The Pittsburgh Pirates have been in Bradenton, FL for the past two weeks. They’ve been working hard to prepare for the upcoming season. Games have just started and the Pirates are off to a hot start. It is still way too early to determine any of the spring training roster questions. So what has happened in spring training so far?
- 2/25 Vs Baltimore Orioles: 6-2, W (split squad)
- Gregory Polanco goes three for three with two RBIs.
- 2/25 @ Tampa Bay Rays: 7-2, W (split squad)
- Phil Gosselin goes two for three with a double and two RBIs.
- Top prospect Austin Meadows goes one for three with an RBI.
- 2/26 @ Baltimore Orioles: 8-3, L
- Andrew McCutchen hits a double to the wall two games in a row.
- Jameson Taillon strikes out three, walks two, and allows two solo home runs in two innings.
- Tyler Glasnow doesn’t allow a single walk in his two innings of work, while striking out six.
The Battle of the Four Starters:
The fifth rotation spot is still up for grabs and four starters are competing for that spot. Tyler Glasnow, Trevor Williams, Steven Brault, and Drew Hutchison are all in the hunt and are starting to get opportunities to show their stuff.
- Trevor Williams: 1 IP, two hits allowed, two K’s.
- Steven Brault: 1 IP, no hits, one K.
- Drew Hutchison: 2 IP, one hit(HR), one run allowed.
- Tyler Glasnow: 2 IP, one hit, six K’s.
It’s obviously way too early to say that anyone is leading. Pittsburgh may have a better idea of who the fifth starter in a couple of weeks.
Josh Bell had leg surgery a couple weeks before spring training started and was looking at a recovery time of a few weeks. He is currently right on track. Josh took live batting practice last week. Expect Bell to start appearing in games in the next few weeks.
Going into camp Bell was the only injury. Francisco Cervelli had to take a couple days off the field after feeling discomfort in his right foot. He was only out for a couple of days but it now puts into question his ability to play for Team Italy in the World Baseball Classic. Pittsburgh will not allow Cervelli to play until they feel comfortable that he can play without hurting himself again.
Gerrit Cole has been announced as the Opening Day starter versus the Boston Red Sox. Jameson Taillon will follow Cole in the rotation and Ivan Nova will start the home opener. We still don’t know who will start the third game against Boston. Skipping Nova was intentional, he had been in the AL East throughout his entire career and had struggled.
Jung Ho Kang pleaded guilty to a DUI charge in South Korea last week. The verdict will be determined on March 3rd. Kang will not report to camp until his legal proceedings are done.
Games everyday for the next two weeks as Spring Training truly begins. The Pirates will have an interesting scrimmage against Team Dominican Republic on March 8th. Pittsburgh will also “lose” a few starting players due to WBC practices. Kang should return stateside sometime in that same week.
Come back in two weeks for another Pittsburgh Pirates Spring Training Report.