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Pirates notebook: Pitchers prepare for 1st workout

| Monday, Feb. 11, 2013, 8:33 p.m.
Christopher Horner
Pirates catcher Russell Martin smiles while talking with the media outside the clubhouse at Pirate City on Monday, Feb. 11, 2013, in Bradenton, Fla. Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review

• All but three of the 38 pitchers and catchers invited to spring training camp were at Pirate City by noon Monday, when they wrapped up a brief training session on Field 4. The three absentees — pitchers Jeff Karstens and Stolmy Pimentel, and catcher Ali Solis — were expected to report later in the day. Monday was spent mostly completing physicals and paperwork, and catching up with teammates about everyone's offseason. The first official workout for pitchers and catchers will be held Tuesday morning. Position players don't have to report until Thursday, but most of them are in camp. The first full-squad workout is Friday.

• Sixteen pitchers are slated to throw side sessions Tuesday. The first group to take the mound will be the core of the starting rotation: A.J. Burnett, James McDonald, Wandy Rodriguez and Karstens. Also scheduled to pitch are Jason Grilli, Gerrit Cole, Jameson Taillon and Jeff Locke.

• Garrett Jones played with free-agent pickup Francisco Liriano when they were in the Minnesota Twins' system. “He's a great guy, a great teammate,” Jones said. “He had electric stuff back then — 98 mph (fastball) with a 94 mph slider. He's still got a great lefty arm and can bring it when he wants to.”

• Tyler Gaffney, the Pirates' 24th-round draft pick last year, will return to Stanford for his senior season to play football. Gaffney hit .297 last season as an outfielder with short-season Single-A State College. In 2011, he rushed for 449 yards at Stanford.“I am thankful to the Pirates for allowing me the opportunity to play professional baseball,” Gaffney said in a statement. “With the benefit of this experience, I will continue to learn about myself and follow the path where my truth will lead me.”

— Rob Biertempfel

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