Camp is humming quietly along...
- Pittsburgh signed Matt Joyce, a LH corner OF'er, to a MiLB deal w/camp invite. In six years with Tampa, he slashed .250/.342/.435 with an All-Star berth before failing to clear the Mendoza Line for the Haloes last season. He's getting a look as a possible fourth OF'er/bench lefty.
- It's being pooh-poohed, but Gerrit Cole has "right rib inflammation" and has been on a modified PT program since January. No word on the cause, and let's hope it's just something that needs a little rest.
- Jung Ho Kang has been doing some basic drills, and seems to be recovering at a nice pace. We'd still be surprised to see him start on Opening Day, but it's good news to know he'll be available sooner rather than later. In a related issue, the Player's Association and MLB are thought to be making headway on a sliding rule that could be ready for the season. Its exact form has yet TBD, but in the Arizona League, the players had to slide directly into the base, so that's one possible model.
- Fangraphs' Paul Swydan writes about a possible Josh Harrison/Alen Hanson conundrum.
- Jared Hughes and Mark Melancon sported the new protective pitcher's helmet while doing bullpens; the headgear looks a lot like a plastic golf visor cap.
|The New Lids (image via Adam Berry/MLB.com)|
- USA Today picked its 2016 team win totals; the Cubs have the highest projection in MLB with 101 wins, with the Bucs coming in third in the NL Central with 88 victories. Baseball Prospectus isn't sold on the division; they have the Cubs winning 92 games, but the Pirates & Cards barely breaking .500 and both missing the playoffs.
- This year's Sunday throwback unis are based on the yellow 1979 World Series club's jersey, black pants, pillbox cap and all.
|Cutch Sports the Throwback (image via Pittsburgh Pirates)|
- Doc Emrick, NBC hockey announcer and big Bucco fan, will call some as yet undisclosed Pirates spring training games w/Greg Brown.
- Sam Dykstra of MiLB.com looks at the Central Division rookies, with the young Pirate arms being pretty impressive on paper. Also, Richard Justice of MLB.com selected 20 rookies who could impact the 2016 season. Among them were Tyler Glasnow, Jameson Taillon and Josh Bell.
- Baseball America has a chart of the draft and international bonus pools; the Bucs are mid-pack.
- Tony Sanchez signed a MiLB deal with camp invite with the Blue Jays.
- Ike Davis agreed to a minor league deal with the Rangers.
- RHP Brooks Pounders, 25, is an NRI at the KC camp. The second rounder from 2009 has overcome TJ surgery & a torn lat to make his first MLB spring training appearance. He was traded to the Royals by the Bucs for IF Yamaico Navarro in 2011.
- John Sorce of Baseball Essentials has a piece on how the MLB divisions would look like if they were banded together by geography rather than the gerrymander process.