Thursday, March 14, 2013

Bucs - Phils

The Pirates take a road trip to Clearwater this afternoon to take on the Phillies. Kyle McPherson will take the bump against Aaron Cook. The game will start at 1:05, with no radio.

Lineup: Alex Presley LF, Jose Tabata RF, Andrew McCutchen CF, Brad Hawpe 1B, Neil Walker 2B, Brandon Inge 3B, Clint Barmes SS, Mike McKenry C and Kyle McPherson P.

With Clint Robinson and Matt Hague sent to minor league camp and Garrett Jones on ice for awhile, it looks like Hawpe and Gaby will see a lot of duty at first base this week.

Pitchers: Kyle McPherson, Andy Oliver, Kris Johnson, Mike Zagurski and Ryan Reid with Vin Mazzaro and Kyle Waldrop in reserve.

McPherson and Oliver could stand a strong outing, while the three relievers are in the midst of a pretty heated bullpen competition.

  • Tim Williams of Pirates Prospects has an updated injury report on the spring's battered Buccos.
  • Jayson Stark of ESPN has a piece on how Brandon Inge lightened up some brutal running drills with a fantasy walk-off homer.
  • Jeff Sullivan of Fangraphs posted a team-by-team breakdown of the catcher's spot, and ranks the Bucs #23 in MLB. He wrote "...this position shouldn’t be an embarrassment. That’s a step up..."
  • Italy was eliminated from the WBC. They held late-inning leads in the first two games of the double-elimination round, but manager Marco Mazziero opted not to use Jason Grilli, and Team Italia dropped them both. So Grilli got a nice vacation and should be back to work shortly.
  • The Bucs placed seven prospects on Minor League Ball John Sickel's Top 150 List, with four being ranked in his Top 50.
  • Today in Bucco history: In 1969, after recovering from a right shoulder injury, Roberto Clemente banged his left wing chasing a foul pop during a spring game. He started the year 0-for-12, but roared back with a .345 BA, second to Pete Rose’s .348 in a race that went down to the last day. And in 2003, OF Kenny Lofton inked a one year, $1.025M deal with the Pirates. He didn’t last that long, as he was traded to the Cubs on July 23rd with Aramis Ramirez for not very much in Dave Littlefield's most infamous salary dump.

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