- The Bucs opened a four-day, voluntary mini-camp at Pirate City today. The good news is that some guys who are recovering from various surgeries - Gregory Polanco, Joe Musgrove, and even Ray Searage (back) are participating, even if not at 100% quite yet. Pitchers and catchers start the real camp on February 12th.
|Big Joe's in camp 2018 Topps Heritage|
- Andy Martino of SNY wrote that the Pirates were impressed by Tulo's range during his audition, enough that Clint Hurdle eyed him as a starting SS, so he appears healthy and team's interest seemed real even if he did cast his lot with the Evil Empire.
- The Pirates confirmed these non-roster invitees to camp: LHP Tyler Lyons, RHP Roberto Gomez, C Steven Baron and OF Patrick Kivlehan. No surprises here as all four had been inked to prior minor league deals. They also invited a bunch of up-and-comers from the farm: 3B Ke'Bryan Hayes; 1B Will Craig; OF Bryan Reynolds; RHP's Tyler Eppler, Geoff Hartlieb, Alex McRae & Eduardo Vera; LHP's Elvis Escobar, Brandon Waddell & Blake Weiman; along with C's Jason Delay, Christian Kelley & Arden Pabst. So assuming a full 40-man roster for camp, that's 57 bodies lined up for Bradenton so far.
- Richard Justice of MLB.com thinks the Pirates could be one of the surprise successes of 2019 because of their rotation; the wild card is whether or not the young guys step it up this year.
- You can come home again: Jeff Banister was hired as a special assistant for baseball operations. A Bucco lifer, Banny took a four-year hiatus to manage the Rangers. Lot of SABO jobs going around - the day before, the Pirates hired David Eckstein, a retired 10-year MLB vet known for his grit, as a special assistant for baseball operations. Eckstein’s older brother Rick was just hired by the Pirates as their hitting coach. Now for a shortstop...
|Banny's back 1992 Topps Debut|
- The Mets acquired OF Keon Broxton, an ol' Bucco farmhand and current pain-in-the-butt to his former homies, from the Brewers for reliever Bobby Wahl and youngsters RHP Adam Hill & IF Felix Valerio, both prospects in the low minors.
- Jim O'Friel of Cranberry was inspired to write some poetry re: his hero, Roberto Clemente, that made the local papers. Now his prose has joined The Great One in Cooperstown. The Cranberry Eagle's JW Johnston has the story.