Starling Marte Showing His Potential This Spring

CLEARWATER, Fla. — Outfielder Starling Marte stepped to the plate with one out in the bottom of the 9th inning at McKechnie Field on Wednesday with a streak on the line. Marte connected for a single into center field to mark seven straight hits this spring. An impressive feat for one of the Bucs top prospects. “Seven straight hits is a lot,” Pirates Manager Clint Hurdle said. “I never got seven straight hits....

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McDonald Getting Feel for Changeup, New Turn in Delivery in Loss to Phillies

CLEARWATER, Fla. — Right-hander James McDonald looked sharp in his second outing of the spring against the Philadelphia Phillies tough lineup. His only run allowed over his three inning outing came in the 2nd frame. McDonald gave up a leadoff single to Hunter Pence, who scored on a RBI double into deep center by Ty Wigginton. The reasons for his success is from getting the feel of his changeup and a new turn in his delivery....

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First-rounder Cole Cut from Big League Camp

CLEARWATER, Fla. — Right-hander Gerrit Cole was reassigned to Minor League camp this morning. The 21-year-old, who was the first overall pick by Pittsburgh in the 2011 draft, had a non-roster invite to big league camp in his first spring training. “I knew it was coming in the next couple of days,” Cole said. “It was expected. It’s good to get down here [to minor-league camp] and get on a better regimented...

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International Hitting Prospects Starting to Emerge

I was watching batting practice at Pirate City towards the end of the day the other day. I was talking with one of the coaches, whose name I’ll leave out of this article. He asked me who I wrote for, and my response to that question always leads to one of two responses. I either get “Oh, that’s you” or “So you cover the minor league guys?” followed by a few questions on my opinions. This instance...

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Karstens Sharp in Bucs 8-6 Loss to Toronto

BRADENTON, Fla. — Right-hander Jeff Karstens tossed three scoreless innings in his first Grapefruit League start of the spring. After tossing two scoreless frames on Friday’s intrasquad game at McKechnie, Karstens cruised through his outing, needing to throw extra pitches afterwards and finished by riding the stationary bike. “Usually I try and work as quick as possible. It’s just one of those things where I was able...

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Hurdle Holds Team Meeting to Address Focus

BRADENTON, Fla. — After combining for just 12 hits over their first two spring training game and looking sloppy on defense, Pirates Manager Clint Hurdle had a meeting with the team. “We had a little conversation before the game [Monday] about our focus and about our purpose,” Hurdle said. “We’re at McKechnie now. It’s the second stage of spring training. Games are on, [there’s] competition, play,...

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