Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Tuesday: Joyce In, Seven Others Sent Down; Another Loss Yesterday; Yankees on Deck; Notes

Today: Pittsburgh visits the Bronx Bombers at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa. The Yankees are playing with a split squad today, with the A Team staying home to play Pittsburgh. The game starts at 1:05 and will be on MLB.TV and streamed on MLB.com; no local radio or television.

The pitchers: MiLB dude and hot down-the-road prospect Steven Brault gets the nod. Jorge Rondon, Jim Fuller and Arquimedes Caminero will follow. CC SAbathia is slated to go for NY. Jeff Locke will pitch a minor league game at Pirate City today, too.

Steven Brault (photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)

The lineup: Josh Harrison 2B, Cutch CF, David Freese 1B, Starling Marte LF, Michael Morse DH, Josh Harrison 2B, Jason Rogers 3B, Jose Osuna RF, P-Flo RF, Jake Stallings C (Brault P). OK, everyone is back in the saddle except El Coffee, and he may be sitting so the Bucs can get a last look at the bubble guys. It's also Freese's debut at first as a Pirate. Oooops - add Jordy to the sorta injured list. He was slated to hit leadoff but has pink eye and was scratched from lineup.

Yesterday: Gerrit Cole had a ragged outing. In 4-2/3 frames, he allowed a pair of runs on eight hits with a walk and four whiffs. Trey Haley held the 4-3 lead with a little bit of everything frame (zero runs, one hit, two walks, three whiffs), but Curtis Partch surrendered a three-run blast an inning later, and that was the final outburst.

Matt Joyce had two hits, including a homer, and two RBI; Michael Morse had a pair of knocks with a double. The box score is here. The spring isn't a harbinger of the season, but the Pirates 7-19-1 record is still disappointing, tho there have been very few days that the lineups that haven't featured youngsters and bubble guys instead of regulars.

Still, the starting pitching hasn't really sorted itself out - Cole (5.40 ERA), Liriano (6.08), Vogelsong (6.08), Locke (6.63) and Niese (9.82) haven't exactly hit on all cylinders. That's why guys like Juan Nicasio (0.00) and Kyle Lobstein (1.68) have been getting stretched out. But March numbers don't mean much; we'll see what April has to bring.

Matt Joyces catches a spot on the roster (photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)
  • Some cuts were made today, none very surprising: Jake Goebbert, Trey Haley and Rob Scahill (who has an option) were assigned to Indy. Danny Ortiz, Antoan Richardson, Curtis Partch and Robert Zarate, (who has been hurt) were reassigned to Minor League camp. The camp roster is now 35 players.
  • OF Matt Joyce's day of reckoning has come, and he won a spot on the roster. The Pirates had the options to guarantee an active roster spot for Joyce, retain his rights for $100K until June 1st or release him.
  • GM Neal Huntington told the press gang that Jeff Locke will fill the four spot in the rotation, and Ryan Vogelsong/Juan Nicasio will duke it out for the final man.
  • JHK played a few innings at third in a minor league game, but didn't bat or run, altho he did run the bases on his own.
  • Gerrit Cole will stay in Florida for some weekend work before rejoining the team for the season.
  • John Sickels released his list of the Top 175 Prospects. The Bucs are repped by Tyler Glasnow (2); Austin Meadows (30); Josh Bell (70); Jameson Taillon (86) and Ke'Bryan Hayes (144). 
  • Deolis Guerra cleared waivers and re-signed with the Angels to a MiLB deal.
  • Clint Barmes was released by KC.
  • The Tigers handed Casey McGehee an unconditional release.

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