Saturday, May 16, 2015

Cole Train v Lester; Lineup & Notes

The Game -  Gerrit Cole (5-1, 2.32) toes the rubber v. Jon Lester (3-2, 4.10). Gerrit has been a Cub killer in his young career. He's 6-0 with a 2.92 ERA with 37 IP in six career starts. He won his earlier outing against the Cubbies 8-1, beating Kyle Hendricks last month. Lester is on a roll, having won his last three starts. After a rough April, he's 3-0 with a 1.80 ERA in May. This is his second career start vs. the Pirates; the other outing was in 2011, a 3-1 loss to Paul Maholm. The game starts at 4:05 and will be aired nationally on FS1 (Fox Sports One) and locally broadcast by 93.7 The Fan.

Usual lefty lineup (no Pedro or Gregory) with one exception: Jordy, usually money against both the Cubs and southpaws, is on the bench again. Also Fran Cervelli, not too surprisingly, is getting a blow after catching 12 innings last night. We'll see if the Bucs can turnaround quickly after a tough loss; there were a lot of positive things to build on. 

  • Wilfredo Boscan from Indy was seen in the dugout, but the Bucs haven't announced any moves yet. EDIT: Pittsburgh optioned Steve Lombardozzi to Indianapolis to clear space on the active roster and moved Brandon Cumpton from the 15 to 60-day DL to open up a 40-man roster spot.
  • Gerrit has been charged with two or fewer earned runs in five of his first seven starts. The only downer is he's made it through seven just twice; the Bucs could use some innings from him today after running through the whole pen yesterday.
  •  Seems fitting today - Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports has a piece on the trail of draft intrigue that Pittsburgh sorted through when they selected Gerrit Cole in 2011.
  • Hey, guess what was cookin' in Altoona last night: it was bobblehead Marte Par-tay time!


WilliamJPellas said...

Must say I am surprised to see Mercer sitting against a southpaw. He usually destroys lefthanders and is generally a lot better against them than he is against righthanders (still not sure he is legitimately an everyday starter, though easily a top utilityman). What's the word on Boscan? What does he bring to the table?

Ron Ieraci said...

Wilfredo pitched OK at Indy, Will, as a starter. Seems like a quick fix. The drama will come when Morton returns - do they really want to carry a fifth starter who couldn't hold his job? And I'd be looking at first base, too. Pedro and Hart haven't exactly been bang-up there, tho Hart has been an effective PH. The club still has holes, and Boscan isn't filling one of them except as a patch.

WilliamJPellas said...

Are you referring to Worley as the guy who will presumably lose his job and/or be kicked to the 'pen when Morton returns? Personally I'd be more inclined to make Locke a reliever, but I know the Pirates want to have another lefthander in their rotation. Worley, while no worldbeater, definitely looked the part of a very solid fourth starter in 2014, but he has not been nearly as good in 2015, that's for sure. He's a guy who has had some arm problems over the years and so I would say his situation bears watching.

That said, I think the real issue is that Jameson Taillon lost a year to Tommy John surgery. Otherwise, he would surely already be in our rotation, with one of Locke-Worley already in the 'pen or traded. Meanwhile, didn't I see that the next guy on the Pirates' top pitching prospect ladder got hurt in a Triple A game last week? Wasn't it Kingham that got pulled from a game after saying his elbow was hurting? Yoi and double yoi!

Ron Ieraci said...

I meant both of the guys, Will; the 4-5 spot in the rotation isn't doing much except for getting the mid-inning bullpen some work. They do seem more committed to Jeff than Vance, so you're prob right on that count. Kingham is sorta a mystery at this point; the last word we had on him was he's on the DL and was getting a second opinion on the elbow, which is rarely a good sign. That had to be a week ago, so the FO is playing its usual possum game.