Thursday, March 20, 2014

Bucs Bop Bosox, Host Orioles, Notes

The night games begin...
  • Pittsburgh picked up a 4-2 victory over the Red Sox last night, with Wandy and Brandon Cumpton both looking strong. Travis Ishikawa homered. The Pirates swiped four bases in the game and have 20 stolen bases in 19 Grapefruit League matches. The go-go Bucs also lost a couple or three guys in rundowns, so the basepaths are proving to be a half-full glass.
  • The Bucs host the Orioles tonight at McKechnie Field at 7:05, with the game on 93.7 The Fan. The lineup: Starling Marte LF, Andrew Lambo DH, Cutch CF, Pedro 3B, Russ Martin C, Neil Walker 2B, Gaby Sanchez 1B, Jose Tabata RF and Jordy Mercer SS. Francisco Liriano will start, followed by Vin Mazzaro, Bryan Morris and Jay Jackson.
  • Well, that was quick. Chris Cotillo of the Daily Dish tweeted that C Chris Stewart had a minor procedure done on his knee today. Bill Brink of the Post Gazette wrote that the procedure was to "shave down the meniscus in his right knee... His recovery timetable depends on how the swelling in the knee progresses during the next few days, but four to six weeks is the hopeful estimate." That means we're looking at a possible May return. The brass are noncommittal as to who will cover the backup role until Stewart returns.
  • Ken Davidoff of the NY Post notes that the Pirates have a bullpen excess and the Yankees have a catcher overload, making them perfect trade partners for the moment. 
  • Megan Filipowski of the Inside Pitch gives a preview of the prospect-heavy potential starting rotation for Indy, and a couple of guys knocking at the door.
  • Jameson Taillon and Gregory Polanco made Baseball America's Top Twenty Prospect list. Sorta interesting that Polanco is #9, the Reds' Billy Hamilton #10 and the Cards'  Oscar Taveras #11. Looks like a lot of top guns for the Central.
  • The Bucs signed RHP Seth McClung to a minor league deal earlier in the year, but it didn't work out - he was released yesterday. He hopes to catch on with another club before calling it a career.
  • Spring isn't all fun and games. The Reds' Aroldis Chapman took a liner off the face, and was carried off the field on a stretcher with fractures above the eye and nose.

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