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Pirates/MLB

Pirates taking advantage of iPad technology in dugout

PiratesRockiesBaseballJPEG06afa
Pirates players observe a moment of silence for the late Yogi Berra before their game with the Rockies on Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015, in Denver. Berra, who won 10 world championships with the Yankees, died Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015.
PiratesRockiesBaseballJPEG06afa
Pirates players observe a moment of silence for the late Yogi Berra before their game with the Rockies on Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015, in Denver. Berra, who won 10 world championships with the Yankees, died Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015.

DENVER — The Pirates are among a handful of teams who are using an iPad in the dugout during games under strict guidelines set up by MLB, general manager Neal Huntington told the Tribune-Review.

The commissioner’s office recently told teams they could use iPads for the rest of the regular season and in the playoffs. The pads cannot be connected to Wi-Fi while a game is in progress, so all the information on the device — scouting reports and other such data — must be downloaded before the game.

“At this point, it’s more of a personal preference thing,” Huntington said. “Do you want to use the scouting books or are you more comfortable with the technology?”

The Pirates have used their iPad during this series against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Coach Nick Leyva, who’s responsible for positioning the infielders, still prefers the old-school method.

“It’s the same information (in the scouting books and the iPad), but I prefer to write everything down myself on paper,” Leyva said. “That way, it’s reinforced in my mind.”

Before Wednesday’s game, Leyva sat at a desk working on his pregame notes. There was an iPad propped up in front of him, but he was using it as an easel for a sheet of paper.

MLB long has outlawed the use of cell phones or other communication devices in the dugouts and bullpens. It’s possible the limits on how iPads are used during games will evolve and expand once teams become comfortable with the technology.

“We could see it moving forward,” Huntington said. “We definitely want to explore it.”

Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported the Cardinals also are among the teams using an iPad.

Ramirez rests injury

Aramis Ramirez mashed a ball off the center-field wall Tuesday night at Coors Field and didn’t stop running until he reached third base.

“My first triple of the year,” Ramirez said with a laugh. “Maybe my last one, too.”

As he rounded second, Ramirez felt a tug in his left groin. He stayed in the game, and made an acrobatic, running grab at third to trigger a double play in the fifth inning but was taken out in the sixth.

Ramirez was not in the lineup Wednesday and indicated he might also sit out Thursday afternoon’s series finale against the Rockies.

“We’ll see how it feels (today),” Ramirez said. “But with it being a day game (after a night game), it won’t be easy.”

Pitching plans

Manager Clint Hurdle announced his rotation for next week’s crucial series against the Cardinals at PNC Park.

J.A. Happ will pitch Monday, followed by Charlie Morton and Gerrit Cole. That keeps Cole on track to start the first game of the playoffs, whether it’s in the wild-card game or the Division Series.

Hurdle did not reveal his plans for the season-ending series against the Cincinnati Reds. One of those games figures to go to A.J. Burnett, who will retire after this year.

The Pirates have not yet given any indication whether they will hold some sort of tribute for Burnett on the day of his final regular-season start. After spending a month on the disabled list with an elbow injury, Burnett has made three starts.

“We were just pulling for the opportunity to see him pitch again, so it didn’t finish with him walking off the mound in pain,” Hurdle said.

Remembering Yogi

Hurdle said he did not have many encounters over the years with Hall of Famer Yogi Berra, who died late Tuesday night.

“I ran into Yogi when he was a coach a couple of times, ran into him in spring training a couple of times,” Hurdle said. “He was one of my Dad’s favorite players. … This man was a great ballplayer. It’s an iconic loss, a sad day for the game.”

Rob Biertempfel is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at [email protected] or via Twitter @BiertempfelTrib.

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