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News » Pittsburgh Pirates Notes, Quotes 2009-04-07

Pittsburgh Pirates Notes, Quotes 2009-04-07

Pittsburgh Pirates Notes, Quotes 2009-04-07
--OF Craig Monroe was the only non-roster player to make the opening-day roster after leading the club with eight home runs and 16 RBIs in exhibition play. Monroe's eight homers were the most by a Pirates' player in spring training since Craig Wilson hit eight in 2005. Monroe figures to be the Pirates' top right-handed pinch hitter and spell LF Nyjer Morgan against tough left-handed starters.

--LF Nyjer Morgan led the Pirates with six stolen bases this spring but was also caught four times for a poor 60 percent success rate. His on base percentage was also just .283 in 92 plate appearances, another disturbing statistic for a player the Pirates are counting upon to be their leadoff hitter.

--RHP Craig Hansen led the Pirates with 19 strikeouts in 15 1/3 innings this spring. The bad news, though, was Hansen also issued 12 walks as control problems continue to hold back the former first-round draft pick who was acquired from Boston last July in the Jason Bay trade.

--LHP Donnie Veal walked 15 batters, hit three and threw three wild pitches in 14 1/3 innings this spring after leading the Southern League in walks and wild pitches last season for the Chicago Cubs' Class AA Tennessee farm club. However, Veal also held opposing hitters to a .146 batting average, which is why the Pirates decided to put Veal on the opening-day roster rather than offer him back to the Cubs as a Rule 5 draftee.

BY THE NUMBERS: .202 -- OF Craig Monroe's batting average when he was released by Minnesota last August.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "It was a very satisfying spring. I worked very hard last offseason to give myself a chance to get back to the major leagues. I really believed I still had something left and I proved it to both myself and the Pirates." -- OF Craig Monroe.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: April 7, 2009

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