TWIB to spotlight young Bucs

TWIB to spotlight young Bucs

There are many moments in baseball that can shape the outcome of a game, a series or even a season. With 30 baseball clubs, it can be hard to keep track of these defining moments.

Therefore, each week FOX's This Week in Baseball takes an in-depth look at one of those big league teams. This week, the subject of the show, which airs at noon ET on Saturday, will be the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The theme of the show is the youth of the Pirates' roster and the success that could surround that team.

"We try rotating between teams and the Pirates have been on our radar since last season," TWIB lead producer Matt Anderton said. "It is an intriguing story since they're so young. It's a really good opportunity that we were finally able to highlight them."

TWIB will look at present players and former greats who helped to shape the team and the baseball community as a whole.

The program will start with a feature on Andrew McCutchen, the 23-year-old center fielder, who was batting .329 with five home runs and 13 RBIs as of May 19. The second-year player is a highlight of the young Pirates team and is expected to make an impact on the field for many years to come.

"There's a general excitement and buzz around him and how great he is going to be for Pittsburgh," Anderton said.

Interviews with various teammates and coaches highlight how good McCutchen has been and will become.

From there, TWIB goes on to highlight another Pirates youngster, pitcher Ross Ohlendorf. With all five of Pittsburgh's starting pitchers being 27 or younger, Ohlendorf is another bright spot on the staff.

Ohlendorf led the teams in wins last season with 11, and had an ERA of 3.92 over 29 games.

The right-hander will be featured in part for his smarts. A graduate of Princeton, Ohlendorf is considered one of the brightest guys in baseball.

"This feature just highlights how smart he really is," Anderton said. "We do some trivia questions with him relating to baseball, with the last one being how to calculate slugging percentage. He got them all right."

Next, the program looks back at Pirates great Roberto Clemente. In the Pepsi Refresh Block, the program features players who have helped change the world in some way or another. Clemente proved to be a humanitarian and a positive influence for other Latino athletes who followed in his footsteps.

"This feature is just recapping how great he was to baseball and how inspirational he proved to be," Anderton said.

Later in the show, great plays and bloopers will be highlighted, as well as an educational segment that displays various techniques surrounding baseball.

TWIB can be seen on video boards in stadiums, as well as internationally in Australia, Canada, Cuba, The Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Japan, Latin America, The Middle East, The Netherlands, Antilles, Nicaragua, Panama and Taiwan.

Fans can e-mail the show at twib@mlb.com, and visit the web site, MLBProductions.com, for original blogs and bonus footage.

TWIB will close out its half-hour show with various short features including:

• Holiday Inn's "Winning on the Road" will focus on Twins first baseman Justin Morneau, who has had eight hits, three of which were homeruns, and six RBI in five games from May 14-18 -- all of which were played on the road.

•The XM "Call of the Week" segment highlights an 11th-inning bunt by Jason Bartlett to push Tampa Bay past Cleveland in Monday's game.

• The Gillette "Rookie of the Week" will feature Detroit's Austin Jackson, who remains hot at the plate, as he extends his hit streak to 10 and went 2-for-5 with two runs on Sunday.

Next week's show will take a step back from specific teams and look at pitching throughout the league.

Jocelyn Syrstad is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.