Sorry, guys, no sex or steroid scandals, no blockbuster trades or season-ending injuries; no breakout performances. It's just another day at camp.
First, what the beat gang is reporting:
-- Octavio Dotel is day-to-day with a sore left side; the Bucs don't believe it's anything serious, and we sure hope it's not his oblique. Evan Meek can tell OD all about those.
-- Joel Hanrahan should be ready sooner rather than later. The swelling is going down, according to his MRI, and Dr. McAndrews seconded the strained elbow opinion. He's on track to be ready for Opening Day or thereabouts.
-- Neil Walker is working out at first, third, second, and right. Think the suits are trying to tell him something? We think his glove is fine; he needs to pick up his bat.
-- The docs checked out Jose Ascanio's labrum; he's looking like he'll be back in the last couple weeks of June.
-- Jen Langosch of MLB.com wrote that Bucco minor-league guru Kyle Stark says a pair of touted minor-league arms will be down for the start of the season: Colton Cain (8th round, 2009) has a back injury, but has been cleared to begin workouts. Brett Lorin, acquired in the Seattle trade, will miss the start of the season because of a hip injury.
-- Chuck Finder of the Post Gazette reports on a wonderful problem; where are the Pirates gonna place all their pitchers? The Bucs have a load of arms trying to make their way up from High A and AA. That's one area the new crew addressed in a hurry.
-- According to Dave O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 30 year-old JR House was given a premature burial by GW; he landed on his feet and signed with the Braves for another minor-league go around. In 10 minor league seasons, House has a .302 career average, 117 homers and a .838 OPS. He’s had just 10 hits in 60 MLB at-bats with Pittsburgh, Houston and Baltimore.
House spent the 2009 season with the Royals’ AAA Omaha club, batting .251 with nine homers and 53 RBIs in 505 at-bats. Ouch.
-- Speaking of signings, GM Neal Huntington's contract is up this year and manager John Russell is working on the first of two team options. Bob Nutting isn't extending either one quite yet, though he did give the management gang a vote of confidence.
-- The MLB Network will televise four of the Pirates' Spring games: March 3 at 1 pm (Pirates/Yankees), March 10 at 7 pm (Orioles/Pirates), March 13 at 7 pm (Pirates/Red Sox), March 14 at 9 pm (Yankees/Pirates).
-- And for those of you bemoaning the popularity of baseball, Maury Brown of the Business of Baseball wrote that though attendance was down 7%, MLB set a revenue record. He explains how in his article.