconditionally released. The 27-year-old Jackson was 0-0 with one save and a 1.88 ERA in seven games (one start) this year for the Triple-A Scranton-Wilkes Barre Yankees before being designated for assignment on May 8. Jackson, who was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis, was scored upon twice in his six relief appearances with Scranton-Wilkes Barre before allowing one run in 4.0 innings in his start and final appearance on May 7 at Indianapolis.
Pirates, Yankees Swap Minor Leaguers
The Pirates acquired minor league right-handed pitcher Eric Hacker from the Yankees organization in exchange for minor league right-handed pitcher Romulo Sanchez on Saturday. The 26-year-old Hacker went a combined 1-2 with a 6.03 ERA and 20 strikeouts in six starts with the Double-A Trenton Thunder and Triple-A Scranton-Wilkes Barre Yankees this season before being designated for assignment on May 9. Hacker, who was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis following the trade, was originally selected by the Yankees in the 23rd round of the 2002 draft.
Pedro Alvarez Swinging Too Hard?
Pedro Alvarez has belted six homeruns, but he also has struck out 35 times in 31 games. "Pedro's swinging out of the zone right now, no question, and we're working on that," director of player development Kyle Stark said. "On top of that, he's swinging very hard, which is why you see the great contact when he does hit it. We know he has the power, but we also know he's a more complete hitter."
Adam LaRoche Makes Baseball History
Adam LaRoche became the first player to have a home run taken away by video replay. LaRoche's flyball struck either a railing or small protective screen above the 21-foot wall in right field. "If I could have bet the day this started, I would have put a lot of money on myself to be the first," LaRoche said after his first-inning drive to right field went from a homer to a double in a couple of minutes. "That's kind of the way it goes. I can laugh those things off now, but if there's a couple of guys on and we lose by one, it's huge."
Pirates GM: Pitchers' Quick Start Will Slow
The Pirates have one of the best pitching staffs in baseball statistically, but general manager Neal Huntington anticipates that they'll came back down to earth. Pittsburgh has a team ERA of 3.42, are allowing just 3.70 runs per game, and the team has the best defensive efficiency rating (.731) in the majors. "There's one big indicator that shows we've benefitted from good fortune, which is batting average (on) balls in play," Huntington said. "We're markedly variant from the average, which means we're going to have a lot more hits fall in there pretty soon." The Pirates have a .267 BABIP ? tops in the majors and about 30 points better than average. "We feel like our pitchers are better," Huntington said. "Our defense is better from a personnel standpoint and a positioning standpoint. (Coaches) Perry Hill and Gary Varsho have been very aggressive in positioning our fielders. We feel like we're in the right spot more often than we were a year ago. "Are we going to have (rough) stretches? We probably will. But we do think our guys are better, and as a result we're better than we were a year ago. I don't know if we're going to hold in the top five all year, but it certainly won't be a reason to panic if we have an outing or two when we give up some runs."
Wilson 'Blown Away' By Allegation A-Rod Tipped Pitches
Pirates shortstop Jack Wilson was "blown away" when he caught wind of allegations that Alex Rodriguez tipped pitches to hitters while playing for the Rangers. "I've never heard of it. When I read it, I was kind of blown away that that could even happen," Wilson said. "Other than Bobby Thomson's 'Shot Heard Round the World' - they say he got his pitch tipped - this is the only other time I ever heard about it." Selena Roberts, the author of a new book about the Yankees star, told SI.com that Rodriguez would twist his glove hand to indicate a changeup, sweep the dirt in front of him to signal a slider and would bend in the direction where the pitch was going to be, inside or outside. "It'd be easy to do, real easy to do," Wilson said. "It's not hard at all. If I see fastball, I could do something at short to show if there was an off-speed pitch coming or fastball. It would be very easy to do. I just don't actually see anybody doing it. "I don't think that player would be in our clubhouse anymore. You've got to have 25 guys in here that you can trust to be on the same page, going out there to win every game. Not only are people here to play baseball, but they're here for their careers and their families. By doing that, you're jeopardizing their livelihood, as well."