The MLB.com transactions page has Brent Morel and Jose Tabata receiving invites to Spring Training. Earlier in the week we learned that Tabata was invited to camp. Morel isn’t a surprise, since he played in Pittsburgh last year, is still in their minor league system, and is currently participating in mini camp. The other day I uploaded the 2015 Spring Training tracker. Morel has now been added, giving the Pirates 20 NRIs and 61 players in camp.
Here are some other links and notes from this afternoon.
**Ben Badler from Baseball America was on MLB Network last night talking about Korean shortstop Jung-Ho Kang. You have to go to around the 2:45 mark in the video in that link before he starts on Kang and the first thing he mentions in the level of competition in Korea. Badler said that he profiles as an offensive-minded utility guy with average raw power. He also breaks down his swing and explains how it could work for him against better pitching.
**Neil Weinberg at FanGraphs looks at where Josh Harrison will go from here. Neil takes an interesting look, pointing out that Harrison was used as an emergency pitcher in 2013, which isn’t where you’d use a player of value, and followed that up with a five win season. The Steamer projections have Harrison with a 3.0 WAR going forward, which isn’t as good as his 2014 season, but definitely good enough for him to be a starter.
**Grant Brisbee has an interesting chart looking at teams who fall into the “Win Now” and “Win Later” categories. The Pirates are in the enviable position of being listed in both categories. The Red Sox, Padres, Nationals, Athletics, and Dodgers are the other teams in their range. As for the other NL Central teams, the Brewers are in Win Now mode; the Reds are one of two teams in the quadrant that no one wants to be in; the Cubs are slightly in the Win Now mode, but heavily in the Win Later section; and the Cardinals are heavily in the Win Now mode, but a little on the old side. As far as the NL Central goes, the Pirates rank second on this chart in both their chances to contend now, and their young talent.