-P- Dejan Kovacevic watched Anthony Rendon play yesterday and ... well, he didn't see too much, at least not at the plate, just a lot of "lunging at outside pitches." It looks like he's mobile in the field, though, which suggests that his ankle is healed. Also, Scott Boras will be Rendon's agent. Also, it looks like Stanford pitcher Mark Appel was pretty impressive.
-P- Rob Biertempfel reports that Frank Coonelly is "evaluating the status" of Neal Huntington, but also includes a quote from Coonelly saying that Huntington "will be here for a long time." It's hard to know how to read into stuff like this. Basically, though, Huntington is only under contract through this season, and it's going to be pretty hard for the Pirates to retain him if the Bucs don't improve significantly. The fanbase would be furious at that point.
I haven't been a fan of everything Huntington has done, but I do think he deserves to be retained, and the possibility of a sudden shift in direction scares me. I think Coonelly believes pretty strongly in the Pirates' current direction, so if he were forced to fire Huntington, he would just hire someone who followed the same basic outline Huntington has, building through the draft and trading veterans for younger players.
Anyway, Jenifer Langosch has a similar report but with some more detail. There's even a quote from Coonelly about whether there will be funds available for the Pirates to make trades for players in-season if they're contenders:
"There are. We've said all along that we're looking forward to the day that we need to make that decision and we're prepared to make it and prepared to add players if we need some players to get over the hump."
My first reaction was that this was farcical, since obviously the Pirates probably won't be contending this year. Last year, though, they did add Chris Snyder in-season when it was obvious that Ryan Doumit couldn't catch anymore. I could certainly see them making a similar move this year, but the goal won't be to aid a contending team, but rather to add a veteran who could be around in 2012 as well.
-P- There will be a Pirates "pep rally" in Bradenton tonight at 5:00, featuring a bunch of current players.
-P- Here's a piece on all the young pitching in the Royals' camp - there's a ton of it. A lot of the youngest ones will be sent back to AA or AAA, but it will be hard to imagine the Royals going out of their way to keep Nathan Adcock unless he really impresses them. He hasn't pitched above Class A+, and there's no need for the Royals to take a short-term hit by keeping him on the roster all year just so they can retain him after this year, because there are a lot of good young pitchers on the way. That's good for the Pirates, who would get Adcock back if the Royals were to decide to dump him.