Coach Tony Beasley has been doing batting drills with the pitching staff for the past week or so. Zach Duke is his best pupil.
Anthony Claggett, Jack Taschner and Javier Lopez will pitch in relief roles today against the Astros. Claggett is ticketed for Triple-A, Lopez is a lock for the Pirates’ bullpen. Taschner, who has racked up 12 strikeouts in 8 1/3 innings, also is near-certain to head north with the team next week.
Aki Iwamura went 0 for 3, including a strikeout, today against Braves right-hander Kenshin Kawakami. It was the first time they had faced each other in the major leagues.
Ryan Church fractured the tip of his left middle finger, but hopes to be able to get back in the lineup by Sunday.
John Raynor is batting .313 through 14 games this spring. Part of the reason for his success is work he’s done with hitting coach Don Long.
The Pirates are trying to add another position to Delwyn Young’s resume.
Left-hander Zach Duke will start for the Pirates on Opening Day. The Pirates will play the Los Angeles Dodgers on April 5 at 1:35 p.m.
BRADENTON, Fla. — Neil Walker saw it coming.
This morning, Walker was optioned to Triple-A, one of eight players sent out of Pirates spring training camp. He’ll begin the season at Indianapolis for the third year in a row.