- Well, not exactly the news you want two weeks before camp opens: After suffering some (wait for it) discomfort, 1B/OF Josh Bell had surgery to remove a loose body from his left knee. Recovery time is estimated at 2-4 weeks. It's not the first time his knee has cost him time; he also was shut down in 2012 and 2014 because of it. His status for Opening Day is TBD.
|Josh's knee is still giving him problems (2016 Bowman Scout's Top 100)|
- Bill Brink of the Post-Gazette reported that Jung Ho Kang will undergo voluntary alcohol counseling/treatment after his third DUI. He ehas yet to be disciplined by the league for his escapade. It's also up in the air as to how the charge may affect his visa status.
- Starling Marte tweeted that he's going to be the Buccos CF in 2017 (the Twitter translation thingie came up with "The OF @Starlingmart confirms that it will play in the central Prairie for next season by the Pittsburgh Pirates."). After the horse escaped the barn, the Bucs belatedly announced that Gregory will move to left, Starling to center and Andrew to right, where there's less prairie to guard and a short wall that will protect his arm. The biggest transition, we think, won't be for Cutch but for El Coffee, who showed some route-running issues that will be magnified in LF.
- Anthony Castrovince of Sports on Earth thinks the Pirates will be better than anticipated this year despite their quiet winter, as he expects the starting rotation to be much improved.
|A healthy year from Gerrit would be a big boost (2016 Donruss)|
- On the other hand, Stephanie Apstein of Sports Illustrated thinks the Bucco off season has been "directionless."
- Joe Trezza of MLB.com takes his shot at naming the five best players from Western Pennsylvania.
- Big Mike Zagurski is back in the States. After two years of tossing in Japan, the lefty signed a minor league deal with Detroit.
- Zach Thornton, who tossed for the Buc system in 2013-14 and is now with the Mets organization will pitched for team Israel in the WBC.