Happy pitchers and catchers officially report to Bradenton Day to all those who celebrate
Wednesday is a big day in the world of the Pittsburgh Pirates. On Wednesday, pitchers and catchers will officially report to Bradenton. With this, the 2023 edition of the Pittsburgh Baseball Club will be ready to kick off spring training.
Even though the official report day for pitchers and catchers was not until Wednesday, players have been in Bradenton working out for a few days. This includes key members of the 2023 club such as Ke'Bryan Hayes, David Bednar, Oneil Cruz, and, yes, Bryan Reynolds.
Obviously, Reynolds will be a storyline to watch throughout the 2023 season. After contract extension talks between the Pirates and Reynolds brokedown earlier this offseason, the team's best player requested a trade. However, it appears that not only has that request passed it appears the relationship between the two sides could be on the mend.
Does this mean an extension could still happen? Does it mean Reynolds will be traded in July? Will this impact his performance on the field? The last of those three seems very unlikely, but all of that will remain to be seen.
The 2023 season will also mark year four at the helm for Derek Shelton. Between a global pandemic and a lockout, his first two seasons as manager were anything but normal. Last season, the Pirates made minimal effort to win games. All of this has led to Shelton owning a 142-242 record as Pirate manager.
2023, however, will be a big season for Shelton. The Pirates made multiple moves this offseason to improve the roster and should graduate a plethora of highly touted prospects this season. If the team does not show significant improvement on the field in 2023, then it will likely be Shelton's last in Pittsburgh.
This season will also feature the return of fan favorite and all-time Pirate great Andrew McCutchen. The 2023 season should be a year of milestones for McCutchen, who, barring injuries, will reach 2,000 career hits, 400 career doubles, and 300 career home runs this season. If nothing else, seeing McCutchen reach this milestones as a Pirate will be special.
Grapefruit League games are less than a month away. The team's first official full squad workout is less than a week away. There will be position battles, injuries, young players turning heads, and little bit of everything else in Bradenton. So, make sure to stay tuned to Rum Bunter throughout spring training.
Happy baseball, everyone! Let's go Bucs!