Each of the last two years, Mitch Keller has pitched in Minor League championship series. Last October and November, he dominated Arizona Fall League lineups loaded with top prospects. But on Sunday afternoon, in a game with relatively low stakes, Keller was nervous.
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Tyler Glasnow missed his last scheduled outing due to flu-like symptoms, so in the 10 days between starts, he had plenty of time to talk and work with pitching coach Ray Searage. In their conversations, they developed a game plan that Glasnow put into action over 4 2/3 strong innings against the Red Sox on Sunday at LECOM Park.
After two years marred by injuries, Francisco Cervelli overhauled his offseason routine. He hired a new trainer, and began a new workout routine. He changed his diet, too. Out went gluten, dairy products and fried food.
Sean Rodriguez figures he was 9 or 10 years old when one day, he asked his father, Johnny, why he wasn't playing his customary shortstop position. Johnny told his son he would play wherever the team needed, and that was that.
For the second straight year, Major League Baseball held a special "Play Ball" event in Florida during Spring Training. The Pirates played host on Saturday morning, opening up a field at their training complex so local youth could participate in the free event designed to promote the fun side of baseball and softball.
Pirates outfielder Jordan Luplow was among top prospect performers in Spring Training on Saturday.
Some people might think that pitching is a starter's workout every fifth day -- that they come off the mound, cool down and hit the showers. That hasn't been the case for the Pirates this spring.
Who do the Pirates have in the pipeline? Get scouting reports, video, stats, projected ETAs and more for Pittsburgh's Top 30 Prospects on MLB Pipeline's Prospect Watch.
When paring down their roster to the 25 players who will open the season in Detroit, the Pirates must consider a number of dynamics: past performance, what they've done in Spring Training, how they fit on the club, whether they're better served on the bench or playing every day in Triple-A and so on.
Evaluating his bullpen options earlier this week, Pirates general manager Neal Huntington noted the one trait most of Pittsburgh's relievers lack: experience. As Huntington put it, "We don't have guys that have long backs of baseball cards."
The Yankees didn't make it easy on Joe Musgrove. In his first official inning of the spring, Musgrove took the mound on Thursday at Steinbrenner Field and had to face the slugging trio of Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and Gary Sanchez.
From baseball's brightest stars to the next great fantasy steal lurking on the Pirates depth chart, everything you need to know is one click away.
Kevin Newman and Kevin Kramer may one day share the Pirates' middle infield, but for now, they're back in Minor League camp.
Check out Marte's fantastic diving catch
For years, Ivan Nova entered Spring Training with something to prove. He had to earn a spot in the Yankees rotation or, occasionally, anywhere on the team. He is far removed from those days now, however, having already been named the Pirates' Opening Day starter.
With half a month to go before the Bucs line up at Comerica Park, much more still can and probably will change as players move out of those LECOM Park lockers. But here's another shot at predicting the Opening Day roster.
The Pirates made their first significant round of Spring Training roster cuts on Monday, sending a number of top prospects to Minor League camp at Pirate City.
Josh Smoker couldn't remember the last race he attended in person. Maybe it was in high school, after his days behind the wheel were over. But he still felt at home Sunda,y when he and George Kontos took a trip to watch the IndyCar Series' Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.
Pirates third baseman Colin Moran was among top prospect performers on Monday.
One morning last week, Kevin Kramer explained the thought process that's helped him stand out at the plate in his first big league Spring Training.
Don't tell Gregory Polanco it's only Spring Training. "Always it's a good time to hit homers," he said, smiling. "Thank God I feel good."
Signed to a Minor League deal on Feb. 24, Kevin Siegrist made a strong first impression in his Pirates debut on Saturday afternoon. After giving up a leadoff double, the left-hander struck out three straight hitters to finish a scoreless seventh inning in the Bucs' 15-1 loss to the Braves at LECOM Park.
After a couple of piggyback outings to start the spring, Trevor Williams got back in the starting routine on Saturday afternoon.
Late last spring, the Indians player development staff gave Jordan Milbrath a choice: Learn to throw sidearm, or be released. "Long story short," he said, smiling, "I ended up learning how to throw sidearm."
When pitching coach Ray Searage called Ivan Nova into manager Clint Hurdle's office on Wednesday morning, Nova's first thought was closer to fear than excitement.
When Jameson Taillon was approached about representing the Taylor Hooton Foundation, he didn't have to think too much about it. Taillon on Thursday joined 32 other Major Leaguers on the foundation's "Advisory Board," which helps educate young people about the dangers of performance-enhancing drugs.
Outfielder Daniel Nava returned to LECOM Park on Thursday morning, determined to make the best of his situation after undergoing back surgery last week.
Veteran right-hander Ivan Nova will start for the Pirates on Opening Day, manager Clint Hurdle announced on Wednesday. Jameson Taillon is scheduled to start Pittsburgh's home opener at PNC Park.
Nine days after being carted off the field at Camden Yards, Colin Moran was set for surgery at Houston Methodist Hospital.
This could finally be the year Sean Rodriguez gets 500 at-bats in the Major Leagues. "That's always been the goal," the veteran said, after hitting his third home run in 13 spring at-bats Monday.
New Pirates left fielder Corey Dickerson played six innings in that position on Monday.
He has goals for the season, but primarily, he's looking forward to a full season of health, after being diagnosed and treated for testicular cancer last year.
Pirates outfielder Jordan Luplow was among top prospects to produce on Monday.
Traditionally, the back fields of LECOM Park are not where you find a lot of excitement. However, for the newly acquired Corey Dickerson, there was a certain level of anticipation there Saturday morning.