Monday, February 29, 2016

Notes: Contract Kerfuffles; Take Out Rule; TV Sked & Random Stuff

Quiet camps...boring for bloggers but generally a good sign.

  • All 63 players made it to camp this week on time with nary a personal or visa problem.
  • The Bucs are fairly injury free to open camp. Cory Luebke has a strained right hammy that's day-to-day, and Robert Zarate has "left elbow discomfort," rut-roh. Jung Ho Kang is dipping his toe into normal baseball activities, and Gerritt Cole's rib seems to have calmed down as he's working off a mound. Jameson Taillon is tossing, so all is well.
  • Speaking of injury, the Player's Association & MLB  reached an agreement on take out slides; a more direct line is called for, with rolling or high slides now verboten. In exchange, the neighborhood play becomes reviewable, so the IF'ers actually will have to tag the bag for a forceout. JHK and Jordy both lost time to takeouts last year; Kang was in favor of the new rules while Mercer was kinda meh.
JHK should be a little less of a target at third. (photo: Dave Arrigo/Pirates)
  • 1B Michael Morse took some balls at third; 3B Jason Rogers took some balls at first; welcome to multi-tasking Pittsburgh, guys. Neither looks to take anyone's time away - seems like everyone on the roster can play those two spots - but the Pirates do like their guys to own several gloves.
  • Juan Nicasio joined Mark the Shark and Jared Hughes in trying out the new pitcher's protective cap in camp. 
  • Camp has been quiet enough that the writers are tossing out contract stuff - should Cutch be extended, or maybe Fran, while Gerrit Cole told the Trib's Rob Biertempfel that he's honked that his pre-arb deal is so chintzy (so is his agent Scott Boras). They're all busywork stories; Fran is plain & simply in his walk year, Cutch has three seasons to go on his deal, and Cole knows the service rules (he is the union rep); maybe he's firing the first salvo for next year's arb session.
  • Casey McGehee, 33, signed a MiLB deal w/camp invite with the Tigers.
  • The Pirates will be on MLB Network 15 times during the spring, along with a dozen games televised (with some overlap) by Root Sports
Spring TV schedule courtesy of the Pittsburgh Pirates

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