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Kuwata making his mark at Bucs' camp

Even if he does not crack the Pirates' starting rotation out of spring training, right-hander Masumi Kuwata will have left a mark on the organization.

"Kuwata is adding a lot to everything," pitching coach Jim Colborn said. "Whether he'll be the fifth starter, I don't know. The odds are maybe not as good. Nevertheless, he is giving our camp a sense of dignity and respect, because that's the kind of person he is. He's a fun person to be around. Very professional."

• Infielder Javier Guzman has a sore left knee and did not practice for the second day in a row.

• Ian Snell, Shawn Chacon, Allan Simpson, Franquelis Osoria and Juan Perez threw pre-workout bullpen sessions Thursday at McKechnie Field. Tony Armas Jr., Dan Kolb, John Van Benschoten, Jonah Bayliss and Kip Bouknight threw bullpens at Pirate City. Zach Duke, Paul Maholm, Tom Gorzelanny, Yoslan Herrera, Jesse Chavez and Jim Brower threw batting practice to stand-in batters.

• For the second day in a row, Jose Castillo fielded grounders at third base on Field 2. Castillo looked smooth, with just one bobble and one flat-out miss in about 40 chances. Jose Bautista continued to work at third base on Field 1 with starters Jack Wilson, Freddy Sanchez and Adam LaRoche.

• A few Penguins players and coach Michel Therrien, in town this weekend to play the Tampa Bay Lightning, had hoped to take batting practice with the Pirates on Sunday morning. However, the logistics are proving difficult to work out and the plan likely will be scrapped.


Digits

20 - Seasons Masumi Kuwata pitched in the Japanese Central League, playing for the Yomiuri Giants.

12 - Seasons in which Kuwata amassed at least 100 strikeouts.

9 - Seasons Kuwata posted an ERA of 3.77 or lower.

- Rob Biertempfel

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