Spring Recap: Bullpen Battles Featured as Pirates Finish Up at Bradenton

The Pirates finished their spring home schedule with a 5-3 loss to Minnesota.  With many of the roster battles just having been decided, there was a lot of focus on the bullpen.

Going into the game, Chase De Jong, Clay Holmes and Chasen Shreve were all in contention for the opening day roster.  In De Jong’s case, what was at stake was probably some sort of 6th starter/long reliever role.  De Jong started and went 2.2 IP.  He allowed only two hits and no walks, but one of the hits was a bomb by Willians Astudillo, which followed the other hit.  So that was two runs, leaving De Jong with just three allowed this spring.  David Bednar got the last out in the third with, as usual, a strikeout.

Holmes threw an inning and had to get out of a first-and-third, one-out jam.  He managed that with two strikeouts.  He’s probably done for the spring with ten appearances, all scoreless.  Shreve fanned three in his inning, but gave up a dinger to Tzu-Wei Lin.

Of the guys whose roster spots apparently weren’t in question, Richard Rodriguez had another uninspiring outing.  He gave up two hits, including an RBI triple, and that guy scored on an error by, supposedly, Ke’Bryan Hayes.  Chris Stratton, like Holmes, had to escape runners at the corners with one out, which he did with a K and a ground out.  Duane Underwood, Jr., had his third scoreless outing since the Pirates picked him up.

The most noteworthy thing on offense was Adam Frazier and Kevin Newman each going 0-for-3.  Hayes was 2-for-3.  So was Erik Gonzalez, who hit his second home run of the spring, accounting for two runs.  Travis Swaggerty had a single, then got thrown out at the plate on a double by Liover Peguero.  In 11 spring ABs, Peguero has two doubles and two singles.  Even with the small sample size, that’s pretty impressive for a guy who hasn’t played above short season ball.

The Pirates finish spring training on the road against the Twins tomorrow at noon.