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Pittsburgh Pirates Spring Training: Week One Recap

Photo: Megan Filipowski/
Photo: Megan Filipowski/

With spring just about a week away from officially beginning, baseball is in full swing at MLB camps. The Pittsburgh Pirates have begun Grapefruit League play and a number of past and possibly future Indianapolis Indians players are looking to make an impact.

Spring training started with the Pirates’ annual “Black and Gold” intrasquad, six-inning game in Bradenton, Fla. on March 2. Team Black, led by Indians manager Dean Treanor and a roster full of 2014 Tribe players, defeated Team Gold 2-1.

Andrew Lambo opened the scoring for Team Black in the fourth inning with a RBI single to tie the score at one. Indians veteran Jose Tabata then drove in the deciding run with a sacrifice fly in the same frame. Former Indians standout Gregory Polanco led Team Gold, going 2-for-3 in the game with a double and scoring the only run for his team.

Now that the Pirates actual spring training schedule has started, a few key players from last year’s Indians squad have gotten off to good starts. Left fielder Jaff Decker has gone 4-for-10 with a home run and four RBIs in five games. Catcher Tony Sanchez has also gone 4-for-10 with one home run in his first four games of the spring.

The Tribe’s leader in wins last season with 11, Casey Sadler opened his spring with one win and a perfect 0.00 ERA in two starts. In five innings on the mound, Sadler has allowed just a single walk giving him a WHIP of 0.20 thus far. Like Sadler, Nick Kingham has also started his 2015 with a perfect ERA. In his spring debut, Kingham pitched two scoreless innings of relief in the Pirates’ March 7 game against the Tampa Bay Rays.

However, not everything has gone as planned at Pirates camp. Right-hander Brandon Cumpton underwent Tommy John surgery on Tuesday after feeling discomfort in his elbow during a live batting practice session. The injury will force Cumpton to miss the entirety of the 2015 season.

Cumpton appeared in 12 games for the Indians in 2014, including 11 starts, posting an ERA of 3.03. Cumpton also started 10 games for the Pirates last season, putting up an ERA of 4.89 in his 71 total innings at the major league level.

The Pirates have a record of 4-3 through the early stages of their spring training schedule, with a pair of games ending in ties as well.

Opening day for the Indians is April 9, when they take on the Columbus Clippers at Victory Field.



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