Former Pirates prospect Grossman now starting in center for Houston
It's been three years since Pirates left-hander Jeff Locke played with Robbie Grossman in High-A Bradenton. But ask him what he remembers about his former teammate, and he can rattle off a few nuggets:
• He was a good switch-hitting talent who played right field and had a good arm.
• He was the type of outfielder who every pitcher loved to have in the lineup when he was on the mound.
“I remember one thing I always liked about him was he didn't care where the wall was,” Locke said. “As a pitcher you like guys like that who play with reckless abandon in the outfield. He'd run through a wall to catch a ball for you, and I'm sure he still would. ... He probably helped me with my promotion to Double-A that year.”
Grossman, who was part of the Wandy Rodriguez deal last July, and is batting leadoff for the Houston Astros. At the time of the trade, he was hitting .262 in Double-A Altoona and was ranked as the Pirates' eighth-best prospect by Baseball America. He was the Pirates' Minor League Player of the Year in 2011.
The Astros recalled the 23-year-old outfielder from Triple-A Oklahoma City on April 23 to take the spot of Justin Maxwell (broken hand), and Grossman made his major league debut the next day.
Despite Grossman playing only 19 games in Triple-A, Astros manager Bo Porter said earlier this week he will get the bulk of the playing time in center field rather than moving in and out of the lineup as he had been doing.
In his first 20 major league games, Grossman batted .205 with four doubles, three RBI, 10 walks, 22 strikeouts and an on-base percentage of .311. He stole two bases and was caught four times. He led off Friday's game with a double and scored on a sacrifice fly by Jason Castro.
Grossman, who grew up in the Houston area, said Friday before facing his former team that the adjustment has been good.
“Just getting more comfortable playing every day and just excited to keep playing,” he said. “For me, it's just going out there and playing hard every day, letting the chips fall where they fall and just have fun and try to win games.”
Grossman keeps in touch with Pirates left fielder Starling Marte, whos said Grossman is “like a brother.”
“When I first got called up, he called me and said congratulations,” Marte said. “That's important to me. He was my first friend when I came to the United States. To call me when I got called up impressed me.”
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.
- Spring training breakdown: Pirates 4, Braves 2
- Alvarez latest in Pirates’ revolving door at first base
- Pirates pitchers finding success with expanded strike zone
- Pirates notebook: Polanco’s power outburst a matter of timing
- Starting 9: As franchise values soar, do owners hold or sell?
- Pirates notebook: Locke makes bid for final rotation spot, Tabata cut
- Hair Cutch: Pirates superstar lops off his locks for charity
- Spring training breakdown: Pirates 8, Blue Jays 3
- Pirates’ Harrison working to use 2014 success as building block
- About face: Pirates’ Burnett now digging the shifts
- MLB commissioner: Pirates’ success starts in the front office