Day 22: Rays @ Pirates
One of the unique aspects of Spring Training is the fact that the day start so early. For the rest of the year, players, coaches and the media are trained to be nocturnal. Down here, it is early to bed, early to rise.
The clubhouse opens to the media at 7:30 am and by then, most players are already in. Some have already worked out. Early work commences at that hour and runs until the regularly scheduled 9 am workout.
For those who don’t have early work, they pass the time in varying ways. Today, second baseman Neil Walker sat down with a stack of fan mail. He signed baseball cards that had been sent to him and read every letter that was written.
Catcher Dusty Brown has a morning routine that involves crossword puzzles. For the last four years, Brown has done a crossword every morning. He says he finishes them every time, too. It was something Brown said he saw Tim Wakefield do every day during Red Sox Spring Training.
The practical joke of the morning was played on James McDonald, who had a rubber snake placed in his pants by a teammate who will remain unnamed. Unfortunately, I was conducting an interview on the other side of the room when McDonald headed to his locker so I missed his reaction.
Anyways, your morning news…
- Ronny Cedeno is back in the lineup after missing three games with a bruised right middle finger. He didn’t have any issues gripping a bat on Sunday, so he’ll give it a go.
- Right-hander Evan Meek will make his first spring appearance in this game, too. He’s slated to come in and pitch the fourth.
- Scott Olsen will throw his first session of live batting practice on Tuesday. He is scheduled to pitch two innings. The Pirates haven’t announced whether Olsen will need one or two sessions of live BP before he is ready to pitch in a game.
- I wrote yesterday about the Pirates not using Steve Pearce at third base in a game yet. Well, Pearce’s first test at the hot corner is coming soon. He is scheduled to start at third in the Pirates’ “B” game against the Twins in Fort Myers on Tuesday. The Pirates will play this “B” game three hours before the normally scheduled 1:05 pm game.
- In that “B” game, the Pirates will use the following pitchers: Brad Lincoln, Bryan Morris, Kyle McPherson, Justin Wilson, Ramon Aguero.
- The following pitchers will then throw in the regular game: Brian Burres, Sean Gallagher, Fernando Nieve, Chris Leroux, Jeff Locke and Daniel McCutchen.
PIRATES: J. Tabata (LF), R. Cedeno (SS), N. Walker (2B), M. Diaz (RF), G. Atkins (3B), L. Overbay (1B), C. Snyder (C), G. Hernandez (CF), R. Ohlendorf (RHP)
Pitchers: R. Ohlendorf, E. Meek, J. Veras, T. Yates, M. Crotta, D. Moskos
RAYS: J. Jaso (C), J. Damon (LF), E. Longoria (3B), M. Ramirez (DH), M. Joyce (RF), B.J. Upton (CF), D. Johnson (1B), J. Inglett (2B), T. Beckham (SS)
Pitchers: D. Price, M. Ekstrom, R. Delaney, M. Bush, A. Cobb
Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB