Tri-State at the Plate Episode #4: First Pitch Strikes

This week the gang talks about first pitch strikes and updates you on Spring Training in Detroit, Pittsburgh, and Cleveland, discussing roster battles with each club going into the 2013 season.  We talk about the Cleveland locker room and Ryan Rayburn; he’s so hot right now!  There’s also musical guest, former Titusville, Pennsylvania resident Kent Pelisari who will tickle your ears. Tri-State also answers their first Twitter questions from some of our listeners.

Tweet us @tristatebb or send us an e-mail at tristatebb@tsmbaseball.com to have your questions featured on future episodes!

The Top Detroit Tigers’ Prospects #11 – 15

By Bob Finkbeiner

The top Tigers’ prospects continue with #11 – 15.  While I believe #11 – 20 is not nearly as strong the top 10 for this organization, there still remain viable prospects and names worth watching and following during the 2013 season.

Steven Moya (Picture courtesy of mLive.com)

Steven Moya (Picture courtesy of mLive.com)

The next five include a large potential slugger, a sharp defensive catcher, and a powerful arm.

As always, comments are welcomed as this list is a list made with consultation from a wide array of sources.

Continue to check out the top Detroit Tigers’ prospects #11 – 15.

Spring Training Battles – Cleveland Position Players

By Jason Ruggiero

It’s only the first week of Spring Training games but players are already jockeying for the last few spots on the Indians roster. So even though there is still a lot of spring baseball to be played it’s about time to start putting the positional battles into focus. These battles of course are a fluid situation, where a quick slump or streak can totally reorganize the pecking order.

Goodyr1 Continue reading

The Bradenton Notebook: Vol. 4

By Andy Burdick

Pittsburgh Pirates Bradenton, Florida Spring TrainingWe’re a few weeks into Spring Training and with a few games under the belts of every club, baseball fans are feeling a sense of relief about the long, cold winter.  (Especially in the tri-state area!)  If you’re a Pirates fan, we’re going to try and keep as up-to-date with everything that’s going on in sunny Bradenton, Florida as we can.  So read on to see the recent news about your 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Pirates’ Spring Training Calendar is here.

The Pirates’ Broadcast Schedule is here.

The Pirates’ 2013 Regular Season Promotional Schedule is here. Continue reading

The 2013 Starting Rotation Battle In Pittsburgh

By Andy Burdick

With spring upon us, there are plenty of players auditioning for the limited jobs that each Major Pittsburgh Pirates Bradenton, Florida Spring TrainingLeague club has available.  There are very limited spots available on the Pirates’ Major League club and depending on your perspective of the job General Manager Neal Huntington has done bringing players in to Pittsburgh via trade, free agency, and the draft, this could be a good thing or a bad thing.

One of the battles that is heating up in Bradenton this spring is for the fifth spot in the Pirates’ rotation.  As it currently stands, Pittsburgh’s rotation will run the following pitchers out on the bump to start the season: Continue reading

The Bradenton Notebook: Vol. 3

By Andy Burdick

The Pirates’ Spring Training Calendar is here.

The Pirates’ Broadcast Schedule is here.

The Pirates’ 2013 Regular Season Promotional Schedule is here.

Pittsburgh Pirates Skyblast 2013 Third Eye Blind

Nice work sponsoring this Skyblast, Iron City Beer!

Continue reading

Goodyear Notebook- Volume 3

By Jason Ruggiero

Indians infielder Ryan Raburn has gotten off to a fast start this spring. (Photo courtesy of Detroitnews.com)

Indians infielder Ryan Raburn has gotten off to a fast start this spring. (Photo courtesy of Detroitnews.com)

Spring has finally sprung, at least in Goodyear.  Two Cactus League games are in the books and the Indians are 2-0.  There is finally real baseball to talk about and there are certainly plenty of reasons to be optimistic about this team including 24 runs in two games.  Of course, they have also given up 20 runs in two games. So click on over to the third edition of the Goodyear Notebook and catch up on all things Tribe.

Continue reading

2013 Pittsburgh Pirates Prospects #11-15

By Andy Burdick

11. Tony Sanchez – C

Salmon Colored Pants Tony Sanchez Pittsburgh Pirates Prospect Catcher

It takes a bold kinda guy to wear salmon colored pants on a three wheeled bike… but Sanchez pulls it off rather nicely. Courtesy of Tony Sanchez’s Twitter.

My affinity for catchers and desire to believe a player when he says he worked harder in the offseason than he had in any previous offseasons has me ranking Sanchez just outside the top 10 Pirates prospects.  Sanchez has apparently put on 15 pounds of muscle this off season and is gearing up to have the breakout year that everyone following him has been waiting for.

Sanchez was a bit of a controversial first round pick in 2009 as Pittsburgh drafted him fourth overall, much earlier than most people in the industry expected in order to spend money over slot later in the draft.

Sanchez has been slow to develop as a hitter and across two levels (Double and Triple-A) in 2012 hit .251/8/43 with a .739 OPS and he didn’t hit his first home run until reaching Triple-A Indianapolis.  Defensively, however, Sanchez threw out 29% of runners last season, a number that brought tears to the eyes of Pirates’ fans who were forced to watch Rod Barajas in 2012.

Although currently blocked by Michael McKenry and new free agent signing Russell Martin, at 24 going on 25 this season, Sanchez is going to get his crack to contribute in the Bigs in the near future.  He’ll start 2013 back in Triple-A Indianapolis and barring an injury or exceptional play, will probably remain there for the year.  However, as the battery-mate for Gerrit Cole in Indianapolis this season, Sanchez has a great opportunity to continue to develop his reputation as a receiver and look to work his way into the Pirates’ lineup in the coming years.

On a sidenote, Sanchez is an active Tweeter and a lot of fun to follow.  Check out his Twitter feed @Tony26Montana. Continue reading

Pittsburgh Pirates General Manager Neal Huntington Continues to Hit the Radio Circuit

By Andy Burdick

In an interview with Starkey, Miller and Mueller on 93.7 The Fan on Tuesday, February 19, Pirates GM Neal Huntington gave the audience some more insight into the front office operations taking place in Pittsburgh.

Baseball Pittsburgh Pirates General Manager Neal Huntington Interview 93.7 The Fan

Pittsburgh Pirates General Manager Neal Huntington wants to assemble a team built for the postseason. Courtesy of Jared Wickerham/Getty Images.

Here are some of the highlights of the interview: Continue reading

The Lakeland Notebook – Feb. 22 2013

By Bob Finkbeiner

Things are getting interesting in Tigers’ camp as the battle for the 5th spot in the rotation

Rick Porcello pitching at camp last year.  (Courtesy of Detroit Free Press)

Rick Porcello pitching at camp last year. (Courtesy of Detroit Free Press)

gets underway, young prospects are getting a dose of major league life, and the players aim to improve their running game.

Click to check out the latest report!