Saturday, June 23, 2012

Lineup, Notes, Random Stuff

This afternoon's matchup features the Tigers' RHP Max Scherzer (6-4, 5.17 ERA) squaring off against RHP Brad Lincoln (3-2, 3.82). Scherzer mowed down Buccos like they were little leaguers last time he faced them, K'ing 15. For Bad Brad, it may be his last opportunity to keep his foot stuck in the rotation door. On the plus side, it's Lincoln's first start at home after four outings on the road. There's one more start remaining on Thursday that's open before Jeff Karstens returns, and it's listed as TBA - and who fills that turn might be determined at PNC today. The game starts at 4:05 and will be broadcast on Root Sports.

The lineup: Alex Presley LF, Jose Tabata RF, Andrew McCutchen CF, Garrett Jones 1B, Neil Walker 2B, Pedro Alvarez 3B, Rod Barajas C, Josh Harrison SS, Lincoln P.

JT is back in the lineup, sitting Casey McGehee down. Josh Harrison gets another start at short for Clint Barmes. So we're still curious what point is served by Jordy Mercer's bench presence. If he's not gonna play in Pittsburgh, let him get some PT at Indy. Our take is that Clint Barmes is blocking both he and Harrison, who should both be getting a longer look to see if either can handle the SS job.

  • The Pirates are said to be looking for offense, and maybe they should start at the top. The 1-2 spots in the lineup have a .236 BA and .275 OBP.
  • The middle of the order has needs, too. The team slash line is .224/10/56. Adam Laroche alone is hitting .250/12/43. The 6-7 guys have a line of .236/19/56; that's generally where Pedro and Hot Rod bat.
  • Cutch has gone 14-for-25 (.560) in his last six games. He's banged out multi-hit games in 6 of his last 8 contests, including a 3-for-4 effort last night.
  • When Pedro was intentionally walked in yesterday's game, it was his first IBB of the season and only the third of his career.
  • Pat Lackey at WHYGAVS doesn't think the Bucs have much interest in Kevin Youkilis. We hope he's right; they should be focused on a player that can help them down the road, not a rental. Rob Biertemfel of the Tribune Review tweeted that the "Pirates won't give up front-line prospect (Taillon, Cole, Marte) for Youkilis. Might offer 2nd-tier guy if they get lots of cash in deal."
  • Kristy Robinson of Pirates Prospects has a piece on AJ Burnett's turnaround in Pittsburgh. Hey, even grizzled vets are at heart just boys that wanna have fun.
  • Justin Wilson had another strong outing at Indy. The lefty went six innings, giving up a run on one hit and three walks with eight K. He threw 108 pitches, so he's stretched out. The walks are a little worrisome yet, but it's good news that he's rooted in the rotation for good after spending some serious bullpen time for the Tribe in 2011.
  • Tim Williams at Pirate Prospects has a good read on some young Buccos - Clay Holmes, Luis Heredia, Jacob Stallings and Barrett Barnes - that gives a snapshot of the youngsters' talents and mindsets.

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