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News Roundup: Pirates Looking at Pitchers for Draft

Here's my test drive of SB Nation's new clippings feature, which makes these link posts incredibly easy...

Pirates putting premium on pitching - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

The Trib reports that the Pirates are looking at college pitchers Kyle Gibson of Missouri and Mike Minor of Vanderbilt, as well as indy-league pitcher and former Missouri starter Aaron Crow, for the fourth pick in the draft next week. The top hitter in the draft, North Carolina's Dustin Ackley, probably won't be available, but I wouldn't say never on that. The Mariners are supposed to like Ackley, but, as someone around here (Vlad, maybe?) pointed out a couple weeks ago, M's GM Jack Zduriencik could be unpredictable in the draft when he was the scouting director of the Brewers. For example, the Brewers' selection of Matt LaPorta in the 2007 draft was a bit of a surprise. If the Mariners don't take Ackley with the second pick, he could fall to the Pirates.

Padres will settle for second choice with their first pick in the draft

The Padres, picking at #3, could take Ackley, Crow, Minor, or either of a pair of Georgia high schoolers, outfielder Donavan Tate or pitcher Zach Wheeler.

Milwaukee Brewers Release Jorge Julio

Speaking of the Brewers, they've released reliever Jorge Julio, who had a 7.79 ERA for them. The Pirates need relief depth, and Neal Huntington favors hard throwers; I haven't read anything linking Julio with Pittsburgh, but he could do worse for himself than to sign a minor league deal with the Bucs. 

American Chronicle / Power Catcher's Roots in Hockey

Nyjer Morgan isn't the only player in the Pirates organization with a hockey background.