Spring Training Recap: Orioles 7, Pirates 4

The Pirates dropped a road game to Baltimore, 7-4.  The game was unsettling from the standpoint of where the Orioles’ runs came from.  The Pirates are now 3-7-2.

The positive side was a strong start from Vince Velasquez.  He faced just ten batters over three innings, allowing a hit and fanning three.  (For some reason, Ed Smith Stadium doesn’t appear to support gameday, much less Statcast, data, so there’s no fun to be had with gun readings and pitch types.)

The bad news was the seven runs, which came on two swings of the bat.  Colin Holderman, who appeared to be on a glide path to the 8th inning (and may still be, really), served up a three-run bomb.  Then Jose Hernandez, whose window of opportunity blew wide open with the news that Jarlin Garcia will miss the beginning of the season, allowed a grand slam.

Things were fine after that.  Dauri Moreta, Yerry De Los Santos and Quinn Priester allowed just two baserunners in an inning each, on a single (De Los Santos) and a hit batsman (Priester).

The hitters were mostly back in Haines mode.  Cal Mitchell, one of the very few hitters on the team who hasn’t looked lost this spring, had two hits, and scored a run on a Connor Joe double.  You have to wonder whether the acquisition of Mark Mathias bodes ill for Joe.  The two are basically the same hitter, except Mathias has mostly been better, and Mathias can play more positions.

The only other hits by starters were singles by Oneil Cruz; Rodolfo Castro, who played third; and Chris Owings, who played second.

The subs produced the last two runs, with Endy Rodriguez, Canaan Smith-Njigba and Jason Delay all getting singles.  Smith-Njigba drove in the two runs, although he got caught between first and second on the play.  Travis Swaggerty drew a walk his only time up.

Among the other ostensible job seekers, Ryan Vilade, who’s still on the roster, was 0-for-3, and Miguel Andujar was 0-for-2 with a walk.  The mass substitutions are coming later, like the eighth inning or so, which means no real opportunities for those guys.  That makes it more important for guys like Vilade, who’s still on the roster, and Swaggerty, to see who’s getting some starts.

Having followed the Pirates fanatically since 1965, Wilbur Miller is one of the fast-dwindling number of fans who’ve actually seen good Pirate teams. He’s even seen Hall-of-Fame Pirates who didn’t get traded mid-career, if you can imagine such a thing. His first in-person game was a 5-4, 11-inning win at Forbes Field over Milwaukee (no, not that one). He’s been writing about the Pirates at various locations online for over 20 years. It has its frustrations, but it’s certainly more cathartic than writing legal stuff. Wilbur is retired and now lives in Bradenton with his wife and three temperamental cats.

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Scam likely

Castro made error on a potential double play ball that would have gotten hernandez out of the inning.


Another reason I like Bae at 2b


Mitchell better make this team. He’s got one of the nicer swings on the team. A couple too many re-treads still in line for spots.


“too many re-treads”, and trading for more?


Andujar walked. That’s gotta be worth something, right?


Five ABs and each resulted in an EV > 90mph

I’m not sure I’ve ever seen that below

And he’s still viewed as having 20 grade power

That seems odd


And last year he was the only position player on the FG Board with 20/20 grades for game and raw power

That’s the very bottom of the scale



2B Castro
CF Reynolds
SS Cruz
DH Santana
LF Suwinski/Joe
3B Hayes
1B Choi
RF McCutchen/Mitchell
C. Hedges

Joe, Mitchell, Heineman, Mathias

RH Contreras
RH. Keller
RH Brubaker
LH Hill
RH Velasquez



BP is crowded, you know Crowe and Dejong are going north.


Bae is a better fielder than Castro. I like him at 2b.

And that is one terrible fielding outfield.

Last edited 20 days ago by leefieux

Is a terrible team……but we love them!


The real question is why? 🤣🤣🤣🤣


I’m not paying to find out!


Ji-Hwan Bae is the loser in the Mathias BS?

Sure, makes sense for this management team.


b mcferren

I thought Stephenson was hurt?


Easier to spell than Van BenSchoten, that’s for sure.


We need Sicnarf Loopstok


Shock of the tournament is that Lars Nootbaar (“if you’re hungry for a Nootbaar, make sure it’s a Lars”) is actually playing for Japan and not the Netherlands.


His mom is Japanese, but he was born in California. And his last name literally means “nut bar” in Dutch. Why Nestle or Hershey’s haven’t jumped on this is one of those great mysteries.

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