DUNEDIN, Fla. — Chad Kuhl believes the “sophomore slump” can be a thing, but he’s not fretting about it this season. “I don’t think you can worry about it,” he said. “We’re focused on being the best we can be. We know that a lot of (the team’s success) is going to fall on our shoulders. You prepare for everyone’s best. I’ve faced really good lineups and really good opposing pitchers. I had a string where I was going up against aces. Having that experience, knowing that everyone’s doing the same thing we are — getting better and getting prepared — you know you have to out-work and out-prepare them. Just be ready.”
>>> UPDATE 7:58 a.m. — Adam Frazier took some swings in the cage a few minutes ago and said his sore left thumb is good to go. “I could have played today, but I’m not on the (travel) roster,” Frazier said, adding that he’ll instead go through a full workout at LECOM Park. Frazier injured his thumb while trying to bunt on Saturday and had it drained the next day. “It’s still sore, but I can play,” he said. … Also, Austin Meadows‘ right forearm was lightly wrapped this morning. He was hit there by a pitch during Sunday’s game v. the Orioles.
>>> Monday’s game: Pirates at Blue Jays, 1:05 p.m., Florida Auto Exchange Stadium, Dunedin. Webcast: pirates.com
Pirates: Eury Perez 9, Startling Marte 8, Gregory Polanco 7, David Freese 5, John Jaso 3, Chris Bostic 4, Eric Weiss DH, Jacob Stallings 2, Gift Ngoepe 6. RHP Chad Kuhl
Also pitching for Pirates: LH Wade LeBlanc, RH Nick Kingham, RH Clay Holmes
Blue Jays: Kevin Pillar 8, Jose Bautista DH, Jarrod Saltalamacchia 2, Justin Smoak, Darrell Ceciliani 7, Anthony Alford 9, Darwin Barney 4, Ryan Goins 6, Gregoria Petit 5. RHP Marcus Stroman
Also pitching for Blue Jays: RH Roberto Osuna, LH Aaron Loup, RH Mike Bolsinger, RH Danny Barnes
>>> Tuesday’s game: Blue Jays (RHP Lucas Harrell) at Pirates (RHP Ivan Nova), 1:05 p.m., LECOM Park, Bradenton. Webcast: pirates.com
Also pitching for Pirates: LH Tony Watson, RH Daniel Hudson, LH Felipe Rivero, RH Juan Nicasio, LH Antonio Bastardo, RH Pat Light, RH A.J. Schugel.
Also pitching for Blue Jays: RH Casey Lawrence, RH Jarrett Grube, LHJeff Beliveau, RH Wil Browning, RH Glenn Sparkman, LH T.J. House, LH Chad Girodo
>>> Wednesday’s game: Pirates (RHP Josh Lindblom) at Twins (RHP Kyle Gibson), 1:05 p.m., Hammond Stadium, Fort Myers. Radio: 93.7 FM
Also pitching for Twins: RH Ryan Vogelsong, LH Craig Breslow, LH Stephen Gonsalves, RH Aaron Slegers, RH Felix Jorge, RH Fernando Romero
Rob Biertempfel is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @BiertempfelTrib.