-- Paul Maholm and Randy Wells will take the hill this afternoon. The game begins at 1:05 PM and will aired on Root Sports.
-- Today's lineup: Jose Tabata LF, Garrett Jones RF, Andrew McCutchen CF, Neil Walker 2B, Lyle Overbay 1B, Steve Pearce 3B, Chris Snyder C, Ronny Cedeno SS, Paul Maholm P.
Jones replaces Pearce in the two-hole against righties in Clint Hurdle's new lineup shuffle, and Pearce seems to have earned the nod over Brandon Wood in Pedro's absence, at least until his next back-to-back 0-fers.
-- Randy Wells was activated from the DL and will be making just his second start of the season today.
-- Well, that was a quick bounce-back. Danny Moskos has returned to the show, and as the only southpaw will presumably get a little more work as Joe Beimel was put on the 15 day DL with elbow inflammation.
-- Buster Olney of ESPN has a piece on Joel Hanrahan's emergence as a top gun closer. All but the first few sentences are behind a pay wall, so be forewarned.
-- Couple of obscure but still kinda neat factoids re: Kevin Correia, tweeted by the team's Bucs Insider account: a) he's the first Pirates pitcher since Jason Schmidt in 1998 to own or share the big-league lead in wins (7) on May 27 or later, and b) he's also the first Pirates pitcher with at least six road wins before June since 1929, when future Hall-of-Famer Burleigh Grimes went 6-0 away from Forbes Field, per Elias Sports Bureau. (Grimes was a Pirate in 1928-29, winning 41 games.)
-- Pedro has been sent to extended spring training at Bradenton to work on his stroke a bit while calming his strained quad. He'll have a unique early rehab - they'll let him bat, but he can't run out any of his hits. Clint Hurdle told the beat gang that "They'll fetch the ball like a Frisbee, throw it back in and the next guy will come up."
Ohlie has also reported there to continue his painfully slow rehab from a bum shoulder.
-- The Pirate road record in 2011 is 14-12. They were 17-64 on the road last year. Now if they can only regain their PNC Park mojo. They're 9-14 at home this season, where they broke just about even last year, finishing 40-41.
-- The Bucs are starting a busy stretch of games, beginning with this series. They'll play 10 straight days, take a day off, then play another 16 in a row.
-- Andrew Lambo has been out of the Indy lineup since Sunday, but he's not hurt. After John Bowker's arrival, the FO decided to work on straightening out some mechanical issues in the cage rather than during games. The 22 year old's line is .212/3/15.
-- Jim Callis of Baseball America still has the Bucs taking Anthony Rendon as the top selection in this year's draft.