By John Perrotto
BRADENTON, Florida – Pittsburgh Pirates quarterback Roberto Perez has work to do and doesn’t have much time.
Perez is training a new pitching team after he agreed a one-year deal with Pittsburgh on Dec. 1 for $ 5 million. He replaces Jacob Stallings, who last season wore an NL gold glove before being sold to Miami in the winter.
The Pirates held a light exercise on Monday, which was their first spring, and the opening day was set for April 7 after the start of camp with a lockout was delayed by 99 days. This gives Perez a little more than three weeks to re-establish contact with the pots.
“I could watch videos all day, but I think by capturing them live, I want to know what the ball does, how the ball moves, and so on,” Perez said. “I know it better to watch it directly on the bullpen and the sides and things like that, than watching the video. I told the staff here, I want to arrest everyone, to arrest another guy every day so I can get used to them quickly. ”
Perez, 33, will join the Pirates Renewal after spending his first eight seasons in Cleveland.
Although he is a .206 professional hitter and has scored just 149 shots in 2021, Perez won the AL gold medal in 2019 and 2020, respectively. The pirates hope he can help form a young squad that struggled with a hard blow a year ago. 5.08 ERA.
Perez said it was a different feeling after years of reporting at a Cleveland facility in Arizona to a spring study in Florida.
“I have a lot of memories from my time with Cleveland and I had a great opportunity there,” he said. “I’m grateful for that, but I’m also excited to be here. I still like the atmosphere. It’s cold.”
Perez was not the only Pirates player to finally make the field.
Reliever David Bednar, originally from the Pittsburgh area, wants to build a strong season in which he has a 2.23 ERA in 61 games. He was one of the few bright spots on the team to finish 61-101 and was in his third straight year at NL Central.
“I was just thrilled to be back in the hot weather,” Bednar said. “In the end, it’s amazing to throw a mud hill and play outside. More, just around the coaching staff and the guys and everyone being like that. It’s just good to come back. “
Lockout negotiations between the owners and the players were sometimes angry, and it seemed as if the shutdown could take as long as the planned start of the season.
Anthony Alford, who is competing for the starting right spot, said the wait reminded him of 2020 when the MLB season didn’t start until the end of July due to a pandemic.
“You can get very mentally exhausted,” Alford said. “You can be ready to go into the field with the air conditioner and all the work you do, and not go to the field until after two or three months. We knew it was possible. It was difficult, but we had to.” be prepared as much as possible. “
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