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-There are still spots open in the Pirate fan roto league, so if you'd like to join, send me an email.

-Another spring training, another article about a 0-3 player's contract. There's no story here, really; Dave Littlefield can make Zach Duke accept whatever contract Littlefield wants, and that is, in point of fact, what all teams do, so Littlefield is right not to worry about it. Duke is right not to make a big deal of it. And Duke's agent is right to try to make as much money as he can for his client. Let's move on.

-Brian Graham and Brad Eldred seem to understand what Eldred's problem is:

"Brad Eldred needs to recognize the type of pitches he's seeing better, and he needs to know where they're going," Graham said. "That only comes from experience."

Eldred does not dispute the need for better selection.

"You saw me chase fastballs out of the zone as much as offspeed stuff. I know it's a matter of better plate discipline," he said.

That's dead-on. Eldred seems to be a pretty bright guy, and in this case, he seems to be getting good coaching.

-The odds of Yurendell DeCaster making the team just decreased:

In fact, Tracy called [Jose] Hernandez "the perfect National League player."

"The value of this guy with the number of things that have to be considered and possibly take place during the game -- a bench player that has that type of versatility is invaluable..."

Tracy points out that Hernandez played seven positions in 2004. DeCaster only played five for Indianapolis last year.

-Five pre-arbitration players signed contracts.