Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Notes, Lineup, Tabata To Indy, Silly Stats

The Astros will send RHP Lucas Harrell (7-6, 4.33 ERA) to duel RHP A.J. Burnett (9-2, 3.31 ERA) tonight. Harrell is a sinker/slider guy that gets a lot of balls hit in the dirt. AJ hasn't lost since since the discovery of fire, or so it seems. The game begins at 7:05 and will be shown on Root Sports if the thunder gods cooperate; there's a 40% of rain throughout the late afternoon and evening.

The lineup: Alex Presley LF, Neil Walker 2B, Andrew McCutchen CF, Garrett Jones RF, Casey McGehee 1B, Pedro Alvarez 3B, Rod Barajas C, Clint Barmes SS, AJ Burnett P. Edit - Pedro is a late (5:30) scratch: Presley 7 Sutton 9 McCutchen 9 Jones 3 Walker 4 McGehee 5 Barajas 2 Barmes 6 Burnett 1

All Some of the banged up Bucs are back - Cutch returned yesterday, Pedro and Hot Rod today - so it's the usual suspects in the lineup tonight.

  • The Pirates swapped outfielders with Indy. Jose Tabata's oft threatened demotion finally happened; Gorkys Hernandez was called up. Gorkys was used mainly as a late inning defensive sub in his first visit to the big club. JT was hitting .230 with a .295 OBP, and just clearly misfiring in all areas. Ever since he pulled his quad, he's been a hot mess. Don't fret about Starling Marte; they already are grooming him in RF at Indianapolis. The best guesstimates are that he'll join the team soon after the All-Star break.
  • Marc Normandin of Baseball Nation thinks the Bucs are legit.
  • So sez Elias Sports Bureau:  The Pirates have scored 36 runs on 57 hits & 8 HRs in the last 4 games. Since 1950, the Pirates have had that many runs, hits and HRs over any 4-game span only twice: July 1991 & May 2006. So they've gone from historically bad to historically awesome in a month.
  • Earl Weaver loves it: The Pirates have scored at least 3 runs in an inning in each of their last 6 games for the first time since since May 2006, also from Elias.
  • The Astros have lost 25 of 35 games and their last seven on the road.
  • RHP Chris Leroux's rehab stint ends tomorrow. Looks like one of he, Chris Resop or Juan Cruz will be DFA'ed to clear the roster. Jared Hughes, Tony Watson and Brad Lincoln have options, but we don't see the Pirates sending any of them down.
  • John Perrotto of Baseball Prospectus told Seibel, Starkey and Miller on Sportsradio 93-7 The FAN that he can confirm that the Pirates have talked with the Philadelphia Phillies about Cole Hamels to see what the asking price would be. Due diligence or true interest?
  • Andrew McCutchen has 5 games with 4-or-more hits, the most in MLB so far this year.
  • Indy's LHP Justin Wilson last night: six scoreless IP, 1 H, 1 BB, and 4 K. People are talking about Starling Marte's turn in the show; how about Rudy Owens, Jeff Locke and Wilson?
  • Marc Hulet of Fangraphs is likin' RHP Luis Heredia.
  • Pittsburgh signed Dominican 3B'man Julio De La Cruz for $700K. The 16 year old was considered one of the top twenty international prospects and perhaps the best pure hitter available.
  • The Pirates signed 24th-round pick Tyler Gaffney, an outfielder out of Stanford. He didn't have a very impressive year (.245/2/17) for the Cardinal, but until this season was a two-sport guy, also playing football as a RB. He may have a little more upside than the usual senior pick now that he's focusing on one sport.

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