Pirates A.M. — Notable lineup tweaks today


BellFutures2.jpegBy Rob Biertempfel

BRADENTON, Fla. — Two things stand out about today’s lineup. First, howdy, Josh Bell. He’ll make his Grapefruit League debut after recovering from offseason knee surgery. Second, grab a bat, Ivan Nova! The Pirates have stopped using a designated hitter.

>>> Chris Stewart is scheduled to catch in his first spring training game on Tuesday vs. the Braves. Stewart told me he’ll likely be behind the plate for three to five innings. “I’m expecting a sold-out crowd,” Stewart joked. Stewart had knee surgery in September and has been going at a slow pace during spring training. “I’ll get my work in, the things I need done, and pretty much (do) nothing more,” Stewart said. “The less taxing, the better. I’ve still got to be ready to go on day one, so it’s a matter of managing my workload and making sure I do all that needs to be done.”

>>> Gregory Polanco popped into the Pirates clubhouse this morning to pick up some gear on his way to the Dominican Republic’s WBC training camp. Team DR is working out at Pirate City, about 5 miles from BFKMF, and will play the Pirates here on Wednesday.

>>> Jung Ho Kang’s locker in the McKechnie clubhouse at the Ballpark Formerly Known as McKechnie Field is stocked with shoes, jerseys, uniform pants and batting gloves. The Pirates remain mum on when they expect Kang, who last week got a suspended sentence for drunk driving in South Korea, to arrive in camp.

>>> You want links? I’ve got links:

With the fellas away at the WBC, Austin Meadows will get more PT.

Tom Prince is filling in as skipper while Clint Hurdle is away to attend a funeral

Yankees 3, Pirates 2. Rematch is this afternoon.

>>> Monday’s game: Yankees at Pirates, 1:05 p.m., LECOM Park, Bradenton. TV: Root. Radio: 93.7 FM.

Yankees (9-2): Brett Gardner 7, Jacoby Ellsbury 8, Starlin Castro 4, Greg Bird 3, Chase Headley 5, Aaron Judge DH, Aaron Hicks 9, Austin Romine 2, Jorge Mateo 6. RHP Bryan Mitchell.

Also pitching for Yankees: LH Jordan Montgomery, LH Jon Niese, LH Evan Rutckyj

Pirates (7-3): Adam Frazier 9, Jordy Mercer 6, Josh Bell 3, David Freese 5, Elias Diaz 2, Chris Bostick 4, Austin Meadows 8, Barrett Barnes 7 RHP Ivan Nova 1.

Also pitching for Pirates: RH Josh Lindblom, LH Felipe Rivero, RH Juan Nicasio, RH Edgar Santana, RH Dovydas Neverauskas.

>>> Tuesday’s game: Braves at Pirates, 1:05 p.m., LECOM Park, Bradenton. TV: Root.

Braves: Lineup TBA. LHP Jaime Garcia. Also pitching for Braves: RH Matt Wisler, RH Jim Johnson, RH Arodys Vizcaino

Pirates: TBA. RHP Trevor Williams. Also pitching for Pirates: LH Steven Brault, RH Jared Hughes, LH Antonio Bastardo, LH Ty Webb

>>> Wednesday’s game: Dominican Republic at Pirates, 1:05 p.m., LECOM Park, Bradenton. Webcast: pirates.com

Dominican Republic: TBA. Also pitching for Dominican Republic: TBA

Pirates: TBA. Also pitching for Pirates: TBA

>>> Thursday’s game: Pirates at Rays, 1:05 p.m., Charlotte Sports Park, Port Charlotte. Webcast: pirates.com

Pirates: TBA. Also pitching for Pirates: TBA

Rays: Lineup TBA. LHP Blake Snell. Also pitching for Rays: RH Tommy Hunter, RH David Carpenter, RH Ryan Garton, RH Kevin Gadea, LH Justin Marks

Rob Biertempfel is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at rbiertempfel@tribweb.com or via Twitter @BiertempfelTrib.