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Prospects set for Black & Gold showcase

Glasnow, Taillon will start Monday's intrasquad game at McKechnie Field
MLB.com

BRADENTON, Fla. -- After mostly getting to know the organization's younger players by reading reports and watching video, Pirates manager Clint Hurdle is looking forward to seeing them play in person.

That will begin Monday, when the Bucs report to McKechnie Field for their annual Black & Gold intrasquad game. The lineups, posted inside the Pirate City clubhouse on Sunday, are stacked with top prospects and other players competing for jobs on the Opening Day roster.

BRADENTON, Fla. -- After mostly getting to know the organization's younger players by reading reports and watching video, Pirates manager Clint Hurdle is looking forward to seeing them play in person.

That will begin Monday, when the Bucs report to McKechnie Field for their annual Black & Gold intrasquad game. The lineups, posted inside the Pirate City clubhouse on Sunday, are stacked with top prospects and other players competing for jobs on the Opening Day roster.

"Selfishly, there's a lot of things I'm looking forward to seeing this spring," Hurdle said. "It's one thing to talk about players and watch video; it's another thing to post up with them, to talk to them live and watch them go play.

"Every single one of them, I'm looking forward to seeing them play. Anybody that's grown up through our organization, yeah, there's a twinkle in their eye, there's a twinkle in mine to watch them."

Video: Clint Hurdle on prospects Tyler Glasnow, Elias Diaz

Right-handers Tyler Glasnow and Jameson Taillon, the club's top two pitching prospects, will start the game. Prospects Steven Brault, Chad Kuhl and Trevor Williams are also scheduled to pitch, as is reliever John Holdzkom.

The Gold team's lineup includes a mix of top prospects (Alen Hanson, Harold Ramirez and Max Moroff) and players aiming for a roster spot, such as Jake Goebbert and Pedro Florimon. Jason Rogers will play first base.

Two of the Pirates' most intriguing non-roster invitees, infielder Cole Figueroa and outfielder Matt Joyce, will start for the Black team. Figueroa, who has a chance to crack the Opening Day roster, will line up at second base, while Joyce -- the leading candidate for the fourth outfield job -- will play left field.

Video: Frazier on learning from playing in offseason

The Black squad also includes a number of highly regarded position players likely bound for Triple-A Indianapolis, starting with first baseman Josh Bell. The lineup also includes Adam Frazier in center field, Elias Diaz behind the plate, Dan Gamache at third and Gift Ngoepe at shortstop.

Around the horn
• Left-hander Robert Zarate, a non-roster invitee, reported left lateral elbow discomfort while playing catch on Saturday, the Pirates announced. He did not throw his scheduled live batting practice session and will be re-evaluated.

• While the Pirates haven't publicly set a target date for Jung Ho Kang's return, other than it more likely coming in April rather than May, Hurdle noted that they are preparing for two different scenarios, including one in which Kang is in the Opening Day lineup.

To address the other scenario, the Pirates will take a look at a number of other third-base options, including Rogers and Sean Rodriguez.

• The Pirates wrapped up their workout Sunday with sliding drills, the annual sign that big league camp is on its way out of the Pirate City complex and headed across town to McKechnie Field.

Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry.

Pittsburgh Pirates, Tyler Glasnow, Jameson Taillon