Michael McKenry Entering the Season as the Backup Catcher

BRADENTON, Fla. — When catcher Michael McKenry headed south for spring training this year, he was in a much different situation than the year prior. McKenry attended camp with the Colorado Rockies to start the spring of 2011 before he was traded to the Red Sox at the end of March. This year, however, McKenry looks to be the lock as the Pirates backup catcher and said this spring training feels different. “I think as the...

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Burnett Returns to Florida to Begin Next Step

BRADENTON, Fla. — Right-hander A.J. Burnett returned to Florida on Saturday to the Pirates spring training clubhouse at McKechnie Field. There he was greeted by his teammates just eight days after undergoing right eye surgery in Pittsburgh. “We’re happy to have him back,”  Bucs Manager Clint Hurdle said. “Everything is moving as well as we could hope for it to. The guys were very respective when he showed up in...

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Hurdle: It’s on Everybody to be a Better Base Runner

BRADENTON, Fla. – During the Pirates 4-2 loss to the Minnesota Twins at McKechnie Field on Saturday, speedy outfielder Nate McLouth was caught attempting to swipe two bases. So far this spring McLouth is 0-for-3 in stolen base attempts, but Pirates Manager Clint Hurdle wants his players to continue to be aggressive on the bases. “One time he was safe,” Hurdle said. “That’s two butchered calls on Nate McLouth in...

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Lefty Bedard Effective in Pirates 4-2 Loss to Twins

BRADENTON, Fla. – Left-hander Erik Bedard gave up just one hit –a two-out single to left field by the Minnesota Twins’ Josh Willingham in the first inning –over three scoreless frames with three strikeouts in his second Grapefruit League start of the season at McKechnie Field on Saturday. “30 pitches, and he had good command of his fastball,” Pirates Manager Clint Hurdle said. “I thought he...

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Pirates Go With Unusual Lineup in B Game

The Pittsburgh Pirates played a seven inning B-game against the Minnesota Twins today at Pirate City. As with any B-game, the contest was extremely informal. Innings ended if a pitcher reached his pitch count, regardless of how many outs there were, or how many runners were on base. Players batted out-of-order, and often a player was thrown in to the batting order at random spots. Throughout the game, players who weren’t...

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Bryan Morris Finds a Home in the Bullpen

FORT MYERS, Fla. — After spending most of his minor league career in the starting rotation, right-hander Bryan Morris has found a home in the ‘pen. Morris, 25, started the 2011 season in the Altoona Curve’s starting rotation. But after making six starts and posting a 6.04 ERA, Morris was moved into the bullpen in mid-June where he thrived. Over 29 appearances (52.2 innings), Morris posted a 2.05 ERA in relief with...

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