BRADENTON -- Chemistry is often sought after within every team dynamic, but difficult to engineer.
Simply put, it's either there or it isn't.
At the Major League Baseball level, various player personalities are brought together and they either mesh or they don't.
For the Pittsburgh Pirates, they assembled a group that garnered 98 victories in the 2015 regular season -- second-best in MLB behind division rival St. Louis.
But long before that even occurred, the natural bonding between teammates started in the spring workouts at Pirates City. Some are developed through several years as teammates, while others from playing similar positions, having similar backgrounds or interests.
And this season, there's a mini group of three former Tampa Bay Rays players in Pirates camp.
Outfielder Matt Joyce was signed to a minor-league deal, while John Jaso and Sean Rodriguez were inked in the offseason.
For Rodriguez, it's his second season in Pittsburgh. And his familiar face can ease the transition for newer players that were teammates of his during his Rays career.
"It helps your comfort level go up," Rodriguez said. "I'm sure ... probably more for them coming into a new spot and just knowing somebody they can basically lean on and ask questions."
During their careers with the Rays, the club wasn't known as an offensive juggernaut built on power. Instead, they relied on manufacturing runs.
Just last season, the aggressiveness of the Kansas City Royals yielded a World Series title. That focus, with an emphasis on getting more players on base to create chances for runs with the departure in the offseason of starters Neil Walker and Pedro Alvarez, who combined for 180 home runs over the last four seasons.
"It's obviously leading to success," Joyce said. "You saw the Royals do it and kind of have that train of thought: be aggressive and have fun. And you see a lot of younger kids on that team having fun and playing the game the right way. I feel like it's re-energizing the game."
While the trio help with the transitional phase to a new club, they've all experienced life at different MLB clubs, too.
"It's great having a few familiar faces," Jaso said. "It makes it easier. But I think at this point in our careers, especially if you've already been traded a few times. It's just part of the game. You kind of go with it. I remember that first time getting traded to Seattle and there was nobody there that I knew. And it was pretty strange, and you did kind of feel alone a little bit. I know that first time, it was tough. But after that, it's easy. It's just part of the game."
Black and Gold pitchers
The annual Black and Gold intrasquad scrimmage game to kick off the 2016 Spring Training slate at McKechnie Field is set for noon Monday, and the list of pitchers was announced Friday. Right-hander Jameson Taillon (Black) and Tyler Glasnow (Gold) are getting the ball for two innings apiece. Others scheduled to pitch following the top two pitchers in the Pirates system include: Steven Brault (two innings for Black), Chad Kuhl (two innings for Black), John Holdzkom (one inning for Gold) and Trevor Williams (two innings for Gold).
It's a 5 1/2 inning game.
Jason Dill, sports reporter, can be reached at 745-7017. Follow him on Twitter @Jason__Dill and like his Facebook page at Jason Dill Bradenton Herald.