Sunday, March 29, 2015

Bucs Romp; Notes & Lineup

The wind blew out, the wind blew in, and in between the gusts the Bucs took an 8-3 win from the Jays. Charlie Morton gave up a pair of homers, but he had the bad luck to toss with the wind whistling toward the fences (altho the first dinger needed no help) and gave up three runs in six innings of work. Gregory Polanco homered for the second time, Neil Walker had three RBI and the Pirates pounded out six extra-base hits; even prospect Reese McGuire got into the act with a double.

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.


WilliamJPellas said...

Speaking of pretty good trades by the Pirates, I think it's clear that the Xavier Nady to the Yankees deal turned out pretty well for the Bucs, overall. I always liked Nady and was always against the misplaced animosity that followed him around---in my opinion because he was one of Dave Littlefield's favorites, and many fans were so eager to get rid of Littlefield that they gave him no credit at all, not even for the few good deals he made (such as acquiring Nady). And of course had "X" stayed healthy, the balance of the trade would have been quite different. But between him getting hurt on one side, and the Pirates getting some mileage out of Ohlendorf, Jeff Karstens, Jose Tabata (frustrating though he surely is) and Whatsisface, that reliever who did OK for us for a season, all in all not a bad trade. Ohlendorf, in particular, could really have tilted the deal heavily in Pittsburgh's favor, but like Karstens was a pitcher with some talent whose body just would not cooperate.

Ron Ieraci said...

I liked Nady myself, Will. I should look up his splits; I think he was held back by being considered a platoon guy. All four NY players we got in return - JT, Ohlie, Jeff Karstens & Dan McCutchen - were MLB contributors. I think Karstens compares with Worley on the current roster.

WilliamJPellas said...

Never did understand why Dan McCutchen never got another look in Pittsburgh. He did fairly well in his only full season for us, and IIRC, he laid it all on the line by going 5 or more innings in that epic 19 inning loss to the Braves that started the Pirates' tailspin that year. I think I read somewhere that he was implicated for PED's, but so have a lot of guys who are still playing. I know he signed with another team but to my knowledge has little or no major league playing time since leaving Pgh. Maybe other issues?

Ron Ieraci said...

His peripherals were pretty bad, Will - 3.5 walks v 5 K per game, 10 hits, 1.5 WHIP, and a dope rap to boot. He's with the SD organization now.

WilliamJPellas said...

Those aren't great peripherals, but I've seen guys with much worse who still have big league jobs. I'm thinking there might be other issues going on that we're not privy to. In any case, his more traditional stats were decent, particularly his ERA, and giving up 10 hits per 9 innings, while not great, is not horrible. Anyway, the Nady trade worked out alright all things considered, even if it was not a home run for the Pirates.