BRADENTON, FL – Baseball is back. And the Pittsburgh Pirates look a bit different.
Following offseason trades of star players such as Andrew McCutchen and Gerrit Cole, former Indianapolis Indians should have a big impact in Pittsburgh in 2018. Here is a look at how some of those players have fared early on in Grapefruit League play.
- OF Austin Meadows – The 22-year-old played in 72 games with the Tribe in 2017 and has gotten off to a hot start this spring. Meadows leads the Pirates with a .571 batting average (4-for-7) in three games played. He rocked a two-run home run in a March 1 win over Toronto and picked up a pair of RBI knocks in the Bucs’ spring opener on Feb. 23.
- 2B Kevin Kramer – Pittsburgh’s ninth ranked prospect has recorded three hits in six at-bats thus far in the preseason. Kramer’s signature moment in the first week of action came against Detroit on Feb. 25. Facing Tigers righty Artie Lewicki, Kramer smashed a three-run shot over the right center field wall.
- 1B Josh Bell – The former Indians star has collected just two hits in nine at-bats to start the spring, but both scored runs. Each were RBI singles and each came against the Boston Red Sox, with the first coming on Feb. 26 and the second occurring two days later on Feb. 28.
- 1B Sean Rodriguez – Rodriguez leads the Pirates in homers at this point with a pair of solo shots.
- SP Nick Kingham – The right-hander, who picked up nine wins in Indy last season, leads Pittsburgh in innings pitched with five. Kingham has surrendered only one run on five hits, two walks and four strikeouts so far. He made his first start and tossed three innings of one-run ball in the Bucs’ lone win of the first week on March 1.
- SP Tyler Glasnow – As one of Pittsburgh’s most powerful pitching prospects, Glasnow struggled a bit out of the gate again. The righty made his only appearance in a start on Feb. 25, but was tagged for a two runs on two hits and two walks in two innings of work.
- SP Clay Holmes – Holmes made two reliefs appearances this week and struggled with his control. The right-hander issued four walks over the course of 3.1 innings of work, but did earn a win for his effort on March 1. His two frames of two-hit, no-run baseball against Toronto earned him the only victory of the week for Pittsburgh.
- SP Chad Kuhl – Kuhl made only one appearance, but he made it count. The righty started on Feb. 28 and fired two perfect frames. Four of his six outs came on the ground.
Despite wins and losses not mattering in the spring, the Pirates have struggled. They have a record of 1-4-2 and rank 25th in runs scored and 18th in team ERA through seven ballgames.