Friday, July 27, 2012

Rumors, Marte HR Vid, Lineup, Notes

RHP Jeff Karstens (3-2, 3.52 ERA) tries to keep the good times rolling against Astros RHP Jordan Lyles (2-7, 5.50). Pittsburgh has won 7-of-10; the 'Stros are 0-for-10, and that pretty much tells the tale. The game starts at 8:05 and will be aired on Root Sports.

The Lineup: Starling Marte LF, Alex Presley RF, Andrew McCutchen CF, Garrett Jones 1B, Neil Walker 2B, Pedro Alvarez 3B, Mike McKenry C, Clint Barmes SS, Jeff Karstens P.

OK, two days, two lineup configurations for Marte, with Jones at first and Presley in right tonight. We like it; last night Jones was in right and McGehee at first against the lefty Keuchel. And we pity the fool fly ball that tries to find a landing spot with Marte, Cutch and The King roaming the OF.

Notes & News:
  • A.J. Burnett is the first Pittsburgh pitcher to win 12 of his first 15 decisions, primarily as a starter, since lefty Emil Yde in 1924 per the Elias Sports Bureau. Yde finished up 16-3, and won one of those games as a reliever - for 10-1/3 innings!
  • Joel Hanrahan is the second pitcher in team history to save 30 games or more in back-to-back seasons (ditto for Kent Tekulve in 1978-79).
  • Rob Biertempfel of the Tribune Review reported that "Righty Juan Cruz, who’s on the disabled list with shoulder inflammation, is expected to soon resume throwing in rehab. He’s eligible to come off the DL on August 2nd." 
  • What kind of kid is Starling Marte? He's giving his HR ball to his nana, who raised him after his mom died when he was ten. 
  • Remember when the Pirate baseball season officially ended the day the Steelers reported to camp?
  • Not exactly day in history stuff, but Chris Jaffe of Hardball Times posted "5,000 Days Since Giles-Rincon Trade." That was one of Cam Bonifay's best deals, swapping LHP Ricardo Rincon for OF Brian Giles during the 1998 off-season.
  • Jonah Keri of Grantland Rice thinks that Justin Morneau or Bryan LaHair would form a nice platoon partnership with Casey McGehee at first. 
  • Joel Sherman of the New York Times tweeted that "One GM mentioned the Pirates as place for RH OF like Vernon Wells. Maybe doing something with Correia and big sum of cash..." 
  • Jayson Stark of ESPN said it's about brass tacks time for Chase Headley. "Of the four primary bidders, the Pirates and Indians appear less motivated to do this now than they might over the winter. But Oakland and Baltimore haven't backed off. They (SD) have told other teams their plan was to spend Friday sifting through offers and narrowing the field, then get down to business. Talks will go at least into the weekend. And make no mistake: Mega-deal is almost a mild description of what the Padres have in mind." 
  • Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reported that "the Pirates are not currently optimistic about their search for a hitter. Few available, prices high. Plenty of time for that to change."
  • Tom Singer of on trades yet to be made: GM Neal Huntington remains on the prowl for a three-dimensional outfielder (bat, glove, legs). The Rodriguez acquisition set in motion a deal in which another starter (or perhaps minor league starter) would be dealt for the outfielder the Pirates need. Starling Marte's long-awaited promotion supports that possibility. His arrival five days prior to the Trade Deadline is meant to send the message to teams Huntington is negotiating with that says, "If you don't move on the acquisition cost, we can find help internally." Byzantine, hey?
  • Jerry Crasnick of ESPN on the attractiveness of someone trading for Kevin Corriea: "He's only owed $1M the rest of the way." He speculated that interested teams could be the "Indians, Orioles, maybe Diamondbacks, Dodgers or Cardinals if other things don't work out."

If you missed Starling Marte's first at-bat last night:

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