Day 13: SCF @ Pirates
Welcome to a surprisingly sunny McKechnie Field. The forecast is calling for thunderstorms across Florida, though for the time being it’s actually quite pleasant here. We’ll see if the nice weather sticks around long enough to get this 12:05 pm charity game in.
The Manatees are coming to town and the Pirates are looking to avenge last year’s loss. Granted the Pirates team that took the field against South College of Florida (formerly Manatee Community College) last spring was made up entirely of Minor League players. Still a loss to a junior college is a loss, and it was the first in 11 exhibition games between the two clubs.
Here’s your pregame news…
- Brendan Donnelly and Kevin Hart will each have extended side sessions at Pirate City today. Donnelly, who has been easing into his work a bit more slowly, is throwing one innings (25 pitches). Hart is throwing two simulated innings (17 pitchs each). Hart will make his first scheduled Grapefruit League appearance on Saturday. Still unsure when Donnelly will first take the mound for the Pirates, but there is no rush.
- We haven’t been given a date as to when Octavio Dotel is expected to begin throwing again, though I didn’t see him on the list today. He is supposed to resume workouts sometime this week.
- The following position players are scheduled to make the trip to Tampa tomorrow to face the Yankees in the Grapefruit League opener: Ryan Doumit, Luke Carlin, Hector Gimenez, Erik Kratz, Pedro Alvarez, Doug Bernier, Ronny Cedeno, Jeff Clement, Argenis Diaz, Brian Friday, Aki Iwamura, Andy LaRoche, Steve Pearce, Neil Walker, Delwyn Young, Ryan Church, Gorkys Hernandez, Garrett Jones, Andrew McCutchen, Lastings Milledge, John Raynor, Jose Tabata.
- Minor Leaguers Kyle Bloom, Dustin Molleken and Daniel Moskos will join the Major Leaguers in Tampa tomorrow as emergency pitchers.
- The clubhouse here at McKechnie Field got a bit of a facelift during the last year. Players now actually have a lounge where they can go to eat and play cards. The lockers have also been rearranged to make for a sitting area with a nice flat screen. Renovations at McKechnie are expected to continue during the year, and I hear that an expansion of the press box is in order. On a selfish note, that is a wonderful thing.
- Just because we’re no longer at Pirate City doesn’t mean all those fundamental drills and fielding practice sessions are over. Players are out working on relay throws and cut-offs as I type this (Neil Walker is at second for the drill). Pitchers are on the half-field doing their PFPs.
- For those who might be curious, former Pirates farmhands John Van Benschoten and Brad Eldred have each signed Minor League deals. JVB is now in the Yankees’ system. Eldred is with Colorado.
- Gorkys Hernandez (CF)
- John Raynor (LF)
- Jose Tabata (RF)
- Pedro Alvarez (3B)
- Steve Pearce (1B)
- Brandon Moss (DH)
- Erik Kratz (C)
- Argenis Diaz (SS)
- Doug Bernier (2B)
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