BRADENTON, Fla. – After a long wait, baseball has finally returned with the Pittsburgh Pirates hitting the field for Grapefruit League action. Pittsburgh has played well early on, trailing only the New York Yankees and St. Louis Cardinals in the standings with a 7-3 record.
In 2016, the Indianapolis Indians set a franchise record with 12 players getting the call to the major leagues for their debut. Here is a look at how some of those players (and other potential 2017 Indians) are faring through the first full week of Spring Training with the Bucs.
- OF Jose Osuna – Osuna, who made an impact with the Indians in the final few months of the 2016 season, has recorded seven hits in 15 at-bats so far this spring. After hitting seven home runs in 63 games with the Tribe last season, Osuna leads Pittsburgh with a a pair of long balls in his seven games played.
- C Jacob Stallings – The 27-year-old collected six hits in 15 at-bats with the Pirates last season and has continued to swing a hot bat so far in Spring Training. Stallings owns a .417 batting average (5-for-12), including a solo home run on February 25 versus the Tampa Bay Rays.
- OF Danny Ortiz – Ortiz, who played in 130 games with Indianapolis in 2016, returns for another season in the Pirates organization. The left-handed hitter is off to a decent start this spring, picking up four hits in 14 at-bats to put him in a tie for fourth for most hits on the team.
- OF Austin Meadows – Named Pittsburgh’s top prospect for 2017, Meadows will likely return to Indy after his 2016 season was slowed down by injuries. Meadows posted 24 RBIs in 37 games played in Triple-A last season and came up with a RBI double on February 25 to go with his .222 average (2-for-9) so far this spring.
- SP Chad Kuhl – The right-hander posted a 4.20 ERA in 14 starts with the Pirates in 2016 and has pitched well thus far in Spring Training. Kuhl has fired five scoreless innings, allowing just one hit and striking out five.
- SP Tyler Glasnow – Pittsburgh’s former number one prospect has now shed his prospect status and looks to build off of his 2016 big league debut. Indy’s pitcher of the year for 2016 has surrendered a run with four hits and two walks in 3 2/3 innings pitched, but has also punched out a team-high eight batters.
- SP Trevor Williams – Williams earned an emotional first career major league win with the Pirates last season and has gotten off to a good start with the team this spring. The righty has given up three hits in three innings pitched, but has kept his opposition off of the scoreboard while striking out three.
- SP Jameson Taillon – This right-hander made 18 starts with the Bucs in 2016, but has gotten off to a bit of a bumpy start in 2017 Spring Training. Taillon has started a pair of games thus far, going two innings in each outing, but has given up a total of two runs on three hits and two walks in those games.
The Indians will kick off their 2017 regular season in exactly one month, with their opener against the Toledo Mud Hens set for a 7:05 first pitch at Victory Field on April 6.