Sunday, July 5, 2009

"...HOUSTON WE HAVE LIFT OFF!"


ABOVE: Looking a little more comfortable about being Pirates are our two Indian prospects.

Okay, so it wasn't as dramatic as a space launch, but finally the "dynamic Indian duo" of Rinku Singh and Dinesh Patel got to take the mound for an inning each in the Gulf Coast Instructional League on Saturday for the Pirates Bradenton team. The two were signed by the Pirates for $10,000 each after they participated in the "Million Dollar Arm" reality television show in India. Singh won $100,000 in the contest while Patel was the runner-up. The two are the first two Indians to ever be signed by a major league team.

Singh allowed one run on two hits and struck out one in the seventh inning. He threw 13 of his 20 pitches for strikes. Patel threw a scoreless eighth, needing only nine pitches to do it (seven were strikes) and striking out one.


ABOVE: Dinesh Patel warms up in Florida.

Both pitchers were relieved to have finally gotten an opportunity to see live action and get their careers launched. "I was very excited to pitch in my first professional game," said Singh. "It was difficult to learn to pitch, now it's difficult how to pitch inside then outside...But now everything is going good."

Patel has no doubt about his career plans: "Single-A, Double-A. Triple-A then the majors," he explained. "P.B.& G." will continue to follow this unique story.

Meanwhile, Ryan Doumit, on a rehab assignment, didn't have a very auspicious debut as he went 0-5 with a strikeout. Doumit was to play for Triple-A Indianapolis on Sunday. Newly acquired Lastings Millidge, also on a rehab assignment because of a broken finger, went 1-3 with a double and played six innings in left field. Millidge is expected to be called-up after the all star break.