Pirates reel in catcher Pagnozzi off waivers

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The Pirates claimed catcher Matt Pagnozzi off waivers Wednesday from the Colorado Rockies.

The team transferred Steve Pearce, who was on the 15-day disabled list because of a broken finger, to the 60-day DL to make room for Pagnozzi on the 40-man roster.

Pagnozzi, 28, spent most of the season with Class AAA Colorado Springs and hit .275 with three home runs and 29 RBIs. He spent about a month with the Rockies.

The St. Louis Cardinals drafted Pagnozzi in the eighth round of the 2003 draft. Baseball America ranked him the best defensive catcher in the Cardinals' minor league organization prior to the 2009 season.

"We have liked Matt's defense in the past and felt this claim gave us a chance to add a solid defender at a position where the industry lacks depth," general manager Neal Huntington said.

Pagnozzi has hit .317 in 28 career major league games. He had a .337 on-base percentage and a .421 slugging percentage, a career high, this season with Colorado Springs.

His uncle, Tom, also was a major league catcher.

Breaking in the breaking ball

Daniel Moskos did not have to overhaul his breaking ball on his most recent trip to Class AAA Indianapolis.

The pitch worked just fine -- when he threw a good one. If he did not, he threw awful ones. There was no in-between.

"It was kind of a matter of keeping it sharp," he said.

"Part approach, part execution. Just stay focused on what you're trying to do, and that should eliminate the bad ones for the most part."

In 31/3 innings since returning as part of the expanded September rosters, Moskos has not allowed a run.

"It's just a matter of throwing the one that's got a little bit of depth to it, not really so much the one that sweeps," he said. "Just staying on top of it and keeping the spin tight."

This season, Moskos allowed eight runs, six earned, in 202/3 innings with the Pirates, good for a 2.61 ERA.

2012 schedule arrives

The Pirates released their 2012 schedule, which begins April 5 with a three-game series at home against the Philadelphia Phillies. The Pirates also will play home series against the Cardinals and Colorado Rockies in April.

Interleague play begins in May with a three-game series at Detroit. The Tigers, Kansas City Royals and Minnesota Twins will visit PNC Park in June, and the Pirates will visit the Baltimore Orioles and Cleveland Indians.

The Pirates have a three-game home series against the Houston Astros ending July 4 and finish the first half at home against the San Francisco Giants before the All-Star break begins July 9.

They will begin the second half at Milwaukee and spend the July 31 trade deadline in Chicago while facing the Cubs.

They play 11 consecutive home games against the Arizona Diamondbacks, San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers in August.

They finish the season with a three-game home series against the Atlanta Braves ending Oct. 3.

Doumit upbeat

Ryan Doumit has hit .455 (15 for 33) in 12 games in September, with a home run, five doubles and four RBIs.

"I'm feeling comfortable," he said.

Doumit is hitting .299, albeit in 194 at-bats. His average has not climbed that high since 2008, when he hit .318.

"I've been getting in good hitter's counts, I've been patient, and it's been paying off."

Bill Brink can be reached at bbrink@post-gazette.com .


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