Day 15: Pirates @ Braves

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

I know this pre-game entry is coming to you much later than usual, but I’m just now getting to my computer. After making the two-hour drive to Orlando this morning I thought it might be nice to get some comments from former Bucco Nate McLouth before the game. That turned into a 2+ hour adventure during he which he quite obviously was avoiding the four Pittsburgh writers who just wanted a minute or two of his time.

He finally sent word through a messenger that he would talk after he came out of the game. However, after already wasting two hours of my time and with plenty of other Pirates news to bring you, I think I’ll pass.

Anyways, here’s some stuff that might be of more interest to you…

  • A number of former Braves and former Pirates spent the morning catching up with old teammates. Charlie Morton, Ryan Church and Gorkys Hernandez saw plenty of familiar faces. When one of Atlanta’s spanish broadcasters walked up to Morton and noted that the Pirates jersey looked weird on him, he proudly and sincerely answered: “I feel good.”
  • On the Braves side, Eric Hinske and Jesse Chavez were among those mingling with Pirates players and coaches.
  • Chavez took a minute to discuss this past offseason during which he was traded first to the Rays, then to the Braves: “I didn’t know what uniform I’d be wearing after this offseason. The guys have been great and treating me wonderful. I get to talk to [Billy] Wagner every day and talk baseball. I’m around a lot of veterans. I’ve learned a lot in a couple weeks.”
  • I asked Chavez if he thought Atlanta was going to be a good situation for him and he said: “I think so. I’m not saying it wasn’t over there, but I think it is. Obviously they wanted me. They asked about me before. It’s good to be wanted.”
  • Morton and McLouth, who were a part of the same trade last June, will be facing each other to lead off the bottom of the first. Personally, though, I’m more intrigued by the chance to see Braves first baseman Jason Heyward. He has been pegged as the best Minor League prospect in baseball by many and puts on a great show in BP.
  • It’s always great to have some young guys around who have never enjoyed the Major League Spring Training scene. One of them walked out into the field and passed by none other than Braves third baseman Chipper Jones. His eyes got huge as he walked my way. “How cool is that?” he said. “I’m on the same field as Chipper Jones.” He made me promise not to attribute that comment to him, so I’ll let you have fun guessing who that might have been.

Pirates lineup:

  1. Andrew McCutchen (CF)
  2. Bobby Crosby (SS)
  3. Lastings Milledge (LF)
  4. Ryan Church (RF)
  5. Jeff Clement (1B)
  6. Pedro Alvarez (DH)
  7. Andy LaRoche (3B)
  8. Delwyn Young (2B)
  9. Jason Jaramillo (C)

Pitchers: Charlie Morton, Brian Burres, Brad Lincoln, Vinnie Chulk, Jeff Karstens, Justin Thomas, Anthony Claggett

Braves lineup:

  1. Nate McLouth (CF)
  2. Jason Heyward (RF)
  3. Chipper Jones (3B)
  4. Troy Glaus (1B)
  5. Brian McCann (C)
  6. Matt Diaz (LF)
  7. Eric Hinske (DH)
  8. Omar Infante (SS)
  9. Brooks Conrad (2B)

Pitchers: Kenshin Kawakami, Jo-Jo Reyes, Lee Hyde, Erik Cordier, Juan Abreu

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