Pirates notebook: Morse takes infield drills at third base
BRADENTON, Fla. — A new wrinkle in the Pirates’ infield drills Friday was Mike Morse’s debut at third base.
“Yeah, that was crazy,” Morse joked. “I just picked up a glove and went over there.”
Morse will platoon with John Jaso at first base this season. Morse asked the coaches if he could get in some work at third during spring training camp.
“Every year, I take ground balls everywhere — shortstop, third, first,” Morse said. “Now, ask me last time I played (a game at third), and that’s a different situation. We’re not trying to get me to play over there — unless the game goes 28 innings and no one’s left.”
Morse broke into the majors as a shortstop with Seattle in 2005. He has appeared in nine games at third base, the last one coming in 2009 with the Washington Nationals.
“It’s not like he’s never played any infield before,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “We’ll see what he can do. You’ve got to have a plan B … and sometimes you’ve got to have a plan C.”
The top two pitchers in the Pirates system will square off Monday in the Black vs. Gold scrimmage at McKechnie Field.
Jameson Taillon will start for the Black, and Tyler Glasnow will go for the Gold. The right-handers are scheduled to work two innings apiece.
Also slated to pitch are Steven Brault (two innings for Black), Chad Kuhl (two innings for Black), John Holdzkom (one inning for Gold) and Trevor Williams (two innings for Gold).
The 5 1⁄2-inning game will begin at noon.
Feeling the glove
Rawlings made its annual visit to camp, and shortstop Cole Tucker beamed as he looked over a huge display of mitts.
“Best day of the year,” Tucker said. “I’ll admit it: I’m a glove addict.”
Tucker estimated he has around 30 gloves stashed at his home in Phoenix. In addition to his game glove and a backup (or two), Tucker said he’s always breaking in a new glove for his collection.
Rawlings gives Tucker two gloves for free every year. “But I always end up ordering more,” said Tucker, who indulged his weakness and bought two from the on-site salesman before heading to practice.
Lefty reliever Tony Watson also spent some time at the table of gloves. Watson rewarded bullpen catcher Heberto Andrade and bullpen coach Euclides Rojas by buying them each a catcher’s mitt as a gift.