-- It might not be such a great day for baseball in the Windy City. There's fog, lightning, and thunder now, with rain predicted. (And they announced a delay at about 1:15) Better them...
-- Jeff Karstens goes against Ryan Dempster. The first pitch is at 2:20 and will be shown on Root Sports.
-- The lineup: Jose Tabata LF, Garrett Jones RF, Andrew McCutchen CF, Neil Walker 2B, Lyle Overbay 1B, Ryan Doumit C, Brandon Wood 3B, Ronny Cedeno SS, Jeff Karstens P.
Pearce is off; no definitive word concerning his calf injury, except that there's no improvement yet. Jones looks like he's got the two-hole against righties.
-- The road warriors will travel to New York to play the Mets on Monday. NY won six out of seven in 2010 and swept Pittsburgh at Citi Field in September.
-- From Rob Biertempfel of the Tribune Review: " Just thinking aloud here: It would make a lot of sense to lock up closer Joel Hanrahan to a multi-year deal. Something like three years, $20 million might work. Hanny will make $1.4 million this year and has two years of arbitration eligibility remaining. He’d probably be in line to get upwards of $5 million in 2012 through arby."
The Bucs have a couple of contract decisions to face; McCutch is also high on the list. It's slowly getting close to the point where they have to pony up to keep guys around. And you can bet the fans will be keeping notes on whether they sign or trade their core.
-- The Bucs have 15 road wins; it took the team until September to reach that total last year.