Pirates notebook: Morse takes infield drills at third base |

Pirates notebook: Morse takes infield drills at third base

Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Pirates first baseman Michael Morse works out at third base Friday, Feb. 26, 2016, at Pirate City in Bradenton, Fla.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Pirates pitchers Jameson Taillon (left) and Tyler Glasnow talk in the bullpen before throwing Friday, Feb. 26, 2016, at Pirate City in Bradenton, Fla. The top two pitchers in the Pirates system will square off against each other in the annual Black vs. Gold scrimmage on Monday.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Pirates right fielder Gregory Polanco compares gloves at the Rawlings display outside the clubhouse Friday, Feb. 26, 2016, at Pirate City in Bradenton, Fla.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Pirates reliever Tony Watson looks over catcher's mitts at a Rawlings glove table outside the clubhouse Friday, Feb. 26, 2016, at Pirate City in Bradenton, Fla.

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.”

Marquee matchup

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 12-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.

Rob Biertempfel is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at [email protected] or via Twitter @BiertempfelTrib.

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