BRADENTON, Fla. — I’m not going to lie and tell you it’s great to be back at work after spending the past six days on the beach. Best to jump back in right away. It rained like the dickens here this morning, but so far there’s no indication that the game tonight against the Orioles (and the postgame fireworks, of course) will be affected.
»»» Via e-mail, the Pirates just sent out these injury updates:
… Right-hander Jose Ascanio threw a bullpen Wednesday without problem. The Pirates said, “He will continue on his return-to-pitch progression. We will send out an update after his next session.”
… Here are two vague updates: Joe Beimel and Scott Olsen “continue on (their) return-to-pitch progression without issue. We will send out an update after (their) next session.”
… The Pirates say outfielder John Bowker (left wrist), infielder Josh Rodriguez (right quadriceps) and infielder Brian Friday (left hand) all “feel better” and their status remains day to day.
… One last one: “Kevin Hart continues on his return to pitch progression without issue.”
»»» Former Buccos owner Kevin McClatchy has a new gig.
»»» Reliever Brendan Donnelly has retired. The righty went 3-1 with a 5.58 ERA in the Pirates’ bullpen last season until he was released in late July. Donnelly claimed the move was made to keep him from reaching performance bonus levels based on outings, but the Pirates firmly denied it.
Donnelly, 39, was well-liked and respected in the clubhouse and seemed happy to mentor Evan Meek and Joel Hanrahan. Donnelly tried to hook up with any club on a minor league contract this spring, but found no takers.