In our daily Wake-Up Call, we get you ready for the day with a complete look at all things Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Pittsburgh Pirates wrapped up their workouts at Pirate City and will move to McKechnie LECOM Field tomorrow. The team will kick off the spring training schedule with some split squad action when the Baltimore Orioles travel to Bradenton and the Pirates go to Port Charlotte to visit the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday. But beginning Sunday, February 26th, the Pirates will start a schedule that more closely replicates that of the regular season.

The battle for the fifth spot in the rotation along with the final bullpen and bench spots will be interesting to watch unfold over the next few weeks. I would think that Drew Hutchison has the inside edge on the final rotation spot since he was the return in the deal that sent Francisco Liriano north of the border.


Hanrahan returns

Joel Hanrahan, who racked up 82 saves as the closer for the Pirates during his stint with the team from mid 2009 to 2012, has returned to the organization as an assistant pitching coach for the short season Class A West Virginia affiliate. Hanrahan was involved in the deal with Boston that brought Mark Melancon to Pittsburgh, but his career was cut short by two Tommy John surgeries. Here’s hoping that he can teach some of the young guys what it takes to get hitters out in professional baseball. It’s good to have him back in the organization.


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Baseball Talk on the Web

  • Pitch Talks, which is a series of events across the country that gave fans the chance to interact with people in the industry and writers from sites such as Fangraphs, has announced their schedule for this year. Pittsburgh was lucky enough to be selected (along with many other major cities) and the panel (which is TBD) will visit the city on June 15th. Pirates Breakdown tentatively will have some writers in attendance, but you should consider checking it out!
  • By now you have heard that Major League Baseball has decided to change the way intentional walks are issued heading into 2017. There are an awful lot of hot takes circulating on the internet on the topic, including the Washington Post, the NY Times and even Rolling Stone. My take: once the season begins, no one will care.

Ethan Obstarczyk

Ethan is a lifelong Pirates fan who resides in the east end of Pittsburgh. When not talking about, writing about or watching baseball, he also enjoys watching football and hockey along with movies and listening to some of his favorite bands. He can also be found on Instagram (ethanobstarczyk) and Untappd (Ethan_O).