Pittsburgh Pirates: News and Notes for Early February

(Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
(Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images) /

The Pittsburgh Pirates will see their pitchers and catchers report this week to Bradenton.  Here are some news and notes from the last few days.

Pitchers and catchers league-wide will be reporting to their respected Spring Training facilities this week.  That means that Spring Training is right around the corner.  It is an exciting time of year, and it is much needed.  With football officially over, and hockey a few months away from the playoffs, it will be good to get some Pittsburgh Pirates talk while temperatures rise in the Steel City.

So, with that, who are the pitchers to watch this Spring?  Leading off the list will be three arms that were acquired this Winter in Joe Musgrove, Michael Feliz, and Kyle Crick.  The spotlight will be on them as they were pieces that came over in the Gerrit Cole and Andrew McCutchen trades.  It will also be interesting to see how Tyler Glasnow comes in this spring.  His leash as a starter is shortening and he has to perform this spring to get a shot in the opening day rotation.

Elias Diaz: Update on Mother’s Abduction

Another piece of news that has come out is regarding catcher Elias Diaz.  Diaz’s mom was kidnapped last week in the country of Venezuela.  Obviously, this is disturbing news and nothing anyone wants to see happen.  This has been a common occurrence in Venezuela.  In years prior, notable players like Wilson Ramos and Victor Zambrano have been abducted. Well, according to the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, she has been rescued.  It is obviously great news for Diaz, his family, and the Pittsburgh Pirates organization.  It is also positive because he will not have that hanging over his head as he looks to lock down a roster spot this spring.

Now on to a minor league note.  The Pittsburgh Pirates saw infielder Mitchell Tolman receive a 50 game suspension for violating the Minor League Drug Treatment and Prevention Program. According to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, this is the second time Tolman has violated the program.  The current 23-year-old was a seventh round pick out of Oregon in 2015.  Tolman spent time between High-A and Double-A in 2017, and had a combined slash line of .267/.360/.399, hitting 10 home runs in 118 games.  Also, he was part of the Arizona Fall League this past season.  He really struggled there batting below .200 in his 18 games.

Next: Looking for a Third Outfielder

Lingering Questions with Spring Training Here

With less than a month until full spring training starts, it will be interesting to see if the Pittsburgh Pirates make any other significant moves.  At this point, it seems likely that Josh Harrison will start the year with the club.  They still have a hole in the outfield, and could look to add one, whether it be a legitimate starting outfielder or a bench outfielder to give them more depth at the position.  All in all, it will be an interesting spring for the Buccos this year with a much different looking roster than last season.