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Link Roundup

-P- The Post-Gazette has a piece on Pirates prospects in the Hawaiian Winter League:

...OK, players must don their uniforms before arriving at the ballpark because there aren't clubhouses. And there aren't showers...

Players in the Hawaiian Winter League have the option of staying in hotels or dormitories used by college students.

[Shortstop Brian] Bixler shares a dorm room with Lerud and Vaclavik.

"It's not too bad," Bixler said, laughing.

Wow. Welcome to the minor leagues, huh? It's amazing that someone like Bixler can go from getting a $670,000 signing bonus in 2003 to sharing a dorm room with two other guys now, even though he's still a prospect. Speaking of which:

The Pirates started him at Class A Lynchburg in 2006. They wanted Bixler to improve defensively and become more aggressive offensively.

That's funny, because perhaps the biggest difference between Bixler in 2005 and in 2006 is that he started drawing more walks.

-P- Pat has a roundup of various Pirates involved in winter leagues.

-P- Here's an article on the changes the Astros are going through. Houston is probably not going to have a strong team in the coming years.

-P- Former Altoona Curve manager Tony Beasley will return to the Pirates organization in 2007 after spending 2006 as the Nationals' third-base coach. He'll be the Pirates' minor league infield coordinator.