The Pittsburgh Pirates are holding their annual winter mini-camp, which will run from today until Wednesday. Some players use this as the beginning of their Spring Training and will stay in Bradenton getting ready for the upcoming season. Tim Williams will be covering the action there until Wednesday, but for now we will open up a discussion thread for anything on your mind.
Here are some notes from the first day:
**The first bit of news was Daniel Bard at camp. The Pirates signed the flame-throwing reliever to a minor league deal last week. More on him in this article. They also re-signed Guido Knudson, who was released last week.
**The first question on everyone’s mind will probably be about who is there, and in this case, who is on first. Both Josh Bell and John Jaso are already at the mini-camp. That’s right, the first basemen learning the position are both in attendance. While it’s just a three-day event and not much goes on there, we know the biggest story last year from mini-camp ended up being Pedro Alvarez not showing up. In hindsight it looked even worse once we saw him try to play first base. Three days won’t do much for Jaso or Bell at first base, but it is clearly better for the blood pressure of Pirates’ fans that they did show up. We will have an article on Jaso later today.
**There are some very interesting minor league names in attendance. First round picks Kevin Newman and Ke’Bryan Hayes are both in attendance. Jameson Taillon and Tyler Glasnow are both there, as well as Alen Hanson, Harold Ramirez, Reese McGuire, Gift Ngoepe, Trevor Williams, Clay Holmes, Steven Brault, Chad Kuhl, Gage Hinsz, Max Moroff, Casey Hughston, Dan Gamache, Jacob Stallings, Jerrick Suiter, Adam Frazier, Willy Garcia, Eric Weiss, Wyatt Mathisen, Albert Baur, Ryan Nagle, Chase Simpson, Billy Roth, Tito Polo. That’s just a partial list.
**Nick Kingham is also there and he has already been throwing for three weeks after taking some time off. He had Tommy John surgery at the end of May, but it certainly sounds like he is trying to get back as soon as possible from it. The Pirates tend to go with the cautious approach for returns from major injuries, so we will see how they handle his return.
**Jung-Ho Kang is also in attendance. We will have an update on how his rehab is coming along soon.