By Rob Biertempfel/Photo by Christopher Horner
UPDATED 10:53 a.m. – BRADENTON, Fla. —
For just the third time this spring, the entire Dream Outfield — Andrew McCutchen, Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco — will be in the lineup on Saturday. …. Most of the Dream Outfield
UPDATE 12:12 p.m. – Reporters were waiting for Polanco to exit an outfielders meeting, but he cut down a hallway without speaking. No further word on when/how he was injured. I did not see him on the field at the end of batting practice. I was not out there for the start of BP, so I can’t say for sure he was on the field then.
RF Andrew McCuchen and CF Starling Marte will start against the Tigers. The World Baseball Classic split up the trio and kept them out of Pirates camp for a couple of weeks.
“I was excited … just to say, man, we got our whole starting outfield starting in the WBC,” McCutchen said. “I think that was pretty cool. I don’t think there was any (other MLB team) where you have three (starters) in the outfield in the WBC. That was really cool. You get a sense of pride to see us out there performing and doing well.
McCutchen and Harrison appreciated the chance to play for manager Jim Leyland on Team USA.
McCutchen said he joined Team USA already aware of Leyland’s success in the majors, including his time as the Pirates’ manager. “It was awesome to be managed by him. He let me go out there and do my thing. All he wanted from us was just wanting to win the game. Whatever it takes, whatever we’ve got to do to prepare, whatever we’ve got to do to get ready, you go and get ready and go out there and play hard. It was huge to hear the things that he had to say to us. Some stuff stuck. It was cool for him to manage us.”
Harrison was struck by Leyland’s pregame demeanor. “I like Jim a lot. Old-school guy. He’s not a guy who gave a rah-rah speech; it was just, ‘Hey, go play. If I need to motivate you, you’re in the wrong place or doing the wrong thing.’ That was something I like to hear. We don’t need any extra motivation. We play this game because we love it.”
Pirates manager Clint Hurdle doesn’t expect the time missed in camp will affect his three outfielders, who have switched spots this year. “I don’t have any concerns about that,” Hurdle said. “There are some nuances they’ll be able to work on. It’s out of hands. There was nothing we could do about (the WBC), so there was no reason to stress about it. Now, we’ve got them back. We’ll get them plugged in together as often as we can and go from there.”
>>> UPDATE 11:39 a.m. – Chris Stewart had an MRI last night after tweaking his left groin while running to first base in the seventh inning. Doctors have advised treatment and his status is day to day. “It’s been than expected,” Stewart said. “I didn’t feel too bad yesterday. I definitely felt a grab as I was running to first base and must have shut it down early enough to not do any more damage.” It’s uncertain if Stewart will be ready for opening day.
>>> Here’s a shot of a pretty sunrise over WaWa this morning to look at as you ponder my links:
Jung Ho Kang remains in work visa limbo, creating at least the possibility he will not play for the Pirates this season
When will Jung Ho Kang play in his first game for the Pirates this season?
— Rob Biertempfel (@BiertempfelTrib) March 24, 2017
Notebook … in which Cutch and J-Hay return, Trevor Williams looks sharp and Stewie feels some discomfort.
Pirates 4, Rays 0: A demo of really poor defense by the Rays.
>>> Saturday’s game: Tigers at Pirates, 1:05 p.m., LECOM Park, Bradenton. TV: Root
Tigers: Andrew Romine 8, Tyler Collins 9, Mikie Mahtook 7, Alex Avila 3, James McCann 2, Dominic Ficociello 5, JaCoby Jones DH, Dixon Machado 6, Brendan Ryan 4. RHP Anibal Sanchez. Also pitching for Tigers: LH Daniel Stumpf, RH Mark Lowe, LH Kyle Ryan.
Pirates (updated roster): Adam Frazier 6, Josh Harrison 4, Andrew McCutchen 9,
Gregory Polanco Jose Osuna 7, Starling Marte 8, Francisco Cervelli 2, John Jaso 3, Phil Gosselin 5, RHP Tyler Glasnow 1. Also pitching for Pirates: LH Steven Brault, RH Jared Hughes.
>>> RHP Juan Nicasio, LHP Tony Watson and RHP Daniel Hudson each are scheduled to work one inning (15 pitches) today in a minor league game at Pirate City.
>>> Sunday’s game: Pirates at Phillies, 1:05 p.m., Spectrum Field, Clearwater. Radio: 93.7 FM. Pirates: Lineup TBA. RHP Josh Lindblom. Also pitching for Pirates: LH Wade LeBlanc, RH A.J, Schugel, RH Jared Hughes. Phillies. Lineup TBA. RHP Clay Buchholz. Also pitching for Phillies: RH Hector Neris, RH Luis Garcia, RH Joaquin Benoit
>>> Monday’s game: Twins at Pirates, 6:05 p.m., LECOM Park, Bradenton. TV: Root. Radio: 93.7 FM. Twins: Lineup TBA. RHP Phil Hughes. Also pitching for Twins: LH Buddy Boshers, RH Michael Tonkin, RH J.T. Chargois. Pirates: Lineup TBA. Also pitching for Pirates: TBA.
>>> Tuesday’s game: Red Sox at Pirates, 6:05 p.m., LECOM Park, Bradenton. TV: Root. Radio: 93.7 FM. Red Sox: Lineup TBA. Also pitching for Red Sox: TBA. Pirates: Lineup TBA. Also pitching for Pirates: TBA.
>>> Wednesday’s game: Phillies (split squad) at Pirates, 1:05 p.m., LECOM Park, Bradenton. TV: Root. Phillies: Lineup TBA. Also pitching for Phillies: TBA. Pirates: Lineup TBA. Also pitching for Pirates: TBA.
Rob Biertempfel is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @BiertempfelTrib.