Gerrit Cole, Jameson Taillon And Luis Heredia: Are They The Second Coming Of Kerry Wood, Mark Prior and Carlos Zambrano?

By Jason Shetler

In 1995, the Chicago Cubs selected Kerry Wood with the 4th overall pick in the draft that year. Two years later, they signed Carlos Zambrano out of Venezuela as an amateur free agent. By 2001, Wood had established himself as the ace of the staff, while Zambrano was pitching well in the minors. That year, the Cubs took Mark Prior as the #2 pick in the draft, with some scouts believing that he could be better than Wood. Prior found himself making his Major League debut a year later. A debut that resulted in 10 strikeouts against the Pirates. Wood, Prior and Zambrano were in the rotation full-time together  in 2003. All three pitched over 200 innings, with Wood and Prior striking out well over 200 batters. The success of the trio didn’t last long, as both Wood and Prior were hampered with numerous injuries. With the Pirates having Gerrit Cole, Jameson Taillon and Luis Heredia, are they the second coming of the Cubs trio from a decade ago? There are similarities, besides all of them being right-handers, Taillon and Cole were both Top 5 draft selections like Wood and Prior, while Heredia was signed as an amateur free agent like Zambrano. It’s not too often a team can have three potential ace starters in their rotation, but the Cubs at one point did, and hopefully the Pirates can. But let’s just hope it’ll be more successful. 

Bucs Spring Training Report 2/27

By Jason Shetler 

A day after the Pirates had their game rained out yesterday, they were back in action today, but lost an 8-2 decision against the Tampa Bay Rays in Bradenton. Here is today’s box score.

LF Starling Marte 1-for-2

LF Jose Tabata 2-for-2, 2 doubles

2B Neil Walker 0-for-2

2B Ivan De Jesus Jr. 0-for-2

CF Andrew McCutchen 0-for-2 

CF Alex Presley 1-for-2, RBI 

3B Pedro Alvarez 1-for-2, double

3B Matt Hague 1-for-2, RBI

1B Garrett Jones 0-for-2 

1B Jared Goedert 0-for-2 

DH Gaby Sanchez 1-for-2 

PH-DH Brandon Inge 0-for 1, walk

RF Brad Hawpe 0-for-2, 2 strikeouts

RF Jerry Sands 0-for-2 

C Michael McKenry 1-for-2 

C Lucas May 0-for-2 

SS Clint Barmes 0-for-2 

SS Josh Harrison 0-for-2 


A.J Burnett 2 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 1 ER, 1 K

Wandy Rodriguez 2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER

Gerrit Cole 2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K

Jason Grilli 1 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER

Mark Melancon 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R

Jared Hughes 1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 3 K


Bucs Spring Training Report 2/25

By Jason Shetler

The Pirates tasted defeat for the first time this Spring, as they lost 5-4 to the Minnesota Twins in Fort Myers. Here’s a look at the box score from today’s game. 

CF Alex Presley 1-for-3, run scored

CF Darren Ford 0-for-2

SS Jordy Mercer 2-for-3

SS Chase d’Arnaud 1-for-2

RF Travis Snider 1-for-1, double, 2 RBI

RF Jose Tabata 1-for-2, home run

DH Jerry Sands 0-for-3

PH-DH Clint Robinson 0-for-1

1B Garrett Jones 1-for-3 run scored

1B Jared Goedert 0-for-1

3B Matt Hague 1-for-3

PR-3B Josh Harrison 0-for-1

C Tony Sanchez 1-for-2

C Lucas May 1-for-1, double

LF Felix Pie 1-for-3, RBI

LF Gregory Polanco 0-for-1

2B Anderson Hernandez 1-for-3, run scored

2B Ivan De Jesus Jr. 1-for-1



Kyle McPherson 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R

Jeanmar Gomez 1.1 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 1 K

Brooks Brown 0.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 K

Chris Leroux 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 K

Phil Irwin 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 K

Ryan Reid 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R

Kris Johnson 1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 K




Bucs Spring Training Report 2/24

By Jason Shetler

The Pirates defeated the Atlanta Braves by a final of 9-2 in their home opener in Bradenton. Here’s a check of today’s box score.

LF Starling Marte 0-for-2

PH-LF Darren Ford 2-for-3, 2 RBI

C Russell Martin 0-for-1, walk, RBI

C Tony Sanchez 0-for-2, walk, RBI

CF Andrew McCutchen 0-for-2

CF Felix Pie 1-for-2, RBI, walk, run scored

3B Pedro Alvarez 0-for-2

3B Matt Hague 0-for-2, run scored

2B Neil Walker 0-for-2, 2 strikeouts

2B Ivan De Jesus Jr. 1-for-2, RBI, run scored

1B Gaby Sanchez 1-for-1, double, run scored

1B Clint Robinson 2-for-2, double, RBI, 2 runs scored

DH Brandon Inge 0-for-2

PH-DH Brad Hawpe 1-for-1, 2 RBI, walk, 2 runs scored

RF Jose Tabata 0-for-2

RF Jerry Sands 0-for-2

SS Clint Barmes 2-for-2, 2-run home run

SS Jordy Mercer 0-for-1, walk



James McDonald 2 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1K

Jonathan Sanchez 2 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K

Jason Grilli 1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K

Mark Melancon 1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER

Tony Watson 1 IP, 2 H, 0 ER

Jared Hughes 1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K

Justin Wilson 1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 K





Pirates To Sign Jose Contreras

By Jason Shetler

The Pirates have announced that they have agreed to terms with Jose Contreras on a minor league deal, along with an invite to Spring Training. The 41-year-old Cuban right-hander, spent last season with the Phillies, where he posted a 5.27 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP. He missed most of 2012 when he suffered a torn ligament in his pitching elbow. The signing is a classic case of a veteran pitcher trying to push some of the younger guys for a spot in the bullpen.


Bucs Spring Training Report 2/23

By Jason Shetler

The Pirates opened the Grapefruit League season with a 3-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays in Port Charlotte. Here’s a check of today’s box score.

LF Starling Marte 1-for-2, run scored

LF Felix Pie 1-for-2, RBI triple, run scored

CF Alex Presley 0-for-1, walk

CF Darren Ford 2-for-2, RBI

RF Travis Snider 0-for-2

RF Jerry Sands 1-for-2

1B Garrett Jones 0-for-2, RBI

1B Clint Robinson 0-for-2

3B Pedro Alvarez 0-for-2

3B Jared Goedert 1-for-2

DH Brad Hawpe 0-for-2, walk

C Michael McKenry 0-for-2

C Lucas May 0-for-2

2B Josh Harrison 0-for-2

2B Anderson Hernandez 2-for-2, double

SS Chase d’Arnaud 1-for-2, run scored

SS Ivan De Jesus Jr. 0-for-1

PH Matt Hague 0-for-1



Jeff Locke 3 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K

Chris Leroux 1 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K

Bryan Morris 1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 BB

Mike Zagurski 1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB

Duke Welker 1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K

Vin Mazzaro 1 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB

Brooks Brown 1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K


Should The Pirates Go After Kyle Lohse?

By Jason Shetler


As Spring Training games are about to get underway, Kyle Lohse is still without a team. The free agent right-hander, had a career year for the Cardinals in 2012, as he posted a 2.86 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP in 33 starts. A couple days ago, Jon Morosi of Fox Sports mentioned the Pirates as a team that would be a great fit for Lohse. Morosi makes mention of the Pirates having a pair of first round picks, and that they could afford to surrender one, but says money of course would be the bigger issue. Personally, I wouldn’t want to see the Pirates sign Lohse for a few reasons. First, the money and years would be an obstacle, as I’m sure Lohse is looking for a multiyear deal, while The Pirates certainly would want him on a one-year deal. The truth is, you don’t want be giving out multiyear contracts to players who are on the wrong side of 30. Although Lohse is coming off his best season in 2012, he didn’t have a dominant year in terms of racking up strikeouts, and he was given plenty of run support from the Cardinals offense, which is why he posted a 16-3 record. Lohse for the most part, profiles as a Jeff Karstens type starter, relying on good control, but not many strikeouts. So the question is, would the Pirates be willing to spend anywhere between $7-10M for more than one year on a pitcher who profiles more as a mid-rotation starter as well as giving up a draft pick? – If I were the Pirates, I would pass on this.