Pirates Notes: Weiner, Karstens, Hawpe

Pirates pitchers combined to allow 15 walks during the Bucs' 16-6 loss to the Red Sox today in Grapefruit League action but Jameson Taillon was only responsible for one of those free passes.  The right-hander started the game and allowed just the lone walk and one hit over two innings of work, recording three strikeouts.  Taillon, the second overall pick of the 2010 draft, has an outside shot at a late-season callup if he continues to pitch well in the minors but probably won't see big league action until 2014 at the earliest.  The 21-year-old will get a step up in competition, however, while pitching for Canada in the upcoming World Baseball Classic.

Here's the latest from the Steel City…

  • MLBPA head Michael Weiner tells Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that he and the union are satisfied that the Pirates are doing all they can to compete.  “There were some concerns, and we expressed them. We had some meetings with (president) Frank Coonelly and others from the administration," Weiner said. "I think over the course of the last couple years, the Pirates have made a sincere effort to compete. Their payroll has increased and it projects to continue to increase."
  • Francisco Liriano's right arm injury paved the way for Jeff Karstens' return to the Pirates, according to Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.  Liriano agreed to a contract with the Bucs in December but the deal wasn't finalized until February due to Liriano hurting his non-throwing arm.  Amidst this uncertainty over Liriano's health, the Pirates reached out to Karstens (who they non-tendered earlier this offseason) and signed him to a one-year deal.
  • Brad Hawpe talks to MLB.com's Tom Singer about trying to revive his career in Pittsburgh.  Singer reports that Hawpe can ask to be released from his minor league deal with the club on March 26 if he hasn't been added to the Pirates' Major League roster.

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