Tag: Felix Pie

Felix Pie AP

Pirates sign outfielder Felix Pie to a minor league contract


We’re at that time of year where non-roster invites function as flashbacks. Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports that the Pirates have signed outfielder Felix Pie to a minor league contract. The deal includes an invite to spring training and incentives based on plate appearances if he makes the major league club.

Pie, now 27, failed to make the Indians out of spring training this year before joining the Camden Riversharks of the independent Atlantic League. He eventually latched on with the Braves and batted .285/.338/.459 with six home runs, 51 RBI, 16 stolen bases and a .797 OPS in 96 games with Triple-A Gwinnett.

Pie owns a .248/.298/.374 batting line in the majors between the Cubs and Orioles. The former top prospect could have a chance at a fifth outfielder job with Pittsburgh.

Indians send Ryan Spilborghs to Triple-A, release Felix Pie

Ryan Spilborghs

This was a tough day to be a veteran outfielder trying to crack Cleveland’s roster, as the Indians sent Ryan Spilborghs to Triple-A and released Felix Pie.

Spilborghs signed a minor-league deal with the Indians after being non-tendered by the Rockies, but lost a camp battle with Aaron Cunningham to be the right-handed-hitting backup outfielder. He has 1,769 career plate appearances and is 32 years old, but Spilborghs has hit just .239 with a .679 OPS away from Coors Field for his career.

Pie was once a top prospect in the Cubs system, but couldn’t work his way into consistent playing time with the Orioles and had to settle for a minor-league deal with the Indians. He’s still just 27 years old and has a solid fourth outfielder skill set, but Pie has hit just .248 with a .673 OPS in 1,051 career plate appearances.

Grady Sizemore’s injury replacement, Michael Brantley, is injured too

Cleveland Indians v Texas Rangers
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Cleveland has shifted Michael Brantley from left field to center field following Grady Sizemore’s latest injury setback, but now Brantley is hurting too.

Brantley is expected to miss at least the next 3-5 days with a hamstring injury and Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports that “the Indians are taking a cautious approach to try to make sure that Brantley will be recovered in time for Opening Day.”

If he can’t make it back in time for the opener the Indians’ third-string options in center field include Felix Pie, Aaron Cunningham, and Ryan Spilborghs. And they’d also have to find a new leadoff man, although Brantley’s career .316 on-base percentage makes him a questionable fit in that role anyway.

Back from injury, Felix Pie returns to lineup … on Pi Day

pi day

Today is national Pi Day–not to be confused with “cake or pie?” day, which is every day here at HBT–so it’s only fitting that Felix Pie is returning to the Indians’ lineup after crashing into the outfield wall over the weekend.

And yes, I know in this case “Pie” isn’t pronounced like “pie” or “pi” … whatever. Don’t ruin my nerd fun.

Pie had been day-to-day with what the Indians were calling “general stiffness.” Which, really, would be one of the best possible names for a military leader.

OK, I’m done now. Sorry.

Scenes from Spring Training: Easy come, easy go


Know what I have never done? I have never caught a foul ball at a baseball game. At least not a major league game.

The only time I got anything was at a single-A game in Myrtle Beach back in 1989, and that hardly counts as the park then was smaller than some high school stadiums and there were only a few dozen people in the place.  Otherwise: bupkis. Nothing at double-A, triple-A or major league games. It never much mattered to me — I’ve written about how souvenirs aren’t that important to me —  but the fact still stands.

Or stood. Until yesterday.

I was at the Angles-Indians game in Goodyear. I was hanging out with Jonah Keri and, because that park’s very small press box was full, we asked if we could squat in one of the empty luxury suites. The ballpark folks obliged, so we took in the game from the front row of the outdoor balcony, above the screen, directly behind home plate.

Midway through the game — not long after Jonah and I actually discussed the fact that I had never snagged a ball — Felix Pie came to bat. He fouled one up and back and it landed on the nearly empty suite level, just down the outdoor patio from me.  Jonah said “There! There’s your chance! Go get it.” And I believe he was only 85% mocking me.

I slow-jogged over to get it — didn’t want to appear too eager — picked it up and admired it.

Just then Jonah said that he thought that there was a boy who would really like to have it. I turned around and there was a boy — maybe 10 or 11 years-old — who had been sitting on the far side of our level, looking hopefully in my direction. I gave it half a second’s thought, walked the ball over and gave it to him.

It wasn’t a hard decision. Just as Jonah pointed the kid out I was already beginning to think how silly it would be for me to keep the ball and that maybe I’d drop it down to a kid in the seats below us (though it was kind of far and might have hurt someone, so perhaps I would have had to keep it as a matter of public safety).  But there was a brief moment when I thought “wait, no fair!”

But it passed. And I guess now the question is whether I can say that I’ve snagged a baseball at a major league game.  It was in Arizona, not a big league ballpark. And I guess it was Felix Pie, and he only qualifies as a major leaguer at this point under only the loosest standards. And of course I didn’t walk away from the game with a ball.

Screw it. It counts. I got a ball.

On to Maryvale to see the Brewers today. At least I think. Over breakfast I may decide to pull a crazy Ivan and hit Scottsdale for the Reds and Giants. I dunno. I’m all discombobulated over yesterday’s events now, so who knows where I’ll end up.