Marte's double backs solid Kuhl vs. Jays

Marte's double backs solid Kuhl vs. Jays

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- The pitchers were definitely ahead of the hitters when the Pirates defeated the Blue Jays, 2-1, on Monday at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium.

The Blue Jays didn't get their first hit until first baseman Justin Smoak led off the bottom of the fifth with a single up the middle against Nick Kingham, the third Bucs pitcher.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast.

Paul Hagen is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Prospect Glasnow K's 6 of 7 in 'amazing' outing

Righty striving to earn a spot in starting rotation

Prospect Glasnow K's 6 of 7 in 'amazing' outing

SARASOTA, Fla. -- General manager Neal Huntington said it best on the first day of Spring Training: When Tyler Glasnow puts it all together, he's a fun pitcher to watch.

Glasnow had everything working in his first spring appearance on Sunday afternoon, and it looked like fun for everyone but the Orioles. The Pirates' top prospect struck out six of the seven batters he faced, allowing only one single over two electric innings.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Taillon (3 K's), Glasnow (6) impress for Bucs

Taillon (3 K's), Glasnow (6) impress for Bucs

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Adam Jones and Manny Machado each hit home runs as the Baltimore Orioles beat the Pittsburgh Pirates, 8-3, on Sunday at Ed Smith Stadium.

Jones hit a long home run off of Pittsburgh starter Jameson Taillon in the first and had a double in the fifth. Machado homered just after Robert Andino, who came in as a pinch-runner for Jones, was thrown out trying to advance to third.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast.

Rich Dubroff is a contributor to MLB.com.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Taillon confident after first spring start

Righty feels good on mound with altered grip of changeup

Taillon confident after first spring start

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Jameson Taillon has already shown the Pirates what he can do at the highest level, so results are not of great concern when he takes the mound in Spring Training, particularly not in his first outing.

Taillon, set to start the second game of the regular season, allowed two runs on three hits and two walks in two innings of work in the Pirates' 8-3 loss to the Orioles on Sunday at Ed Smith Stadium. Of bigger-picture importance, he successfully mixed in his modified changeup and laid a foundation to build on next month.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cole honored to be Opening Day starter

Righty excited for first trip to Fenway Park as a pitcher

Cole honored to be Opening Day starter

BRADENTON, Fla. -- For Gerrit Cole, the news was exciting, the status an honor and the setting a bonus. The certainty of knowing when his first start will take place is pretty nice, too.

Cole will make his first Opening Day start for the Pirates on April 3 at Fenway Park against the Red Sox. Manager Clint Hurdle informed Cole, Jameson Taillon and Ivan Nova of their spots in the rotation on Saturday. Now, Cole has more than a month to work through Spring Training with a specific date in mind.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Polanco's big game leads Pirates past Orioles

Polanco's big game leads Pirates past Orioles

BRADENTON, Fla. -- Gregory Polanco had three hits and two steals, drove in two runs and scored another in the Pirates' 6-2 win over the Orioles on Saturday at LECOM Park.

Polanco, playing left field in Pittsburgh's realigned outfield, swatted three singles as he led the Bucs to a split-squad victory in their Grapefruit League opener. Right fielder Andrew McCutchen doubled in his first at-bat and scored, while center fielder Starling Marte walked and stole his first base of the spring.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast.

Rich Dubroff is a contributor to MLB.com.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

New right fielder McCutchen gets feet wet

New right fielder McCutchen gets feet wet

BRADENTON, Fla. -- As the Pirates took the field early Saturday afternoon, Andrew McCutchen ran out to assume his place in right field. He wouldn't say it felt weird, but it was different.

Pittsburgh unveiled its realigned outfield, featuring McCutchen in right for the first time since he broke into the Majors, as the Bucs opened their Grapefruit League schedule with a 6-2 split-squad win over the Orioles at LECOM Park.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cole gets Pirates' Opening Day assignment

Cole gets Pirates' Opening Day assignment

BRADENTON, Fla. -- There was little question the Pirates' Opening Day assignment would fall to Gerrit Cole, but manager Clint Hurdle made it official on Saturday afternoon. Cole will start for Pittsburgh against the Red Sox on April 3 at Fenway Park.

Cole, 26, will be followed in the rotation by Jameson Taillon, who is scheduled to start the Bucs' second game of the season on April 5 in Boston. Right-hander Ivan Nova will start Pittsburgh's home opener against the Braves at PNC Park on April 7.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Stallings homers, Terdoslavich delivers in rout of Rays

Stallings homers, Terdoslavich delivers in rout of Rays

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- The Pirates used a six-run fifth to fuel a 7-2 win over the Rays Saturday afternoon at Charlotte Sports Park.

Jacob Stallings, the son of University of Pittsburgh men's basketball coach Kevin Stallings, started the fifth-inning fireworks when he jumped on a 2-1 offering from Rays right-hander Danny Farquhar and deposited the ball over the wall in left.

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Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Roommates, competitors Brault, Williams throw zeros

Roommates, competitors Brault, Williams throw zeros

BRADENTON, Fla. -- Steven Brault and Trevor Williams were throwing partners this offseason, playing long toss and watching each other's bullpen sessions. They're living together this spring. They're competing for the same spot in the Pirates' rotation, too.

"We see too much of each other," Williams said, smiling.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mentoring Newman, Mercer pays it forward

Veteran's tutelage can be traced through long chain of shortstops

Mentoring Newman, Mercer pays it forward

BRADENTON, Fla. -- Jordy Mercer was once like Kevin Newman, a young shortstop trying to establish himself and fortunate to have a mentor at his position.

Early in Mercer's career, that player was Clint Barmes. And manager Clint Hurdle can remember Walt Weiss, a former Rockies shortstop turned special assistant, guiding Barmes during their time in Colorado before that. Now, Newman is learning from Mercer in his first big league Spring Training with the Pirates.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bucs lay out plan for OF trio ahead of WBC '17

Coaches, players set schedule for getting in necessary fielding practice, at-bats

Bucs lay out plan for OF trio ahead of WBC '17

BRADENTON, Fla. -- With all three starting outfielders bound for the World Baseball Classic, the Pirates must balance several factors as they plot out playing time.

Andrew McCutchen, Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco will leave to join their respective national teams on March 5. That gives them eight days between the start of Grapefruit League play and their departure. Both Team USA and the Dominican Republic are expected to play deep into the tournament, possibly keeping the outfield trio away from the Bucs for most of March.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Freese 'having a blast' with Pirates

Freese 'having a blast' with Pirates

BRADENTON, Fla. -- The Pirates added music to their Spring Training workouts this year, pumping a playlist of upbeat songs through the speakers at Pirate City during drills, bullpen sessions and batting practice.

Nobody enjoys the spring soundtrack quite like David Freese. You might spot him playing air guitar before fielding ground balls, singing as he walks from one field to the next or dancing behind the cage during batting practice.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bartee, Cora making immediate impact

New Pirates coaches are 'really good fits for the club'; Cervelli improving

Bartee, Cora making immediate impact

BRADENTON, Fla. -- As the Pirates wrapped up their final workout at Pirate City on Thursday morning, Joey Cora was instructing John Jaso as he put in extra work at third base. Kimera Bartee was standing in front of two sliding mats in the outfield grass, overseeing the final drill before the Bucs packed up the clubhouse and moved across town to LECOM Park.

Bartee is in his first spring as the Bucs' new outfield, baserunning and first-base coach, while Cora went from managing in Double-A last year to serving as Pittsburgh's infield and third-base coach. In the first week of Spring Training workouts, Cora and Bartee -- both promoted from within -- made a quick and noticeable impact.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLBPA on Kang: 'Our duty to support guys'

Executive director Clark says Players Association will 'stay engaged' with third baseman's legal situation

MLBPA on Kang: 'Our duty to support guys'

BRADENTON, Fla. -- The Major League Baseball Players Association will "stay engaged" with Jung Ho Kang's legal situation in South Korea, executive director Tony Clark said Thursday.

As part of the union's annual trip around spring camps, Clark stopped by Pirate City on Thursday, addressed the players in an early morning meeting and met with the media afterward. Clark answered questions about the new Collective Bargaining Agreement and potential rule changes but also touched on several issues specific to the Pirates, including Kang.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bucs reliever Light no fan of intentional walks

Bucs reliever Light no fan of intentional walks

BRADENTON, Fla. -- Pirates reliever Pat Light is ready for automatic intentional walks.

"Love it," Light said, smiling. "Super excited about it."

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hanrahan to serve as coach for Class A club

Hanrahan to serve as coach for Class A club

BRADENTON, Fla. -- Joel Hanrahan is back with the Pirates.

Hanrahan, a former Bucs closer, will serve as an assistant pitching coach for the short-season Class A West Virginia Black Bears. Hanrahan announced his retirement in November after spending three years trying to come back from Tommy John surgeries.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Kang's DUI verdict hearing set for March 3

Infielder not expected to join Pirates until legal process finalized in S. Korea

Kang's DUI verdict hearing set for March 3

BRADENTON, Fla. -- Pirates third baseman Jung Ho Kang attended a hearing in South Korea on Wednesday, during which he admitted to the latest DUI charge against him, according to multiple reports.

Kang was arrested on Dec. 2 after fleeing the scene of a DUI, and it was later revealed to be his third such charge since 2009. The Seoul Central District Court will hold a verdict hearing on March 3, according to the Yonhap News Agency and The Associated Press.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Jaso glad to fill multiple roles for Bucs in '17

Jaso glad to fill multiple roles for Bucs in '17

BRADENTON, Fla. -- John Jaso has grown accustomed to the shuffle that comes with life in the big leagues. Even if he seems to experience it more often than his peers.

A catcher before concussions forced him to give up his place behind the plate, Jaso signed with the Pirates last offseason on a two-year, $8 million contract to play first base for the first time in his career. The move came following a brief second stint with the Rays -- the club that drafted him in 2003 and with which he spent much of the 2015 season as the designated hitter or getting his initial taste of the outfield.

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Jeff Odom is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

McCutchen, Chevy team up to support youth initiatives

Pirates outfielder to help bring game's excitement to communities

McCutchen, Chevy team up to support youth initiatives

Andrew McCutchen might have to get used to his new position in right field this spring, but here's one move by the Pirates' five-time All-Star that will require no adjustment whatsoever.

Chevrolet announced on Wednesday that it has enlisted the help of McCutchen and soccer star Alex Morgan to support the brand's youth sports programs around the country. McCutchen will work with Chevrolet on its Youth Baseball initiatives, while the Olympic gold medalist and World Cup champion will help the brand grow its Youth Soccer programs.

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Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com and a baseball writer since 1990. Read and join other baseball fans on his MLB.com community blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bell pain-free after facing Pirates pitchers

Bell pain-free after facing Pirates pitchers

BRADENTON, Fla. -- Pirates first baseman Josh Bell took another step toward full recovery from offseason knee surgery, facing live pitching on Tuesday for the first time in Spring Training.

The switch-hitting Bell, who underwent the procedure a few weeks ago to remove a loose body in his left knee and help alleviate some discomfort, said he felt no pain while facing right-handers Jameson Taillon and Tyler Glasnow at the Pirate City training complex.

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Jeff Odom is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Nutting: Team 'refocused'; Cervelli on mend

Nutting: Team 'refocused'; Cervelli on mend

BRADENTON, Fla. -- After his annual Spring Training meeting with the Pirates' players and coaches Monday morning, owner Bob Nutting sat down for a 30-minute chat with the media and covered a broad range of topics regarding the club's vision, spending and disappointing 2016 season.

Asked about the lessons learned from last year's 83-loss campaign, Nutting pointed to collective underperformance rather than a lack of talent or support. Many of the Bucs' key players, including Andrew McCutchen and Gerrit Cole, either didn't meet their usual standard or battled injuries.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Coonelly shares his vision for Pirates' future

Club president discusses 2017 club, what's on the horizon and charitable initiatives

Coonelly shares his vision for Pirates' future

BRADENTON, Fla. -- With Spring Training in full swing, Frank Coonelly stepped outside the Pirate City clubhouse on Sunday and delivered a "State of the Pirates" address in time for Presidents Day.

Since taking over as club president in September 2007, Coonelly has worked to make the Pirates competitive on the field -- in the present and future -- while increasing their efforts to make a difference off the field. After three straight winning seasons and trips to the postseason, Coonelly shared in fans' disappointment about the step backward in an 83-loss 2016 campaign.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Nutting: Bucs would love to keep core intact

Pirates owner expresses desire to retain Huntington, Hurdle, McCutchen beyond '17

Nutting: Bucs would love to keep core intact

BRADENTON, Fla. -- As the Pirates ramp up their Spring Training workouts, the futures of three organizational pillars remains uncertain. But owner Bob Nutting said Monday that the Bucs would love to keep general manager Neal Huntington, manager Clint Hurdle and right fielder Andrew McCutchen beyond the life of their current contracts.

Perhaps coincidentally, all three are signed to similar deals: Their contracts are guaranteed through 2017 with club options for '18. McCutchen spent the offseason surrounded by trade rumors, fueling speculation that this may be his last season in Pittsburgh. The club has yet to extend either Huntington or Hurdle, or pick up their options for next year.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

LeBlanc hoping he's found home with Pirates

Veteran lefty's career has sent him around the world and back

LeBlanc hoping he's found home with Pirates

BRADENTON, Fla. -- In eight Major League seasons, Wade LeBlanc has played for seven teams. He's used to moving around.

Last year alone took the veteran left-hander from Spring Training in Dunedin, Fla., to Buffalo, N.Y., back to the big leagues in Seattle, then down to Triple-A Tacoma and, finally, to Pittsburgh. The previous year? To Japan and back again.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Healthy offseason propels Harrison into spring

Healthy offseason propels Harrison into spring

BRADENTON, Fla. -- Josh Harrison could tell when he swung a bat, picked up a dumbbell or playfully tossed his 3-year-old daughter, Mia, in the air.

The lingering soreness in Harrison's left hand, the result of a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his thumb, was no longer an issue. Unlike last winter, he said, he enjoyed a healthy offseason.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.