BRADENTON, Fla. -- In Spring Training, every pitcher works on command, pitchouts, pickoffs, fielding the position. Jared Hughes also works on his mean. The 26-year-old Southern Californian right-hander is one of the most affable, gregarious players in Pirate City. But not when he is standing on a mound with a baseball in his hand.
"I do get pumped up," Hughes said soon after his Tuesday turn to throw batting practice. "During the season, I feed off adrenaline. In batting practice, seems like everyone is trying to 'calm down.'"I'm not one of those people. I pitch well during the season when I'm really pumped, so why do anything different now? I try to be aggressive, attacking the zone." The 6-foot-7, 235-pound hurler made his big league debut last September, following his sixth season in the Pirates' farm system. Hughes fanned 10 in 11 innings, covering 12 appearances, while allowing nine hits and five runs.