-P- Starting pitching prospect Kyle Bloom is kicking his race to make the 40-man roster into high gear:
After issuing a leadoff walk to Shintaro Masuda in the bottom of the first, Bloom (2-0) retired the next 14 batters...
Bloom lowered his Hawaii Winter Baseball ERA to 1.80 and ranks third in the league with 21 strikeouts. He has allowed more than one earned run just once in five fall starts after going 5-8 with a 4.19 ERA in 28 games, including 22 starts, for Double-A Altoona.
Bloom struck out eight in five innings and allowed only one hit. Overall, he has 21 strikeouts and has allowed just seven walks and no homers in 20 innings. Barring a big collapse in the next couple weeks, I think he's made the roster. Also in Hawaii, Miles Durham has an .800 OPS, Jim Negrych is in the low .700s and Brian Friday has been very bad.
-P- Jose Tabata is off to a good start in the Venezuelan Winter League.
-P- I didn't know that Jayson Werth is Ducky Schofield's grandson. From the same article, there's an interesting story about former Pirates GM Syd Thrift, from his time with the Orioles:
A former No. 1 pick of the Baltimore Orioles as a catcher in 1997, Werth was dealt to the Jays for left-handed pitcher John Bale at the 2000 winter meetings.
We remember at the time asking Syd Thrift, then the Orioles general manager, what he saw to move a first-round prospect like Werth for Bale.
"Son, I had a vision," Thrift said with conviction, "John Bale is going to win 15 games for the Baltimore Orioles baseball club in 2001."
He "had a vision"? Yikes. That's not something I ever want to hear a Pirates executive say before pulling the trigger on a trade.