Grilli Ready to Compete in the ‘Pen

BRADENTON — Whenever Pirates reliever Jason Grilli was given the ball last season with Pittsburgh, he thrived. Grilli pitched from the 5th inning on during the 2011 season, but it was in the back end of the ‘pen that Grilli enjoyed the most. “I hope that’s my role,” Grilli said of pitching towards the back of the bucco bullpen. “I’ve always taken the ball whenever it’s been given to me, whatever inning that is....

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Hurdle Pleased with First Full Squad Workout

BRADENTON — The Pittsburgh Pirates took the field under the sunny skies at Pirate City on Friday at 10 AM for their first official full squad workout. The club worked on conditioning, throwing programs, bunt plays. The infielders took grounders, the outfielders took balls off the center field wall, pitchers ran the bases, pitchers threw live batting practice, position players took batting practice on the fields and in the cages....

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Meek Ready to Prove Himself

BRADENTON — Right-hander Evan Meek focused on several things over the offseason: getting his arm healthy, getting strong, and getting into better shape. The 2011 season was frustrating for Meek, coming off a year prior in which he was named a Pirates All-Star after posting a 1.11 ERA in 40 games before the break. Meek landed on the disabled list twice in 2011 with right shoulder tendinitis and appeared in just 24 games....

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Lefty Prospect Locke Looking to Impress

BRADENTON — Going from Double-A Altoona, to Triple-A Indianapolis, to Pittsburgh during the 2011 season — all within a month — was an unforgettable experience for left-hander Jeff Locke. After spending four months with the Curve, Locke was promoted to Indy, where he made just five starts before getting the call to the big leagues. Six days later he made his Major League debut against the Florida Marlins. This...

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McKenry Focused on Getting Better Today

BRADENTON — Last season was a struggle at the plate for catcher Michael McKenry. Over 58 games with the Pirates in 2011, McKenry, nicknamed “The Fort”, hit .222 with 17 runs, 12 doubles, two homers and 11 RBI. But this offseason, McKenry has been working hard to improve his game at the plate. After spending time in Spring Training with the Colorado Rockies in 2011, McKenry was traded to the Boston Red Sox before the...

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McGehee Looking to Start Over After Nightmare Season

BRADENTON — This offseason infielder Casey McGehee said his first goal was to step as far away from baseball as he could. After the Milwaukee Brewers were eliminated from the playoffs, McGehee turned off the post season games and the World Series. “I didn’t want to talk about it, look at it, anything,” McGehee said Tuesday at Pirate City. I just needed to clear my head and get away from it. I had to get to the point...

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