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March 6, 2014
by Rob Biertempfel


31 comments so far - add yours!

Morning briefing: Game 9 v. Blue Jays

The tarp is coming off the field at McKechnie, but probably not for very long.

The tarp came off at McKechnie for a few minutes, then they dragged it back on again.

BRADENTON, Fla. — If today’s game is rained out (a 50-50 proposition at this point), the players and pitchers could make up for lost work tomorrow, when there’s a “B” game against the Twins at 10 a.m. at Pirate City. At the moment, Stolmy Pimentel is scheduled to start that B game and the lineup os written in pencil at this point: Alen Hanson ss, Chase d’Arnaud 2b, Gregory Polanco cf, Brent Morel 1b, Nevin Ashley c, Matt Hague 3b, tba dh, minor leaguer tba lf, minor leaguer tba rf.

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March 5, 2014
by Rob Biertempfel


4 comments so far - add yours!

Morning briefing: Game 8 @ Blue Jays

DUNEDIN, Fla. — Jeff Locke was supposed to start today, but he felt some tightness in his side a couple of days ago while throwing a bullpen. He’s still working out daily a McKechnie Field, but will not throw off a mound for a few days. Locke believes they caught the injury early enough that it will not lead to too much down time. … Gaby Sanchez, who’d been out with a gimpy knee, is back in the lineup today and will be there tomorrow as well against the Jays at McKechnie Field.

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March 4, 2014
by Travis Sawchik


49 comments so far - add yours!

The U25s and perhaps a key early observation

LAKELAND, Fla. – Greetings from Florida, folks. Looking forward to bringing you sights, sounds and observations from camp over the next couple of weeks. But to begin, I wanted to share with you what I think are the most important sort of organizational rankings in baseball, those of Under-25 talent.

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March 4, 2014
by Rob Biertempfel


4 comments so far - add yours!

Morning briefing: Game 7 @ Tigers

LAKELAND, Fla. — Charlie Morton is scheduled to pitch three innings today, depending upon his pitch count. … Josh Harrison has hit safely in all three of his games so far. … Chris McGuiness has gone 5 for 10 with a walk in five games. … Pedro Alvarez has five hits in his past nine at-bats.

Update 11:38 a.m. — Pirates just told us LHP Jeff Locke has tightness in his right side and will not make his scheduled start Wednesday. RHP Jay Jackson will start in Locke’s place against the Blue Jays in Dunedin. Fla.

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March 3, 2014
by Travis Sawchik


92 comments so far - add yours!

Monday Mop-Up Duty: So you want a(nother) data revolution?

SOUTH HILLS – The Pirates have a chance to have the most athletic in outfield beginning in June when Gregory Polanco is presumably called up and joins Andrew McCutchen and Starling Marte. It’s a group that could be together through at least 2018. The most athletic outfield in the game? Those aren’t my words, that’s what Cardinals GM John Mozeliak told me October. While we think defensive acumen has considerable value, while defensive metrics have improved, we still really don’t know how much value individual defenders possess. We can’t quantify what a speedy outfielder’s range really means or what it really is. We don’t know how to measure his routes and first-step quickness. That’s about to change.

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March 3, 2014
by Rob Biertempfel


63 comments so far - add yours!

Morning briefing: Game 6 v. Red Sox

BRADENTON, Fla. — Gaby Sanchez tweaked his knee while making an awkward, aborted slide into third base the other day against the Blue Jays. Tests showed no structuarl damage and he took some swings in the batting cage this morning.

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March 2, 2014
by Rob Biertempfel


22 comments so far - add yours!

Morning briefing: Game 5 @ Phillies

CLEARWATER, Fla. — I’m usually not one to boo athletes when I attend games as a fan. I’ll grumble and/or curse fate, but unless I’m 100 percent sure the guy gave no effort, I figure I can’t criticize too much. There can be a lot of things that go into even a routine play.

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March 1, 2014
by Rob Biertempfel


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Morning briefing: Game 4 v. Rays

BRADENTON, Fla. — Want some injury updates? Gaby Sanchez was scratched from the lineup today due to what the team says is “discomfort in his right knee.” He is listed as day to day. I have not spoken yet with Sanchez about what caused the injury. He made a sprawling stop of a hard grounder in the first inning Friday, which might be the culprit…. Phil Irwin was scratched from his scheduled outing yesterday due to a sore right elbow.

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February 28, 2014
by Travis Sawchik


93 comments so far - add yours!

Taillon over Cole? And updating the Andrew Lambo project

SOUTH HILLS – The Pirates paraded their front-of-the-rotation future before the good citizens of Dunedin, Fla. this afternoon, as Jameson Taillon followed Gerrit Cole on the mound. Spring training stats hold the value of Confederate currency, but Taillon did throw two clean innings.  He threw strikes. More interesting is what ESPN’s Jayson Stark passed along from one scout:

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