Indy Indians Preview: Vinnie Chulk and Brian Bass

Chulk was invited to the Pirates’ major league camp for spring training and given the chance to make the big league bullpen. �He pitched in 7 Grapefruit League games, but had some good days and some not-so-good days. �On the three good days, he threw a total of 4 scoreless innings, allowing 2 hits and striking out 9 batters (5 batters in 2 innings on March 7th). �On the not-so-good days, he twice gave up one run in one inning of work, and on March 14th, gave up a solo home run in a 2-inning outing. �On March 19th, he allowed 3 runs, including a solo homer, on 3 hits and two walks, and recorded only one out. �Chulk was reassigned to minor league camp on March 30th, and should be in the Indianapolis bullpen to begin 2010. �The Pirates will undoubtedly need fresh arms in their bullpen at some point in the season (or at many points), so a strong showing by Chulk with the Indians could earn him a call-up.

Brian Bass also signed as a minor league free agent, back in January. �Bass was the Royals’ 6th round draft pick in 2000, and he played in their system for 7 seasons. �He followed that with most of two seasons in the Twins’ organization, including 44 games in Minnesota in 2008, when he went 3-4 with one save and a 4.87 ERA. �The right-hander was traded to the Orioles toward the end of 2008, and finished the season there, with 4 starts and one relief appearance (1-0, 4.71 ERA). �He returned to the Orioles for the 2009 season, and made 48 relief appearances for a total of 86.1 innings, earning a 5-3 record and a 4.90 ERA. �He gave up a lot of hits (106) and his walk total was also on the high side (44 — a walk about every two innings). �He struck out 54 batters. �The 28-year-old was invited to the Pirates’ major league camp for spring training, and given the opportunity to compete for a bullpen spot. �He made 4 Grapefruit League appearances, and like Chulk, split them between the good and the not-so-good. �His first spot (March 3rd) was a 1-2-3 inning, and his second (March 8th) was two scoreless innings allowing a walk and a hit. �Then he gave up 2 runs on 3 hits in 1.1 innings on March 18th and one run on a hit and two walks on March 25th. �Bass was in the group with Chulk who were reassigned to minor league camp on March 30th. �Like Chulk, Bass will begin the 2010 season in the Indianapolis bullpen, and hope that he does well enough to earn a call-up at some point during the season.

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