Catcher Pagnozzi arrives in L.A. for first game

Catcher Pagnozzi arrives in L.A. for first game

Catcher Pagnozzi arrives in L.A. for first game
LOS ANGELES -- Matt Pagnozzi had already begun his offseason workout routine.

In fact, he had just finished one of his workout sessions at the gym at his home near Phoenix when he picked up his phone to a slew of missed calls.

Seconds later, the ex-Rockies catcher found out he was just given another chance. Acquired by the Pirates off waivers from Colorado on Wednesday, Pagnozzi was in the clubhouse before Pittsburgh's game in Los Angeles on Thursday.

"I was hoping for [the call], I really was," he said. "It was kind of weird. The last two Septembers, I wasn't home, and this September I was. Honestly, I didn't like the feeling. I was hoping something would happen. I knew it was kind of a long shot, but it did, and I'm here. I'm thankful for it."

The 28-year-old played seven games for the Rockies, hitting .286. He played 54 games with Triple-A Colorado Springs this year, where he hit .275 with three homers and 29 RBIs. Pagnozzi spent 2009 and 2010 with the Cardinals, hitting .333 in 42 at-bats.

Pagnozzi, who wasn't in the lineup on Thursday, called his last 24 hours "a whirlwind," noting that he feels the final two weeks of the season will serve as a chance for him to make a name for himself in an organization with a fluid catching situation.

"I think they want to get an evaluation," Pagnozzi said. "I might get a start here or there, but I'm gonna be ready to play. I'll let them take care of how they want to use me."

An evaluation is exactly what manager Clint Hurdle said he is looking for, saying, "We've only got two weeks to get a first impression upon him. But we acquired him with a long-term vision."

Hurdle added that he wants to give Pagnozzi time to catch the pitching staff in the bullpen before throwing him into games, but he may play a bit this weekend.

After an afternoon meeting, Hurdle said he was pleased with Pagnozzi's mindset and readiness to work. He added that he sees some pop in Pagnozzi's bat in addition to being a solid "catch-and-throw guy."

"We think at this point in time in his career, there's still some upside that we can help him attain with the bat," Hurdle said. "He's already solid with the glove and calling a game, but hopefully we can help him improve in those areas, too."