Saturday, April 30, 2011

Rox Notes

-- Paul Maholm goes against Jason Hammel at 8:10 PM today. The game will be shown on Root Sports. The game temperature will be in the thirties with a 30% chance of late snowflakes.

-- Today's lineup: Andrew McCutchen CF, Jose Tabata LF, Garrett Jones RF, Neil Walker 2B, Lyle Overbay 1B, Chris Snyder C, Pedro Alvarez 3B, Ronny Cedeno SS, Paul Maholm P.

-- A victory against Colorado in either of the next two nights would give the Pirates their fourth road series victory, as many as they had in all of 2010. You can thank the pitching for that. Last year's road ERA was 5.48; this season it's a much more manageable 4.13 (the MLB road average is 3.94).

-- Dejan Kovacevic of the Post Gazette has an interesting piece on the Bucco defense. Rated as bottom-dwellers in the standard benchmarks of errors and fielding percentage, it ranks sixth in MLB in UZR with a 6.5 rating. A contradiction? Not really. It just shows that the range is pretty good, but the consistency isn't there.

Ronny Cedeno is the poster child. His UZR of 18.5 is second among SS's, but he has five errors. Great range, poor focus. He's anecdotal proof that great plays are usually made because of athleticism and instinct; routine plays are the product of technique, preparation and repetition.

So the good news of the "half-full, half-empty" issue is that the players have the ability and should be capable of being coached up into making the bread and butter plays.

-- Speaking of Cedeno, his triple last night was the first for the team in 2011. The Bucs were the only MLB team not to have a three-bagger before RC's gapper.

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