CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Thirty-eight pitchers and catchers are expected to arrive today at Pirate City, the Pittsburgh Pirates' spring training home in Bradenton, Fla.
Position players are scheduled to arrive later this week. This used to be the case for Michael Ryan, a 35-year-old former outfielder who is in his 18th season in professional baseball.
This will be his first spring roaming the fields of Pirate City as a manager.
Ryan, who played for 14 minor league teams and spent parts of five seasons in the majors with the Twins and Angels is the first-year manager of the West Virginia Power. He played for pay from 1996-2010 after being a fifth-round pick of the Twins in the 1996 amateur draft.
Now, he can't wait to begin working with the talent that will inevitably dot the Power roster this season.
"I'm not sure how the roster is going to look yet, but I know for a fact you're going to have eight or nine, maybe even 10, players that are going to be significant pieces to the Pirates in the future," Ryan said this offseason. "That's super exciting to be able to work with these kids for a full season."
According to the Pirates, 29 of 38 pitchers arrived for spring training Monday - a day ahead of schedule. Position players are set to arrive Friday, and full squad workouts will ensue.
Pirates front office personnel will get a look at the organization from top to bottom. The Power roster will be finalized in the weeks before the April 4 season opener at home against Asheville.
Ryan had never made a trip to Charleston before his hire this winter. He said he'll lean on the managerial and baseball wisdom from a pair of his former managers - Mike Scioscia and Ron Gardenhire - when he arrives at Appalachian Power Park this spring.
Scioscia and Gardenhire won consecutive American League Manager of the Year honors in 2009 and '10 with the Angels and Twins, respectively.
"I think it's important as a manager to rely on what you thought was successful as far as the managers you played for," Ryan said. "I want to take little pieces from them and try to develop my own style.