Orioles at Pirates, 1:05 p.m.
LECOM Park, Bradenton, Fla.
Orioles starter: RHP Gabriel Ynoa
Pirates starter: LHP Steven Brault
Pirates at Rays, 1:05 p.m.
Charlotte Spots Park, Port Charlotte, Fla.
Pirates starter: RHP Josh Lindblom
Rays starter: RHP David Carpenter
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Updated less than a minute ago
BRADENTON, Fla. — The entire starting outfield — Gregory Polanco in left field, Starling Marte in center, and Andrew McCutchen in right — will be in the lineup Saturday when the Pirates play their Grapefruit League opener against the Baltimore Orioles at LECOM Park.
The trio is set to leave camp on March 5 to play in the World Baseball Classic. Marte and Polanco will play for the Dominican Republic, while McCutchen will be with Team USA.
Manager Clint Hurdle said all three might not play many games together before departing.
“They may be on some different schedules,” Hurdle said on Friday. “Right now, Marte and Polanco are on the same schedule. Andrew also will play on Sunday (against the Orioles) in Sarasota and he'll definitely have Monday off. We'll see how the work schedule evolves for him moving forward.”
Management will keep close tabs on how many innings the three outfielders play in the WBC.
“We're set up to move on,” Hurdle said. “We'll continue to work with the guys here. We've got plenty of men in camp who will get added opportunities they wouldn't normally have gotten.”
The lineup also features Adam Frazier at shortstop and Alen Hanson at second base. Hurdle cautioned not to read too much into that configuration.
“We've got to play 18 innings on the first (game), which is a challenge,” Hurdle said. “We want to get them all out there and get them ready. There's no need to cut too deep with it.”
In addition to their home game on Saturday against the Orioles, the Pirates will send a split squad to Port Charlotte, Fla., to face the Tampa Bay Rays.
MLB wants managers to include at least three recognizable big leaguers on all travel rosters this spring. Josh Harrison, Jordy Mercer and John Jaso will go to Port Charlotte.
Working at LECOM
The team held a full-day workout at LECOM Park (formerly McKechnie Field) before Saturday's Grapefruit League openers. Previously, camp was based at Pirate City until the games started.
As the Pirates continue to buy land and expand their facility, it's possible that someday all of camp will be held at LECOM.
“We've talked about it,” Hurdle said. “We've talked about, is there room? Initially in spring training, a cloverleaf (of four fields) makes a difference. There very well could be a day when we move over here and take complete advantage of the facility.”
Stewie gets social
Chris Stewart put up his first-ever social media post on Thursday via Infield Chatter.
“The first of many,” Stewart said with laugh.
The post was a photo of Stewart and a girl named Anya, whom he met last season at PNC Park on Cancer Awareness Night. Stewart recently found out Anya lost her battle against the disease and wrote: “To my fellow ballplayers ad fans all over the world, with all the day to day stresses, I pray that we all remember the important things in life. Smile a little more, and light up the world. God bless.”
Infield Chatter is an app developed in cooperation with the Players' Association. Andrew McCutchen, Gregory Polanco, Jared Hughes, David Freese, Trevor Williams and Steven Brault are among those who post on it.
Around the horn
Players from High-A Bradenton will get their 2016 Florida State League championship rings before the Pirates' game on March 10 against the Tampa Bay Rays. Bradenton won its first FSL last year by beating the Tampa Yankees in four games. … Walk-through metal detectors have been installed at all the gates at LECOM.
Rob Biertempfel is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @BiertempfelTrib.
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