Tagged in: Pittsburgh Pirates

Pittsburgh Pirates reliever Edgar Santana suspended 80 games

Pittsburgh Pirates reliever Edgar Santana will miss all of the abbreviated 2020 campaign after being suspended 80 games for violating Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

MLB revealed Sunday that Santana tested positive for Boldenone, a performance-enhancing substance.

The 28-year-old Santana is in the process of a comeback after missing all of the 2019 campaign following reconstructive surgery on his right elbow in September 2018. Santana is 3-4 with a 3.31 ERA in 88 career games, all with the Pirates. He worked five hitless innings of relief in spring training before the MLB season was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2018, he appeared in 69 games for the Pirates, going 3-4 with a 3.31 ERA. He struck out 74 in 66⅓ innings that season.

Pirates general manager Ben Cherington called Santana’s suspension “disappointing.”

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“The Pirates are disappointed to learn of today’s news that Edgar Santana has received an 80-game suspension as a result of a violation of Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program,” Pirates GM Ben Cherington said in a statement. “Because of the confidentiality requirements of the Program, we will not have further comment on this matter.”

In one of the last rounds of roster moves the Pirates made before the MLB roster freeze that went into place due to the coronavirus shutdown, Santana was optioned to Triple-A. This was a bit of a surprise as he appeared to have a great chance to make the MLB roster out of spring training.

Santana’s salary of $581,500 was reduced to $215,370 due to the shortened season, and he will lose all of it. He received a $60,000 salary advance, however, and that money will be repaid to the team from the International Tax Fund.

This suspension will be a big blow to Santana’s career. When he is eligible to pitch in games again he will be 29-years-old. While 29 is not old, the last time he pitched in a MLB match he was 26. Also, missing back-to-back seasons is difficult for any player to overcome.

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Pirates’ Chris Archer out until 2021 after surgery

Chris Archer won’t pitch for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2020, and his time with the club may be over.

Dr. Robert Thompson performed surgery on the 31-year-old right-hander Tuesday in St. Louis to relieve symptoms of thoracic outlet syndrome. Archer will not be available this season if Major League Baseball finds a way to put together a truncated calendar.

Pirates director of sports medicine Todd Tomczyk said Wednesday that Archer reported discomfort in the neck/shoulder area on his right side in March shortly before spring training was stopped because of the coronavirus pandemic. Archer remained on a throwing program when he went home, but symptoms lingered.

“What made it most challenging for Chris, he didn’t feel the symptoms immediately after throwing,” Tomczyk said. “It was hours afterward. It was the next day.”

Tomczyk estimated Archer will need six to eight months of rehabilitation. Archer’s absence this campaign is another blow to a starting rotation already missing ace Jameson Taillon, who will miss all of 2020 while recovering from a second Tommy John surgery on his right elbow.

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The Pirates were banking on a bounce-back year by Archer, who is 6-12 with a 4.92 ERA in 33 starts since he was acquired from Tampa Bay at the 2018 trade deadline for outfielder Austin Meadows and pitcher Tyler Glasnow. Archer has struggled to find any consistency with the Pirates, while Meadows became an All-Star last season and Glasnow also blossomed.

Archer’s contract includes a $9 million salary this year, an option that was exercised in November after longtime general manager Neal Huntington was released and before Ben Cherington was brought in to replace him.

Archer will receive only a portion because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Given the timeline for rehab, Archer will not be fully healthy when the Pirates have to decide on the next option.

“There will be other information at the time that we don’t have now,” Cherington said. Pittsburgh’s starting rotation projects to include Trevor Williams, Joe Musgrove and Mitch Keller. Cherington mentioned free-agent signee Derek Holland as a potential replacement for Archer and expects any other additions to come from within the club ranks.

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Pirates officially hire Ben Cherington as new GM

The Pirates made official the hiring of Ben Cherington as the 13th general manager in their history on Monday morning. The Pirates will introduce Cherington with a noon press conference at PNC Park.

Most interesting in the statement were the thoughts given by Cherington and those in Pirates management about the longtime member of the Boston Red Sox. Cherington, charged with charting the Pirates’ new direction, most recently was working as vice president of baseball operations with the Toronto Blue Jays.

“This is an important step forward for our organization,” Pirates owner Bob Nutting said in a statement. “Ben has an incredible track record of success having been a part of three world championship teams in Boston, one as general manager, and setting the table for a fourth. “His passion and ability to identify, infuse and develop talent at every level, including at the Major League level, is exactly what we need to be successful in Pittsburgh.”

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Cherington has done a little bit of everything throughout his career while specializing in scouting and player development. Although Boston clearly spent a bunch of money, Cherington was adept at discovering talent and developing it the right way.      

One of Cherington’s first/biggest tasks will be rebuilding the Pirates farm system. He did plenty of that in Toronto.

The Blue Jays farm system was ranked third-best in the industry in 2019, according to Baseball America.

“Ben is exactly what we need,” Pirates president Travis Williams said in a statement. “He knows how to develop a winning culture. He also has a track record of attracting and developing talent, both on the field and in the front office.

Ben is constantly challenging himself, his people and the processes that are in place. He knows that our ability to drive innovation and stay ahead of the game will be important to our long-term success.”

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Pittsburgh Pirates at Colorado Rockies

Pittsburgh Pirates at Colorado RockiesCheck WagerWeb and find the best betting site!!!!

Pittsburgh Pirates (10-9) at Colorado Rockies (9-10)
MLB Baseball: Wednesday, April 27, 2016 at 8:40 pm (Coors Field)
J Niese (3-0) (4.24) vs. Jon Gray (0-0) (9.00)
The Line: Colorado Rockies +120 / Pittsburgh Pirates -130
The Pittsburgh Pirates look to exploit the confines of Coors Field on Wednesday as they continue their series with the Colorado Rockies.

The Pirates head into Wednesday night’s game looking to build some momentum after a pretty successful night at the dish last night as they send Jonathan Niese to the bump as he will take on Jonathan Gray who gets the call for Colorado. The Pirates are considered to be legitimate playoff threats in the NL Central this season and with the lineup they have and recent playoff pedigree it is clear to see why as they have some guys who can hit the cover off the ball and with Andrew McCutcheon heating up it is bad news for the rest of the National League.

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The Rockies meanwhile are considered to be among the league’s worst and have some serious needs to address before they can be considered a playoff threat once again, and while they have a few nice pieces in the form of Nolan Arenado and Trvor Story they may have to stockpile some prospects with an unload at this year’s trade deadline, much like they did last year with Troy Tulowitzki. Colorado, as mentioned, will send Gray to the hill who hasn’t been factored into a decision yet and has an ERA of 9.00, while Niese is 3-0 with a 4.24 ERA and will look to keep it going against a Rockies side who has some power at the plate.

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ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED BY: sportschatplace.com

Chicago Cubs at Pittsburgh Pirates

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The Chicago Cubs visit the Pittsburgh Pirates at 8 p.m., Eastern time, the loser will take its 97 or 98 wins and go home, while the winner will earn the right to face baseball’s best team, the St. Louis Cardinals, in the next round.

The Pirates can change the subject quickly Wednesday night in the NL wild-card game. The winner gets the St. Louis Cardinals in the Division Series starting Friday.

The clubs that combined for 195 wins both believe they can make a run provided they can survive baseball’s version of a high-wire coin flip.

Heady territory for two franchises that have spent most of this millennium taking turns at the bottom of the NL Central.

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If you follow the Cubs or are just a fan of the game you are aware they haven’t had much success for many years. The Cubbies struggles have actually contributed to their success this season as the generally could be found at or near the bottom of the National League Central which means the team was attractive to contenders willing to trade away prospects for proven talent. Throw in some wise trades and a few free agent acquisitions and the Cubs have turned in to a quality threat in the National League. The Cubs go with likely Cy Young award winner Jake Arrieta on the mound in the Wild Card bout with the Pirates. Arrieta has had an outstanding year with a 22-6 record and 1.77 ERA
The Pittsburgh Pirates have been one of the top teams in the National League for a few years but before that the were a non factor for a few decades. The Pirates were similar to the Cubs in that they were consistently at or near the bottom of the National League East and often traded away their talent for prospects. Having said that I saw too many poor trades being made and things haven’t begun to work out until the last few years. The Pirates in 2015 have enough quality arms and bats to win most divisions but have the misfortune of sharing the Central with St Louis. The Pirates look to ace Gerrit Cole to pitch the team past the Cubs in the Wild Card. Cole has been dominant in nine career starts versus Chicago with nine quality starts where the team has gone 8-1.

Chicago are 9-0 in their last 9 road games and  are 0-9 in their last 9 playoff games while the under is 9-2-1 in their last 12 on grass. Pittsburgh are 11-4 in their last 15 overall and  are 11-4 in their last 15 games on grass while the under is 7-3 in their last 10 on grass. Pittsburgh are 8-1 in Cole’s last 9 starts vs. Chicago and the over is 6-2 in Cole’s last 8 starts vs. Chicago.

Records

Cubs: 97-65, third best in the majors; 48-33 on the road.

Pirates: 98-64, second best; 53-28 at home.

Starters

Cubs: Jake Arrieta, 22-6, most wins in the majors; 1.77 E.R.A., second; 11-0 in August and September.

Pirates: Gerrit Cole, 19-8, tied for third in wins; 2.60 E.R.A., tied for seventh.

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St. Louis Cardinals at Pittsburgh Pirates

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(espn.go.com) – The Cardinals drew closer to a third straight NL Central title on Monday night with a 3-0 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates, a triumph dimmed by a frightening collision between outfielders Stephen Piscotty and Peter Bourjos in the seventh that ended with Piscotty in the hospital.

It certainly would have been fun to see the Pirates sweep the Cardinals in this series, tie up the National League Central and set up a potential Monday tiebreaker game to determine the division title.

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Piscotty and Bourjos were tracking a fly ball to the gap in left-center by Pittsburgh’s Josh Harrison when Bourjos’ left knee slammed into a diving Piscotty’s head. Bourjos made the catch while his rookie teammate lay motionless on the grass at PNC Park.

Piscotty was strapped to a backboard and carted off, his head bloodied, though he managed to raise his left hand before disappearing into a tunnel. The Cardinals said tests on Piscotty were negative. He was expected to remain in the hospital overnight for observation.

St. Louis recovered in time to reduce its magic number to clinch a third straight NL Central title to two after getting to Pittsburgh closer Mark Melancon (3-2). The Cardinals can wrap up the division crown with a win in Pittsburgh on Tuesday night.

Matt Carpenter singled with one out in the ninth and scored all the way from first to break a scoreless tie when Pittsburgh right fielder Gregory Polancooverran Jon Jay’s hit and center fielder Andrew McCutchen couldn’t pick the ball up cleanly.

Reynolds then drilled his 12th homer of the year to give closer Trevor Rosenthalsome cushion for his 48th save. Jonathan Broxton (4-5) earned the win on a night the Pirates crowded the basepaths but never crossed home plate.

Pittsburgh, already assured of at least a wild-card berth, left 16 runners on base while falling four games behind the Cardinals with five to go.

It’s one the Pirates want to win to prevent the Cardinals from popping champagne in the visitor’s clubhouse at PNC Park. St. Louis’ victory took some of the buzz out of one of the most anticipated regular-season series in Pittsburgh since the park opened in 2001.

The Pirates have been relentlessly chasing the Cardinals for five months and began the final week of the regular season with a chance to catch their rivals if they could sweep a three-game series at home in a matchup of the teams with the two best records in the majors.

Instead, St. Louis did what it has done all year, relying on its pitching and just enough hitting to keep Pittsburgh at bay.

The Cardinals survived on a night they issued 10 walks. Pittsburgh put runners on base in every inning except the first, but none could find their way home on a night the Pirates went 0 for 12 with runners in scoring position, including 0 for 3 in the ninth with the tying run at the plate.

St. Louis starter Lance Lynn labored his way through five scoreless innings, most of them out of the stretch while the Pirates kept wasting opportunities to take control. Starling Marte was nailed at the plate to end the second while trying to score on a shallow fly to center by Jordy Mercer — Jason Heyward’s throw beat the speedy Marte by three steps.

Marte then struck out with the bases loaded to end the third. Polanco led off the fifth with a double only to run into an out at third on a chopper to shortstop by Josh Harrison. Lynn needed 96 pitches to retire 15 batters, walking four with six strikeouts.

Pittsburgh starter J.A. Happ, a revelation since being acquired at the non-waiver trade deadline from Seattle, was decidedly more efficient. The lefthander allowed only Kolten Wong’s single leading off the third.

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ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED BY: espn.go.com

San Francisco Giants at Pittsburgh Pirates

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The Pittsburgh Pirates blanked the San Francisco Giants 4-0 on Thursday night on the back of a fantastic start by Charlie Morton. The Pirates were able to get to Jake Peavyearly and give Morton the lead as he cruised to his ninth win of the season. After he exited the reinforcements from the bullpen did not let up and the Pirates took the first game of the four-game series.

The Pirates got one run off of Peavy in the first inning when Aramis Ramirez blasted a ground rule double to score Starling Marte, who was hit by a pitch for the 14th time this season. Peavy was tagged for a second run in the third inning off of a double byJung Ho Kang that brought in Marte and moved Ramirez to third. During Ramirez’s at-bat, Marte stole his first of two bases on the evening, giving him 24 in total on the season.

Pittsburgh padded its lead in the sixth inning when Neil Walker connected for his 13th home run of the season, a two-run blast that gave the Pirates a 4-0 lead. This would prove to be all the Pirates would need as the Giants were not able to get anything going against Morton.

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Madison Bumgarner is in position to become the first pitcher since 2011 to throw three consecutive complete games in part because of his dazzling stuff on the mound, but also because his hitting has been strong enough for manager Bruce Bochy to save pinch hitters.

The San Francisco ace returns to the mound Friday night in Pittsburgh as the Giants try to slow the streaking Pirates, and that’s exactly what Bumgarner did in last year’s wild-card game.

Cliff Lee was the last pitcher to throw three straight complete games, and he did so with a shutout in each. Bumgarner (14-6, 2.98 ERA) hasn’t been quite on that level, but the latest was the fourth shutout of his career after he gave up three hits with 14 strikeouts in Sunday’s 5-0 home win over Washington.

On a three-start winning streak, he’s posted a 0.73 ERA and 0.63 WHIP with 35 strikeouts in 25 1-3 innings.

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