Spring Training Notes: February 19

The Pirates, still early in spring training, ran some light drills on Tuesday morning.  The regimen consisted mainly of drilling the pitchers on backing up bases, fielding grounders, and numerous pitchers throwing briefly to hitters.  Among the pitchers getting some mound work were A.J. Burnett, James McDonald, Gerrit Cole, Jameson Taillon, Jason Grilli, Mark Melancon, and Jeff Locke.

Justin Wilson

Justin Wilson

The hitters struggled to get much wood on the ball against Vic Black, another reminder that, if he can get enough pitches over the plate, he has a very high ceiling as a late-inning reliever.  Justin Wilson also got some mound time and looked slimmed down from previous years.

The “backup” infield taking grounders included Jordy Mercer and Anderson Hernandez at second; Ivan De Jesus, Jr., and Chase d’Arnaud at short; and Matt Hague and Jared Goedert at third.  Clint Robinson was the sole first baseman.  It probably isn’t a good idea to read much into the alignments, but it was interesting to see d’Arnaud and De Jesus at short.  De Jesus was originally considered a good shortstop prospect, but he lost a step after breaking his leg in 2009 and has played mainly second since then.  If the Pirates think he can back up at short, he probably has a good chance to make the team.  D’Arnaud playing short over Mercer may indicate the Pirates still regard him as having the higher ceiling, or it may indicate nothing at all.

Felix Pie

Felix Pie

Jerry Sands

Jerry Sands

 

Clint Robinson

Clint Robinson

Mark Melancon

Mark Melancon

Russell Martin

Russell Martin

Author: WTM

Wilbur Miller joined the site in July 2010. He has long been known for his excellent Player Profiles, which he brought to the site in February 2011, combining them with the existing Pirates Prospects Player Pages. Wilbur maintains the player pages section of the site, and provides regular articles to the main portion of the site, including a weekly Prospects Trend piece, featuring the best and worst prospects from the previous week.

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  • emjayinTN

    WTM: Thanks for the update, and especially the pictures so that we can place a name with a face of some of the newcomers. I was glad to see that DeJesus was getting some action at SS, andI i think he could have the ability to step into the backup role at SS for the Pirates, or get some daily reps at AAA and then come up later in the season. Either way, I see him as a step forward for the Pirates. We have seen the rest of the AAA crowd, and Harrison, who was the back-up last year, is not capable of handling that position. If he has lost a step since his broken leg, he will still be light years ahead of the rest.