Lineup: Starling Marte LF, Alex Presley CF, Russell Martin C, Pedro Alvarez 3B, Garrett Jones 1B, Travis Snider RF, Ivan DeJesus 2B, Jordy Mercer SS and Mike McKenry DH.
Jones is back after tweaking his oblique. Presley is in center; we thought maybe Marte would be there instead. Clint Hurdle is so far using Martin like he uses Neil Walker; all over the lineup.
Pitchers: Jonathan Sanchez, Jeanmar Gomez,Chris Leroux and Brooks Brown.
Sanchez and Gomez are hanging on by their fingernails, while Leroux is returning from his stay with the Canadian WBC team and getting his first Pirate action in awhile.
- The Bucs continue to pare the roster. C Tony Sanchez and LHP Andy Oliver were optioned to Indy after yesterday's game.
- Jack Moore of Fangraphs rates Neil Walker among the Top Ten MLB 2B'men. He writes "...it’s clear he’s the best second baseman to suit up in Pittsburgh since Johnny Ray held the keystone in the early 1980s."
- Matt Klaasen of Fangraphs isn't as impressed with the Pirates first base combo, and posts that "the first base situation does not look pretty, but...could actually work pretty well if the Pirates consistently platooned Jones and Sanchez at first." That's the plan, Matt.
- Derrek Lee told the Yankees that he would stay retired, thank you. So he ended his 15 year career in 2011 wearing a Bucco uniform.
- March 15, 1977 - IF Phil Garner, P Chris Batton and IF Tommy Helms were traded to the Bucs by Oakland for OF Tony Armas, P Doug Bair, P Dave Giusti, P Rick Langford, P Doc Medich and 1B Mitchell Page.
- March 15, 1978 - The Pirates signed free agent RHP Jim Bibby. In five years with the Bucs, the big righty went 50-32 with a 3.53 ERA. Originally inked to be a closer, he instead became a key member of the 1979 World Series rotation and was an All-Star in 1980.
- March 15, 2008 - Five days after unilaterally renewing his contract, the Pirates signed RHP Ian Snell to a three-year deal worth $8M with options for 2011-12. The 26-year old, who was arbitration eligible after 2009 season, had a 24-26 record after two years in the show.