Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Bucs Look To Rebound Behind Cole Train

The Bucs get back on the bike tonight against the Reds. Cincy doesn't have the depth to challenge over 162 games, but when it has all eight starting guys healthy, as it does now, it features a pretty potent lineup with a lot of guys who can snag a baseball, as the Pirates found out Monday night..

Today's Game: It begins at 7:10 in Great American Ball Park with Gerrit Cole taking on Mike Leake. Both were solid but certainly not dominating against one another last year, so it may be a more typical shoot 'em up at GABP. Cole was a strong finisher last season. He won his last four starts of the 2014 season and K'ed a career-high 12 batters in a no-decision against the Reds here in Cincinnati to end the campaign. The game will be on Root Sports and 93.7 The Fan.

The Lineup: Josh Harrison 3B, Gregory Polanco RF, Cutch CF, Neil Walker 2B, Starling Marte LF, Pedro 1B, Francisco Cervelli C, Jordy Mercer SS, Cole P.

Josh Harrison 2015 Topps Heritage series
  • The big news is Josh Harrison's under-the-radar extension with the Pirates, guaranteed through 2018 with two option years. J-Hay has $27.3M coming in for sure, with the Bucs in effect buying out three arb years and his first FA season.
  • Cutch has a 10-game hitting streak, counting his 2014 carry-over.
  • If you're keeping count: Antonio Bastardo, Arquimedes Caminero, Francisco Cervelli, Corey Hart, Jung Ho Kang, Radhames Liz, Sean Rodriguez and Rob Scahill are first-timers on the Bucco roster. In fact, the Bucs return just 11 players from last year's Opening Day roster.
  • Best hit the ground running: The Pirates are scheduled to play 13 of their first 16 games and 25 of their first 31 (thru May 10th) against teams in the NL Central. After tomorrow's getaway day game, the Bucs go to Milwaukee for a three game set.

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