03/08/11 5:48 PM ET
Lincoln shows 'A' effort in 'B' game
By Evan Drellich / MLB.com
He had only about a half-hour from the Pirates' arrival at Twins camp to get ready to pitch after catching a 7:30 a.m. ET bus in Bradenton, Fla. -- close to a two-hour drive -- and he wasn't even throwing at the Twins' Spring Training home. It was a "B" game, so he was on the back field.
For a 25-year-old former first-round Draft pick who's hoping to win the fifth spot in the rotation, this wasn't a problem.
"It's still a baseball game, you still got everybody watching you, you got all the coaches over there looking," said Lincoln, who went two innings in a shortened game the Twins won, 4-2. "You don't want a lackadaisical hang-your-head-because-you're-pitching-in-a-'B'-game-type attitude."
Lincoln threw about 30 pitches, almost all of them in a first inning that saw him load the bases on a pair of walks and a hit. Down, 3-0, in the count with two outs and the bags full, Lincoln worked out of the jam unscathed. He struck out none, but needed only six pitches for a perfect second inning.
2010 Spring Training - Pittsburgh Pirates
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The right-hander felt his changeup was strong, and that the outing overall was, too, as he makes his case to head north.
"There's not a whole lot of talk going on right now about what their plans are with anybody, but right now, I'm still competing for the job," he said. "They still want me to work on some things, but I have to compete at the same time. I have to put those two together."
Andy Marte also had a good day in the "B" game, hitting a solo homer.
Pirates to give Burres an extended look
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The next outing for Pirates left-hander Brian Burres should be longer than two innings. He's aced that test.
Burres, who will turn 30 in early April, hasn't allowed a run in his three two-inning appearances this spring -- the third of which included two perfect frames against the Twins in a 5-2 Pirates win on Tuesday. His sinker, he said, was working particularly well.
Capable of being a starter and a reliever, Burres is hoping to break camp with the Pirates in whatever way he can. He will be stretched out further in his next outing.
"He's staying in competition," manager Clint Hurdle said. "Everything we've asked him to do, he's done. He's a flexible guy, a versatile guy, but we still want to take looks at him, stretch him out a little bit. I'm anticipating that next time."
Burres made his Major League debut with the Orioles in 2006 and saw his busiest big league season the next year, when he made 37 appearances. He made 20 appearances for the Pirates in 2010, 13 for starts, and 54 of his 101 career big league outings have been as a starter.
Burres' preparation remains close to constant, whether he's in the rotation or in the bullpen, and if he prefers one role to the other, he's not saying.
"Any time you can offer multiple roles for yourself, it's an asset to you," Burres said. "Obviously, coming out of the bullpen you're short on warmup throws, but you kind of try to approach it the same way. Honestly, whatever role they need me to be, I'm perfectly happy doing it. I prefer pitching in the big leagues."
Burres went 4-5 with a 4.99 ERA last season, but he had a very strong end to the season, posting a 2.89 ERA in 28 September innings. There's no change in what he's doing in the Grapefruit League.
Said Burres: "The offseason and then coming into spring, that's what I've been trying to continue."
Olsen, Beimel nearing action for Pirates
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Scott Olsen (left hamstring) and Joe Beimel (left forearm) both threw on Tuesday at Pirate City in Bradenton, Fla., and are nearing a return to game action.
Olsen threw about 30 pitches to hitters. Both are free agents who signed with the Pirates this past offseason, and neither has appeared in a Grapefruit League game.
"They'll face some live [batting practice] once or twice," manager Clint Hurdle said. "They're getting closer, they're getting closer."
Beimel's job as the left-handed setup man is secure, but Olsen, also a southpaw, needs the spring to show he's worthy of a spot.
"I think there's still time for him to get involved," Hurdle said. "If he can stay healthy on the mound, he can push this thing through."
Minor League infielder Brian Friday was hit on his throwing hand by a pitch in a "B" game on Tuesday at the Twins' complex and was taken for X-rays, which were negative. He's day-to-day depending on his pain tolerance and the swelling.
Friday, 26, spent most of last season at Triple-A Indianapolis, hitting .257 with two home runs, 28 RBIs and a .347 on-base percentage.
Left-handed starter Brian Burres hit for himself on Tuesday, part of the Pirates' effort to make their pitchers more effective with the bat this season. Pitchers will continue to hit for themselves the rest of spring, barring the occasional substitution. ... Ronny Cedeno went 2-for-3 in a 5-2 win over the Twins on Tuesday, but he was also caught stealing twice at third base with two outs. "We were in a no-run situation with a pinch-hitter up," manager Clint Hurdle said of the second failed swipe attempt in the fifth inning. Cedeno was 1-for-14 entering the day, and Hurdle said the club is looking for more discipline from him at the plate. "We'd like to see him lengthen some at-bats, become more selective early." ... Lyle Overbay hit his second homer of the spring in the top of the seventh, tying the game at 2. "I'd say it's progress," said Overbay, who felt like he started slow. ... Hurdle said outfielder Miles Durham is one of several Minor Leaguers the team wants to peek at this spring.