BRADENTON, Fla. — Pedro Alvarez is back at workouts today — he hit in the cage early this morning, then did baserunning and fielding drills on Field 2. He missed all of practice yesterday due to neck spasms.
»»» When manager Clint Hurdle says he wants speed to play a bigger role in the Pirates’ offense this season, he’s not talking just about stolen bases.
The first workout on Field 2 today was a round of baserunning drills, with an emphasis on runners going from first base to third on singles. “Our goal is to be the best in the National League at this,” coach Nick Leyva said.
I’ll write more about this later this week. In the meantime, those of you who are on Facebook can check out a couple of videos from the morning workouts on my page.
»»» Hurdle has been tight-lipped about the starting pitcher rotation for the Grapefruit League games, as well as who will start the regular-season opener against the Cubs.
Other teams are not as hush-hush. The Orioles will start right-hander Brad Bergesen in their spring opener Saturday against the Pirates at McKechnie Field. As for the regular season, righty Ryan Dempster will start for the Cubbies. Carlos Zambrano (who’d started the past six openers for Chicago) and Matt Garza will pitch the next two games of the series at Wrigley Field.