The Pirates need bullpen help. If you’re paying attention to what two of their relief pitchers are doing this winter, maybe help is on the way. The spring training is also rumored to feature a battle at shortstop.
Are you jonesin’ to see some Pirates in action? This is the best we could come up with for your baseball jones. One Pirate SS, this one the favorite for the job, Ronny Cedeno, is trying to prove he can do it all for Coach Carlos Garcia. Watch the video here if the one below doesn’t work.
Perhaps the front office realizes the
bullpen help is on the way and is patching holes in 2010 to see what sticks. It certainly makes sense after the research we have been doing lately. Take a look around in the AA and A levels for the Pirates, and knock-knock, we see some help a few years away.
Certainly, it is positive to see two Pirates pitchers doing well this winter. Jean Machi and Ronald Uviedo have pitched well enough to make Joe Kerrigan’s right hand man and new coach at the big league level, Ray Seagure, proud as he works this winter in Venezuela.
The Bucs might be proud of the work Machi has done, but Machi must have upset someone on the Pirates marketing staff. Sure, the 5’11,” 245 pound Machi isn’t going to be confused with anyone on the People magazine TOP 50 Most Beautiful list, but to not even have a picture up on his player page? Surely, the web team has had their hands full with all of the Neal Huntington acquisitions, but come on man.
Not to matter because soon enough that picture will be fixed as Machi has earned an invite to spring training. For good reason, because the fastball slider pitcher has been on an impressive run.
From Sandlot Swashbucklers:
"Machi has been announced as Pitcher of the Year and Closer of the Year. He had impressive stats in the league. Machi, who pitched for both the Altoona Curve and the Indianapolis Indians in the 2009 summer season, made 31 relief appearances for Los Navegantes del Magallanes this winter. He earned a 2-0 record and 16 saves in the regular season for Magallanes, with a 1.25 ERA. In 36 innings, Machi gave up 22 hits and only 6 runs (5 earned). He walked only 6 batters while striking out 27. Opposing batters hit .177 against him. The Venezuelan native, who will turn 28 next month, has signed another minor league contract with the Pirates for the 2010 season and has been invited to major league spring training."
The Blue Jays cut Machi loose after an awful 2008. He had a tiff with his manager that surely didn’t help his cause. He pitched well against both lefties and righties with Indy. Not so much for the Curve.
In Venezuela Machi has held opponents to a .177 batting average. He is older than most, but who knows, Machi is pitching well and will be confident heading into Bradenton. Some of the other Pirate relief pitchers will be simply glad to have an invite.
Like Machi, Ronald Uviedo is from Venezuela and has been pitching in Venezuela Winter League since he was 18 years old and Mariners property. This winter, Uviedo pitched in a setup role and has really shown improvement. While last year he allowed hitters to knock him around, this year he has held opponents to a .202 average.
Two good signs for Uviedo. The first, he has a picture on his player page. The second good sign is Neal Huntington must have known long before we caught on when he placed him on the 40 man roster.
“He throws strikes,” Huntington told Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com. “As we evaluated the types of players that get selected, those guys who throw strikes are the type of guys that catch a scout’s eye or get the interest of someone in the front office. We didn’t want to risk losing that.”
We’re buying it too. Got a feeling that this kid might be ready to officially move up the prospect list. Young. Good heat. A slider he is agressive with and a bat missing strike thrower. When have we actually had that in recent memory?
Tim at Buccofans.com also provided this outstanding video of Uviedo in the most important game for the Pirates organization in, well, quite some time:
Very interesting article for everyone who discounts the impact the bargain bin can have on a Major League Baseball roster:
For everyone bitching about the Pirates not being in the Chapman sweepstakes. Read this:
"btw I’m willing to bet a lot of cash that if Yanks don’t sign Chapman it has more to do with makeup than moneytoo complicated to explain. but no, i don’t think he can go straight to the majors, nor should he"