Lineup: Starling Marte LF, Jose Tabata RF, Andrew McCutchen CF, Garrett Jones 1B, Neil Walker 2B, Brandon Inge 3B, Jordy Mercer SS, Mike McKenry C and Kyle McPherson P.
Hurdle is starting to get the starters ready; Inge and Mercer are the only fringe guys in today's lineup.
Pitchers: Kyle McPherson and ?
McPherson gets maybe his last chance to make an impression. We think the Bucs are down to the nitty-gritty. After this weekend, if not sooner, they're going to have to get the roster close to finalized and get ready for the season.
- David Manel of Bucs Dugout takes a peek in the crystal ball to calculate the Pirates 2013 win total as projected by WAR.
- Fangraphs continues its positional power ranking series. Michael Barr picks the Bucs LF spot as 11th best in MLB. He adds "Between Marte and McCutchen, the Pirates have to be pretty pleased with two thirds of their outfield for the foreseeable future, and if Tabata can realize his potential and grab the starting role in right, the Bucs could be set for years..."
- The Bucs announced to the beat gang that they released six minor league guys, including RHP Mike Colla, 26, who was thought to still be on the radar as a middle-reliever type. Mike Sanserino of the Post-Gazette tweeted that Jared Lakind, 21, drafted as a 1B, will be switched to pitching. The lefty touched the low nineties as a prep pitcher. Guess that's to balance out Stetson Allie's flip.
- Rob Biertempfel of the Tribune Review noted that SS Chase d'Arnaud had surgery on his thumb earlier in the week and is expected to miss 6-8 weeks.
- Buc first base prospect Alex Dickerson has had back problems since his college days. Tim Williams of Pirates Prospects posts that the team hopes it's found the solution - shoe inserts!
- More ex-Buccos earn their release: SS Ronny Cedeno was set free by the Cards and IF Dallas McPherson by the Dodgers.
- The Dominican Republic won the WBC, whipping Puerto Rico 3-0 yesterday. They certainly earned the title - they were the first club in tournament history to go undefeated through all the rounds. For all their strong pitching, Robinson Cano ended up as the WBC-MVP.
- This day in history: In 1937, the Homestead Grays acquired future Hall of Famers Josh Gibson and Judy Johnson for $2,500 in cash and a pair of journeymen players after Pittsburgh Crawfords owner Gus Greenlee was forced to unload his stars for financial reasons. And in 1973, after a special election held by the BBWAA‚ Roberto Clemente was voted into the Hall of Fame. The Board of Directors waived the 5 year eligibility period for Clemente, and he was inducted on August 6th as the first Hispanic player to enter Cooperstown.