News: General manager Neal Huntington said Monday that Moran would open the season in a reserve role after Jung Ho Kang was named the team's starting third baseman, Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic reports.
Impact: While serving as the Pirates' primary starter at the position last season, Moran didn't build on the power gains he had demonstrated at the Triple-A level in 2017. He delivered a solid .277 average while striking out in only 17.6 percent of his 465 plate appearances, but finished with only 31 extra-base hits, including 11 home runs. Per Adam Berry of MLB.com, Huntington cited Kang's superior defense as a reason why the veteran emerged as the winner in the job battle, but the five home runs the 31-year-old has already slugged this spring might have also factored heavily into the team's decision. With the Pirates now set to roll with Kang at the hot corner, Moran will get some work in at first base in the final week of camp as he looks to increase his usefulness as a reserve player.