BRADENTON, Fla. - Left fielder Corey Dickerson and left-hander Kevin Siegrist, the newest Pirates, are getting closer to Spring Training game action, manager Clint Hurdle said on Thursday.Dickerson, acquired a week ago from the Rays, has taken live batting practice twice since joining the Pirates on Monday. He could take
BRADENTON, Fla. - Left fielder Corey Dickerson and left-hander Kevin Siegrist, the newest Pirates, are getting closer to Spring Training game action, manager Clint Hurdle said on Thursday.
Dickerson, acquired a week ago from the Rays, has taken live batting practice twice since joining the Pirates on Monday. He could take live BP again on Friday, Hurdle said, then they will discuss his schedule going forward. It's possible that Dickerson could make his Grapefruit League debut this weekend.
After the Rays designated Dickerson for assignment on Feb. 17, he went home to Mississippi to be with his wife, Beth Anne, who on Feb. 22 gave birth to their second son, Miller. That was the same day the Pirates traded for him, and he is still catching up after more than a week away from a Major League camp.
"Everybody else was down here for the entire time. There was continuity to their play," Hurdle said. "He got unplugged for a while."
Siegrist, who signed a Minor League deal with the Bucs on Saturday, threw another bullpen session at LECOM Park on Thursday. The 28-year-old southpaw likely will pitch at least once in live batting practice before the Pirates set up a game schedule for him.
Right-hander Nick Kingham started Thursday's 4-1 win over the Blue Jays at LECOM Park and gave up one run on three hits and two walks while striking out two in three innings.
His biggest challenge might have been veteran outfielder Curtis Granderson, who fouled off multiple pitches in a lengthy third-inning at-bat before finally lining out to right field. Granderson laughed and went out of his way to shake Kingham's hand as they headed to their respective dugouts afterward.
"He goes, 'I'm sorry, man. I'm sorry. I didn't mean to. My bad,'" Kingham said. "But he said, 'Way to keep fighting and keep going.' So that was cool. He didn't have to say that."
While Kingham is likely to start the season in Triple-A, Hurdle said the Pirates have "told him to come in here and compete" for a spot on the Opening Day roster.
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"He's another guy that could pitch multiple innings out of the pen if something out of our hands were to happen," Hurdle said. "We didn't tell Nick he's going to Triple-A as soon as he walked through the door."
Around the horn
• Austin Meadows blasted a two-run homer over the boardwalk beyond the right-field fence in Thursday's game. The lefty-swinging outfield prospect is off to a strong start this spring, going 5-for-8 with two doubles, a triple, a homer and seven RBIs in his first four games.
• The Pirates' victory, sparked by strong pitching performances, crisp defense and homers from Meadows and Sean Rodriguez, was their first of the spring. They are now 1-4-2 in Grapefruit League play. While acknowledging that the standings ultimately don't count, Hurdle was pleased with the outcome -- perhaps more so for his daughter, Madison.
"Ties don't work at home," Hurdle said, smiling. "I'll be able to go home tonight and say, 'The Buccos raised the Jolly Roger, Maddie!'"
• Jameson Taillon has officially taken over as the Pirates' representative to the MLB Players Association. The role previously belonged to Gerrit Cole, who was traded to the Astros in January. Taillon, 26, said he will lean on Cole's advice and his veteran teammates -- including Josh Harrison, Rodriguez, David Freese, George Kontos and Ivan Nova -- as he assumes the clubhouse leadership position.
The Pirates will play a pair of games against the Orioles on Friday in Sarasota, Fla. First up is a "B" game at 10:30 a.m., when the Bucs will send out right-handers Dario Agrazal, Luis Escobar, Yeudy Garcia and Johnny Hellweg and a lineup featuring prospects Meadows, Jason Martin, Cole Tucker and Bryan Reynolds.
Then comes the regularly-scheduled Grapefruit League game at 1:05 p.m., with right-hander Tyler Glasnow expected to start at Ed Smith Stadium. Adam Frazier is slated to play second with Josh Bell at first, Starling Marte in center and Gregory Polanco in right. Listen live to an exclusive webcast.
Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and read his blog.