Notes: Snell shrugs off tough outing

Notes: Snell shrugs off tough Grapefruit outing

BRADENTON, Fla. -- Ian Snell had an interesting way of looking at his outing on Tuesday against the Phillies.

Snell had a nice boxscore line -- mostly. It read: three innings, two hits and seven strikeouts. It also read three runs, which were the product of a lack of control. Two walks ended up costing Snell a pair of runs.

"I gave up three runs," he said. "It's not a big deal; it's only Spring Training."

In Grapefruit League games, pitchers are more likely to worry about the quality of their stuff and less about runs allowed, which is how Snell judged his second outing of the Grapefruit League season.

"I couldn't get a fastball over; everything else was over," Snell said. "My slider and curveball were working for me, my fastball, not so good.

"But that's what happens in Spring Training. That's the things you got to work on."

Honor role: Vera Clemente will be one of the three people that Major League Baseball will honor March 31 in Memphis as part of its Civil Rights Game ceremonies. Clemente, the widow of Pirates great Roberto Clemente, will receive one of the inaugural "Beacon Awards" in recognition of her efforts on behalf of civil rights around the world.

The late Buck O'Neil and filmmaker Spike Lee will also receive the award.

And the question is ...: Who was the first Pirates player to start an All-Star Game? [See answer below]

Did you know: With his 14 wins last season for the Pirates, Snell won the most games of any right-hander from the state of Delaware since Huck Betts [Millsboro, Del.] won 17 games for the Boston Braves in 1934.

Bucs notes: The Pirates optioned pitchers Bryan Bullington and John Van Benschoten to Triple-A Indianapolis, and Michael Tejera to Double-A Altoona. They also reassigned catchers Steve Lerud and David Parrish, pitchers Brad Lincoln and Kip Bouknight. The Pirates now have 69 players in big league camp. The total includes 12 non-roster pitchers. ... Outfielder Jason Bay is expected to see his first action Wednesday against the Twins. He'll likely DH. ... The Pirates will use Minor Leaguers to play the Duquesne Dukes in a 10 a.m. ET game Thursday at Pirate City. ...Hall of Fame outfielder Lou Brock was at McKechnie Field as part of a book project he's working on.

He's back: Look for outfielder Xavier Nady, who has been sidelined with a intestinal infection, to return to action by week's end, which is good news to Pirates manager Jim Tracy.

"He's close; he's close," Tracy said. "I hope toward the end of the week 'X' will be able to play."

Friendly chatter: Snell gave up a monster double to Ryan Howard. On an ordinary day, his double would have cleared the left-center field fence in McKechnie Field. But, fortunately, Tuesday wasn't an ordinary day here.

A brisk wind held Howard's drive inside the ballpark. And as Howard stood on second base, he traded small talk with his friend Snell.

"He was trying to tell me he didn't get it good," Snell said of Howard. "And he was a liar."

Snell smiled.

"He's my buddy, and he's a good hitter," he added. "But just not off me. Sorry."

The answer is ...: After being selected along with Hall-of-Fame outfielder Paul Waner to play in 1933 game, Hall-of-Famer Pie Traynor was selected as a starter for the National League in 1934. Waner and shortstop Arky Vaughn also made the '34 team that season.

Quotable: "It just buckled me. Obviously, you guys saw what happened. I was just down for a little bit." -- Freddy Sanchez on Rod Barajas' hard slide into second that knocked him out of the game Tuesday

Up next: Right-hander Tony Armas Jr. will start Wednesday for the Pirates, who travel to Fort Myers, Fla., to play the Twins. Armas will face right-hander Boof Bonser in a game that will start a 1:05 p.m. ET. Pitchers Marty McLeary, Romulo Sanchez and Dan Kolb are also expected to see work for the Pirates.

Justice B. Hill is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.