Live From Spring Training: 2/27

Major league camp has been going strong since about 10 AM this morning. The minor leaguers that have reported early are about to take the field for some afternoon work.

The big leaguers spent the morning working on pick-off drills and run-downs. The most notable thing during this time was the fact that Matt Hague was playing third base during these drills. Hague was drafted as a third baseman out of college, but immediately switched to first due to a lack of range to handle the position. His range today didn’t look horrible, and he’s been working over the off-season on getting lean and improving at third. Here is Hague fielding a back-hander at third.

After that, most of the pitchers threw live batting practice. I mostly focused on Erik Bedard, James McDonald, and Juan Cruz. That was more of a timing thing, since no one really threw too many pitches.

Here is Robbie Grossman taking a few swings against the fence. Grossman is coming back from hamate surgery, but put on a great hitting display yesterday.

I’m heading out to watch the minor league guys in action. You can follow any updates on Twitter @timwilliamsP2.

UPDATE 2:17 PM: Waiting for the first workouts to begin. Here is a video of Michael McKenry in the batting cages after the major league workouts. McKenry and Alex Presley were having a contest to see who would have had more hits.

UPDATE 3:41 PM: Several groups of pitchers participated in long toss. Remember all of the talk about how the Pirates don’t allow pitchers to throw from longer than 120 feet? The talk came out last year when discussing Tim Alderson’s preference to throw further than 120 feet. While every other pitcher was at 120, I noticed one pitcher throwing from the deepest part in center field, all the way to the left field foul line. The pitcher? Tim Alderson.

After the pitchers finished up I watched some of the infielders take grounders. My focus was mostly on Jose Osuna and Jared LaKind at first base. Both seemed to be fielding the ball well, and making good moves on the fake throws to second. LaKind was a bit smoother than Osuna, and has the benefit of being a left handed throwing first baseman. LaKind was also drafted as a first baseman, while Osuna is fairly new to the position.


  • Are you planning to follow Alderson at all while you are there? I am curious to see how his velocity looks this year. He is a guy that I had high hopes for and would love to see him turn it around this year.

    • I’ll be following everyone while I’m here. They aren’t really to the point where I can get accurate velocity readings. I wouldn’t put stock in those until the end of March, but I’ll be reporting them as I get them.

      •  Great, thanks Tim! I know not to put much stock into early season velocity, but man, if he can get back into the low 90’s from the 86 he was at before, that would be great.