Pitchers: Jon Niese (2-0, 3.50) opens the set against Patrick Corbin (1-1, 2.75) in a southpaw throwdown. Niese is coming off a strong start Saturday, with his ground ball mojo working. He's not had much luck in this ballyard, though, going 1-2 /6.26 lifetime. Corbin tossed 100 pitches in his last outing, signaling that he may be all the way back physically from TJ surgery that cost him all of the 2014 campaign and part of last year. The D-Back lefty hasn't climbed the hill against Pittsburgh since 2012.
|Jon Niese takes the ball tonight (phtot Dave Arrigo/Pirates)|
Lineup: Jordy Mercer SS, Cutch CF, Fran Cervelli C, Starling Marte LF, Josh Harrison 2B, Jason Rodgers 1B, S-Rod 3B, Gregory Polanco RF, Niese P. Lefty lineup shakeup; Jason Rogers (who has seen lots of MLB time with the Brewers) is thrown right into the fire and Gregory, who has been battling lefties this year, stays in while David Freese gets a blow.
It'll be an interesting series for Clint to work his match ups; the Snakes will bookend a pair of lefties against the Buccos. Pittsburgh misses Shelby Miller and Zack Greinke on this visit. The D-backs are returning home on a roll after sweeping the Giants in a four game set and winning 2-of-3 at San Diego prior to that. The Pirates have won all three of Jon Niese's starts, and were 5-1 against Arizona last year, making for a head-on collision of trends.
- With two lefties coming up, the Bucs called up Jason Rogers and optioned Cole Figeroa to Indy. Rogers is slashing .366/.435/.683 with three homers and 10 RBI in 11 games at Indy, and a hot-hitting RH-1B would come in handy. That makes jack-of-all trades S-Rod as the sole middle infield option off the bench, and shows how much faith the Pirates have in their pitchers to still leave the pine a man short. There should be movement soon with the pitching; Jared Hughes could be recalled in a heartbeat.
|The Bucs brought up hot bat Jason Rogers and thossed him right into the lineup.|
(photo Tiffany Tompkins/Bradento Herald)
- Jason Rogers will wear #15, last sported by Andrew Lambo and Ike Davis.
- Marc Hulet of Fangraphs has a post "Here Come the Prospects" with Jameson Taillon, Austin Meadows and Ke'Bryan Hayes featured.
- A story that will have some legs: due to concerns over the Zika virus, the Pirates players are questioning whether their May 30-31st set against the Marlins in Puerto Rico shouldn't be cancelled. The union, MLB and even the CDC are all involved in the discussion. Adam Berry of MLB.com examines the issues.