Sunday, March 1, 2015

Scrimmage Tomorrow, Camp Notes...

The Bucs will kick off their camp season tomorrow with an abbreviated 5-1/2 inning scrimmage at McKechnie Field. Lot of bubble battles going on, so don't expect to see much of the A-Team in the spring's early matches, especially the pitchers. The lineups, as posted:

The Black Squad:

Pitchers: Nick Kingham, Josh Wall, Collin Balester, Charlie Leesman, Adrian Sampson, Wilfredo Boscan.
Lineup/Order: 1. Steve Lombardozzi (2B), 2. Mel Rojas (CF), Jung-Ho Kang (SS), 4. Corey Hart (1B), 5. Andrew Lambo (DH), 6. Jose Tabata (LF), 7. Deibinson Romero (3B), 8. Willy Garcia (RF), 9. Sebastian Valle (C).
Bench: Elais Diaz, Gift Nogepe.

Corey Hart (photo: Dave Arrigo/Pittsburgh Pirates)

The Gold Squad:

Pitchers: Arquimedes Caminaro, Deolis Guerra, Jeremy Bleich, Angel Sanchez, Blake Wood.
Lineup/Order: 1. Jaff Decker (LF), 2. Justin Sellers (2B), Gregory Polonco (RF), 4. Pedro Alvarez (1B), 5. Starling Marte (DH), 6. Tony Sanchez (C), 7. Brent Morel (3B), 8. Keon Broxton (CF), 9. Pedro Florimon (SS).
Bench: Wilkin Castillo, Alen Hansen.

Gregory Polanco (photo: Brian Kerbey/Getty Images)
The game starts at noon. It will be Kang's Bucco debut, and as a possible insight, Clint Hurdle has his first basemen, Pedro & Corey, both batting cleanup, tho it's way too early to read anything permanent into that.

The major league club is closing out Pirate City drills and will be at McKechnie Field for the rest of the spring. The club begins Grapefruit League play against the Toronto Blue Jays in Dunedin that day, the first of 32 exhibition matches.

  • Rob Biertempfel of the Trib reports that JT is beginning to pull the ball with some power instead of spraying it weakly to right thanks to a chat with ol' team mate Marlon Byrd, who reinvented his stroke and rejuvenated his career.
  • Andrew Stockey of WTAE-TV noted a little trick of the trade Francisco Cervelli uses at practice - he dons a mini-mitt to better sharpen his skills while doing bullpens.
  • The whole roster is in; only OF Gorkys Hernandez came in late, this year's victim of visa issues.
  • Tom Singer of writes that Clayton Richard is physically strong, and is working with Ray Searage to undo some bad habits that were picked up when he went into "protection mode" because of injuries.
  • Brad Lincoln told Bill Brink of the Post Gazette that he liked the mentality of working from the pen, and feels that being used as a starter hurt his approach.
  • Jihadi John was pictured with a Pirate cap from back in his preppy Brit days; the Pirates felt the need to disassociate.


WilliamJPellas said...

I think it's a little late for JT, but if there's a major injury to either Marte or McCutchen (and let's hope not) and/or if Polanco struggles again, there could still be an opening for him. At this point, though, I would think that even in a "best case for him" scenario, he would be playing to re-establish his brand for his next employer, NOT to be any kind of long term fit in Pittsburgh.

WilliamJPellas said...

PS Marlon Byrd re-established his career by taking steroids. That's pretty well documented. Maybe a different approach to hitting helped, but....

Ron Ieraci said...

Agreed, Will, JT is auditioning for a gig elsewhere, although I guess there are advantages to be the world's best paid minor leaguer. And Byrd was a PED guy, but since his return, he has become a 25 HR per year dude, and I'm guessing he's tested pretty regularly, so he may (or may not) have seen the light.