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Pirates begin camp with mix of questions, optimism

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BRADENTON, Fla. (AP) - Pittsburgh Pirates manager Clint Hurdle says he doesn't dig his cleats into the dirt anymore when he's on the field, perhaps because he's spending so much time digging through his roster trying to find 25 players to bring back to Pittsburgh in six weeks.

The Pirates have their first full squad workout on Friday and while the core group remains largely intact from last year's 79-83 club, there are plenty of questions that need to be answered by the time the season opens April 1 against Philadelphia.

The biggest may be at the back end of the starting rotation, where Jeff Locke and Kyle McPherson join a host of others looking to become the fifth starter until free agent signee Francisco Liriano returns from a broken right arm.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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