Spring Training Notes: Wandy Rodriguez, Jason Grilli, Jeanmar Gomez

The Pittsburgh Pirates got some great results from their Major League pitchers yesterday, with Wandy Rodriguez, Jason Grilli, and Jeanmar Gomez combining for six shutout innings. Afterwards, Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said he was pleased with the three pitchers, and ran through what impressed him with each guy.

Wandy Rodriguez – Hurdle pointed out that he had an aggressive approach, and also was mixing in some curveballs in the second inning. Rodriguez said that the curve was the big difference from his previous work, and that he was working on the location of the pitch.

Jason Grilli – Hurdle said he was very efficient, and working the fastball to both sides of the plate. Grilli said he was focusing on fastball command, but also mixing in some breaking pitches to keep it like a real game.

“You try to make it as real as possible,” Grilli said.

That was Grilli’s Spring Training debut, and he’s on pace for a reduced workload due to his age, the injury he suffered last year, and the small amount of work he needs to get ready for the season.

“We didn’t see the need for him to start pitching the first game of Spring Training,” Hurdle said.

Jeanmar Gomez – He had the most impressive day, throwing eight of ten first pitch strikes, and throwing just 34 pitches in three shutout innings of work. At the start of Spring Training, Hurdle said that the Pirates would get a lot of pitchers to the three inning/50 pitch mark, then decide who to push forward as starting options. Hurdle said the team doesn’t know yet whether Gomez would move beyond the three inning mark in his next outing.


  • Hate to be the one to bring this up, but we have a surplus in SP/RP quality guys and there is a GM out there who has his butt hanging way out there on turning his team around, and two of his Rotation starters on the DL until probably May or later. I am talking about Trader Jack in Seattle and since he has Pirate roots, I would like to help him. How about JG and possibly Mazzaro or Jose Tabata for switchhitting middle infielder Nick Franklin, who is nothing more than a utility player for Seattle since the Cano signing. He has experience at SS/2B and could serve there or some legit backup for Pedro at 3B if he gets injured in any way.

    • We really won’t know if we have a surplus in pitching until we get to the end of the season with the staff uninjured and available. I am in favor of trading Morris as he is out of options and is not as talented as other pitchers. I would trade Volquez in favor of moving Pimentel or Jeanmar to SP if there was the right market for Volquez. What the Pirates really need in return is Pedro’s eventual replacement, so a high ceiling AA 3B should be the prime target acquisition.

      • How about Liriano, Volquez, Morris and Tabata for Smoak and DJ Peterson? 2014 rotation would be Morton, Wandy, Cole, Pimentel, Gomez with Locke, Taillion and Cumpton in AAA. Substituting Pimentel and Gomez into the rotation for Liriano and Volquez represents higher risk, but not necessarily lower performance, and sets up the 2015 rotation much better. Smoak adds to the 2014 1B mix and Peterson fills the hole in the system behind Pedro at 3B. Morris is expendable and Tabata doesn’t have much of a future here with Polanco on the way. The 4th OF can be adequately filled by Snyder and/or Decker.

        • I hate to be critical,but this looks like the worst idea I have seen since last Summer ! Trade Liriano ??? Now ?? And do you really think there is much of a market right now for Morris or Volquez ? And who would you use then for the longman out of the ‘pen since you think both Pimental and Gomez should be in the rotation ? I have a pretty good idea that Huntingdon and the staff didn’t sign Volquez to turn around and trade him in March or April. Even if they found a taker.

          • Why does everyone beat up on Morris? The kid was a rookie and held his own, this is a former 1st rounder whom throws 95 and has a splitter which is a great out pitch……he’s a future closer for someone. I’d personally give Volquez away for free just to take that 5 million off the books before we are forced to waive him in june

          • Go ahead and be critical Leo. But let me ask you, how will you feel about trading Pedro in the winter of 2015 when he has one year of control left and after he has hit maybe 38 HR in 2014 and 40 HR in 2015? It will be the logical thing to do because the Pirates won’t be able to sign him long term and they will need to trade him while he can still bring value. It’s the same thing with Liriano. I was in favor of an extension for Liriano, I still am. But if the Pirates aren’t going to extend him they won’t be able to sign him in the FA market if he does well, and won’t want to if he does poorly. They should trade him now for the best value they can get and rely upon the youngsters coming up through the system. The market for Morris isn’t much right now, and the way Volquez is pitching this so far this Spring his value isn’t much (as I expected). His value depends entirely on Searage being able to turn him around. Will he be a Liriano or a J. Sanchez? Stay tuned. Regarding the long man position, he only usually enters when the SP has blown it and the game is out of hand. So in one sense who pitches there really doesn’t matter much. But to answer your question, Brandon Cumpton. Locke and Taillon stay in AAA to act as SP reserve. I was seeing the trade as Liriano and Volquez and Tabata for DL Peterson with Morris and Smoak as throw ins to balance the equity in the trade. You have to give value to get value and neither Liriano or Volquez are signed for 2015. My point of view is that 2015 and 2016 matter more than 2014, so I am willing to take a risk in early 2014 to make the 2015 team better.

        • piraddict : Are you serious ? If you are,you had better take a step back and think about what you are saying. All I can say is : WOW !

          • Besides Cutch, who is untradeable on the Pirates? If you only looked at the trade as Liriano fpr DJ Peterson, which is more valuable, one year of Liriano or six years of DJ Peterson? You are thinking too short term.

        • Although I should resist the temptation to comment on this, um, bizarre suggestion, I would simply add that Peterson can’t be traded as he was a 2013 draft pick

        • locke is shut down per tom singer on mlb

      • Well we have a surplus right now, we can’t keep all these pitchers because we have 3 out of options, so the surplus will be gone in 3 weeks either way. We can either get nothing for these pitchers, or trade them. That is it.

    • Emjay, where do i sign? I’d love Nick Franklin. I’d give you Mazzaro, Tabata, and Hughes

      • Y2: I would love that too, but without a guy like Jeanmar Gomez somewhere in the mix to offset the early season injuries to Iwakuma and Walker, I doubt that deal takes place. It could be JG and Josh Harrison also, but I think the Mariners need someone like Tabata in the OF. Both of those are probably more than enough with JG for Nick Franklin, because with Seager at 3B, Miller at SS, Cano at 2B and a raft of 1B, Franklin could be available. A quick primer on playing 1B, and we solve the LH hitting, good fielding 1B issue, while having a utility guy for 3B, SS, and 2B and 6 years of club control.

  • Monsoon Harvard
    March 8, 2014 11:39 am

    Mazzaro pitched some big games last year. He is a lot more valuable to the Pirates than Morris. I can’t see the Pirates letting go of Mazzaro unless the return is exceptional. Morris on the other hand, I think they would take what they can get. He wasn’t bad though. He just isn’t in the same class as Mazzaro, who is also capable of spot starting and going multiple scoreless innings in relief, as he showed last season.

    • Disagree, Morris was in his first year…..Morris has better stuff quite honestly and a;so has more team years of control and is cheaper but yes Mazzaro pitched better. He better damn well better pitch better after 3 years in the majors

  • lonleylibertarian
    March 8, 2014 9:26 am

    It will be interesting to see how Huntington handles the surplus in the bullpen if no injuries pop up in the next 3 weeks. Gomez and Pimentel would seem to be very valuable assets – able to spot start if needed – and effective multi inning relievers when a starter falters. Not sure if Morris and/or Mazzaro have a lot of trade value – but they are also out of options.

    • Yeah, i’m rather worried about the same thing. If he waits too long, he runs the risk of other teams offering nothing because they know we will have to waive them for nothing in return. We have needs and every relief pitcher who doesn’t make the team is relatively young and talented and would make MOST ML teams…..We need to find a way to put a package together for either some talent to fill some organizational holes, or at least equal talent with options remaining to stash at AAA. We’ve kind of painted ourselves into a corner with some of our pitching, and we have needs……lets use what we have to get what we need

    • Morris and Mazzaro both throw in mid 90’s and are under 30 and are cheap- If they don’t have trade value, I don’t know who would. Even if we could get a REAL backup third baseman out of the deal, or add in an outfield prospect for a first baseman or another short stop prospect in case hanson doesn’t pan out