Monday, May 5, 2014

Pitchers, Lineup, Pedro, Starling, Wandy, Giants On Fire...

Jeff Locke gets the call to replace Brandon Cumpton, who replaced Wandy Rodriguez. Locke had a Jekyll and Hyde 2013, and hasn't got much work yet this year because of pre-season back tightness. He'll face Yusmeiro Petit (2-1, 2.61), who is replacing Matt Cain, who was just placed on the 15-day DL with a cut finger. Petit, usually a bullpen arm, is making his third MLB start, and pitched six innings of three-hit ball against the Padres in his last outing. He features a low-nineties fastball, slider and changeup.

The lineup: Josh Harrison RF, Neil Walker 2B, Cutch CF, Pedro 3B, Starling Marte LF, Ike Davis 1B, Tony Sanchez C, Clint Barmes SS and Locke. Even after a month, Clint is still feeling out how to handle 1B, RF and SS.

The game starts at 7:05 and will be on Root Sports and 93.7 The Fan.

  • As expected, Casey Sadler was optioned to make room for Locke on the active roster.
  • Pedro Alvarez enters tonight’s action with a six-game hitting streak. His BABIP is a laughably low .218 (it should be at .275+, based on career stats), and that's mostly but not entirely bad luck. His line drive rate is 12.9%. a career low after averaging 18.2%, and his fly ball rate is 43.5%, a career high, with a lifetime average of 35.5%: fewer liners + more fly balls = lower BA. It is good for power numbers, though, and we'll see how it balances out over the season.
  • Starling Marte has swiped nine consecutive bases and has been successful 14 times in his last 15 attempts, dating back to last season. His baserunning still needs some work, but it looks like he's getting the hang of the bag-swiping thing.
  • The Giants have won nine of their last ten games, and sit atop the Power Ratings this week.
  • Wandy's spot comes up again Sunday for the nationally televised ESPN game against the Cards, but the Bucs can bypass him since there's an off day Thursday, providing the FO with some wiggle room for his call-back from the DL. 
  • One area that would help the club is picking up on the glovework to back the pitching; the Pirate team UZR is -1.8 to date.
  • The Bucs enter today tied for last place in the NL Central at 12-19, 8-1/2 games behind Milwaukee.
  • Ben Badler of Baseball America ranks the Pirate third in the international marketplace
  • Cincy is about to get a key piece back, as closer Aroldis Chapman is expected to rejoin the club this Friday. That was offset by the news that Jay Bruce had surgery to repair a torn meniscus in left knee and could miss a month.
  • Ex-Bucs: Farmhand LHP Zac Fuesser, released this season, will pitch for the indy Wild Things.

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