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Insider Only Wednesday’s Spring Training Report

Brian Kelly Live from Bradenton Reports the following
The buzz around Spring training continues to be Nate McLouth who signed a three year – $15.75 contract yesterday.
Management has gone into spring training with a open mind regarding Prospect 3B Neil Walker. Walker begins Spring Training #2 on the Major League depth chart behind 3B Andy LaRoche.
Laroche is expected to be the Pirates opening day starter at third but the Pirates are not very high on him. They were active in free agency pursuing a veteran third baseman. Good opportunity for Walker to make a strong impression in Spring Training for a potential callup by mid-season. Walker has fared well so far.
Another very good day for the Pirates

top prospect Pedro Alvarez. I know I’ve been raving about him in my updates but he’s the real deal. Hit the ball well again (hitting one of the rare home runs today) and today was the first time he took ground balls with the major leaguers. He has shown very good range at third base.
There also doesn’t appear to be any attitude problems from Alvarez. He’s been a very hardworker and seems to be hitting it off with Jose Tabata and Andrew McCutchen
Fans haven’t had much to look forward too when it comes to the Pirates but Alvarez has star potential.
Infield Report
Utility infielder Ramon Vazquez has worked exclusively at 2nd base fielding balls behind Freddy Sanchez at 2nd.
Vazquez can also play third base but the team seems to want to give Laroche and Walker the majority of the reps at third base for now. Vazquez is going to be a nice addition on the bench.
Some believe Luiz Cruiz could push Brian Bixler out of organization. This is a make or break Spring Training for Bixler
The Outfield has looked like this through the first two days of official workouts
Left Field: Hinske, Morgan
Center Field: McLouth, McCutchen
Right field: Moss, Pearce
Hinske who can also play thirdbase has worked exclusively in left field so far.
Pearce has been in right field and 1st base. Moss has struggled a bit in the batting cage. Doesn’t seem like he is getting a lot strength from his injured knee.
There was a strong wind today and Andrew McCutchen made a great catch in between Left Field/Center Field. He can cover a lot more ground than McLouth. Going to be interesting through the next couple weeks if either player begins taking reps at Left or Right field.
About 17 pitchers threw sessions today
Phil Dumatrait threw his pitching session today since early July. Dumatrait will throw again on Friday (20-25 pitches)
9-10 pitchers are slated to pitch on Thursday.
Reliever Craig Hansen who in my previous reports had some rough outings was strong today. His control was much better and I didn’t notice a wild pitch from him which is a start. He is battling Tyler Yates, and Sean Burnett for a roster spot.
I will post a complete depth chart by the morning

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