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Pirates notebook: Jaso battles elements in right field

| Friday, March 3, 2017, 6:09 p.m.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Pirates right fielder John Jaso makes a running catch on a ball hit by the Orioles' Wellington Castillo during the fifth inning Friday, March 3, 2017, at LECOM Park in Bradenton, Fla.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Pirates right fielder John Jaso tries on the Pirate Parrot's glove before a game against the Orioles Friday, March 3, 2017, at LECOM Park in Bradenton, Fla.

As he stood in the outfield Friday at LECOM Park, John Jaso felt the wind whipping through his dreadlocks.

That's a red flag for any outfielder in a spring training game. For Jaso, who was stationed in right field for the first time, it was a screaming alarm.

“The elements were in full force today,” Jaso said. “It was pretty crazy. I'm not gonna lie, the first inning, (I was) maybe a little nervous. After that, it was calm. With (center fielder Starling) Marte moving me around and all that stuff, it was easy to adjust.”

Jaso played five innings and made one catch in the 5-2 victory against the Baltimore Orioles.

“It was good that I had the opportunity to go out there and play a little bit, get my feet wet out there,” Jaso said. “I want to do it again. Maybe get some more chances when the (World Baseball) Classic starts up.”

Jaso played seven games in left field with Tampa Bay Rays in 2015. Last year, he was in right field for 1 13 innings of a game against the San Francisco Giants.

Jaso agreed to try out right field this spring with an eye toward giving manger Clint Hurdle more options and, perhaps, getting more playing time in the summer.

In the second inning, Johnny Giavotella hit a looping double that landed near the line. Jaso got to the ball quickly and came up throwing, but the ball zoomed high over second baseman Max Moroff.

A little bit too much oomph on the throw?

“That's what my shoulder told me, too,” Jaso said with a laugh. “ ‘Hit the cutoff man,' it said.”

Around the horn

The opening day outfield — Gregory Polanco in left, Marte in center and Andrew McCutchen in right — will start together for the first time this spring Saturday against the Boston Red Sox. … MLB Network will televise Saturday's game in the Pittsburgh market. … Jason Rogers wore a walking boot, the result of an undisclosed injury he sustained before Wednesday's game. Rogers will be re-evaluated by the medical staff next week.

Rob Biertempfel is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at or via Twitter @BiertempfelTrib.

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