TAMPA, Fla. -- None of Kevin Correia's three Spring Training pitching lines is dazzling. But after Wednesday's start in a 4-2 loss to the Yankees, the Pirates right-hander reiterated that he feels right on track to being ready and effective to start the season.
Correia threw nearly 65 pitches in the four-inning start. He allowed three runs on six hits and three walks, while striking out four. Correia has shown a knack for getting key ground balls or strikeouts when in trouble. Of course, the Pirates would like to see him minimize the trouble he gets into during the rest of Spring Training.
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"It's just more location," said Correia, who has had just one 1-2-3 inning this spring. "I think there are certain pitches I feel I can go to in certain situations and throw a strike with every time. I've just missed on a couple of occasions with them. But I fully expect the command to be there in a couple of weeks."
The Pirates aren't panicking about the results, either. Correia is likely to make four more starts before the season opens in Chicago. That gives the right-hander plenty of time to sharpen his command and get ahead with more frequency. Correia will also soon make the transition from simply getting the feel of his pitches to actually pitching to hitters' weaknesses.
"You look for certain things," manager Clint Hurdle said. "The balls he left up got hit. The balls he kept down, he got soft action. I thought he threw some good sequences. He was able to get through four innings. I think he's headed in the right direction."
Asked about his Spring Training track record, Correia said that spring results have not been good indicators of his regular-season effectiveness in the past. He pitched significantly better last spring than he had in 2009, and yet Correia's '09 season was much more successful.
"I think I'm real close," Correia said. "Obviously, there is a lot of work to be done, but we are in early Spring Training. I feel pretty good about where I'm at right now."