Pitchers and catchers begin spring training

Pitchers and catchers of the Pittsburgh Pirates practiced today after officially reporting to the Pirate City complex Wednesday in Bradenton, Florida to begin spring training.

The team hopes to move to the top of the National League Central after narrowly missing the postseason for the second straight season in the National League Wild Card Game. The Pirates can count on their returning players as well as new additions, notably first baseman John Jaso, to replicate a 98-win season.

After trading Neil Walker and releasing Pedro Alvarez, the Pirates look to employ a deep lineup for success this season.

Starters Jon Niese and Ryan Vogelsong pitched from the mound Wednesday morning under pitching coach Ray Searage’s supervision.

The team plans to focus on base running this season. The Pirates ranked 12th among the 30 major league teams in base running last season.

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