Day four of Pirates spring training: news and notes
- Manager Clint Hurdle has the players working on “slug” bunting this year –something John Russell didn’t teach.
Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com explains further what “slug” bunting is, if your not familiar with the technique.
This type of bunt is executed by showing bunt, drawing the bat back and then trying to chop the ball hard at a defender who is expecting a normal slow-rolling bunt.
A successful “slug” bunt has an element of surprise. And it can be particularly effective when the defense imposes a wheel play, which is when the corner fielders charge toward home while the middle infielders run to cover first and third.
- With less than six weeks away until opening day Manager Clint Hurdle is still mum about a possible lineup for the Bucs.
“We’ve had talks about lineups for a month and running,” he said. “I’m thinking about it, but no pens have been (used). All pencil work, so far.”
In the past, I’ve tried to have the best hitter on the team hit third,” Hurdle said. “We’ve got a number of guys we’re talking about for that. And you don’t want to be a slave to a guy’s comfort level, but some guys have a history of performing better in some places than in others. So, it’s all taken into account.”
- The Pirates minor league camp begins on February 28. The Pirates invited about 30 pitchers and 30 position players to report early. The camp will start in full on March 7.
- Sean Gallagher is a candidate for the Bucs ‘pen, but the club isn’t ruling out using him as a starter –most likely at Triple-A to begin the year.
- The following pitchers threw their second side session on Thursday: Charlie Morton, Brian Burres, Fernando Nieve, Chris Resop, Sean Gallagher, Tony Watson, Cesar Valdez, Tyler Yates, Jeff Karstens, Justin Thomas, Brad Lincoln, Chris Leroux, Daniel McCutchen, Ramon Aguero, Daniel Moskos and Bryan Morris.
- Left-hand pitcher Scott Olsen left workouts early on Thursday due to a left hamstring strain.
Olsen doesn’t believe it’s anything serious and says it’s because of dehydration.
“I don’t foresee it being anything serious,” he said.
Pirates spring training camp: catchers drills (photo via @RobBiertempfel)
ST camp: pitchers fielding drills (photo via @RobBiertempfel)
Young Bucs: Neil Walker and Andrew McCutchen waiting to take some swings in batting practice (photo via @BucsInsider)