Saturday, April 12, 2014

Lineup, Pre-Game Notes, Polanco, Lambo, Heredia...

Edinson Volquez (0-0, 1.59 ERA) faces Yovani Gallardo (2-0, 0.00 ERA) tonight as EV draws his second consecutive ace after battling Adam Wainwright in his first start. Volquez has had lots of offensive help at Miller Field during his career. He's 4-1 there, but with a 5.67 ERA in seven career starts in Milwaukee. Gallardo hasn't allowed a run yet this season as the Brew Crew looks to take its eighth straight win.

The lineup: Starling Marte LF, Travis Snider RF, Cutch CF, Pedro 3B, Russ Martin C, Neil Walker 2B, Travis Ishikawa 1B, Jordy Mercer SS and Volquez P.

The game will be aired at 7:10 PM by Root Sports and 93.7 The Fan.

  • Cutch didn't talk to the media after the game, but reentered the clubhouse walking fine after suffering ankle discomfort in the eighth inning. It appears that Clint was just erring on the side of caution; Cutch is in today's lineup.
  • Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal wonders if the Pirates could sign either Stephen Drew or Kendrys Morales after the draft in June, at which point they wouldn't have to worry about the draft-pick forfeiture attached to each of them. After a quiet offseason, the Pirates should have the financial wherewithal to pursue a bigger-name player.
  • Beginning last night, the Pirates are scheduled to play either the Brewers or Reds every day for the next two weeks, through Thursday, April 24th.
  • The Pirates have played the most one-run games in the Majors this season, going 5-1 in the six games decided by one run, and eight of their first 10 games have been decided by two runs or less. Last year the Bucs went 29-23 in one-run games and 54-39 in games decided by one or two runs.
  • The Pirates have hit eight homers in the last three games, accounting for all their runs. The first five were solo shots and the last three have been with men aboard.
  • From Elias Sports: Aramis Ramirez' 31st home run last night against the Bucs is the most against Pittsburgh by any player after leaving the team. Oddly, Barry Bonds ranks only fourth on that list (22), behind Ramirez, Moises Alou (27), and Gus Bell (24).
  • Gregory Polanco's hitting streak is at eight games, he  has five multi-hit contests and his OBP is sitting pretty at .486 for Indianapolis.
  • Ryan Palencer of Pirates Prospects has a piece on Andrew Lambo and the adjustments he's making at the plate after an icy spring and a slow start at Indy. He's heating up thanks to a return to the basics and a renewed commitment to putting in the work.
  • Luis Heredia was roughed up in his first start at West Virginia, and was pulled today after one pitch, so we'll see whassup with that.
  • Jonah Keri of Grantland has a good piece on the surge in TJ surgeries. He points to several suspected causes, but at the end cites the possibility of the baseball gods at work.
  • Ex-Bucs: The Phils released IF Brian Bixler.


WilliamJPellas said...

Stephen Drew would be an enormous upgrade at shortstop. Signing him would also have additional benefits, ie, Jordy Mercer would become an instant upgrade as a multiposition infield utility man. I like him in that role much more than I like him as a starter, and I think he is definitely a better all-around player than current utilityman Josh Harrison.

Ron Ieraci said...

Jordy isn't impressing me much in the field, Will, and he would be an upgrade over Josh. We'll see what's up with Drew; pretty soon he'll be without the draft pick onus and by then the FO should have a better read on Mercer. I think the Bucs were never in with Johnson; he saw a hole in the NYY infield that had to be tempting for him. Even without that, he was prob looking for a team he could get some serious at-bats with, and he's not a threat to Walker.

I am curious to see how the Bucs go about team building for the future. I see Tony Sanchez batting 5-6 next year with Stewart as his caddy, but right now that five hole could use some help; Russ Martin is a perfect 6-7 hitter. Polanco could end up in the five spot, though he looks like three hitter. But that spot is filled here, lol.

Pitching could be iffy too in 2015. A lot of guys in the pipeline are hurt, so they'll have some work filling in the staff. But hey, better to need pieces rather than a rebuild.

WilliamJPellas said...

Did a little digging around the web, and apparently Drew wants a multiyear deal for at least $14 million per. He can dream on and look elsewhere. He's not THAT good. He's a better than average all around veteran and he would make this team better to be sure, but that's too much money for him.

Agreed with your comments about the Pirates' pitching going forward, or at least, their starting pitching. I'm hopeful that a couple of mid-rotation arms will emerge from among McPherson, Locke, et al. From there maybe a trade acquisition or two can keep the ball rolling. The 'pen should still be alright for the time being, I think.

Re: the five hole. Absolutely right, Russell Martin is definitely NOT a five hitter for a contending team. Ideally your first baseman would fill that role on the Pirates, but they are substandard at that position unless Gaby Sanchez has a career year, and even there, he's a solid-average veteran at best to my eyes. Polanco should help the overall attack, but an upgrade at first base is definitely imperative in the near future.