Major League Baseball will use pitch clocks during Spring Training games, Commissioner Rob Manfred said on Sunday, which possibly paves the way for the introduction of a pitch clock during the regular season. The Pirates don't seem too worried about the idea.
Josh Bell stepped to the plate on Field 1 at Pirate City late Tuesday morning and assumed his left-handed stance.
Pirates camp is the hot place to be.
The next five weeks will see lots of shuffling on Major League rosters. Here are the most intriguing positional battles on each of the 30 MLB clubs.
The Pirates hired hitting coach Rick Eckstein and assistant hitting coach Jacob Cruz this winter to get more out of their bats, and their work begins in earnest this week. Eckstein and Cruz have set out to extract more power and consistency from a lineup in need of improvement.
Before the Pirates took to the back fields of Pirate City for their first full-squad workout on Monday morning, manager Clint Hurdle addressed the team. He finished his speech with a call to action.
On this opening week of Spring Training, all 30 Major League teams have one thing in common: optimism. Here's an optimism cheat sheet for each of them.
This season is already off to a better start than 2018 for Melky Cabrera. At this time a year ago, he was still waiting to sign. He kept waiting until late April before finding a match with the Indians on a Minor League contract. So the veteran outfielder felt like he was arriving early when he reported on time to Pirates camp on Sunday morning.
Chris Archer is scheduled to start the Pirates' home opener against the Cardinals. When manager Clint Hurdle announced Pittsburgh's opening series rotation on Saturday, he also gave Archer the nod for the season's first game at PNC Park.
Adam Frazier is set to be the Pirates' starting second baseman this season. So unless there's an unexpected development, he doesn't have to worry about following his work at second with fly balls in the outfield or grounders at another position. The Bucs hope that kind of consistency will bring out the best in him.
Pirates manager Clint Hurdle announced Saturday that right-hander Jameson Taillon will be the Bucs' Opening Day starter when they take on the Reds in Cincinnati on March 28.
Colin Moran first focused on improving his mobility, which he hopes will lead to better range at third base as he prepares for his second full season in the Majors.
Last month, Steven Brault joked that he's never experienced the Spring Training that he hears other players talk about -- the relaxed camp where they just prepare for the season. Brault has always had to worry about winning a job. The left-hander is once again competing for a spot on the Pirates' Opening Day roster.
The 30 prospects below all are getting very long looks this spring with an eye toward breaking camp with the parent club. Even if they start the year in the Minors, they all should get the chance to contribute at some point in the very near future.
There are a number of factors the Pirates must consider when filling the holes in their Opening Day roster over the next six weeks. Some of those factors, like performance, are within the players' control. Others aren't. For a few players, their Minor League option status makes the decision even more complicated.
The Pirates don't think they saw the real Kevin Newman late last season, and they are excited to watch the highly rated prospect compete for their starting shortstop job in Spring Training.
It was only five years ago that the Cardinals won the National League Central with only 90 wins. Heck, it was only 12 years ago that the Cubs won it with 85, and 13 that the Cardinals won it with 83. Point is: There have been times in recent baseball history that the NL Central was not exactly the toughest gauntlet in the sport. But in 2019, it looks like the scariest division in baseball.
Before the Pirates' pitchers and catchers warmed up for their first workout on Wednesday, they gathered to meet with Clint Hurdle. Pittsburgh's manager delivered a quick message, he said, one meant to "reinforce the belief that the game leans heavily upon pitching."
When Joe Musgrove had abdominal surgery in October, the Pirates stated that the right-hander would be "on or close to a regular schedule" for Spring Training. That forecast turned out to be true as Pittsburgh's pitchers and catchers officially began their spring workouts on Wednesday.