The first few days of Spring Training really didn’t provide any significant news, other than what we heard last night…
The Pirates were one of 19 teams that had at least one positive Covid-19 test and on Sunday evening, manager Derek Shelton revealed (with permission from the players) that both Blake Cederlind and Socrates Brito tested positive. Both players were/are(?) competing for the last spots on the 30-man Opening Day roster, so this will hurt their chances. Major League Baseball as a group (players and personnel) had just 38 positive tests, which was 1.2% of everyone tested.
Pirates manager Derek Shelton said RHP Blake Cederlind and OF Socrates Brito tested positive for COVID-19. Both players gave the team permission to divulge that information, but Shelton couldn't share whether they're symptomatic or not.
— Adam Berry (@adamdberry) July 5, 2020
Not much is actually going on as far as practice yet. The biggest news before yesterday was Joe Musgrove throwing five sim innings. The lack of media in attendance is leading to fewer news items and videos available from the practices. The Pirates have posted a few clips on Twitter, but nothing really worth sharing. Things are definitely different than normal, but that could change soon.
As of today, there are just 18 days left until Opening Day 2.0 (or is it 1.5?) in St Louis, which was reported a few days ago by a St Louis source. Teams are allowed to have up to three exhibition games with other teams before the season starts and the Pirates will likely have some type of intrasquad games before those exhibition contests.
So maybe we will have an extra article that will serve as a Spring Training discussion thread. If yesterday’s news came out earlier, or included a bigger name player, I probably would have posted, but Sundays are our slowest day of the week by far for traffic and Sunday nights are much worse than the morning. I don’t know where you people have been going every Sunday late afternoon/evening/night for the last ten years, but that’s your business.
**We will have at least four articles today, including the one you’re currently reading. If any news comes up, we will have more. The other scheduled articles for today are as follows:
This Date in Pittsburgh Pirates History – Four birthdays, including Cy Blanton, Jason Thompson and Willie Randolph. There is also a long game from the 1980 season covered in there.
One Who Got Away – One of my favorite series here looks at a pitcher who immediately took off after the Pirates traded him away for a veteran pitcher who only lasted about two months with the Pirates.
1979 Season Recap – Tough game against the Cincinnati Reds
Happy Monday to everyone!
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John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.
When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.