Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Bucs v Jays

The Bucs take on the Blue Jays - thank goodness they're done with that Oriole/Twin spell of games; it's time for fresh blood - and after the first cuts, the regulars will start getting their fair share of swings and the pitchers should be getting stretched out a little bit with three weeks to go until the games count.

James McDonald takes on Mark Buehrle. The game starts at 1:05 at McKechnie Field, and won't be on radio.

Lineup: Starling Marte LF, Russell Martin C, Andrew McCutchen CF, Gaby Sanchez 1B, Pedro Alvarez 3B, Neil Walker 2B, Travis Snider RF, Clint Barmes SS & James McDonald P.

The A team gets the call. For Russell Martin, it's the second game behind the dish this spring after building up a sore arm.

Pitchers: James McDonald, Jared Hughes, Mark Melancon and Mike Zagurski.

J-Mac has been a little spotty in three starts so far this spring, pitching to a 4.00 ERA and still suffering from that one long, laboring inning per game.

  • LHP Tony Watson has been AWOL for a couple of weeks; he told the Trib-Review's Rob Biertempfel that he's working through some "mechanical and physical issues."
  • Joe Strauss of The Sporting News posted his 2013 Pirate preview. He writes that "by teasing the fan base the past two years, the organization has raised expectations that its marginal depth might not be able to satisfy."
  • A look at what an AL blogger, Roger Rogacki of Motown's Bless You Boys thinks of this year's Buccos. (hint: it's pretty good.)
  • And more from Motown: John Verburg of the Motor City Bengals likes the Bucs farm system. He ranks it #2 and adds his Top 25 Pirates Prospect list.
  • David Waldstein of the NY Times reported that the Evil Empire has asked Derrek Lee, who retired in 2011 rather than play for the Bucs, if he would come back to replace the injured Mark Teixeira at first base.
  • This day in history - Roberto Clemente joins a dozen other sports figures as 1975 inductees in Las Vegas' Black Athletes' Hall of Fame. In 2008, during a spring game against the Pirates, comedian and lifelong Yankee fan Billy Crystal led off as the DH after signing a one-day contract with New York. He made contact, fouling a fastball up the first base line, but was eventually struck out by Paul Maholm on six pitches. He joined Garth Brooks and Tom Selleck as celebrities who appeared in a MLB exhibition game.

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