Saturday, April 14, 2012

Saturday Morning Stuff

RHP Charlie Morton will make his first start of the year against the Giants LHP Barry Zito tonight. Zito tossed a shutout against the Rockies in his 2012 debut. The game begins at 9:05 PM and will be shown on Root Sports.

  • Despite giving up a season-high five runs yesterday, Pittsburgh hurlers have a 2.70 ERA (NL average - 3.64), including a 2.88 mark from its starters. The only downer is that they've gotten just 40 K's in 60 IP, but that's offset by a league leading .916 WHIP. The G-Men are a good test. The Giants are averaging 5.4 runs per game and have scored four or more runs in all seven games this year.
  • Pirate free agents Clint Barmes and Rod Barajas are 3-for-36 (.083) with 11 K's and no walks during the opening week of play. Also off to icy starts are Neil Walker and Garrett Jones, who are 3-for-35 (.086) with 9 Ks and a walk between them. And then there's Pedro Alvarez, who is 1-for-16 (.063) with 10 Ks.
  • Cutch's five-game hit streak came to an end against Matt Cain.
  • The Pirates haven't had a hit with RISP since they left Pittsburgh.
  • It's early, but Joel Hanrahan has yet to pitch in a save situation this season. He does have a win against Philly.
  • There were some solid pitching performances in the minors on Friday. Brad Lincoln went seven innings for Indy, giving up two runs on six hits with 3 Ks. Nate Baker threw a two-hit shutout in his six innings of work for Altoona, walking three and striking out one. And Bradenton's Jameson Taillon went five frames, allowing a run on three hits with six whiffs.
  • West Virginia SS Alen Hanson was on Baseball America's Hotsheet "Helium Watch." They say that "he profiles as an offensive-oriented, switch-hitting middle infielder."
  • Looking ahead, Chris Crawford of MLB Draft Insider held a a mock draft, with the Pirates selecting Texas A&M RHP Michael Wacha, a fastball-change up-hook pitcher with outstanding control.
  • Aaron Harang of the Dodgers struck out nine consecutive Padres last night, coming within one of tying Tom Terrific's 1970 record of ten straight punchouts.
  • A-Rod hit his first homer of the season off the Angels Ervin Santana, moving into a tie with former teammate Ken Griffey Jr. for fifth place on the all-time list with 630 career homers.
  • The cost of doing business: Jayson Starks of ESPN notes that "This will be the first season ever in which no teams have a payroll of less than $50 million. As recently as last year, there were five."
  • A couple of vets signed one-day contracts so they could retire from their team of choice - Pat Burrell with Philadelphia and Mike Cameron with Seattle. Cameron had eight different teams to choose from, although he did spend four years with the Ms.

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