Monday, March 4, 2013

Bucs - Phils

The Pirates host Philadelphia at McKechnie Field. AJ Burnett starts against John Lannan. The game starts at 1:05 and won't be on radio.

Lineup: Starling Marte LF, Alex Presley CF, Travis Snider RF, Gaby Sanchez 1B,  Russell Martin DH, Mike McKenry C, Jared Goedert 3B, Jordy Mercer SS and Chase d'Arnaud 2B.

Martin has been slowly stretching his shoulder, and he's in today's lineup as a DH. Goedert has had a sweet start; his OPS is 1.155.

Pitchers: AJ Burnett, Wandy Rodriguez, Kris Johnson, Vic Black, Duke Welker and Hunter Strickland.

The Bucs send their one-two punch out on the bump today.

  • Jason Grilli left camp to join Team Italy in the WBC. After today's game, Wandy Rodriguez will leave Florida to pitch for the Dominican club. Stephan Welch is already playing for Australia, and the Canadian team with Chris Leroux and Jameson Taillon have an exhibition tomorrow and start pool play on Friday. Those two packed their bags yesterday, too.
  • Jeff Karstens is on the road back. He's pitched some bullpen sessions and live BP, and so far hasn't had any recurring pain.
  • RHP Brooks Brown, who the Bucs picked up this season as a minor league FA, has a shot at breaking camp in the Bucco bullpen, per Tom Singer of We'd like to see a little more of him; 4-2/3 frames in March isn't much to go on yet. Singer also reports that Jose Contreras is throwing bullpens and is ahead of his rehab schedule at this point.
  • Yesterday was reporting day for the Bucs' minor league camp. It officially opens today (although most guys have been here along with the MLB candidates, drilling at Pirate City). That also is a harbinger for the first round of cuts, expected later in the week.
  • Happy birthday, Mike McKenry. The Buc catcher turns 28 today.
  • Today is the anniversary of Pittsburgh’s most famous manager meltdown. In 1991, Jim Leyland was caught on camera as he blasted Barry Bonds at camp following a media spat. The redacted version of Leyland’s message went something like “I’ve kissed your (bleep!) for three (bleeping!) years here and I’m sick of this. If you guys don’t want to be here then get the (bleep!) out!”

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