BRADENTON, Fla. – Another week of Spring Training, another week of positive results for the Pittsburgh Pirates. As we near the midway point of Pittsburgh’s exhibition schedule, the Bucs continue to play well and sit in second place in the Grapefruit League standings with a record of 12-4.
With stars such as Andrew McCutchen and Starling Marte off playing in the World Baseball Classic, key players that we could see with the Indianapolis Indians have gotten extended playing time. Here are some updates on these players through the second full week of Spring Training.
- OF Jose Osuna – The 24-year-old continues to swing a hot bat as he leads the Pirates in hits (11), home runs (four) and RBIs (eight). This week, Osuna clubbed homers on March 7 against the Atlanta Braves and on March 9 versus the Tampa Bay Rays.
- OF Adam Frazier – Frazier, who spent the first half of 2016 with the Tribe before going up to the big leagues, picked up four hits in six at-bats during March 7-9. The left-handed batter also recorded three RBIs in Pittsburgh’s loss to the Baltimore Orioles on March 11, driving in a pair of runs with a single and another with a run-producing groundout.
- OF Austin Meadows – Pittsburgh’s top prospect for 2017 had a nice week, posting four RBIs in four games played, including a two-run home run in Pittsburgh’s March 7 win over the Braves.
- 2B Alen Hanson – Hanson has played 227 games with the Tribe over the past two seasons and is expected to be in Indianapolis again in 2017. The infielder holds a .300 batting average (6-for-20) and four RBIs so far this spring.
- SP Steven Brault – This southpaw made seven major league starts in 2016 and has impressed thus far. Brault has started in two of his four appearances, surrendering just one run on eight hits through nine innings pitched.
- SP Nick Kingham – Still bouncing back from Tommy John surgery in 2015, Kingham has looked strong so far this spring. The righty has given up just one run on four hits in five innings pitched, including blanking the Orioles for a couple of frames on March 11.
- SP Drew Hutchison – The major league veteran made 24 Triple-A starts in 2016, but finds himself in the race for a rotation spot with the Bucs in 2017. Hutchison has been solid this spring, giving up a total of two runs on six hits through nine innings pitched. The right-hander is second among Pirates pitchers in strikeouts with nine.
- RP Dovydas Neverauskas – The Lithuanian has built off 25 appearances with the Indians in 2016 with four Spring Training appearances so far. Outside of a two-hit, one-run outing against the Minnesota Twins on March 1, the right-hander has turned in three perfect innings.
The Pirates announced their first round of roster cuts on Monday, with Kingham and fellow starting pitcher Clay Holmes headed for Indy.
Kingham ranks as Pittsburgh’s ninth best prospect and last appeared with the Tribe on May 6 of the 2015 season. Holmes will make his Triple-A debut when takes the mound for the Indians. He has surrendered two runs on seven hits in his 5 2/3 innings of spring work with the Pirates.