I spent today at Pirate City getting photos and watching some of the minor league workouts. I also was able to talk to several prospects for some great features that will go up on the site this week. For all of today’s photos, check out our Facebook page or the Instagram page, which also includes some short videos. Here are a few notes from the day.
**I didn’t get a chance to see Luis Heredia throw a bullpen today. However, I can say that he looks to be in good shape. That was an issue prior to the 2013 season, although he lost 40 pounds heading into the 2014 season, getting on a much better diet. So far it looks like he’s doing a good job of maintaining that weight. Here is a picture of Heredia.
**Orlando Castro had surgery in October to repair his labrum, and clean up his rotator cuff. Castro struggled in the middle of last season with dead arm and a drop in velocity. He was shut down in late July with fatigue, finishing his season early. The lefty should start throwing off the mound next week, and could be back in games in May. He had a 3.17 ERA in 93.2 innings with Bradenton, along with a 6.5 K/9 and a 1.1 BB/9.
**You know the story of John Holdzkom, who was signed out of indy ball last year, and ended up pitching in the majors by the end of the year as a seventh inning guy with the Pirates. The Pirates also signed two other pitchers out of indy ball. I got to see one of them for the first time today. There were about seven pitchers listed as throwing live BP, although none of them were wearing numbers. So I didn’t know which one was Nevarez…up until he started throwing. Once he got on the mound, his velocity made it clear who he was. There was no radar gun today, but he has been said to hit 97 MPH consistently, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he was hitting the upper 90s today. That will be an interesting story to watch, to see if the Pirates can find another Holdzkom.