Pirates Notebook: Burnett Throws Third Bullpen

BRADENTON, Fla. –Right-hander A.J. Burnett continues to make progress back from eye surgery┬áto┬árepair the fractured orbital bone in his right eye while fouling on a bunt attempt at Pirate City. Burnett threw a 52-pitch bullpen session at McKechnie Field on Wednesday morning with pitching coach Ray Searage looking on. It was the third bullpen Burnett has thrown since he returned to Bradenton. “A lot better today,”...

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Pirates Notebook: Barajas, Barmes Defense Helping Club

BRADENTON, Fla. — Over the offseason, the Pirates were looking to upgrade their defense both at shortstop and behind the plate. Clint Barmes and Rod Barajas signed with Pittsburgh, and so far this spring they have made the staff better. Barmes, 33, signed a two-year deal in November. Since 2003, Barmes has posted a 7.2 career UZR/150 at shortstop in over 3700 innings. “Barmes is just a dependable defender,” Pirates...

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Pirates Sign Juan Cruz

The Pittsburgh Pirates have signed right handed reliever Juan Cruz to a minor league deal with an invite to Spring Training, per a team press release. Cruz has a strong track record in the majors, with a career 4.13 ERA in 619.1 innings, along with a 9.1 K/9 and a 4.8 BB/9 ratio. Last year he pitched 48.2 innings with the Tampa Bay Rays, putting up a 3.88 ERA, an 8.5 K/9 and a 5.2 BB/9 ratio. Control has always been an issue for Cruz,...

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