Pirates notebook: McKenry in the mood for a little thievery
BRADENTON, Fla. — Backup catcher Michael McKenry wants more this season. More playing time. More hits. More wins. More ... stolen bases?
McKenry is built like an offensive lineman and doesn't have sprinter's speed. He swiped 17 bags over six seasons in the minors, but he has attempted to steal just once in 152 games with the Pirates. He was thrown out.
Still, McKenry was inspired when he noticed Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina stole 12 bases last season. It's more about smarts — picking the right time to run, catching opponents off guard — than speed, McKenry said.
“I study the game, and I see a lot of opportunities,” McKenry said. “I want to learn from Russell (Martin).”
In 2007, Martin had 21 steals. He had six last season, giving him 80 for his career.
“I think it's a way to take advantage of somebody else and get 90 feet closer to scoring a run,” McKenry said. “So I say, why not?”
• During live batting practice Sunday, McKenry's backswing smacked catcher Tony Sanchez on the helmet. Sanchez was not hurt, and he quickly popped up to give McKenry a hug. Then Sanchez looked out to pitcher Bryan Morris and said, “Nice pitch.”
• Most of the team's braintrust — GMNeal Huntington, manager Clint Hurdle, farm director Larry Broadway, assistant GM Kyle Stark, pitching coach Ray Searage, coach Bill Mazeroski and Triple-A manager Dean Treanor — gathered Sunday on Field 1 to watch LHP Jonathan Sanchez toss his first batting practice session. “Jonathan had a good day,” Hurdle said. “Free and easy, very firm velocity, threw some good breaking balls. I think we saw what we were hoping to see.” Sanchez's hitting group included Neil Walker, Pedro Alvarez and Andrew McCutchen.
• Neither RHP A.J. Burnett nor RHP Jeff Karstens has thrown live batting practice. On the two days they could've tossed BP, they instead had bullpen sessions. “It's just the way we've worked them in, based on all their winter work,” Hurdle said. “They wanted to get a couple extra sides in before they went out against hitters. It's nothing health-related.”
— Rob Biertempfel
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Former Pirates pitcher Happ agrees to $36 million, 3-year deal with Blue Jays
- Pirates sign free agent 1B-OF Goebbert, RHP Webster
- Pirates sign independent league pitcher
- Pirates, Happ interested in coming to terms on deal
- Pirates season opener moved to April 3
- Pirates protect top prospects in advance of Rule 5 draft