Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Lineups, Notes, Minor News

The Dodgers will throw RHP Chad Billingsley (8-9, 3.84 ERA) at RHP Kevin Correia (9-6, 4.49) tonight. Somebody's streak gotta end; Billingsley has won four games in a row while Correia has won seven. Billingsley has given up six runs in 26-2/3 innings in his last four starts. KC has gone 8-1 with a 4.08 ERA in his last 12 starts. The game will begin at 7:05 and be aired on Root Sports.

The lineup: Starling Marte LF, Travis Snider RF, Andrew McCutchen CF, Garrett Jones 1B, Neil Walker 2B, Pedro Alvarez 3B, Rod Barajas C, Clint Barmes SS, Kevin Correia P.

The Dodgers have won four of their last five games, and are now 1-1/2 game behind Pittsburgh for the second wild card spot.

  • When Neil Walker went 5-for-5 with a home run on, Sunday for the second time in his career, he joined a small but classy Pirate club. According to Elias Sports Bureau, the only other Buccos to match that feat are Hall of Famers 1B Pops Stargell (1966 & '68) and SS Arky Vaughn (1933 & '39). Walker has stroked a career-high 14 home runs, and has a shot at Bill Mazeroski's club record of 19 hit in 1958.
  • Garrett Jones has gone 15-for-38 (.395) with four doubles and eight RBI in 12 games this month. He's put together a slash of .282/17/57 so far this season. 
  • BTW, don't look now but the Atlanta Braves are going to a 6-man rotation for a spell. Like the Pirates, the have a 20-day streak of games and an overload of starters.
  • Tim Williams of Pirates Prospects has the Baseball America list of players with the best tools by organization and league, which is behind a subscriber wall. The Bucco minor leaguers named were Indy RHP Tim Wood (best reliever); Bradenton's RHP Jameson Taillon (best pitcher, best curve ball), 1B Alex Dickerson (best defensive 1B), SS Gift Ngoepe (best defensive SS), and CF Mel Rojas (best defensive OF'er); West Virginia's SS Alen Hansen (most exciting player) and OF Gregory Polanco (best OF arm).
  • JJ Cooper of Baseball America on Polanco: "He has plus-plus speed, good plate discipline, some oppo field power already, plays a very good CF with an excellent arm. And he has great makeup from what his coaches say. He's a stud who should only get better and better." He added later that he thinks the Pirates are "are a Top 10 (minor league) system."
  • In BA's Hot Sheet, they wrote that Indy LHP "(Jeff) Locke looks like a solid bet to be at least a back-end starter, but there could be even more in there." He's in the Bucco bullpen right now, and did look good in his one appearance.
  • Jim Callis of BA likes the young pups in the system, too. When asked about Luis Heredia's ceiling, he said "Frontline starting pitcher."

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