Pitchers: Gerrit Cole (0-2, 4.22) closes the series against James Shields (0-2, 4.05). The Cole Train looked more comfortable last outing after his short training camp. The key for him is to try to avoid that one dragged out inning that always seems to bite him. Big Game James is a veteran workhorse, eating innings and keeping the club in the hunt, tho he has been bitten by the home run bug this year. He's only faced the Pirates twice, both last season and coming without a decision, but with a shiny 1.38 ERA.
|Cole Train chugs up the hill (photo Ed Absalon/USA Today)|
Lineup: John Jaso 1B, Cutch CF, David Freese 3B, starling Marte LF, Fran Cervelli C, Gregory Polanco RF, Josh Harrison 2B, Jordy SS, Cole P. Back to the usual gang with another righty on the hill.
- Anthony Castrovince of Sports on Earth has 10 off-season signings that are paying dividends; the Bucs are involved in two. One was a guy they got, John Jaso, and the other was a guy they let get away, JA Happ.
- Michael Morse cleared waivers and was released by the Pirates. The Pirates are on the hook for $4.67M of his remaining salary.
- Chris Mitchell of Fangraphs went through the minors to pick deep sleepers, players who are considered organizational guys buy may despite that tag get a taste of the bigs. He found two Pirates in his projections, both catchers - Altoona's Jin-De Jhang and West Virginia's Taylor Gushue.