ShareThis Page

Pirates notebook: De Jesus will skip WBC, remain in camp

Rob Biertempfel
| Friday, Feb. 22, 2013, 7:12 p.m.

BRADENTON, Fla. — Because he was promised only sporadic playing time in the World Baseball Classic, infielder Ivan De Jesus Jr. opted out and instead will remain in camp with the Pirates.

De Jesus was on the Puerto Rico's provisional roster, but took his name off the list before final rosters were set Thursday night.

“It was a really tough decision,” he said. “If they had told me I was going to play every day, I would've gone. I wish the best to Puerto Rico, but they're not going to pay the bills by me going over there for a couple weeks. My bills are here and my dream is here.”

De Jesus was one of four players acquired Dec. 26 when closer Joel Hanrahan was dealt to the Red Sox. De Jesus, a non-roster invitee, is fighting for a roster spot as a backup infielder.

“I want to play for my country, but I don't want to miss one or two weeks (of spring training),” de Jesus said. “The coaches and staff here really don't know me yet. I need to have them see me play.”

• It was only a couple of two-inning stints in an intrasquad scrimmage, but manager Clint Hurdle liked what he saw from pitchers Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon. “They both had a very good pace out there,” Hurdle said. “The things we've heard about them are showing up.” Cole threw a first-pitch strike to all seven batters he faced and did not have a three-ball count. Taillon went 5 for 8 on first-pitch strikes. “You expect to see good things from them, and they both were efficient today,” Hurdle said. Cole said he wasn't fazed by working in front of the front office execs and major league coaching staff, along with 2,100 fans. “I felt comfortable out there,” he said. Both right-handers put up two scoreless innings. Taillon said there was no friendly wager between the two former first-round picks. “Not today,” Taillon said, smiling. “Maybe when we're on the same staff.”

• Andrew McCutchen, Neil Walker and Russ Martin are among those who will not make the trip Saturday for the Grapefruit League opener against the Tampa Bay Rays. The lineup has Starling Marte batting leadoff, Garrett Jones in the cleanup spot and Pedro Alvarez hitting fifth. Josh Harrison will start at second base and Chase d'Arnaud will play shortstop.

• Hurdle said he won't try to rein in Marte, who laid out his body trying to make a catch. “You've got to let him play the game,” Hurdle said. “You see once again why you like the guy and why he's had some success.”

­— Rob Biertempfel

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.