Pirates Notebook: Garrett Jones as a Number Two Hitter?

Garrett Jones hit in the number two spot today. Tomorrow he will do the same thing. When people have been thinking about possible lineups for the 2013 season, I don’t think that many had Jones as an option to bat second. However, Pirates manager Clint Hurdle is considering it. “What I like about Garrett is he’s got a lifetime [.852] OPS against right-handed pitching,” Hurdle said. “His numbers against...

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Pirates Notebook: Karstens Has Enough Time to be Ready For the Season

Jeff Karstens threw two innings at Pirate City this afternoon, going up against the Triple-A squad. After the start, Karstens mentioned how he’s 1-2 outings behind everyone else in camp. The right-hander will extend to three innings the next time out, and keep working his inning count up. However, most of the pitchers in camp are currently at 4-5 innings per outing by this point. So does Karstens have enough time to be ready for...

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Pirates Notebook: Locke Gets Hit Hard, Irwin Drawing Some Attention

Jeff Locke had a bit of a rough outing today at McKechnie Field. The left-hander was hit hard, with eight hits in 3.1 innings, although he managed to limit the damage with only two runs allowed. Part of the low run count was due to Phil Irwin stranding two in the fourth, after Locke gave up a walk and a double to lead off the inning. Locke got a groundout for the first out, but the Pirates called on Irwin to get out of the jam....

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Pirates Notebook: Pitchers Buying Into The Pickoff; Burnett Has His Best Outing

It’s starting to become a familiar sight this Spring to see a Pirates pitcher picking off a runner at first. On Thursday, James McDonald started the game by allowing a single, then erased the runner with a pickoff to first. Today, A.J. Burnett started the game the same way. Darin Mastroianni started the game with a single, but was immediately picked off by Burnett at first. “I know they’re going to run on Burnett. I...

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Pirates Notebook: Hurdle Believes Marte Could Be a Dynamic Leadoff Hitter

The Pirates could use a lot of nights like tonight from Starling Marte during the 2013 season. The outfielder led off the game with a single, after working the count in a long at-bat. He then went on to steal second, and moved to third when the throw from the catcher went wild. One play later Marte scored on a sacrifice fly by Jose Tabata. Marte came up again to lead off the third inning. He drew a walk, again working the count. He...

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Pirates Notebook: Gerrit Cole Dominates, But Don’t Expect Him To Make the Team

Gerrit Cole didn’t have much trouble taking on Spain. The right-hander threw three shutout innings in his second Spring Training appearance, giving up two hits, walking one, and striking out six. He was sittingĀ 94-97 MPH, and throwing mostly fastballs. He didn’t need anything else. “He was focused. He went out there with a focus and with intent,” Clint Hurdle said of the outing. “Loved the pace and...

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