|Gregory Polanco heating up (photo Mike James/Baseball America)|
Today's Game: The Bucs take a trip to Lake Buena Vista to meet the Braves, with Stolmy Pimentel getting the starting nod. The game starts at 1:05 and will be broadcast by 93.7 The Fan.
Today's Lineup: Josh Harrison 3B, Jaff Decker LF, Starling Marte CF, Corey Hart DH, Jung-Ho Kang 2B, Andrew Lambo 1B, Wilkins Castillo C, Pedro Florimon SS, Austin Meadows RF.
Today's Bench: All minor leaguers, topped by Reese McGuire.
Today's Pitchers: Antonio Bastardo, Radhames Liz, John Holdzkom, Blake Wood.
Big game for Stolmy. He's out of options and so far this spring, he's not given the Pirates much reason to keep him on the active roster. Don't expect a long outing; he's still considered bullpen material. It's also a test day for guys looking to claim that 25th spot, with Decker, Lambo and Florimon all starting. A couple of pedigree pups get off the porch today as Meadows gets the call in the outfield and McGuire is on the bench.
- AJ Burnett worked six innings at Pirate City in a minor league game yesterday, giving up a pair of unearned runs and whiffing seven, tossing 96 pitches. His control was much sharper - he walked one - as he rounds into shape for April.
- A couple of food-for-thought tidbits: Rob Biertempfel of the Trib notes that the Bucs haven't had back-to-back Opening Day starters at first since Adam LaRoche (2007-09) while David Laurila of Fangraphs, in a notes column, wonders if catchers (and we'd add coaches) shouldn't take Spanish classes instead of putting all the onus on the Latino players.
- The Pirates broke the spring attendance record at Bradenton's 93-year-old McKechnie Field yesterday when 6,300+ spun the turnstiles, bringing the attendance to 99,450 fans for 14 games with one more contest to go. The old record was 93,433 fans set in 2013, the first season that McKechnie Field seating was expanded from 6,600 to 8,500. It is a little misleading; last year's average was 7,587 fans per game compared to 7,104 warm bodies this campaign.
- Ol' Bucco Ross Ohlendorf was assigned to minor league camp by the Rangers.