« M E N U »
 » Showcase Index
TSX Premium Products
 PRODUCT SAMPLES
« NFL »
 » Team Reports
 » Daily Notebook
 » Player News Wire
 » NFL GameScout
 » NFL Game Previews
 » Around The League
 » NFL Column
 
« NFL Draft »
 » Player Rankings
 » NFL Draft Bios
 » NFL Draft Columns
 
« NCAA Football »
 » Team Reports
 » Daily Notebook
 » Game Scout
 » Player News Wire
 » Player News by Pos
 
« MLB »
 » Game Stories
 » Team Reports
 » Daily Notebook
 » Player News Wire
 » MLB Column
 
« NBA »
 » Team Reports
 » Player News Wire
 » NBA Column
 
« NHL »
 » Team Reports
 » Player News Wire
 » NHL Column
 
« NCAA Basketball »
 » Team Reports
 » Daily Notebook
 » March Madness
 
« NASCAR »
 » Series Reports
 » Driver Notes
 
« Golf »
 » Insider Report
 » Tour Rankings
 
 
« Multisport »
 »This Week in History
Pittsburgh Pirates
INSIDE PITCH

  Inside Pitch | Notes, Quotes | Roster Report | Player News

There were a few surprises in training camp for the Pittsburgh Pirates, but the biggest ones came before it started.

Andrew McCutchen was not traded and moved from center field to right after a subpar season, and Pittsburgh was able to re-sign right-hander Ivan Nova to remain an important part of the starting rotation.

Still, there are a lot of questions surrounding a club that missed the postseason last year after a three-year run of playoff appearances and plays in the National League Central Division with the defending Worlds Series champion Chicago Cubs and perennially strong St. Louis Cardinals.

The most impactful news in March for the Pirates was the status of third baseman and power hitter Jung Ho Kang, who remained in South Korea and on the restricted list after a DUI arrest. It was unclear when or even if Kang would join the Pirates.

David Freese looks to inherit third base with Kang missing. Freese is part of a movement in which manager Clint Hurdle is keen on having a lot of interchangeable parts. That is, bench players and even some starting fielders who can plug in at different spots.

Opening Day starter Gerrit Cole, 26, was slowed by three injuries last year but will be counted on to serve as the staff ace. Nova and Jameson Taillon have locked down spots in the rotation. Chad Kuhl has a strong inside track on the No. 4 spot.

The fifth spot, however, is up for grabs, and going into the final week of spring no one had jumped way out in front. Tyler Glasnow seemed to be coming on, but he still needed to beat out Steven Brault, Drew Hutchison and Trevor Williams. It's entirely possible that competition will bleed into the season.

"Everybody had an opportunity to go create separation, and that hasn't really happened in my mind," Hurdle said. "They've all competed. We have our own thoughts and our own measurements that we'll use. The good part is we've got depth, and they know it."

The bullpen returns fairly intact but Tony Watson, who inherited the closer role after stalwart Mark Melancon was traded last season, had a rough spring.

The outfield could be more than solid after the big switcheroo, which was made to get Starling Marte's substantial skill and arm into center fielder, where former NL MVP McCutchen regressed last season. Gregory Polanco moves from right to left.

"We went through the process as thoroughly and as respectfully as we could," Pittsburgh general manager Neal Huntington told mlb.com. "(McCutchen) wants to stay in center field, and he believes he's a center fielder, but again, I can't say this enough: Without Starling Marte, this is not a move we make."



 MLB Team, Player News
AL EAST
NL EAST
Baltimore Orioles  Team  Player Atlanta Braves  Team  Player
Boston Red Sox  Team  Player Florida Marlins  Team  Player
New York Yankees  Team  Player Washington Nationals  Team  Player
Tampa Bay Devil Rays  Team  Player New York Mets  Team  Player
Toronto Blue Jays  Team  Player Philadelphia Phillies  Team  Player
AL CENTRAL
NL CENTRAL
Chicago White Sox  Team  Player Chicago Cubs  Team  Player
Cleveland Indians  Team  Player Cincinnati Reds  Team  Player
Detroit Tigers  Team  Player Houston Astros  Team  Player
Kansas City Royals  Team  Player Milwaukee Brewers  Team  Player
Minnesota Twins  Team  Player Pittsburgh Pirates  Team  Player
. St. Louis Cardinals  Team  Player
AL WEST
NL WEST
Anaheim Angels  Team  Player Arizona Diamondbacks  Team  Player
Oakland Athletics  Team  Player Colorado Rockies  Team  Player
Seattle Mariners  Team  Player Los Angeles Dodgers  Team  Player
Texas Rangers  Team  Player San Diego Padres  Team  Player
. San Francisco Giants  Team  Player