Well, it’s great to be here at Pirate City. If only my camera felt the same way. The 215 pictures we took today won’t download, a flashing battery icon, something is wrong and it’s bothering me.
Catcher Tony Sanchez was the first Pirate player on the field.
Robbie Grossman looks fully healed and he ripped a few balls over the fence to prove it.
Jose Tabata was a line drive machine.
Jordy Mercer destroys batting practice baseballs.
Nick Evans is right with him. Damn, he can rip.
Neil Walker really looks dialed in no matter where he is.
A number of pitchers threw live batting practice, Gerrit Cole being one of them. We only saw a couple balls up in the zone, Starling Marte sent one to right center field. Not a lot of contact was made against Cole as he faced Marte, Robbie Grossman, and Matt Hague.
Right-hander Kyle McPherson was sharp in BP.
If you’re like us and want to cheer an underdog, we have one for you. Daniel Cabrera is a non-roster invitee and the guy is 6’7″ and 220 pounds, but he looks bigger and we trust there is some way he can figure things out.
Shortstop Clint Barmes….well he had a bad day. We saw him struggle against non-roster invitee Logan Kensing. But might we add that Kensing does hide the baseball very well.
Right-hander Duke Welker is a big guy with a heavy fastball.
Lefty Justin Wilson struggled from the stretch, just a bit, but damn he was bringing it.
The group of Casey McGehee, Garrett Jones, and Pedro Alvarez had a couple hits off Jeff Karstens and Daniel Moskos. It looked like Moskos was out of the zone quite a bit during his turn as the players didn’t take too many swings. McGehee hit the ball well. Jones pulled most of his balls. Pedro hit a few balls well. But unfortunately, the three didn’t impress me yesterday.
Many of the hitting sessions are situational and during one, Michael McKenry sent numerous balls the other way for hits.
Andrew McCutchen makes baseball look easy. Every part of it.
Coach Mark Strittmatter kept a chart and was awarding points for hits during a set of drills late in the day. Neil Walker shined with consistent line shots all over the field.
Jake Fox was taking infield with Garrett Jones at first base on Field One where all of the starters were working. Fox might be six foot tall. Jeff Clement worked on Field Two where skipper Clint Hurdle was also working at first base.
A.J. Burnett threw about 35 pitches in a bullpen with Rod Barajas. We have video of it, but it really sucks as everyone in attendance seemed to be in front of the camera.
Jeff Banister is a class act. A local baseball team was on hand to shag balls on all four fields. After the day was wrapped up, Banister shook the hands of each player as he thanked them.
Watching Josh Harrison and Chase d’Arnaud working at shortstop after the fields emptied scared me a bit.