The Pittsburgh Pirates Caravan is all over the highways of Western Pennsylvania, but a few hundred miles south in Bradenton today, some Pirates pitchers are right where they need to be. Working hard to help the worst pitching staff in baseball.
Charlie Morton is coming off a dismal season, while Tyler Yates is working his ass off to come back from Tommy John surgery.
Yates is proving one more time that power arms still cause a stir in the loins of baseball executives. Morton shows that “electric” stuff will always be given an opportunity to make it in Pittsburgh. This morning in Bradenton, Morton and Yates were back on the mound throwing hard and Yates worked effortlessly from what our guys could see.
Affection has always surrounded Yates in Pittsburgh, as it’s quite apparent the front office sees something it likes in this 6’4″ pitcher from Hawaii. Meanwhile Morton has frustrated Pirates fans, who have seen the talent he possesses, but have been unable to enjoy him consistently deliver results. Last season, Morton’s struggles were many and 2011 will serve as another opportunity to regain a spot in the Pirates starting rotation.
Back in 2008, Yates was acquired from the Atlanta Braves and has been around the Pirates organization ever since, despite less than impressive numbers. Yates had an ERA+ of 91 and 57 during his time with the Bucs, but has always thrown hard, as in the 96 mile an hour heat, but often times has little control of the pitch.
All that heat caught up with flamethrower as Yates had an elbow injury in May of 2009, and two months later he was getting Tommy John surgery to repair the damage. Yates will compete for a spot in the Pirates pen and if it doesn’t work out, he could be pitching in AAA Indy.
By the looks of Yates today, he is working hard to avoid anything to do with Indianapolis. Let’s trust he can bounce back and the Pirates can get some usage out of the amount of time invested in the right handed Hawaiian.
Much the same could be said about Morton, who spent considerable time in AAA Indianapolis in 2010 being very average at best before being recalled to the Pirates late in the season.
If the front office is proven right with Morton and Yates, who knows, with a little hard work, some luck and a solid 2011, both pitchers could join the Pirates Caravan next season.
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