With the Pirates’ Spring Training underway, it begins yet another baseball season and the hopes of a winning season for the Bucco Faithful. However, with virtually the same roster as the team they finished with last year, there is little hope for a different showing. Pirates’ management has expressed that in order for the team to play well, the younger players such as Andy LaRoche, Brandon Moss and the starting rotation need to show they belong.
Ian Snell and Tom Gorzelanny are both players coming off a pretty bad year, but the potential they showed in 2007 is what the Pirates hope to see this year. Paul Maholm is coming off a great season which earned him the “ace” title for the Pirates after securing a 3.71 ERA. Paul Maholm has been named the only player in the Pirates’ rotation with a guranteed spot while the other four spots will be duked out between Zach Duke, Ian Snell, Tom Gorzelanny, Ross Ohlendorf, Jeff Karstens, Daniel Mccutchen, and perhaps Phil Dumatrait when he becomes healthy enough.
The Pirates starting lineup for the 2009 season will likely look like this…
- LF Nyjer Morgan
- CF Nate Mclouth
- RF Brandon Moss
- 3B Andy LaRoche
- SS Jack Wilson
- 2B Freddy Sanchez
- 1B Adam LaRoche
- C Ryan Doumit
but depending on the players’ Grapefruit League showings, anything is up for grabs.
Spring Training begins with the biggest additions of Eric Hinske, Ramon Vasquez, Craig Monroe, Donald Veal, and Virgil Vasquez. Donald Veal and Virgil Vasquez will both be competing for a place in the bullpen while Monroe, Hinske, and Vasquez will be fighting for positions on the Pirates’ bench.
The Pirates play the Phillies tomorrow which opens up the Grapefruit League Schedule. The games is set to begin at 1:05 P.M. ET and is a home game at Mckechnie Field. Slated to pitch in the game will be Chris Bootcheck for the first inning and followed by Matt Capps, Donald Veal, Romulo Sanchez, Ronald Uviedo, Juan Mateo, Craig Hansen, Evan Meek and Jesse Chavez. Lefty Jamie Moyer will make the start for the Phillies. Pirate broadcaster Tim Neverett will be on the air for the first time as the Bucco announcer.