Player News - Pirates

Date: Team: Pos:

John Jaso's third spring homer was a two-run shot Tuesday in the Pirates' 5-4 win over the Rays.

Jaso, who was playing third base today, hit a long bomb to left off Alex Cobb in the first. He's sporting a .310 average and an 1.107 OPS this spring, so it'll be interesting to see how the Pirates carve out a role for him in the early going. Josh Bell is expected to get the bulk of the time at first base, with David Freese likely playing third until Jung Ho Kang is cleared to join the club. Jaso belongs in more just a pinch-hitting role, so it still seems like a trade is the best option here.
Mar 21 - 4:46 PM

Chad Kuhl yielded three runs over five innings Tuesday in a no-decision versus the Rays.

Kuhl gave up a couple of wind-aided homers in third, but he was otherwise solid in striking out four and walking one. He's yet to be named to the Pirates' rotation, but he remains the clear favorite to occupy the fourth spot.
Mar 21 - 4:43 PM

John Jaso will play third base on Tuesday.

It will be his first time playing third base as a professional. Josh Bell is expected to see the bulk of the time at first base this season, so the Pirates are looking at expanding Jaso's versatility.
Mar 21 - 8:33 AM

Jose Osuna launched his fifth home run of the spring Monday to lead the Pirates to a 5-4 win over the Rays.

It was a two-run homer off Blake Snell. He also drove in a third run on a groundout in the eighth. Osuna isn't a threat to win a roster spot, but he's made a name for himself with his 1.389 OPS this spring. Last year, he hit .279/.332/.457 as a 23-year-old in Double- and Triple-A. Osuna can play the outfield corners, but he fits best at first base. The Pirates certainly hope to remain in contention all year, but if they do fall out of the mix, one option would be to trade Andrew McCutchen in July and give Osuna a shot, possibly at first while Josh Bell moves to the outfield.
Mar 20 - 5:40 PM

Pirates optioned RHP Pat Light to Triple-A Indianapolis.

Light was acquired from the Twins just before the start of spring training for a player to be named later or cash considerations. He never really had a shot of landing a 25-man roster spot out of Pirates camp.
Mar 20 - 8:42 AM

Gift Ngoepe went 3-for-5 with a double and three runs scored as the Pirates and Blue Jays played to an 11-11 tie Sunday.

The team likes his athleticism, but Ngoepe seemed like a weak choice for the Pirates' 40-man roster when he was added a year ago and he was awful in Triple-A last season, coming in at .217/.289/.355 with 130 strikeouts in 332 at-bats. He has done really well this spring, batting .400 with 11 runs scored in 35 at-bats, but he's destined to return to Triple-A anyway. He needs to take a big step forward there this year if he's going to become a major leaguer.
Mar 19 - 5:45 PM

Gerrit Cole limited the Blue Jays to one run in five innings and struck out five on Sunday.

It seemed likely that Cole would scuffle a bit this spring after his second-half injuries and struggles last year, but he's been strong in both of his official outings and his three-inning start in an exhibition against the Dominican Republic. It'd seem to bode well for him and the Pirates.
Mar 19 - 5:41 PM

Tony Watson allowed five runs in two-thirds of an inning out of the pen Sunday against the Blue Jays.

Uncharacteristically shaky, Watson has given up eight runs in 4 1/3 innings, though all of those runs have come in two of five outings. The Pirates haven't opened up their closer spot to a competition, but if they did, Daniel Hudson would be running away with the job. We'd prefer Hudson anyway, but Watson figures to be the choice initially.
Mar 19 - 5:38 PM

Jung Ho Kang remains in South Korea as he waits to receive his work visa.

Kang had been hopeful of receiving it this past week, but obviously it didn't happen. He's been working out in Korea and is in good shape, but Kang hasn't faced any live pitching yet this offseason. The hope remains that he'll be cleared soon and report to the Pirates' spring training complex in Florida, but it's very likely at this point that he'll begin the season on the restricted list. "He’s going to need some work, some game at-bats," general manager Neal Huntington said. "We can set up some sim games, we can set up a lot of at-bats for him in a short period of time. But it’s hard to say until we get him here."
Mar 19 - 10:18 AM

John Jaso finished the day 2-for-3 with a home run, four RBI and three runs scored.

He drilled a three run home run off Joaquin Benoit in the sixth inning and added an RBI double to boot. He also walked in the game. He owns a .320 batting average with 2 home runs and seven RBI in 25 at-bats this spring. It remains to be seen how much playing time Jaso will receive this season. He sits behind Josh Bell on the depth chart at first base. He will likely play a bit of outfield, see some DH time in interleague games and spend the rest of his time as a pinch-hitter and backup first baseman.
Mar 18 - 5:11 PM

Tyler Glasnow allowed just one run in four innings while notching five punchouts in a 13-8 win over the Phillies.

He gave up four hits and two walks. The 23-year-old top prospect needed a strong effort like this to keep himself in contention for a big league rotation slot. The tall righthander has no trouble generating strikeouts but has struggled with walks throughout his career. If he can find a way to refine his control he could be a front of the rotation starter. He put up a 4.24 ERA in 23 1/3 innings with the Pirates last year after posting an elite 1.87 ERA in 20 starts at Triple-A.
Mar 18 - 5:04 PM

Pirates optioned infielder Chris Bostick to Triple-A Indianapolis and reassigned INF Erich Weiss to minor league camp.

The Pirates acquired Bostick from the Nationals after he was designated for assignment last September, and he was 6-for-21 with seven walks this spring. Unfortunately, his best position is second base and the Pirates have four options ahead of him there right now.
Mar 17 - 5:05 PM

Felipe Rivero struck out three in two perfect innings of relief Friday against the Orioles.

Rivero is a long shot for saves, but he could be one of the NL's best left-handed relievers this year. He had a 3.29 ERA and 39 strikeouts in 27 1/3 innings for Pittsburgh last year after coming over from the Nationals in the Mark Melancon trade. He's allowed just one hit in five scoreless innings this spring.
Mar 17 - 4:56 PM

Drew Hutchison was lit up for six runs in 3 1/3 innings by the Orioles on Friday.

That's a definite setback to Hutchison's chances of securing a rotation spot. Hutchison had allowed two runs in nine innings this spring, but he gave up runs in three of his four innings of work today. Steven Brault could be back in the lead for the fifth spot now.
Mar 17 - 4:54 PM

Alen Hanson went 3-for-5 on Friday and is hitting .379 this spring.

The Pirates probably can't carry Adam Frazier, Phil Gosselin and Hanson, which makes one wonder if they might trade one of the latter two before Opening Day. Hanson is the one of the trio out of options, which could leave Gosselin vulnerable to a demotion. Frazier's spot isn't in doubt.
Mar 17 - 4:53 PM


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