- Hudson Belinsky of Baseball Prospectus mentioned Travis Snyder as a potential breakout candidate for 2013. However, he didn't exactly give him a ringing endorsement: "It isn’t incredibly likely, but Snider could have a very strong year ahead of him in 2013. The physical ability is there, and if he finds a way to make things work, he could break out this season."
- The massed media all report that AJ Burnett (who else?) is on track to get the Opening Day start. It would be the first of his career.
- A small posse of Bucs will leave camp on March 2nd for the WBC - starters Russell Martin, Wandy Rodriguez and Jason Grillli, guys battling for a spot in Chris Leroux and Ivan DeJesus, and minor league players Jameson Taillon, Ali Soltis and Stefan Welch. Clint Hurdle is on record supporting them playing for their countries, though it may have an effect on Leroux and DeJesus if they miss a big chunk of camp time.
- They also report that Charlie Morton is coming along from his hip surgery. He's thrown several bullpen sessions off a mound, though limited to fastballs; he's tossing soft stuff from level ground.
- Rob Biertempfel of the Tribune Review reported that Mike McKenry will be wearing #19 this season. He surrendered his #55 to Russell Martin as it was his old number with LA and NY. The Fort did score a watch in the deal. And while on the subject, happy birthday, Russ. He turns 30 today.
- Everyone is in camp but RHP Stolmy Pimentel, who is having traditionally frustrating visa issues getting to Bradenton from the Dominican Republic.
- The New York Times Nate Silver made the Pirate mission for 2013 pretty clear in his tweet: "No pope has resigned since 1415, which is also the last time the Pittsburgh Pirates had a winning record."
- Marc Hulet of Fangraphs lists his Top 15 Prospects for the Bucs; it's not a lot different from the other selections so far this season.
- Tim Williams of Pirates Prospects looks ahead to who may be on the Pirate radar for the 2013 draft.
- There are all of eight guys left in the minor league system from the Dave Littlefield days. David of the Battlin' Bucs takes a look at them - RHPs Kyle McPherson and Duke Welker are the cream. (The pre-2008 MLB holdovers are Cutch, Neil Walker, Starling Marte, Jared Hughes, Tony Watson and Alex Presley.)
- Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post tweeted that the Nats have signed former Bucco reliever RHP Mike Crotta, who was a minor league free agent, to a minor league deal. He tossed for Pittsburgh in 2011, but missed all of 2012 after elbow surgery. It must have been successful; he hit 96 during his Washington try-out.
- If you're wondering about the Pirates' sizeable collection of starting pitchers, consider the Dodgers. They have eight MLB guys in camp, and Chris Capuano (12-12, 3.72) and Aaron Harang (10-10, 3.61) could be left on the outside looking in. Can't have too much pitching, right?
Friday, February 15, 2013
Around the Campfire
A couple of camp notes: