Thursday is the last day of mini-camp down at Pirate City in Bradenton. The four-day event consists of voluntary workouts for players on the 40-man roster and also players who received non-roster invitations to Major League Spring Training. Nearly 40 players total showed up this week.

This is a discussion thread for any Pirates topic. Below are some notes from today, and if anything else comes up, we will add it below. Any major news will be posted in a new article. Tim Williams is covering the mini-camp and will have articles from the event, which will be posted later today and throughout the next week or so.

**Buster Olney continued his rankings by position this morning and the Pirates came up empty in the Top Rotation category. They failed to get an honorable mention as well, although I’ll point out for the latter that each previous category for positions had about 5-7 extra players listed and he only mentioned two extra rotations. Basically, Pirates did not make his top 12 rotations. Cubs took the top spot today. Over the next three days he will post the best bullpens, lineups and defenses.

**We mentioned that Gregory Polanco was scheduled to show up at camp, but he still hasn’t arrived. He has been helping underprivileged kids in the Dominican this week, putting on baseball camps in four different towns and working with Food for the Hungry to help people in need. He didn’t need an excuse to not show up to voluntary workouts, but he has a pretty good one anyway.

**Tomorrow at 1 PM is the deadline to exchange arbitration figures with players. The Pirates currently have six unsigned players. They have been using the “file and trial” method for arbitration, which means if they don’t come to an agreement tomorrow with Gerrit Cole, Drew Hutchison, Tony Watson, Juan Nicasio, Jordy Mercer and Jared Hughes, then that will be the end of negotiations and they will go to trial with that player or players. So we may hear about players agreeing to contracts today. Hutchison is the only one from that group who is at mini-camp. More on this topic later tonight.

**We will have an article on Elias Diaz later today. Yesterday’s discussion thread article had links to the articles from the first three days of mini-camp. We also added an article on Josh Bell later in the day about how he changed his off-season workout routine.

**Here is video of Josh Bell working on his throws to second base this morning. Notice the batting dummy providing a distraction on the throw in place of an actual runner.

VIDEO: Josh Bell throwing drills #Pirates

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**Here’s batting practice from Kevin Newman from today. Check out our Instagram account for more videos from Erich Weiss, Barrett Barnes and others going up from today. There is also a second Kevin Newman video posted now.

VIDEO: Kevin Newman batting practice #Pirates

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26 COMMENTS

  1. why the hell would we make the top 12 rotations? I don’t know if we are past top 20 right now. Although add Quintana and we probably are top 8

  2. Bell’s never going to be smooth, but we just need serviceable. Newman, if he could be a mix of Jay Bell and Tim Foli . . .

  3. I’m not surprised that we didn’t make the top 12 rotations. I wonder if the addition of Q would get us into the top 6-8. If not, I might re-evaluate the potential impact of that addition. Might not be worth it.

    • Cole and Taillon have question marks to to a down year for Cole and injury concerns for Taillon. Lots of people question if Nova can replicate and while Kuhl is a nice back ender, Brault, Glasnow, and Hutchison don’t provide what it takes right now to bump it into the top 12

  4. Bell looks lighter but he really is not smooth turning, setting his feet and getting the throw off quickly. He looks like he has to load up mechanically and does not look like an infielder. That said, the bat and the personality makes me think he is headed for stardom.

    • He’s built like a middle linebacker… He’s the one name I always hate reading when I read the articles about trading prospects… his hitting and plate patients is so impressive I hope he takes a big step this year.

    • Is he using his legs more now? Perhaps I’m misremembering, but I thought his weight transfer never got past the center of his body before. It looks like he’s getting out on his front foot in that video.

      His batted ball profile will never allow him to hit for power, but if he does add more leg to his swing without losing his pretty impressive contact quality, he could add a little authority to his hitting.

      • Most certainly is. Kudos to the Pirates’ development staff for freeing him up a bit.

        Like you said, he’s never gonna be a 10+ HR guy but more authority on those slashing line drives gives him a better chance to run the high BABIPs and double/triple power he’ll need to offer more than average value at short.

    • He does not have a contract. His agent is probably holding him out until he is issued a contract for the coming season.

      • Cole is working out on his own before reporting to his agent’s (Scott Boras) training facility for two weeks, then going to Spring Training from there. He wasn’t there last year either, but then again, 21 other 40-man roster players didn’t show up this week, so it’s not a big deal.They keep in touch with Cole during the off-season, so everything is fine.

        We try to stress the voluntary part of this week to avoid the “player XX didn’t show up” questions. Some players make this the start of their Spring Training and stay there afterwards, while others are close enough to drive in for a couple days and go home afterwards.

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