Alvarez, McCutchen Seeing Good Results with New Batting Stances

BRADENTON — Pedro Alvarez and Andrew McCutchen both tweaked their batting stances this offseason. McCutchen hit just .216 after the second half of the season in 2011 after a strong first half that named him to the National League All-Star team. Alvarez appeared in just 74 games with Pittsburgh with a .191 average after a solid 2010 where he was named Rookie-of-the-Month in September. With a goal to improve upon their 2011...

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Pirates Bullpen Crowded This Spring

BRADENTON — The Pittsburgh Pirates are just several days away from seeing game action, as the Grapefruit League kicks off on Saturday. While it’s a given that right-hander Joel Hanrahan will be the team’s closer, the Pirates bullpen is crowded this spring, with plenty of options for the club to have another season with a solid ‘pen. “As they throw their sides, we have numbers, we have volume,”...

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Competition At First Can Fuel Guys Forward

BRADENTON — Competition can be a good thing. It can fuel guys forward. Over the offseason, the Pirates acquired infielder Casey McGehee from the Milwaukee Brewers for reliever Jose Veras. The Pirates entered Spring Training with a draw up of Garrett Jones and McGehee platooning at first base. Jones, 30, finished the 2011 season with a .243 average, 16 home runs and 68 RBI. McGehee, 29, finished 2011 with the Brewers hitting .223...

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McCutchen Learned From Ups and Downs to Get Stronger

  BRADENTON — The 2011 season was like a tale of two season for the Pittsburgh Pirates. After being at the top of the National League Central for the first four months of the season, the team struggled for the final two months. However, learning from those struggles can ultimately make the players a better ball club. All-Star center fielder Andrew McCutchen said the 2011 season was a great learning experience, and he used...

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Fox’s Versatility Could be Asset for Pirates

BRADENTON — Being able to play multiple positions not only takes talent and dedication, but it apparently also requires a big equipment bag. Once Spring Training games kick off for the Grapefruit League on March 3, Jake Fox will be carrying around nine gloves. Nine. “I will have a game glove for each position, a backup, and as a catcher I usually carry three gloves,” Fox said. The 29-year-old was first drafted as a...

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