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Pregame: Good news for Snyder

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BRADENTON, Fla. — I talked a few minutes ago with catcher Chris Snyder, who’s in a buoyant mood. “Right now, there’s no pain,” said Snyder, who’s been out since March 10 due to a sore back. “Every day in the last three has been a positive progression.”

Snyder swung a bat this morning — 15 swings off a tee, 10 on flips. Sunday, he plans to strap on his gear and do fielding drills. His goals next week are to take batting practice Monday and play in a minor league game Tuesday.

Snyder is optimistic about starting the season in solid shape, as long as things go as planned. “If it was any later than early next week, that would be pushing it,” he said.

»»» Righty James McDonald (sore side) told me he did 50 throws of long toss today and will try a bullpen session Sunday. The Pirates, as usual, continue to be mum about the nature of McDonald’s injury and his timetable to return to game action.

»»» Left-hander Garrett Olson will throw a side session Sunday morning and is expected to pitch Monday against Minnesota at McKechnie Field. Olson was claimed off waivers Friday, and had been in camp with the Seattle Mariners in Arizona.

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