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Inge en route to camp, may have value as reserve


BRADENTON, Fla. -- The big parade of Pirates on the official reporting day for position players consisted of Neil Walker, Starling Marte and non-roster outfielder Brad Hawpe, who on Thursday were the only newcomers into the clubhouse.

The only absentee not checking in was Brandon Inge, who signed a Minor League contract only on Wednesday and was en route by car from Michigan.

Inge has already been told not to come with unrealistic expectations by manager Clint Hurdle, who nevertheless sounded like there will be a definite role for the 35-year-old veteran infielder who can also catch.

"When I talked to him, I was very transparent, let him know the opportunity to break camp as a starter is [unlikely], unless there are injuries," Hurdle said. "But to come in and be able to help off the bench, the value in the National League of double-switching, and to give us that experience if somebody does go down and we have to go to a Plan B. There's a lot to like, with the intangibles as well as the tangibles. He's been a very good component on winning teams."

Additionally, pitcher Stolmy Pimentel is still trying to obtain his visa in his native Dominican Republic.

Otherwise, all hands were on deck as batterymen went through their third workout. The first full-squad drills will electrify Pirate City on Friday.

The club will have seven days of workouts leading up to next Friday's Black and Gold game, the only intrasquad game on the slate. Grapefruit League play will commence the following day, with a 1:05 p.m. ET game in Port Charlotte,Fla., against the Rays.

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