Sunday, June 26, 2011


RHP James McDonald (5-4, 4.86) goes against LHP Andrew Miller (0-0, 4.76) this afternoon. The game starts at 1:35 PM and be aired on Root Sports.

Lineup: Jose Tabata LF, Chase d'Arnaud 3B, Andrew McCutchen CF, Neil Walker 2B, Matt Diaz RF, Lyle Overbay 1B, Ronny Cedeno SS, Eric Fryer C, James McDonald C.

Oddly, your basic lineup against a lefty; no get-away day rests. Eric Fryer gets his first start today, giving Mike McKenry a blow. We'll see how his defense is; Dusty Brown had some problems with carrying J-Mac's curve outside the zone. Hopefully, Fryer has a quieter glove and will get him a couple more calls.

  • Eric Fryer will make his MLB debut this afternoon and will be the seventh different catcher used by the club this season. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that's the most catchers used by the team since 1953, when they sent eight players behind the dish.
  • Add Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated to the growing list of fans. He tweeted that "Joel Hanrahan is probably the best reliever in baseball right now."
  • J-Mac and Bosox OF'er Darnell McDonald are cousins. They've never faced one another, and Darnell isn't in today's lineup. Neither is Big Papi. $12.5M seems like a lot of green for a pinch hitter.
  • The Baseball America Hotsheet selected Indy 1B Matt Hague as its #3 hot shot this week. They said "...all he's done is hit at every level." First base has recently becoming a very interesting spot in the Pittsburgh organization with Matt Curry and Aaron Baker on the upswing, too.
  • Want to hear some high praise? Will Lingo of Baseball America has a capsule report on the Futures World team, and says this about Altoona CF Starling Marte: "Marte has the speed and defensive ability to push Andrew McCutchen to an outfield corner when he arrives in Pittsburgh. He just needs to continue improving his plate discipline." 
  • Jim Shonerd of Baseball America, when asked about Stetson Allie's future, said "That'll depend on how his secondary stuff comes along. I'd let him stay a starter as long as I could, but if you made make a prediction, I would say he does end up in the bullpen eventually." And yes, three mentions in this week's BA bodes well for the future of Pittsburgh's minor league system.
  • John Grupp of the Tribune Review has a piece on little publicized Bucco bullpen coach Euclides Rojas, who holds the record for saves for the Cuban national team and voted with his feet when he rafted to America and freedom with his family.
  • Tim Britton of the Providence Journal rehashes the Jay Bay deal, and writes that "There are a lot of reasons the Pirates have struggled in the National League Central for so many years. But the lack of return in the Jason Bay trade is one of the biggest."

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