Spring Synopsis: Shortslef shut down by shoulder 'weakness'
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BRADENTON, Fla. -- Notes, quotes and anecdotes from the Pirates' spring training ...Day 3:
The Pirates' three-hour workout yesterday, under mostly sunny skies and 80-degree temperatures at Pirate City, included bullpen sessions for 17 pitchers. Among them: Tom Gorzelanny, Ian Snell and Matt Capps, who began working on the changeup he wants to bring back into his repertoire.
Damaso Marte remained off the field because of a flu that he said yesterday has included a fever and other symptoms. He expressed doubt about returning in the next couple of days.
Today: The 20 pitchers who threw on Day 2 have a second session, beginning at 9:30 a.m.
Camp roster: 65, with 37 pitchers, 5 catchers and 11 position players in camp already.
The roster was reduced by one when the Pirates shut down Josh Shortslef, a left-handed starting pitching prospect, and assigned him to their minor-league camp because of what general manager Neal Huntington described as "weakness" in his left shoulder. He will undergo a period of rest and rehabilitation before being checked again, but there are no immediate signs that surgery is necessary.
Shortslef, 26, was the Pirates' sixth-round draft pick in 2000. He spent all of 2007 with Class AA Altoona and went 5-13 with a 4.40 ERA.
Also, infielders Ray Olmedo and Luis Rivas arrived early. And catcher Carlos Maldonado, delayed by visa issues, should participate in the workout today.
Injury updates: Second baseman Freddy Sanchez (shoulder) took batting practice -- including a line-drive home run to left -- and grounders, but his throwing was limited. There is a chance he will not be able to take full infield practice in the first formal workout Friday. ... Outfielder Chris Duffy (shoulder) continued to take batting practice with pitches flipped to him.
Battle lines: Olmedo's early reporting brings into camp both of the players vying for the backup middle infielder's slot. Josh Wilson of Mt. Lebanon is the other.
Then again, there is a chance that Chris Gomez, a lock to make the team, could be that player. If Doug Mientkiewicz can demonstrate the ability to play second and third base -- he took grounders at second yesterday -- then he could be an option for the infield or outfield. In case of an emergency at shortstop, the Pirates also could use Sanchez or Jose Bautista.
Fun in the sun: Pirate City's new headquarters building, scheduled to have a formal opening Thursday, will include one unusual twist well out of the public eye: Room 239 of the dormitories, the same number in which Roberto Clemente always stayed in the previous structure, will have pictures of him hanging inside.
Although most major-league players at the time -- and almost all of them now -- stay in apartments or condominiums during spring training, Clemente preferred to stay on the complex, according to Trevor Gooby, the Pirates' director of Florida operations. The dormitories are used now by minor-leaguers and other teams that train at Pirate City.
No word yet on which minor-leaguer will get Room 239.
Overheard: Minor-league pitching coach Ray Searage, playfully chiding reliever Hector Carrasco for leaving the mound too early on a bunt drill: "Por favor, wait till the ball is hit!"
Countdown to Atlanta: 43 days.
First Published February 18, 2008 12:00 am