The Lineup: Alex Presley CF, Jordy Mercer SS, Travis Snider RF, Jerry Sands DH, Garrett Jones 1B, Matt Hague 3B, Tony Sanchez C, Felix Pie LF and Anderson Hernandez 2B.
A shook up spring lineup, and we're glad to be getting looks at Tony Sanchez and Jerry Sands.
The Pitchers: Kyle McPherson, Jeanmar Gomez, Phil Irwin, Erik Cordier, Chris Leroux, Kris Johnson, Kyle Waldrop and Ryan Reid will make the trip.
Some interesting guys today. McPherson is battling for a spot on the rotation. Kris Johnson had a breakout year in the minors and winter ball after a journeyman career and hopes to keep the good times rollin'. Gomez was picked up from the Indians and is out of options, while Irwin was last year's pleasant surprise at Indy.
- Danny Knobler of CBS Sports looks at the Pirate future and specifically Gerrit Cole's role in it. He posts "I'm not saying Cole is Verlander, and I'm not saying the Pirates are going to the World Series. But getting the most out of talent like Gerrit Cole is the way they could get there."
- Jason Parks of Baseball Prospectus is out with its Top 100 Prospects, and the usual five Buccos are on it: Gerrit Cole (3), Jameson Taillon (11), Gregory Polanco (44), Luis heredia (53) and Alen Hansen (66).
- Minnesota's camp will have a familiar look to Bucco fans. Their 40-man roster has P Kevin Correia, P Tim Wood and C Ryan Doumit on it, while non-roster invitees are 2012 Pirate farm hands P Shairon Martis, C/OF Eric Fryer, 1B Jeff Clement and OF Brandon Boggs.
- As bad as they've been over the last two decades, Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times noted that it's been 40,000 days (August 25th, 1903) since Pittsburgh's all-time cumulative franchise record was under .500. They’re still 104 games over going into this season, though if they continue recent trends, they'll fall back to .500 around 2017 or so.
- First big injury of the year goes to the Yankees' Curtis Granderson. He broke his arm yesterday when he was plunked by a JA Happ pitch, and may be looking at 10 weeks off. Because of the injury, Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors has a lengthy list of potential replacements, which include Jose Tabata as well as former Bucs Gorkys Hernandez and Xavier Paul.
- Mark Polishuk of MLB Trade Rumors wrote of FA pitcher Kyle Lohse "Looking at the field, I'd say that the Cardinals seem like the most logical candidate, with the Pirates, Orioles, Brewers, Indians, Padres, Angels, Rangers and (only because of the Boras factor) Nationals as longshots." Jon Heyman of CBS Sports doesn't believe the Bucs are interested; Lohse is 34 and would cost the club a first-round pick in the draft.