By Rob Biertempfel
BRADENTON, Fla. — For the first couple weeks of spring training games, there’s usually not a lot of star power on the field after the fifth or sixth innings. That hasn’t been the case, though, with the Pirates’ pitchers.
“I think it would be tough to find another organization that has the depth of quality arms that we have,” righty Jameson Taillon said. “I think it’s cool we had a lot of Pirates (prospects) in camp this year, guys who we drafted and brought up. I consider (Steven) Brault and Trevor (Williams) to be Pirates, even though they weren’t drafted by us. If you look around, you see (Tyler) Glasnow, Brault, Trevor, (Nick) Kingham, Clay Holmes, (Tyler) Eppler … Most teams after the fifth inning start rolling out guys throwing like 86-88 mph. We roll out a bunch of 6-foot-5 guys throwing 95 mph with sink and curveballs and stuff. I think we’re in a better place this year, as far as depth and quality arms, than we were last year.”
>>> UPDATE 8:23 a.m. – Four roster moves were made this morning. RHP Pat Light was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis. RHP Casey Sadler, RHP Angel Sanchez and LHP Jared Lakind were re-assigned to minor league camp. There are 47 players still in big league camp.
Sadler is coming back from Tommy John surgery. He made one appearance this spring on March 12 v. the Twins, allowing one hit and getting a strikeout in one inning. Sanchez, another TJ recovery guy, pitched against the Dominican Republic and also in a B game v. the Orioles. Lakind pitched with Team Israel in the WBC and in four Grapefruit Leaguye games (2.08 ERA in 4.1 IP). Light made five outings (3.86 ERA in 4.2 IP).
>>> On Sunday, GM Neal Huntington was asked if a decision would soon be made on the No. 5 starter. His response was, um, unenlightening: “We’re getting to a point where more guys are getting stretched out and innings are becoming more valuable and more difficult for Ray (Searage) to put the master map together. A very good outing from Tyler (Glasnow) yesterday. Drew (Hutchison) stumbled in his last outing. Trevor (Williams) was very good in his B game. (Steven) Brault had been solid, but struggled in his third inning of work yesterday. So, there good signs and there are challenges with each one of those guys. Some things are clarifying and we’re excited about the depth and the quality of arms we have in camp.”
Based on what you've seen so far, the last job in the #Pirates rotation should go to …
— Rob Biertempfel (@BiertempfelTrib) March 18, 2017
>>> You want links? I’ve got links:
Alen Hanson doesn’t have to wear a watch to know what time it is. “It’s time for me to be in the league. I feel ready to do my job.”
Notebook … In which Watty is scuffling, Marte is gimpy and Kang is still out of the picture.
Pirates 11, Blue Jays 11 … in which Jose Tabata does a TOOTBLAN, Hanson swipes a bag and Jason Rogers gets back on the field.
>>> Monday’s game: Pirates at Rays, 1:05 p.m., Charlotte Sports Park, Port Charlotte. Webcast: pirates.com
Pirates: Adam Frazier 4, Jordy Mercer 6, Josh Bell 3, David Freese 5, Jose Osuna 9, Phil Gosselin 7, Austin Meadows 8, Chris Stewart 2, RHP Jameson Taillon 1. Also pitching for Pirates: RH Edgar Santana, LH Wade LeBlanc
Rays: Logan Morrison 3, Kevin Kiermaier 8, Evan Longoria 5, Brad Miller 4, Colby Rasmus DH, Corey Dickerson 7, Tim Beckham 6, Jake Bauers 9, Jesus Sucre 2. LHP Blake Snell. Also pitching for Rays: RH Shawn Tolleson, RH David Carpenter, RH Neil Wagner, RH Diego Moreno, LH Xavier Cedeno
>>> Tuesday’s game: Rays at Pirates, 1:05 p.m., LECOM Park, Bradenton. TV: Root. Radio: 93.7 FM.
Rays: Lineup TBA. RHP Alex Cobb. Also pitching for Rays: RH Erasmo Ramirez, RH Jaime Schultz
Pirates: TBA. RHP Chad Kuhl. Also pitching for Pirates: RH A.J. Schugel, RH Josh Lindblom
>>> Wednesday: Off day.
>>> Thursday’s game: Pirates at Red Sox, 1:05 p.m., JetBlue Park at Fenway South, Fort Myers. Webcast: pirates.com Pirates: Lineup TBA. Also pitching for Pirates: TBA. Red Sox: Lineup TBA. Also pitching for Red Sox: .
>>> Friday’s game: Rays at Pirates, 1:05 p.m., LECOM Park, Bradenton. Rays: Lineup TBA. Also pitching for Rays: TBA Pirates: TBA. Also pitching for Pirates: TBA
>>> Saturday’s game: Tigers at Pirates, 1:05 p.m., LECOM Park, Bradenton Tigers: Lineup TBA. Also pitching for Tigers: TBA Pirates: 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.