Pittsburgh Pirates Spring Training Notes: February 14, 2018
The first official day of Spring Training workouts is in the books for the Pittsburgh Pirates, here are some news and notes from the day
Spring is upon us. On Wednesday, the Pittsburgh Pirates sent their pitchers and catchers to the fields of Pirate City in Bradenton for their first official workout of Spring Training 2018.
With the first workout of the spring now in the books, Opening Day is just 43 days away for the Pittsburgh Pirates. However, there is a lot to sift through and shake out between now and then. So, let’s take a look at some news and notes from Pirate camp today.
Both general manager Neal Huntington and manager Clint Hurdle met with the media on Wednesday. Huntington was asked about the current outfield situation and mentioned the Pirates may not yet be done adding outfield help, even after last week’s minor league signing of Daniel Nava.
While the Pirates are ready to let Adam Frazier, Jordan Luplow, and Sean Rodriguez compete with Daniel Nava for the final outfield spot, Huntington did tell this to reporters: “There are still players of interest to us. If we’re able to find that common ground, then we’d be open to adding. If not, we are intrigued as to what those three players can do in a regular to semi-regular role, given what they’ve done in the past.”
If the Pittsburgh Pirates do go the free agent route names such as Carlos Gonzalez, Jarrod Dyson, Melky Cabrera, and Seth Smith will be ones worth watching.
Clint Hurdle was asked about the starting rotation on Wednesday. Jameson Taillon, Ivan Nova, Trevor Williams, and Chad Kuhl are locks to be in the rotation to start the season. What about the fifth spot, though? Well, Hurdle knows who he wants it to be – Joe Musgrove.
The Pirates acquired Musgrove in the Gerrit Cole trade, and the former top-100 prospect has the stuff to be a good Major League starting pitcher. Barring the Pirates adding another starting pitcher or an injury this spring, look for Musgrove to get the final rotation spot over Tyler Glasnow and Steven Brault. The latter two are both very likely to be part of the Opening Day bullpen, however.
As expected, Hurdle is high on the current makeup of the team. “I just love the makeup of [the clubhouse], and I love the skill sets. Because if you’re not good, you can’t play well. It makes a big difference, and I believe we’re good and we can play well,” he told reporters. While this team probably will not be as bad as many think it will, Clint still seems to be much higher on the Bucs than anyone else. However, you would expect and want that from the team’s skipper.
Catcher Francisco Cervelli is also bullish on the 2018 Pirates. “We’ve got people who can do an amazing job. The young guys, they’re going to be superstars soon. We got other players from other teams,” he said. You can read more from Cervelli and the first day of Spring Training from MLB.com’s Adam Berry here.
As of Wednesday, every pitcher and catcher invited to Spring Training had checked in to Pirate City. Reliever Daniel Hudson sprained his ankle running, and did not throw at all on Wednesday.
Hudson is coming off a disastrous 2017 season where he averaged 4.82 BB/9, he posted 4.34 FIP, and a 0.1 fWAR. Getting Hudson right for 2018 would go a long way toward making the Pirate bullpen the strength it has the potential to be.
Next: 3 non-roster invitees to watch this spring
Continue to check in here at Rum Bunter for updates on the Pittsburgh Pirates throughout Spring Training. Baseball is back, yay!