Friday, March 30, 2007

Friday news

Tom Gorzelanny has struggled mightily this spring and many believe he should have been sent back to AAA. Today, he made his final start before the team breaks camp. It is difficult to get a grasp on how someone is throwing in Bradenton when you are stuck in an office near Pittsburgh most of the day, but Gorzelanny's final line was encouraging. He allowed 2 earned runs on 4 hits in 6 innings and, much more significantly, walked only 1 while striking out 8. In addition, Dejan states that, "...he rarely was hit hard. Even Chris Heintz's solo home run in the second inning needed a healthy gust of wind to land beyond the left-field fence." All spring, we have been hearing that Gorzo was struggling with his command, but was close. That is why his K/BB of 8/1 today was so encouraging. The Pirates rallied for five runs in the bottom of the 8th inning to win, 5-3.

In other news, the final 25-man roster is nearly complete. Relievers Jonah Bayliss, John Wasdin and Juan Perez have officially joined the bullpen, while John Grabow was added to the 15-day disabled list as expected. Jose Castillo, Nate McLouth and Don Kelly have been named to the Pirates' bench, while Ryan Doumit, Brad Eldred and Humberto Cota will continue to battle for the two remaining spots. Jose Hernandez, Luis Matos and Dan Kolb all lost out on possible jobs. Three weeks ago, I was convinced that all three of these players would break camp with the team. Wasdin and Kelly are surprises to make the roster. Wasdin pitched a perfect 7th inning today to lower his spring ERA to 0.79. Kelly walked and scored in the deciding 8th inning. He is hitting .257 this spring.

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