The Pittsburgh Pirates minor league Spring Training schedule has been released. Here’s a look at it, along with a quick explanation of what you’re seeing.
There are four teams during minor league Spring Training, but they make up two teams for games. The “Bonds/Stargell” team you see is the current Triple-A/Double-A rosters. The “Kiner/Mazeroski” team is High-A/Low-A.
With 58 players still in the Major League camp, that means that the Triple-A team contains a lot of players who will end up in Altoona this year. The Double-A will have a lot of Greensboro players, High-A will have some Bradenton players, and Low-A will have many Florida Complex League players.
As more players are cut from big league Spring Training, it causes a trickle down on the minor league side. By late March, these games will look more like the real teams, though the Triple-A season starts March 31st this year, so those players will be in Indianapolis a few days ahead of time. The Bonds/Stargell team will be almost all Altoona players by then.
If you’re going to Pirate City between March 15th and April 1st, there will be games there every day. The best days to go is the intrasquad days, which includes Pirates vs Pirates games. Half of the players will be on the road during the other days.
All of the games versus opponents start at 1 PM according to the schedule, but that’s really tentative. They could move it up due to weather forecasts. Since there’s no ticket sales, there’s no announcement of time changes. The intrasquad games could start earlier too. It’s best to either go early, or if you’re going multiple days, ask someone working there about the next day. That’s not always foolproof though, as I’ve asked players for game times, only to get there “early” and the game is already in progress.
John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.
When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.
Nice signing by the Nats of Keibert Ruiz for 8/$50.
A definite need to trim the position payers still in MLB Camp. It seems all but a certainty that Bae and Swagg’s have earned spots on the active roster which should include 13 position players. That does not mean that we will not see guys up and down from AAA.
Pitching is more of a concern, and that could mean keeping at least 20 pitchers in MLB Camp. Expect 13 pitchers to go North. So far, Hill Keller, BRU, VV, Contreras, and Oviedo (SP/RP) as the Rotation. BP probably 5 locks of Bednar, Holderman, Hernandez, DUJ, and Crowe, and I favor Moreta (3.60 SIERA) in the Cincy bandbox in ’22, and Bolton to complete the BP.
Thanks for this information, John.