Tag: Brent Morel

PITTSBURGH, PA - JULY 24: Gregory Polanco #25 of the Pittsburgh Pirates hits a two run home run in the fifth inning during the game against the Washington Nationals at PNC Park on July 24, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Settling the Score: Friday’s results


Max Scherzer flirted with a perfect game and ultimately settled for a no-hitter the last time he faced the Pirates on June 20. It was a different story for the Nationals ace this time around. The Pirates scored five runs off Scherzer last night as part of a 7-5 victory at PNC Park in Pittsburgh.

The Pirates hit three home runs off Scherzer. The first sailed into the Allegheny River off the bat of Pedro Alvarez. The second was a game-tying blast from Gregory Polanco in the fifth inning which capped an impressive 12-pitch at-bat. The third one was from Neil Walker and gave the Pirates the lead.

That lead was short-lived, as Ian Desmond tied things up in the top of the sixth with a home run of his own. However, the Pirates battled right back with a go-ahead RBI double from Brent Morel and an RBI single from Polanco. Jared Hughes, Tony Watson, and Mark Melancon followed with three scoreless innings of relief to finish off the victory.

The Pirates are six games back of the Cardinals in the National League Central, but are still sitting pretty for a Wild Card spot. The Nationals are just 3-5 since the All-Star break, but the Mets are also slumping, so they still have a three-game lead in the NL East.

Your Friday box scores and AP recaps:

Phillies 5, Cubs 3 (10 innings)

Tigers 1, Red Sox 2 (11 innings)

White Sox 6, Indians 0

Nationals 5, Pirates 7

Orioles 1, Rays 3

Dodgers 7, Mets 2

Astros 4, Royals 0

Braves 2, Cardinals 4

Yankees 1, Twins 10

Reds 5, Rockies 6

Rangers 4, Angels 2

Brewers 2, Diamondbacks 1

Blue Jays 2, Mariners 5

Marlins 1, Padres 3

Athletics 3, Giants 9

Pirates claim Brent Morel off waivers from Blue Jays

Brent Morel

Pittsburgh claimed Brent Morel off waivers after the third baseman was designated for assignment by Toronto.

Morel was the White Sox’s starting third baseman as a 24-year-old rookie in 2011, but hit just .245 with a .653 OPS in 126 games and has played sparingly in the majors since then. Chicago waived him in December after he hit .266 with six homers and a .751 OPS at Triple-A last season.

He’ll compete for a spot on the Pirates’ bench, but seems destined to wind up back in the minors or on the waiver wire again.

A bunch of players were claimed off waivers today

Eric Surkamp Getty

Today we saw an unusual amount of players claimed off waivers. They can probably best be described as 40-man roster stocking stuffers. Here’s a quick look at the busy day of transactions:

The Blue Jays claimed third baseman Brent Morel off waivers from the White Sox

Morel hit 10 homers in 126 games with the White Sox in 2011, but he has only appeared in 47 games at the major league level since. The 26-year-old hit .266/.349/.403 with six home runs and 54 RBI over 106 games with Triple-A Charlotte this past year.

The White Sox claimed left-hander Eric Surkamp off waivers from the Giants

Surkamp was hit hard in his lone start with the Giants this season, but he had a 2.80 ERA and 71/23 K/BB ratio in 86 2/3 innings over 16 starts between High-A San Jose and Triple-A Fresno. This was his first year back from Tommy John surgery. He’s not a hard-thrower, usually sitting in the 85-89 mph range, but has averaged 10.0 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9 in the minors.

The Rays claimed first baseman Jerry Sands off waivers from the Pirates

Acquired from the Red Sox last winter in the Joel Hanrahan deal, Sands really struggled at the Triple-A level this year, hitting just .207/.311/.329 with seven home runs and 34 RBI over 106 games. A right-handed batter, the 26-year-old struck out in 24 percent of his plate appearances with the Dodgers from 2011-2012.

The Orioles claimed right-hander Liam Hendriks off waivers from the Cubs

Hendriks was just claimed off waivers from the Twins last week, but he’s on the move again. The 24-year-old Aussie has enjoyed great success in the minors thanks to his pinpoint control, but he owns an ugly 6.06 ERA over 28 starts and two relief appearances at the major league level.

The Cubs claimed right-hander Brett Marshall off waivers from the Yankees

Marshall posted a 5.13 ERA, 1.53 WHIP and 120/68 K/BB ratio in 25 starts with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in 2013 and didn’t make much of an impression in two brief stints with the big club. Still, he doesn’t turn 24 until March and isn’t too far removed from being one of the Yankees’ better pitching prospects.

The Mets claimed right-hander Ryan Reid off waivers from the Pirates

Reid allowed two earned runs in 11 innings during his first taste of the big leagues this past season and owns a 3.87 ERA and 9.0 K/9 over parts of eight seasons in the minors, almost exclusively as a reliever. He turns 29 in April.

The Rangers claimed outfielder Alex Castellanos off waivers from the Red Sox

Castellanos was acquired from the Dodgers in October in exchange for outfielder Jeremy Hazelbaker, but he was designated for assignment earlier this month to clear a spot for Mike Napoli on the 40-man roster. While the 27-year-old owns an impressive .288/.362/.502 batting line with 85 homers and 109 stolen bases over 615 minor league games, he has only appeared in 24 games at the major league level.

Gordon Beckham out 6-8 weeks with fractured hamate bone

Gordon Beckham

Gordon Beckham exited Tuesday’s game after tweaking his left wrist on a swing and the White Sox just announced that he has a fractured hamate bone.

Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com reports that Beckham will need surgery and is expected to miss 6-8 weeks, which could knock him out until July.

Beckham has mostly struggled since a strong rookie season in 2009, hitting just .239 with a .664 OPS in his last 439 games, but the White Sox don’t have any great options to replace him at second base. They could shift Jeff Keppinger from third base to second base, but that may not be pretty defensively and would also require giving Conor Gillaspie regular work at third base.

Tyler Greene, who just joined the White Sox on a minor-league deal after being released by the Astros, is currently at Triple-A and could get a call-up. Another option would be recalling Brent Morel, who not so long ago was the regular third baseman in Chicago.

Kevin Youkilis starts off hitting second for White Sox

Kevin Youkilis

White Sox No. 2 hitters have batted a pathetic .215/.265/.323 this season. He won’t have to be the old Kevin Youkilis to improve on that.

White Sox manager Robin Ventura will ask Youkilis to help set the table for Adam Dunn and Paul Konerko following his acquisition from the Red Sox on Sunday. Here’s the lineup for tonight’s game against the Twins:

CF Alejandro De Aza
3B Youkilis
DH Dunn
1B Konerko
RF Alex Rios
C A.J. Pierzynski
LF Dayan Viciedo
SS Alexei Ramirez
2B Gordon Beckham

Beckham had been hitting second for the White Sox of late and doing a pretty decent job of it. While his OBP there was just .315, he was hitting .265 with seven homers and 25 RBI in 44 starts. The other three guys to start there this season had been horrible:

Brent Morel: .140/.196/.163 in 43 AB
Alexei Ramirez: .143/.160/.224 in 49 AB
Brent Lillibridge: .050/.130/.050 in 20 AB

On paper at least, this looks like a big improvement. The White Sox have five players slugging better than .450 this season, and their biggest hole has now been covered over by a former All-Star. Now we’ll just have to wait and see what he has left.