BRADENTON, Fla. — The Pirates began live batting practice today. I watched Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon throw, and they looked good. Tough to judge too much from behind an L screen, but movement, location, etc. looked solid.
***Stolmy Pimentel arrived in camp, meaning all 61 players are present.
***Charlie Morton has thrown five side sessions. He doesn’t know when his sixth will take place. He said what seemed odd during his side sessions was how familiar they felt.
“I guess I kind of expected maybe something different but it didn’t’ really strike me as too different from what I had remembered,” Morton said. “Obviously there’s been some … you feel thing sin your arm with the body adjusting to the surgery and the rehab. I just go with the flow.”
The arrival of 60 other players with whom to train and spend time with has helped, Morton said.
“It’s nice from an energy standpoint, too, because they bring the energy to spring training,” he said. “It’s just another source of feeling like you’re part of the team and you’re actually working to get back. The timeframe is just so long, you kind of lose sight of that.”
***For Andrew McCutchen, Starling Marte and Alex Presley, speed on the bases is not the problem. The issue is using it.
“We could really be a terror on the bases if we could get this thing going,” Presley said.
The Pirates did not maximize their speed last season. Clint Hurdle has mentioned to us during the past year or so that he wants an improved running game, and Presley said he has stressed the same to the team.
“His attitude toward us is, ‘I want you to go, I want you to be aggressive,’” Presley said. “If you get thrown out, you get thrown out. You’re going to get thrown out, it’s just the way it is.”
Presley and McCutchen watch film of opposing pitchers to find a tell in their delivery that lets them get a quick jump. Presley said a confident jump, one without hesitation, was necessary as well.
Presley has thought about watching film of other good base stealers, such as the Indians’ Michael Bourn, but has not done so yet.
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