Thursday, March 31, 2016

Thursday: Cuts Continue, Opening Rotations Set - Nicasio In, V-Song to Pen; Notes

Today: The Buccos say au revoir to sunny Florida when they visit Tampa Bay at the Charlotte Sports Park at 1:05 to close out the Grapefruit League. The game will be on MLB.TV with streamed audio from; there's no local TV/radio coverage.

The pitching: Kyle Lobstein gets to lob the last grapefruit of the spring. Ryan Vogelsong will follow, with Neftali Feliz, Mark the Shark and Tony Watson also available.

Kyle Lobstein closes out the 2016 Grapefruit League season.

The lineup: John Jaso 1B, Fran Cervelli C, David Freese 3B, Michael Morse DH, Matt Joyce RF, Jordy Mercer SS, Cole Figueroa LF, S-Rod CF, P-Flo 2B (Lobstein P). Morse is testing his hammy at DH; Figueroa & Florimon are battling for a spot (Jason Rogers, who is also in the running, made the trip and will come in during the second half of the game).

Yesterday: Jon Niese gave up a couple of early runs, then settled in to toss three scoreless frames.The Bucs made a pair of errors later in the game, and both led to unearned runs in a 4-4 tie w/Boston. Cutch homered, doubled and singled, scored twice, drove in a pair, and walked. He did, however, prove human when he was caught stealing. We're going out on a limb by guessing he's gonna stay in the #2 spot.

El Coffee smacked a pair of doubles. Jason Rogers only had one hit, but walked four times; he must have gotten the OBP memo. S-Rod booted a ball at short and went 0-for-3 while stranding five runners. Makes us wonder if Cole Figueroa has passed him up as the handy man. We'll find out soon, tho it's not like the FO to eat a contract. Click here for the box score.

  • Five players were assigned to minor league camp: Ed Easley, Jim Fuller, Jorge Rondon, AJ Schugel and Jacob Stallings. That leaves 30 players in camp now. Cory Luebke (who is in for sure; his opt-out date was yesterday & he's still here) and Kyle Lobstein look like they made the cut. Jung-Ho Kang, Jared Hughes and Elias Diaz will presumably start the year on the DL. That leaves Jason Rogers, Cole Figueroa and Pedro Florimon for one last bench spot, assuming that S-Rod is in. Another position could open if Michael Morse's hammy leads him to the DL; he's in today's lineup to see how it holds up. So stay tuned; there still may be a twist and turn remaining...
  • Clint announced his opening starters v the Cards. They are: Sunday - Frankie Liriano, Tuesday - Jon Niese, and Wednesday - Juan Nicasio. Ryan Vogelsong will start out in the pen. St Louis will counter with Adam Wainwright, Michael Wacha and Mike Leake. 
  • Nicasio is scheduled to pitch in Florida at Pirate City on Friday and Gerrit Cole will work Saturday. They'll join the team in Pittsburgh for Opening Day on Sunday, and hopefully Cole will be stretched out and effective enough to go against the Reds in the following series.
  • Jung Ho Kan played defense, batted, and ran (straight-line to first only) in a minor league game yesterday. He homered, so the trainers let him take a Cadillac jog around the bases. Inch by inch, step by step... 
  • Jason Hunt of the blog Fake Teams posted on Minor League Ball his 10 Boldest Predictions for 2016 - check out #4!
  • Mike Wysocki of Pittsburgh City Paper's Cheap Seats column picks his All-PNC Park team.  
  • Root Sports will air 150 Bucco games this year. Click here for the local TV schedule. 
  • Casey McGehee signed w/Tigers on minor-league deal.
  • The KC Royals released OF Travis Snider.

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