BRADENTON, Fla. - The Pittsburgh Pirates selected pitcher Daniel Moskos ahead of catcher Matt Wieters, pitcher Madison Bumgarner and outfielder Jason Heyward in the first round of the 2007 draft. Of those players, only Moskos has yet to make his major league debut.
His time could arrive sooner than later, especially if veteran Joe Beimel continues to experience arm problems. In the absence of another established left-handed option, the 24-year-old Clemson University product is a darkhorse candidate for a roster spot this spring.
"I'll get there one day at a time," he said. "I just have to continue to work."
"Daniel will show us if he's ready," pitching coach Ray Searage said. "We'll take it one outing at a time and see if he can handle major league hitters and maintain his composure. It's hard to tell this early, but his attitude and effort have been off the charts. He has progressed well."
Moskos has just 19 games of Triple-A experience, but he wasn't out of his element in a 2-0 victory against the New York Yankees on Tuesday afternoon, when he pitched an uneventful ninth inning. He also didn't allow a run or a hit in his only previous appearance this spring.
"My command of the fastball was really good," Moskos said. "It was down in the strike zone, and if I can stay there, I'll have more success. I was ahead in the count, which is one of my goals this season. Now I need to build off this and try to get better."
"What we have to watch for is when he gets a bit too quick out there," Searage said. "His delivery has stayed consistent pretty much so far."
Beimel news good
In a prepared statement, the team announced that Beimel had "no acute damage" in his left elbow, according to the results of an MRI that was taken the previous afternoon.
"I thought that I would be able to play Pac-Man on my cell phone, but I had to contort my body to fit into a machine," he said. "I was in the weirdest position. Finally, I was like, 'I just can't do this any more.' After about 20 minutes, my arm fell asleep, so they got only one of the pictures that they wanted to take."
Beimel hopes for better results this morning, when he plans to play short toss from a 60-foot distance.
"My arm feels pretty good today," he said. "It gets better every day. If it felt the same, then it might be something worry about."
Former first-round draft pick Tony Sanchez sat out the first five Grapefruit League games, but continues to take part in bullpen sessions.
"Antsy," the catcher described his mood in a word.
Sanchez was expected to begin the regular season at Altoona, the Class AA farm club.
"Tony is one of the guys who is here for the atmosphere," manager Clint Hurdle said. "There are others that we need to look at first. He'll get a few at-bats at some point."
Cuban pitcher signs
The organization announced that free agent pitcher Cesar Lopez had agreed to contract terms.
The 20-year-old Cuban native resided in Nuevo Leon, Mexico. He was not selected in the major league draft.
"Cesar is a very talented player with great character, who we believe is a great addition to our organization," said Rene Gayo, Latin American scouting director. "He has an above-average sinker, a fastball that can reach 94 miles per hour and had a good feel to pitch."
Blood drive set
The first of four blood drives this season will be held from noon to 6 p.m. on Monday at PNC Park.
Former Pirates pitcher Grant Jackson will on hand for autographs and photographs.
Complimentary parking will be available at Red Lot 6 on General Robinson Street.
The Pirates travel to Dunedin for a game with the Toronto Blue Jays.
Charlie Morton is scheduled to become the first pitcher to work as many as three innings this spring. Brad Lincoln, Tyler Yates, Jeff Locke and Cesar Valdez are expected to follow him.