Spring training breakdown: Pirates 10, Rays 8
LECOM Park, Bradenton, Fla.
Opp. name starter: RHP Matt Andriese
Pirates starter: RHP Drew Hutchison
Pirates 10, Rays 8
Running into outs: Alen Hanson has been considered the organization's fastest baserunner for several years — but that isn't translating to a solid base-stealing percentage. Hanson, who was caught on 16 of 54 attempts between Triple-A and the majors last season, fell to 0-for-3 on steals this spring after being gunned down by Rays catcher Luke Maile to end the top of the first inning.
Trouble tracking: Despite having played only two games (nine total innings) in his professional career in center field, the Pirates are giving Chris Bostick a look at the position. He started there Thursday. The first Tampa Bay batter of the game, Logan Morrison, drilled a fly ball high and deep to the warning track in front of the 414-foot wall in center at Charlotte Sports Park. He ended up with a double. The Pirates do not have a true outfielder on their 40-man roster outside of their three established starters.
Kuhl is cool: After that Morrison at-bat, however, Kuhl settled in and — particularly in the second of his three innings — his sinker was sinking (six groundball outs, one flyball out). Two walks hurt, however. “I kind of had too much run going on with my 2-seamer,” Kuhl said. “Trying to force a little more action. It kind of went a little awry on me, but (all the pitches) felt good ... I feel real good physically.”
Hard hits from who?: With six of their eight regular starting position players currently unavailable, when the Pirates leave Josh Bell, John Jaso and Jordy Mercer off the travel roster (like they did Thursday), it gives their lineup a split-squad, “B game” feel. Other than starting pitcher Chad Kuhl, utility types Adam Frazier and Phil Gosselin were perhaps the only opening-day, 25-man roster players to hit. Still, Jose Osuna, Elias Diaz, Danny Ortiz and Barrett Barnes all made strong contact off of well-regarded Rays starter Blake Snell for hard-struck hits during the Pirates' two-run second.