Saturday, March 21, 2015

Great Day To Play Two As Bucs Sweep; Lineup & Notes

The Pirates swept a split squad doubleheader yesterday, beating the Phils 6-5 at McKechnie Field and taking a 4-2 decision in Ft. Myers' Hammond Field over the Twins. Neither starting pitcher was overwhelming, but both Vance Worley and Gerrit Cole went five innings. Cole got the win against the Phils, while Vanimal notched a spring W against Minnesota.

v. Philadelphia: Pedro went 3 for 4 with a double and a homer, both to left center, as he continues his opp field approach. Jordy Mercer went 3-for-5 while Tony Sanchez added an RBI double. Sebastian Valle doubled home Mercer for the winning walk-off run. Starling Marte and Steve Lombardozzi had a pair of hits. Clayton Richard gave up two runs in three innings of work, but Rob Scahill closed the door in the ninth for the save.

Jordy Mercer - photo Charles LeClair/USAToday Sports

v. Minnesota: Francisco Cervelli went 2 for 3 with two solo home runs. Gerrit Cole drew a bases-loaded walk with two outs to plate the third run and a Josh Harrison single brought home the insurance tally. Charlie Leesman, Brad Lincoln, Josh Wall and Bobby LaFromboise all tossed scoreless frames with LaFromboise getting the save.

Today's Game: Boston visits the Pirates with Frankie Liriano on the hill. The game starts at 1:05 and will be aired by Root Sports & 93.7 The Fan.

The Lineup: Jose Tabata RF, Neil Walker 2B, Jung-Ho Kang 3B, Corey Hart 1B, Starling Marte CF, Francisco Cervelli C, Sean Rodriguez SS, Gorkys Hernandez LF, Liriano P.
The Bench: Jaff Decker, Wilkins Castillo, Tony Sanchez, Steve Lombardozzi, Sebastian Valle, Andrew Lambo, Gustav Nunez, Deibinson Romero, Pedro Florimon, Gregory Polanco.
The Pitchers: Tony Watson, Mark Melancon, Antonio Bastardo, Stolmy Pimentel, Deolis Guerra & Minor League Campers.

Kang continues his infield tour, moving to third today, and Partay Marte looks like a fixture in the middle of the order. Sean Rodriguez is also a guy with many hats, playing short. We don't think these are spring look-see moves, but part of the team philosophy of player versatility, a concept that Clint embraces.

  • Jung-Ho Kang has decided not to take part in the media craze for the time being; he's cut off interviews until camp breaks and the season begins. That's probably a good decision; he has plenty on his plate as is.
  • Stetson Allie, who had been working as an OF/1B, will become a full-time outfielder per Tim Williams of Pirates Prospects. He's got the arm for right, if he can cover the ground. The move indicates he's transitioning pretty well into a position player and the Bucs are already looking to avoid a jam-up at first between Josh Bell and Allie down the road. One thing for sure is that the switch will add another strong prospect to the list of outfielders already in the system; that's a deep deck the FO has to deal from.
  • Clint Hurdle told the media gang that Tony Sanchez has made the club as Chris Stewart isn't expected to be ready for at least two more weeks.
  • Even with the wave of young guns, Jim Callis of ranks the Pirate farm system as #4 in MLB.
  • David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal writes that Wandy Rodriguez looks like he's earned a spot in the Braves' rotation.
  • Joe Lucas of Yardbarker reminds us not to go asleep on the Brewers this year. They led the pack for a good portion of 2014 and still have a healthy collection of lumber.

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