Monday, March 28, 2016

Monday: Bucs Lose Another; Cole & Lineup v Twins Today; Notes

Today: The Pirates travel to the CenturyLink Sports Complex in Fort Meyers to meet the Twinkies. The game will be on Root Sports and MLB.TV, but no radio.

The pitching: Gerrit Cole gets the nod. He's been doing his back lot work, but only has two official Grapefruit league innings under his belt with the season looming. As of noon, the guys behind him are TBA. (EDIT: After Cole has done his work, the lineup will be Neftali Feliz, Trey Haley and AJ Schugel).

Gerrit Cole (photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)

The lineup: John Jaso 1B, Matt Joyce LF, David Freese 3B, Michael Morse DH, S-Rod SS, Cole Figueroa 2B, Stew C, Danny Ortiz RF, Antoan Richardson CF (Cole P). Most of the A team are resting their their bruises today, and time is running out to decide on the bench, so let 'em play...

Last night: After giving up two solo homers in the first (one to Pedro), Trevor Williams settled in and shut down the Birds for the next four frames while the Bucs chased Ubaldo Jimenez in the opening inning with a three spot on four hits. But the Pirates couldn't add on and the Orioles did eventually, tying it in the eighth off Arquimedes Caminaro and then scoring a pair in the ninth off Cory Luebke, in his first back-to-back appearance of the spring. Pittsburgh was 2-for-12 with RISP; the Pirate offense has been sluggish in the clutch this spring. Here's the box score.

One sweet heads-up play - Josh blooped a double to left, chugged to second and never stopped; the 3B'man was slow getting back to the bag and the pitcher was covering home, leaving the hot corner unmanned. And of course, the mandatory boo-boo of the day: Jordy Mercer tagged from second to third, slid a bit awkwardly and came up limping. He was replaced a couple of pitches later. The Pirates later said that he "is being treated for left knee discomfort. Status is day to day."

Coach Tomlin talks to the troops (photo via Pirates)
  • Ray Searage gets a lot of credit for attracting pitchers here, and rightly so. But the FO's policy of moving bubble players to a team that will put them on the active roster is a strong selling point, too. Matt Gajtka of DK Pittsburgh Sports tweeted that Hurdle said the O'Flaherty trade was about opportunity. "He was in competition here, but he's got a roster spot over in Atlanta." 
  • Yep, new Pitt coach Kevin Stallings is the dad of minor league catcher Jake, who told the media gang "I never thought he'd beat me to Pittsburgh..."
  • Steeler head honcho Mike Tomlin stopped by camp and gave the boys a little locker room speech. He said he wasn't in Bradenton so much as a fan boy, but to see how another organization puts a team together.  
  • The Giants reassigned Gorkys Hernandez to minor league camp.

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