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Pittsburgh Pirates Player News: Last 24 hours, All Positions

News: Nova gave up one run in four innings against Minnesota on Monday, allowing three hits and no walks while striking out six.
Impact: He was touched up for a Miguel Sano homer but otherwise threw well. Nova is slated to start Pittsburgh's home opener against the Braves in the fourth game of the season. He's compiled a 1.29 ERA in 14 spring innings, including an impressive 13:1 K:BB.
News: Harrison could see time at third base in addition to second base, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports. "There may be opportunity for conversation if we get short in a position," manager Clint Hurdle said. "If situations change, I do think there is a buy-in that's real with him. I do think his versatility can help him."
Impact: With third baseman Jung Ho Kang (restricted list) out indefinitely, the team is expected to primarily play David Freese at third base. If he struggles like he did at the end of 2016, however, look for Harrison to take over the hot corner and Adam Frazier to start at second base. Harrison had his best seasons as a super-utility player and could reprise that role in 2017.
News: McCutchen went 1-for-3 with a two-run homer Monday against the Twins.
Impact: He's hitting .263 in 19 Grapefruit League at-bats with one homer and one stolen base. His move to right field from center has gone seamlessly. McCutchen, who is batting third after struggling in the second spot for much of 2016, will look to get off to a good start. He's hit just .212 in 165 April at-bats in 2015 and 2016.
News: Stewart (groin) caught off a pitching machine Monday, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Bill Brink reports.
Impact: Stewart has been dealing with left groin discomfort since Friday. However, an MRI came back negative Saturday, as he hopes this step in his rehab process keeps him on track to be available for Opening Day, although Francisco Cervelli is expected to carry a heavy bulk of the catching duties this season. The 35-year-old says he felt fine after catching the machine, but did not really test himself, so his status will remain uncertain until he does.
News: Kuhl will start Pittsburgh's second preseason game in Montreal, which seemingly sets him up to pitch the team's third regular season game, Adam Berry of MLB.com reports.
Impact: Although the Pirates have not made anything official yet, all signs point to Kuhl following Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon in their starting rotation to begin the year. The 24-year-old right-hander will look to build on a respectable rookie stint with the Pirates last season, in which he posted a 4.20 ERA and 0.9 WAR in 70.2 innings of work.
News: Meadows was reassigned to the Pirates' minor-league camp Monday.
Impact: A top prospect in the Pirates' system, Meadows doesn't look to be far away from making his big-league debut, but with no existing openings in the outfield, he'll presumably open the season with Triple-A Indianapolis in order to pick up everyday at-bats. Unless the Pirates decide to trade away Andrew McCutchen or if either McCutchen, Gregory Polanco or Starling Marte falls victim to injury, it may be difficult for the 21-year-old to see extended action in the majors in 2017.
News: Cervelli was scratched from Sunday's lineup due to the recurrence of a foot injury, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports. "Francisco continues to have a little bit of soreness in the foot, so we just want to make sure that we take care of him," general manager Neal Huntington said.
Impact: He had an active game Saturday, legging out a triple, but it's never encouraging when a player -- and especially a catcher -- faces chronic foot pain in spring training. Backup Chris Stewart has also had a difficult time staying on the field, potentially opening up additional action for Elias Diaz at some point in 2017.
News: Taillon allowed two runs in six innings in a minor-league game at Pirate City on Sunday, Pirates Prospects reports. "I feel really good; I feel healthier than I did last year," Taillon said. "I feel fresher, stronger, more athletic. I'm ready to go."
Impact: Taillon, who will throw a scaled back start later this week to stay sharp, has registered a 3.65 ERA in 12.1 spring innings, including a 10:4 K:BB. He worked on his two changeup grips Sunday. "I'm lucky I have a feel for both. I can go back and forth," Taillon said. "If I'm throwing 80 percent four seams one day, my two seam doesn't feel good, I can throw 80 percent four-seam changeups that day." After missing all of 2014 and 2015, the righty threw a combined 165.2 innings split between the minors and majors last season. As a result, he shouldn't face an innings restriction in 2017.
News: Osuna, who is hitting .417 in 48 at-bats, is facing an uphill battle in his fight to make the Opening Day roster, DK Pittsburgh Sports reports.
Impact: The first baseman/outfielder has done everything possible to earn a spot, but his fate will probably come down to whether the team keeps four or five starting pitchers to open 2017. There's also a slim possibility Gregory Polanco (left shoulder) could be placed on the DL, which would increase Osuna's odds. General manager Neal Huntington has stated he'd like to have the right-handed-hitting Osuna in place to face Boston's Chris Sale and other southpaws, but the team currently has more pressing roster matters.