Pirates notebook: IF Inge signs deal, expected to report Friday
• Veteran infielder Brandon Inge, 35, signed a minor league deal Wednesday with an invitation to spring training. He is expected to check into training camp Friday but might not attend his first workout until Saturday. Primarily a third baseman, Inge also can be used at catcher, second base and all three outfield spots. He hit .218 with 12 home runs in 83 total games last season with the Oakland A's and Detroit Tigers. Inge had arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder in September.
• Charlie Morton on Wednesday threw off a mound for the fifth time as he rehabs from Tommy John surgery. The right-hander threw about 25 pitches, all fastballs. Morton has been using a mix of breaking pitches only when the throws on flat ground.
• It's no coincidence former top draft pick Gerrit Cole was grouped with the four pitchers who already are set for the starting rotation — A.J. Burnett, Wandy Rodriguez and Jeff Karstens — for his bullpen sessions this week. Management wants Cole, who might be ready for a call-up sometime this season, to get a close-up at the veterans in action. “We don't take the names out of a hat,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “We want guys to help with the education process, and that's definitely something we keep in mind with some of our younger prospects.”
• Andrew McCutchen, Pedro Alvarez and nonroster invitees Darren Ford and Felix Pie reported to camp Wednesday. All except Alvarez participated in drills. Position players are required to report by Thursday, and the first full-squad workout is Friday.
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