Friday, May 4, 2012

Lineup, Notes

RHP Johnny Cueto (3-0, 1.39) matches with RHP Kevin Correia (1-1, 2.42). Cueto has been red hot, and Correia has been pretty strong himself so it should be a nice duel. Both bullpens are among the NL's best right now, too. The game starts at 7:05 and will be shown on Root Sports. It's also the free game on MLB.TV.

The Lineup: Jose Tabata RF, Alex Presley LF, Nate McLouth CF, Neil Walker 2B, Pedro Alvarez 3B, Garrett Jones 1B, Clint Barmes SS, Rod Barajas C, Kevin Correia P.

Cutch still has a touch of the flu, and remains a pretty sick puppy. 

  • Jose Tabata has hit safely in eight of his last nine games, Neil Walker in seven of his last eight games and Garrett Jones in six of his last seven.
  • Kevin Correia is 7-1 with a 4.69 ERA in 15 games against the Reds.
  • The Bucs are trying to win back-to-back games tonight for the first time since April 17-18 in Arizona.
  • Pedro Alvarez has homered in three of his last four games and hit.424 with four doubles, five home runs and 10 RBI in his last nine games. He now leads all MLB third basemen with a .623 slugging percentage.
  • Beginning tonight, the Pirates are scheduled to play 18 of their remaining 25 games this month at PNC Park.


WilliamJPellas said...

Good to see the bats finally starting to heat up a bit, though I think this team is still at least one and, really, two legitimate hitters away from a contender-type of lineup. Obviously the two weakest links are Barajas and Barmes, though if they hit to their career averages they're not exactly helpless with a bat in their hands, particularly in terms of hitting home runs. But they came in as competent veteran placeholders---nothing more than that, really---so the true tale of the Pirates will be told in 2013-2014, when we see who the presumably longer-term figures will be at short and behind the plate. It will be interesting to see if anyone from among Tony Sanchez, Chase d'Arnaud, and Jordy Mercer can put a hammerlock on a starting position---and from there, to see if they're actually better than Barmes and/or Barajas.

Ron Ieraci said...

We knew coming into the season that the bottom of the order - Barmes and Barajas - would bite us. They have some pop, but sub-.300 OBP.

Dunno about short; d'Arnaud has been out with a concussion. The best looking prospect has been Alen Hanson, but he's 19 and in the Sally League. I kinda like Mercer, but have to admit that I've seen very little of him to know if he's capable of being an everyday guy.

Sanchez and Fryer aren't really hitting very well yet; we'll see how they're doing mid-season.

You didn't mention him, but Presley's running into problems, too - those soft rollers aren't becoming infield hits anymore. I like to see a guy get to 300 AB before forming an opinion, but right now, if Starling Marte would catch fire, Presley is the guy in trouble.

WilliamJPellas said...

Agreed. And if Marte doesn't heat up or just needs more seasoning at Triple A, it just might be that Nate McLouth will be your starting left fielder over the second half of the season. While I love Presley's 1970s throwback style, he is definitely struggling, and part of me would love to see Nate have the chance to reclaim his career.

Ron Ieraci said...

Marte just got plunked in the hand yesterday, Will, and no word yet on the severity of the injury. As there seems to be little love for Gorkys, how Presley and McLouth play out could be an interesting sidebar as the year goes on.