Wednesday, April 4, 2012

A Day Away...

  • Erik Bedard will kick off the season tomorrow at PNC in the 1:35 PM opener against Roy Halladay and the Phils. It will be Bedard's third opening day assignment. The game is a sellout. Jeff Karstens and James McDonald will work the weekend match-ups before the Bucs take off on a nine game West Coast trip.
  • The expected opening day lineup: Alex Presley, LF; Jose Tabata, RF: Andrew McCutchen, CF; Neil Walker, 2B; Garrett Jones, 1B; Rod Barajas, C; Pedro Alvarez, 3B; Clint Barmes, SS and Bedard, P.
  • The Pirates announced that today's workout will be open to the public, free of charge and with some giveaways. It starts at 3:00 PM and runs til 5:00 PM. Fans can enter through the Legacy Square Gates (located in left field off General Robinson Street). The gates will open at 2:30 PM. 
  • The FO still has a couple of paperwork chores to complete by 5 PM - one player has to be sent down to reach 25 on the roster and another has to be taken off the 40-man list to open a space for Juan Cruz, along with officially putting AJ Burnett on the DL. Those last DL moves mean the current roster is a temporary thing, as they'll have to send down a couple more players when Charlie Morton and Burnett return to action in the coming weeks.
  • Lost in all the spring sidebars was the Buccos' camp results. The Pirates ended up with a 9-20-2 record during the spring. At least a half dozen of those loses were due to bullpen implosions. The team lost its finale 7-2 to the Phils yesterday, as Chris Leroux and Tim Wood got beat up in the fifth inning to the tune of four runs.  
  • The final spring stats: the leading pair of hitters with 25+ at-bats were Starling Marte at .520 and Matt Hague at .400. The top ERAs for 10+ innings belonged to Jeff Karstens at 2.12 and Jason Grilli at 2.45.
  • Dan Wade of Fangraphs divided the NL starters into a dozen tiers of ability, usually with a handful of guys per tier. No Pirate shows up until the ninth tier, when Erik Bedard and J-Mac appear.
  • In disappointing but not unexpected news, the Pirates are in the bottom five franchises in Fan Loyalty according to the Brand Keys Sports Loyalty Index. Sid Bream really started a domino effect, hey?
  • Kinda good news for ex-Bucco 1B Steve Pearce: Chad Jennings of the NY Journal News reports that "The Yankees have released 1B Jorge Vazquez (who hit 32 AAA bombs in 2011). A source says the team preferred free agent addition Steve Pearce at first base in Triple-A."

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