- Jung Ho Kang began his rehab stint at Indy, so that late April return looks right on target. He will play, per Neal Huntington, exclusively 3B, so no spot starts at SS for Jordy in the foreseeable future. To make last night's Indians' game even juicier, Jameson Taillon made his second start. And Jared Hughes is supposed to report today for his rehab work.
- Indy Game Report - JHK played seven innings, going 0-for-3 with a pair of whiffs and a fly out, a walk and run scored. Jameson Taillon tossed 4-1/3 frames, giving up two runs on seven hits with no walks and four K after 89 pitches (here's Baseball America's game report on JT). Guido Knudson and Jorge Rondon followed on, going 4-2/3 scoreless innings (two hits, two walks, seven K in tandem) during Indy's 4-2 win.
- One last Indy note: they play a day game today and their lineup is intact, so it appears that there's no call up in the immediate works to get an extra bench bat. Maybe with Frankie coming off a minor injury, the FO decided to keep that extra arm just in case.
|JHK is back in action (2015 Topps)|
- Pirate pitching 2016: 4.02 ERA, 4.5 runs per game. Pirate pitching 2015: 3.21 ERA, 3.7 runs per game. Pirate slash 2016: .295/.385/.423, 4.4 runs per game. Pirate slash 2015: .260/.323/.396, 4.4 runs per game. The well-documented LOB and RISP woes aren't as much a factor this year as the pitching; we'll see if the staff can hold up until mid-June when the young arms will come due.
- Speaking of baserunners: @joe_block did some research, and the Bucs last year had 2,012 baserunners (12.4/game, second in the NL) and are on pace to have 2,467 runners this year (15.2 per game).Three extra runners per game is a big deal; it raises opponent's pitch counts, creates higher leverage situations for the pitchers, and should end up in more runs scored. So while the results haven't been obvious yet in a small sample, the process should pay off as the season goes on.
- Makes ya wonder stat: In 13 games, David Freese is hitting .306 in the third spot of the order; Jordy is batting .227 out of the eight hole. Freese has one RBI; Mercer has eight.
- A quick early look at the boys of last summer: Pedro Alvarez (Orioles: .167, 0HR, one RBI, seven walks, six K); Neil Walker (Mets: .229/4/9); JA Happ (Toronto: 2-0/1.89); Charlie Morton (Philly: 1-1/3.86); Joachim Soria (KC: 1-1-1/6.75).
- Pirate prospect Ke'Bryan Hayes hit his first pro homer last night for the West Virginia Power. He had fours hits and a pair of walks with five RBI in a 15-inning, 8-7 win.
- RHP John Holdzkum reportedly struck a deal with the White Sox, per @johnmurrayBBE. Too bad; tough kid to root against.