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 sitting 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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Pirates Notebook: Clichés Are True in the Short Term, Useless in the Long Term

It’s very cliché. You hear it all the time during Spring Training right after a starter had a bad outing. “This is one of those outings in Spring Training, you walk away, you say he got his work in, you move on,” Clint Hurdle said after today’s game with a laugh, describing A.J. Burnett’s outing. The right-hander was pulled in the second inning of today’s game, giving up four runs on four hits and...

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Pirates Notebook: A Comeback For Jose Tabata, Or A Small Sample Size?

Spring Training usually means two things. One is that you’ll hear a lot of stories about how a player is reviving their career. This comes in many forms. There’s the “best shape of his life” talk. Sometimes it has to do with vision (Player A got contacts, while Player B skipped that all together and got Lasik surgery). Once the Spring Training games start, the talk stems from the second product of Spring...

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Pirates Notebook: Gaby Sanchez Plays Third; Sands Talks Power

In the second half of Thursday’s blow-out loss to the Boston Red Sox, the Pittsburgh Pirates sent Gaby Sanchez out to play third base. The infielder has played third base in the past, with his last appearance at the position coming in 2009 in Triple-A. The playing time didn’t start today. The Pirates have been working Sanchez at third since the end of the 2012 season. “We worked very hard last season with a lot of...

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