Kovacevic: Pirates can’t afford to be closing doors


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Jose Osuna prepares to hit Wednesday at PNC Park. - GENE J. PUSKAR / AP

Bob Nutting was the first to proclaim the Pirates weren't rebuilding, then Travis Williams, then Ben Cherington, then Derek Shelton, then everybody in Bradenton, and now we're seeing it with our own eyes here at PNC Park.

Unless, of course, anyone can explain why soon-to-be-36-year-old Jarrod Dyson will start in center, why a static commodity like Colin Moran will "be at third most of the time" per Shelton, why Jose Osuna still isn't assured of steady work even with a DH rule and, above all, why kids like Cole Tucker and Ke'Bryan Hayes might not make it onto the field at all.

That's not for show, my friends. That's real.

A lower payroll doesn't signify a rebuild. A younger, more future-focused lineup does. And all of the above points powerfully in the opposite direction.

What's the exact direction?

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