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• Hurdle has confirmed that Sunday's split-squad games would be the last ones in which the Pirates employ a designated hitter -- certainly in remaining exhibitions started by candidates for the rotation.

That will add up to a considerable competitive disadvantage in the Pirates' remaining schedule, with 14 of the final 16 exhibitions against American League teams who will continue to use a DH. Both teams do not have to use identical lineup rules in preseason games.

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• Garrett Jones didn't pass the cough test, so he remained unplugged with the tightness in his left oblique area.

"They had me cough, and I still felt [the soreness] a little," Jones said Saturday morning. "So another boring day, I won't do anything. We want it to quiet down so there's no tightness, then I'll get back in there."

• The Bucs are suddenly down two middle infielders after Chase d'Arnaud jammed his left thumb during morning rundown drills, and Anderson Hernandez reported a sore shoulder after a failed diving-catch attempt in Friday night's game.

Both were in the lineup for Sunday's game in Fort Myers, and will be replaced by Ivan De Jesus and Jordy Mercer.

• Did you know: James McDonald led Pirates pitchers last season by allowing 21 homers, but that was a very modest team high. Only the Cardinals (Kyle Lohse, 19) had a team leader with fewer among the 30 Major League clubs.

Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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