Pirates Notebook: Hague Battling for Bench Job

BRADENTON, Fla. — The hit collector. That’s what Pirates Manager Clint Hurdle’s nickname is for infielder Matt Hague. And that’s exactly what he’s been doing this spring — collecting hits. Over seven Grapefruit League games this spring, Hague has gone 6-for-18 (.333 avg) with a home run and four RBI. The 26-year-old has been a professional hitter his entire Minor League career. In fact, last season...

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Prospect Notebook: Gerrit Cole Is a Special Pitcher

Today was a short day in Pirate City, and a pretty quiet day overall considering the Major League team was off. The minor leaguers had a short practice, and closed out the day with two short intrasquad games. One game featured Jake Burnette and Isaac Sanchez pitching, and only lasted two innings. The other featured Gerrit Cole going up against Clayton Holmes. Holmes also pitched two innings, like Burnette and Sanchez. Cole was the...

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Gifted and Talented

The Pittsburgh Pirates have signed talent from some untraditional places over the last few years. They signed the first players out of India when they added Rinku Singh and Dinesh Patel. They’ve signed several guys out of Australia. They signed Alex Lukashevich out of Belarus. Dovydas Neverauskas is a pitcher who was signed out of Lithuania. Then there’s Gift Ngoepe, who was the first black player signed out of South...

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Pedro Alvarez Working On Bouncing Back From 2011 Season

BRADENTON, Fla. — Over seven Grapefruit League games this spring, third baseman Pedro Alvarez has three hits over 16 at-bats. Two of those three were home runs that were crushed to the opposite field. One came on Sunday against the Tampa Bay Rays, the other on Wednesday against the Toronto Blue Jays. Alvarez worked hard over the offseason to bounce back from a disappointing 2011 season where he batted just .191 over 74 games...

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Pirates Notebook: No Reason Meek’s Velocity Won’t Return

BRADENTON, Fla. –Right-hander Evan Meek is working on getting back to the All-Star pitcher that he was in 2010. After posting a 2.14 ERA over 70 appearances in 2010, Meek battled right shoulder tendonitis for most of last season, appearing in just 24 games with Pittsburgh. For some pitchers, it can take a while to regain their velocity in spring training, needing to build up their arm strength and innings. Meek, who last season...

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Prospect Notebook: Who Looks Impressive

If there’s one Spring Training question I get asked more than any others, it’s the following: “Who has impressed you the most?” There’s different variations. Sometimes it’s just the vague “out of the 150+ people in camp, which player stands out” variety. Sometimes the question narrows down to a group of prospects. Sometimes it’s only two prospects. But every single time it’s...

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