With pitchers and catchers reporting Monday, baseball is back in Florida.
The Pittsburgh Pirates are opening their 50th spring training in Bradenton.
Their first workout is scheduled for Wednesday at Pirate City.
Games begin nine days later.
Fans won’t see Andrew McCutchen or Gerrit Cole, two of the Bucs’ more identifiable players over the past several seasons, after both were traded in the offseason.
Here’s what fans should expect this February and March when visiting Bradenton’s LECOM Park for some spring training action.
Prospects to see
There are plenty to see from the Pirates, who have traded franchise stars such as McCutchen and Cole for prospects. According to MLB.com’s prospect rankings, Austin Meadows and Bryan Reynolds rate as the top prospects who are on Pittsburgh’s 40-man roster.
Stars to see
The star power to see this spring is mainly coming from the road teams. Who the opponents bring on their travel rosters aren’t known yet, but the possibilities are fascinating.
With the LECOM Park home opener on Feb. 24, the New York Yankees are coming to Bradenton. It’s a chance to maybe catch new Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton or existing Bronx Bombers such as Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez.
Dustin Pedroia, Mookie Betts, David Price and Chris Sale are some of the potential options when the Boston Red Sox visit Feb. 26 and March 18.
Toronto, Philadelphia, Detroit, Atlanta, Baltimore, Tampa Bay and Minnesota are also part of the Pirates’ 16 games at LECOM Park.
It’s the 50th anniversary for the Pirates, and they’re commemorating it with a traveling exhibit detailing their baseball history in Bradenton. The exhibit, called “Baseball in Manatee County: 50 Years of Pittsburgh Pirates Spring Training,” is going on display at local libraries throughout the baseball season. For spring training, fans can catch the exhibit at the Downtown Central Library in February starting Monday and at the Braden River Library in March.
Fans can also see a pop-up museum exhibit inside LECOM Park on spring training game days. The Pirates are also commemorating their 50 years with 50 days of giving throughout spring training. That includes speaking engagements, serving meals in the community and holding a fantasy camp at the Miracle League.
Advanced tickets range from $18 (grandstand and left field bleachers) to $29 (infield box and reserve).
That number jumps $3 per pricing tier if purchasing the day of the game.
There are also season tickets and weekend packages available.
Call 941-747-3031 for more information.
▪ Feb. 12: Pitchers and catchers report.
▪ Feb. 14: Pitchers and catchers first workout.
▪ Feb. 18: Position players report.
▪ Feb. 19: First full squad workout.
▪ Feb. 24: LECOM Park home opener, vs. New York Yankees, 1:05 p.m. start.
▪ March 26: Last spring training home game, vs. Philadelphia Phillies, 1:05 p.m. start.
▪ March 29: 2018 Opening Day.
▪ April 7: Bradenton Marauders’ home opener, vs. St. Lucie Mets, 6:30 p.m. start.
Pittsburgh Pirates spring training schedule
Feb. 23 at Tampa Bay Rays, 1:05 p.m.
Feb. 24 vs. New York Yankees, 1:05 p.m.
Feb. 25 at Detroit Tigers, 1:05 p.m.
Feb. 26 vs. Boston Red Sox, 1:05 p.m.
Feb. 27 at Atlanta Braves, 1:05 p.m.
Feb. 28 at Boston Red Sox, 1:05 p.m.
March 1 vs. Toronto Blue Jays, 1:05 p.m.
March 2 at Baltimore Orioles, 1:05 p.m.
March 3 vs. Philadelphia Phillies, 1:05 p.m.
March 4 at Minnesota Twins, 1:05 p.m.
March 5 at Atlanta Braves, 1:05 p.m.
March 7 at Toronto Blue Jays, 1:07 p.m.
March 8 vs. Detroit Tigers, 1:05 p.m.
March 9 at Philadelphia Phillies, 1:05 p.m.
March 10* vs. Atlanta Braves, 1:05 p.m.
March 10* at Baltimore Orioles, 1:05 p.m.
March 11 at Toronto Blue Jays, 1:07 p.m.
March 12 vs. Baltimore Orioles, 1:05 p.m.
March 14 vs. Tampa Bay Rays, 1:05 p.m.
March 15 at New York Yankees, 1:05 p.m.
March 16 vs. Atlanta Braves, 1:05 p.m.
March 17 vs. Minnesota Twins, 1:05 p.m.
March 18* vs. Boston Red Sox, 1:05 p.m.
March 18* at Toronto Blue Jays, 1:07 p.m.
March 19 vs. Minnesota Twins, 1:05 p.m.
March 20 at Boston Red Sox, 1:05 p.m.
March 21 at Minnesota Twins, 6:05 p.m.
March 22 vs. Toronto Blue Jays, 6:05 p.m.
March 23 vs. Philadelphia Phillies, 1:05 p.m.
March 24 vs. Tampa Bay Rays, 1:05 p.m.
March 25 at Toronto Blue Jays, 1:07 p.m.
March 26 vs. Philadelphia Phillies, 1:05 p.m.
March 27 at Philadelphia Phillies, 1:05 p.m.