~Pirates backup catcher Chris Stewart had minor knee surgery and will be out 6-8 weeks, Tony Sanchez will open the season as the Pirates backup catcher, with Omir Santos and Nevin Ashley serving as depth in AAA.
~Pirates starting pitcher Francisco Liriano left his last start with tightness in his left groin. The injury is considered minor, and Liriano shouldn’t miss any regular season starts.
~Pirates 2012 2nd Round Draft Pick Wyatt Mathisen is changing positions from Catcher to Third Base. Mathisen played more short-stop in high school than catcher so a move to third base shouldn’t be a huge transition. Mathisen is a good hitter, athletic, and possesses a strong arm, but was unrefined as a catcher, and would have had to spilt time with 2013 1st Round Pick Reese McGuire. Moving to third base ensures that Mathisen will get everyday reps. Wyatt missed missed of 2013 after undergoing surgery for a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder. Mathisen’s move to third base makes him the Pirates top prospect at the position.
~Pirates pitching prospect Clay Holmes sustained an elbow injury that required Tommy John ligament replacement surgery. Holmes will miss the 2014 season, but should be ready by the beginning of Spring Training 2015.
~The Pirates have whittled down their Spring Training roster by releasing reliever Seth McClung, and sending Phil Irwin, Chris McGuiness, Brent Morel, Chase d’Arnaud, Cody Eppley, Jake Brigham, Josh Kinney and Yao-Hsun Yang to minor league camp. None of these moves come as a surprise, and several of these players could see time in Pittsburgh later in the season.
~The Pirates have made several players available for trade, they will take offers on relievers Jeanmar Gomez, Vin Mazzaro, and Bryan Morris as well as outfielders Jose Tabata and Travis Snider. For more info on this, check out my article here: http://buzzntheburgh.com/report-pirates-willing-move-tabata-mazzaro-snider/