Colin Moran hopes for improved mobility at 3rd base for Pirates |

Colin Moran hopes for improved mobility at 3rd base for Pirates

Kevin Gorman

BRADENTON, Fla. – Colin Moran was honest with his self-evaluation, so the Pittsburgh Pirates third baseman spent the offseason working on his mobility to improve his defensive range.

“When I’m ready to react to the ball, the right muscles are firing so I’m maybe not as slow on the first step,” Moran said. “I feel like I could’ve taken 1,000 grounders but if my body is not allowing me to do some of the things I’m not going to do that. … I definitely tried to search and find ways to get quicker.”

The Pirates re-signed Jung Ho Kang to compete for the starting job at third base with Moran, who started 107 games as a rookie. Moran hit a grand slam in the Pirates’ home opener but didn’t show enough of the power the Pirates anticipated in slashing .277/.340/.407 with 11 home runs and 58 RBI. His .962 fielding percentage and minus-8 defensive runs scored were sub-par and his limited range became an issue for the club.

“I think he said it best: It’s the first time he’d really gotten measured defensively,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. “We had made some observations throughout the year that he listened to, and he tried making some adaptations. It’s his first year. We’re trying to hit. We’re trying to play defense. We’re trying to do a lot of things. We were just trying to move the chains incrementally.

“Once the season was over, we were able to dig deeper and actually show him a different set of numbers and some different areas which we think he can improve upon and we think he can categorically get better. And he’s all in.”

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Kevin Gorman is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Kevin at [email protected] or via Twitter @KGorman_Trib.