Pittsburgh Pirates 2012 Season Preview: Starting Lineup

The Pittsburgh Pirates finished with a .244 batting average during the 2011 season — .247 average in the 1st half, .241 in the 2nd half. Over the offseason, the Pirates signed shortstop Clint Barmes to a two-year deal, and catcher Rod Barajas to a one-year contract with an option for 2013. The Pirates entered Grapefruit League action on Sunday with a team .278 batting average this spring. The club has seven active players that...

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Pirates Lose 8-6, to Rays in See-Saw Game

BRADENTON, Fla. — The Pittsburgh Pirates lost to the Tampa Bay Rays, 8-6 at McKechnie Field on Thursday. Right-hander Jeff Karstens allowed three runs (two earned) on four hits over five innings. He walked four and struck out three in his fourth Grapefruit League start of the spring. Karstens threw 89 pitches over his five innings of work. “Obviously you want to take the positives out of it,” Karstens said....

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Pirates Notebook: Wilson to Move Back into Rotation

FORT MYERS, Fla. — After deciding to cut pitcher Justin Wilson from big league spring training camp on Sunday, the Pirates optioned the hard throwing lefty to Triple-A Indianapolis, where he will  start the 2012 season back in the starting rotation. “Justin is going to go down to Triple-A, and he’ll be in that rotation down there because the key to his future success is fastball command,” Pirates General Manager Neal...

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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 Notebook: Wilson to Start or Relieve?

SARASOTA, Fla. — There are questions regarding left-hander Justin Wilson this spring. Should he be a reliever or a starter? Does he make the club in the Pirates bullpen as another lefty, or will he start the season in Triple-A Indianapolis? “Truth be told, his success is going to depend on his command,” Pirates General Manager Neal Huntington said. After starting the 2011 season in the Indians starting rotation,...

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