Pittsburgh Pirates

Stadium: PNC Park | Manager: Clint Hurdle
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St. Louis82-6090-72
Ike Davis still bothered by 2012 report accusing him of drinking issue
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com

When the Mets traded Ike Davis to the Pirates last April, it put an end to a disappointing tenure in New York. Davis struggled to meet the expectations of being a former first-round pick, which is something he could live with.

Apparently, however, Davis couldn't live with a 2012 report citing the Mets were concerned about his nightlife habits. Davis had to encounter the topic when he met with Pirates manager Clint Hurdle after he was traded last year.

“Clint asked me about it when I first got over there,” Davis said, per the New York Daily News. “I was like, ‘I don’t know what to tell you, but a guy made up an article.’

“He was like, ‘I heard you’ve had issues.” And I was like, ‘Issues with what? I’ve never gotten in trouble. I’ve never gotten in a fight. I’ve never done anything to anyone. Yeah, I’ve gone out and had beers and stuff, but who hasn’t done that?’ I don’t know why I got singled out.”

Pirates general manager Neal Huntington told Davis at the end of last season he would squash any rumors regarding the issue, calling the report "ridiculous" after Davis proved to be a model teammate in 2014.

Even Athletics manager Bob Melviin said Davis’ reputation in the game is now sound and is glad to have him on the roster after Oakland picked him up in November.

Still, Davis remains bothered the accusations are connected to his tenure with the Mets.

“That’s really the only thing that I still have a dirty taste in my mouth about," he said. "Because everything else, you could see it in numbers. What, am I going to argue? I didn’t play well. But as far as calling me out for drinking problems, and being a bad influence -- that was a joke. It’s ridiculous. But you can use it as a learning experience: You can’t trust people.”

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Could Pirates be willing to offer McCutchen a Stanton-type deal?
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com

Pirates owner Bob Nutting said Wednesday outfielder Andrew McCutchen is "a critical part of the team" and hopes the 2013 NL MVP will be in a Pirates uniform "for a long, long time."

McCutchen is currently under contract through the 2017 season on a fairly good deal for the Pirates. He will make $10 million in 2015, $13 million in 2016 and $14 million in 2017. He also has a $14.75 million team option for 2018, which includes a $1 million buyout.

If and when the Pirates choose to extend McCutchen, then it probably will cost them a pretty penny if he continues to play at his current level. There are no active contract talks, but industry sources said that if the Pirates decide to open talks, they are willing to go to great lengths to keep McCutchen, even if they have to offer him $25 million-plus per year, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

“It's a challenge we're looking forward to,” Nutting said. “At this point, it's not appropriate to dig in (and comment) on any particular player other than we really respect and appreciate what Andrew does, on and off the field, every day.”

The 28-year-old McCutchen is a four-time All-Star and finished in the top 3 in voting for the NL MVP in 2012 and 2014. He has also won three Silver Slugger awards.

McCutchen could one day land a contract in the same ballpark as Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton, who signed a $325 million contract this offseason, but for now his focus isn't on a new deal.

“If that happens, that will be something we'll talk about,” McCutchen said. “Right now, I'm not too worried about it. It's nothing that I'm thinking about, really. If it happens, that would be great. I look forward to it if they do that.”

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Corey Hart preparing for comeback year with Pirates
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com

New Pirates first baseman Corey Hart has been through a lot. He's still recovering from both surgically repaired left and right knees. The 33-year-old knows it has slowed him down, reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

"Speed was definitely a big part of my game," Hart said. "But, right now instead of being tall and skinny, I filled out a little bit, so the weight is there and the knees are there."

Manager Clint Hurdle wants to be able to utilize Hart both at first base and in the outfield.

"I know the kid can play outfield," Hurdle said. "We've seen him play the outfield. We've also seen him post up at first base. We've seen the work he's done in the batter's box. We felt it was a very good player to take a risk on."

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Pirates' Gorkys Hernandez late to camp due to visa issues
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com

Pirates outfielder Gorkys Hernandez was the only absentee from camp early on with visa issues, according to MLB.com. The 27-year-old Venezuelan is expected to join his team in the coming days. He hit .192 with three homers and 13 RBI in 2012 -- his last season in the majors.

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Pirates' Antonio Bastardo looking for better numbers in 2015
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com

Pirates reliever Antonio Bastardo is hoping for better numbers in 2015, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Though Bastardo's number were actually fairly solid, he didn't see things that way. "My season last year was the kind of season, fighting season, that you have if you have struggle days," he said. While he finished with a 3.94 ERA, Bastardo is setting his goals higher for 2015. "My goal was to keep [my ERA] under 3.00."

Pitching coach Ray Searage thinks he can help Bastardo post better numbers this year. Searage watched tape of Bastardo, and determined that his landing foot plays a big role in his success. "We want to make sure that that landing foot lands firm, stays on it, keeps his head online and everything comes out real easy because he's got good stuff," Searage said.

The 29-year-old posted a 3.94 ERA over 64 innings last season. He's expected to open the season as a key member of the Pirates bullpen. 

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2014 Team Leaders
AVGJosh Harrison , 3B.315
HRAndrew McCutchen , CF25
RBIAndrew McCutchen , CF83
OBPAndrew McCutchen , CF.410
SLGAndrew McCutchen , CF.542
RAndrew McCutchen , CF89
SBStarling Marte , LF30
WEdinson Volquez , SP13
ERAEdinson Volquez , SP3.04
WHIPEdinson Volquez , SP1.23
KFrancisco Liriano , SP175
SVMark Melancon , RP33
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