Day 4: Daily Squeeze
- LHP Scott Olsen hobbled off the field this morning. Fortunately, the early exit from workouts had nothing to do with Olsen’s left shoulder (which has given him problems for the last two years). He felt some tightness in his hamstring during fielding practice, and that ended his day. Olsen will be reevaluated on Friday, though he insisted that this setback is nothing that should keep him off the field for more than a day or two.
- Camp is almost full, and all players are required to report to Bradenton by the end of the day on Friday. On Thursday, Alex Presley and John Bowker arrived for their first day of workouts.
- Talked with farm director Kyle Stark today about a number of Minor League players (you’ll see that information trickling out in the coming days), but he was encouraged to report that none of the Minor Leaguers are going to be limited coming into camp. No offseason surgeries or injuries to report.
- Speaking of Minor League camp, the early group will begin on February 28. The Pirates invited about 30 pitchers and 30 position players to report early. Minor League camp starts in full on March 7.
- I don’t expect manager Clint Hurdle to be revealing his lineup to us any time soon. He said on Thursday that he’s had many discussions about potential batting orders, but nothing is in pen. Pressed further about Andrew McCutchen’s placement in the lineup, Hurdle suggested that the center fielder could hit third or in the leadoff spot.
- While Sean Gallagher is a candidate to make the Pirates’ bullpen, the club is not ruling out using him as a starter. If Gallagher starts, it would almost certainly be in Triple-A to begin the year.
- Slug bunts were a major point of emphasis in workouts today. All the pitchers were working on them, and Hurdle has every intention of pulling out the surprise play during the season.
- Go here to read more about what baserunning coach Luis Silverio is doing with McCutchen to make him a more effective and efficient baserunner. The Pirates want McCutchen to run, and Silverio thinks he’s identified a few things that can be cleaned up to make McCutchen’s first step quicker.
- A group of 16 pitchers had their second side session on Thursday. That group included: Charlie Morton, Brian Burres, Fernando Nieve, Chris Resop, Gallagher, Tony Watson, Cesar Valdez, Tyler Yates, Jeff Karstens, Justin Thomas, Brad Lincoln, Chris Leroux, Daniel McCutchen, Ramon Aguero, Daniel Moskos and Bryan Morris.
- Congratulations go out to Steve Pearce, who was married over the offseason. He joins Pedro Alvarez as one of the newlyweds in the clubhouse.
- Pirates Charities is hosting the annual Spring Training golf tournament next week. If you are interested in joining former and current players and playing in the event, contact Stacy Morgan (firstname.lastname@example.org; 941-747-3031).
- I hope you catch the irony in the photo above, which was snapped by team photographer Dave Arrigo.
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