Adam LaRoche made his first official appearance today in Florida, took some ground balls, ripped some BP and made sure Pirates Nation understands he wants, and is ready, to win in Pittsburgh.
"[Going .500] is never going to be my goal, and I would like to get that out of every body's heads," LaRoche said. "It's easy for me to say, because I haven't been here playing with these guys, and seeing the struggles and the frustration. To a guy coming in that's been lucky enough to be on a winning team for a few years, .500 really never crossed my mind.
"We all come here for one goal: To get to the playoffs. Obviously, you want to win a World Series, but you've got to get to the playoffs first."
Jose Castillo, who has received more attention this off-season surrounding Jack Wilson's comments then he has for his play in Winter ball, as expected, took some ground balls today. At third base, and only at third base. Castillo is battling Jose Bautista for the open infield spot but it was believed that if Castillo won, he would stay at 2nd base and Fast Freddy would play third. The Pirates, however, want to keep the options open, according to Jim Tracy.
"We want to look at all kinds of possibilities this spring, and we're going to be proactive in looking at them early on. We know Castillo can play second. We know Sanchez can play third. We know Jose Bautista can play pretty much anywhere. We just want to see what we have."