A little video from today’s workout at PNC Park.
»»» Free Matt Hague? Done. After mauling opposing pitchers throughout spring training, Hague earned a spot on the Opening Day roster. “Right now, it hasn’t really hit me yet,” Hague said this afternoon before the workout at PNC Park. “I’m excited, I’m happy. It feels great.”
The biggest adjustment for Hague will be finding ways to stay sharp when he’s not an everyday player. “I have to get my work in,” he said. “Whenever the time comes that they need me, I’ve got to do what I’m working for and have good at-bats.”
Hague’s monster spring — he batted .400 and led the team with seven homers — earned him some good-natured ribbing from his teammates. Hague was crowned “spring training MVP” and rewarded with a special, cushy, leather chair at his locker. He also was forced to sit in the center of the circle during a pre-workout team meeting.
»»» The Pirates kept six bench players, as Josh Harrison and Yamaico Navarro also made the team. It’s a seven-man bullpen, as Jared Hughes and Juan Cruz made the cut.
»»» Chris Leroux is out of minor league options, so the Pirates risked losing him through waivers if he did not make the Opening Day roster. After a string of awful outings in spring training, it seemed Leroux could be on his way out, but … instead, he got hurt. Leroux was placed on the 60-day DL due to what the team said is a strained right pectoral muscle. According to a team spokesman, Leroux was injured while pitching Tuesday against the Phillies. By putting Leroux on the 60-day DL, the team cleared a spot on the 40-man roster for Cruz and, conveniently, can put off making a decision about him without putting him on waivers.
»»» Charlie Morton and Kevin Correia squared off against each other today during a minor league game in Bradenton, Fla. Morton — who’s on the 15-day DL, retroactive to March 29 — threw 94 pitches in six innings. Correia — who will start Monday in LA against the Dodgers — threw 51 pitches in three innings. Morton remains on track to start April 14 in San Francisco against the Giants.
»»» A.J. Burnett is in Pittsburgh today, but tomorrow will fly back to Florida. He’ll start Friday for High-A Bradenton. “We’re just trying to hold the reins on him,” manager Clint Hurdle said, grinning. As well as Burnett’s rehab is going, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the righty in the Pirates’ rotation in time for the next homestand (April 20-25). He was placed on the 15-day DL, retroactive to March 26.
»»» The results from our last Trib fan poll, which asked who should bat cleanup for the Pirates: Neil Walker, 270 votes (36 percent); Garrett Jones, 266 votes (36 percent); Pedro Alvarez, 106 votes (14 percent); Andrew McCutchen, 70 votes (9 percent); Rod Barajas, 33 votes (4 percent). Thanks to all who voted. This week’s question asks whether you think the Pirates will finish above .500 this season.
»»» Neither the Pirates nor the Phillies released their Opening Day lineups today.
Game 1: Philadelphia @ Pirates, 1:35 p.m. ET
Phillies (0-0) — 1. 9. Roy Halladay rhp (season debut)
Pirates (0-0) — 1. 9. Erik Bedard lhp (season debut)