Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Bucs v Twins

AJ Burnett takes the bump today against Twin Cities' Vance Worley in the final tune up of Opening Day pitchers. The game is the spring's last at McKechnie Field. It begins at 1:05 and isn't on the air.

Lineup: Starling Marte LF, Garrett Jones 1B, Andrew McCutchen CF, Pedro Alvarez 3B, Neil Walker 2B, Russell Martin C, Travis Snider RF, Clint Barmes SS and Josh Harrison DH.

Garrett Jones hitting second?

Pitchers: AJ Burnett and ?

AJ hasn't thrown against big-leaguers since March 9th. We're a little concerned because the FO kept auditioning back-end contenders while leaving AJ, Wandy and J-Mac on cruise control. We understand that the Three Amigos are vets, and hope their lack of live work doesn't bite them in April.

Tomorrow's game against the Yankees closes out the Grapefruit League. The Bucs finalized the roster this morning (see the post below), with  options playing a role and a couple of DL designations coming into play. The official 25/40-man rosters are due on Sunday, March 31st.

The Pirates have Friday off, play an exhibition in Altoona Saturday, have a public workout on Easter from 1-3 at PNC and open at 1:35 on April 1st against the Cubbies.

  • Fangraph's series on position rankings continued with the pitching. Dave Cameron pegs the Bucs rotation as #20 in the league, writing that "...there’s some interesting pitching in Pittsburgh’s future. It’s just not quite here yet." As for the bullpen; Jack Moore thinks it's thin, and ranks it 24th overall.
  • Matthew Leach of has his Central Division preview. He says the Reds and Cards are the class of the group, but gives both Pittsburgh and the Brew Crew a darkhorse's chance.
  • Ryan Doumit is hitting .265 with 2 dingers for the Twins this spring, while Kevin Correia is 0-2 with a 6.30 ERA.
  • We mentioned the TV schedule yesterday, but didn't include the MLB Network games:- April 13, vs. Cincinnati Reds, 7:05 p.m.- April 17, vs. St. Louis Cardinals, 7:05 p.m.- April 19, vs. Atlanta Braves, 7:05 p.m.- April 20, vs. Atlanta Braves, 7:05 p.m.and- April 22, at Philadelphia Phillies, 7:05 p.m.

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