We’re only one week away from Super Bowl Sunday, which means we’re nearly at the time of the year when football fades to the background and baseball takes center stage.
Spring Training is less than two weeks away, and we’re only about three weeks away from the first Grapefruit League games being played. This time of year features a lot of scheduling quirks, a ton of players in camp who will not be on the Opening Day roster -- and in this year’s case, an exciting new initiative.
Here’s an FAQ of everything you need to know for Pirates Spring Training this year.
When is the first workout for pitchers and catchers?
Pitchers and catchers will work out beginning on Feb. 14, one day after their report date.
What is the date of the first full-squad workout?
The first full-squad workout will be on Feb. 19.
Where is the Pirates’ Spring Training facility?
Pirate City is in Bradenton, Fla., just east of LECOM Park, where the Pirates will play Grapefruit League games.
Can fans attend workouts?
Who are some new faces fans should know?
Marco Gonzales and Martín Pérez were added this offseason to bolster the big league rotation, and lights-out reliever Aroldis Chapman was acquired to provide high heat in leverage innings. Keep an eye on Rowdy Tellez, too, who has 30-homer potential and could display some of it in Bradenton.
Who are some of the top prospects invited to Major League camp?
Paul Skenes, the most exciting prospect in the Pirates’ system, will be in camp and trying to show he’s MLB-ready. He’ll be joined by the rest of Pittsburgh’s Top 100 prospect contingent: infielder Termarr Johnson, right-hander Jared Jones, left-hander Anthony Solometo and right-hander Bubba Chandler.
When is the Pirates’ first Grapefruit League game?
The Grapefruit League opener for the Pirates is at the Twins on Feb. 24 at 1:05 p.m. ET. The LECOM Park opener is scheduled for Feb. 25 at 1:05 p.m. ET vs. the Orioles.
What are a few other notable spring games?
The Pirates will play one evening game at LECOM Park this spring vs. the Blue Jays on March 21 at 6:05 p.m. ET. They will also play in the afternoon at home on March 14 at 3:05 p.m. vs. the Orioles before the Spring Breakout game later that evening.
What is Spring Breakout and when is the game?
Spring Breakout is a brand new initiative from MLB which highlights each organization’s top prospects. They will face off in an exhibition game -- just top prospects, no Major League mainstays. These games will take place from March 14-17, and the Pirates’ Spring Breakout game will be March 14 at 7:05 p.m. vs the Orioles at LECOM Park.
Skenes vs. Jackson Holliday, anyone?
Will the Pirates’ Grapefruit League games be televised?
Yes. Some of the games will be televised on Sportsnet Pittsburgh or as a webcast on Pirates.com. Many of those that are not will be aired on radio via 93.7 The Fan or KDKA FM/AM. The official Spring Training broadcast schedule has not been released yet.
When is the Pirates’ last game in Florida?
The final game will be vs. the Blue Jays at LECOM Park at 1:05 p.m. ET.
Will there be any additional exhibitions before the regular season?
What are the details for Opening Day?
The Pirates will stay in Florida for Opening Day but scoot over to Miami, where they will take on the Marlins at 4:10 p.m. ET on March 28 at loanDepot park. Pittsburgh’s home opener will take place on April 5 vs. the Orioles at PNC Park, with the customary and celebratory local start time of 4:12 p.m. ET.