Bucs' instructional league set to begin
First group required to report Tuesday in Bradenton, Fla.
LOS ANGELES -- The Pirates will open their first phase of the organization's annual instructional league in Bradenton, Fla., on Tuesday, as the first group is required to report by the end of the day. The first workouts are scheduled for Wednesday.
In much the same way that it was structured last year, the Pirates' near monthlong instructional league has been split up to accommodate two groups. The first group includes some of the more seasoned Minor Leaguers in the farm system, while many of those participating in Phase II are relative newcomers to the organization.
Lefty Daniel Moskos, the Pirates' first-round pick in the 2007 First-Year Player Draft, and left-hander Rudy Owens, who had a sensational breakout season in Class A, are among those beginning work in Bradenton this week. Triple-A outfielder Jose Tabata, who will also play in the Arizona Fall League, is also participating in this first wave of instruction and games, as are outfielders Robbie Grossman, Gorkys Hernandez and Starling Marte.
Other notable prospects who will attend include: Jordy Mercer, Chase D'Arnaud, Brian Friday, Jarek Cunningham, Shelby Ford and Bryan Morris.
The second group of instructional league players will participate in its first workout on the final day of the month, with that session then lasting through Oct. 16. Each of the Pirates' first 12 Draft picks from 2009 is scheduled to participate. That includes first-round catcher Tony Sanchez, as well as highly regarded high school draftees Colton Cain, Zachary Von Rosenberg and Zackry Dodson.
Third baseman Pedro Alvarez, who is currently playing for Team USA in the ongoing World Cup tournament, will also participate in Phase II as he begins a rigorous workout program designed to help the former first-round Draft pick shed some weight this offseason.
First baseman Jeff Clement is also expected to get some at-bats at some point during instructional league after he missed out on a September callup opportunity because of a late season oblique strain sustained while playing with the Pirates' Triple-A affiliate.
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.