Saturday, March 2, 2013

Bucs - Tigers

The Pirates hit the road today, visiting Lakeland to play the Detroit Tigers, with Jeanmar Gomez facing Drew Smyly. The games starts at 1:05 and will be aired by The Fan 93.7.

Lineup: Starling Marte LF, Alex Presley CF, Russell Martin DH, Matt Hague 3B, Travis Snider RF, Josh Harrison 2B, Clint Robinson 1B, Mike McKenry C and Jordy Mercer SS.

Hague has logged more innings at third than first this year, with prospect Matt Curry and minor league vet Clint Robinson likely to start at first for Indy come April. He'll still have Jared Goedert and Jeff Larish to battle for AAA time at the hot corner, a thin position in the Pirates system. Russell Martin is back in the lineup as today's DH after missing a few days with a sore shoulder.

Pitchers: Jeanmar Gomez, Jared Hughes, Kris Johnson, Mark Melancon and Ryan Reid.

Gomez, a dark horse to break camp with the big team, was rocked in his first outing against the Twins, giving up four runs in 1-1/3 innings and is hoping to reestablish his brand. Johnson, who had a breakout 2012 season, is trying to earn some love as a possible second lefty in the Buc bullpen.

  • Marty Noble of noted that "the Pirates' new hitting coach (Jay Bell) is the only player in the long history of the game to have sacrificed at least 30 times in a season and also homered 30 times in a season."
  • Grant Brisbee of Sports Nation posts about a couple of pitchers whose spring stat line will actually make a difference, and includes Jonathan Sanchez. His take is "... what's broken with Sanchez isn't fixed" after his last four-walk performance.
  • Brandon Warne of Fangraphs looks over the Pirate infield
  • Pirate farmhand Stefan Welch homered for Australia's only run in a 4-1 loss to Taiwan in the opening game of the WBC.

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