Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Wednesday: Locke v Pomeranz, Lineup, Notes

Tonight: The game begins at 10:10 and will be carried by Root Sports and 93.7 The Fan.

Pitchers: Jeff Locke (0-1, 2.53) takes on Drew Pomeranz (1-1, 3.27). Jeff has to reintroduce himself to the strike zone after walking seven last outing. This might not be the best place to come back; the Padres chased him after four frames last year at Petco, scoring eight times. And hey - Drew is a lefty! He brings it, with 15 K in 11 IP, but also with six walks; he can run up a pitch count in a hurry. This is his first NL campaign and he's yet to meet the Pirates.

Lineup: Jordy SS, Cutch CF, David Freese 3B, Starling Marte LF, Fran Cervelli 1B, Josh Harrison 2B, S-Rod RF, Stew C, Locke P. Well holy guacamole! The anti-lefty lineup sure is something; Fran at first, S-Rod in right, Stew behind the dish, Jordy at leadoff.

The versatility of bench guys like S-Rod leave the club a lot of options (photo Joe Guzzy/Pirates)
  • One plan that's worked out well has been putting together a benchful of versatile. S-Rod can do everything but play CF & pitch (he's the third-string emergency catcher), Figgy can handle middle infield and corner outfield, and regulars like Josh can slide around; Fran & David Freese have both  played first, and Cervelli could prob take over the hot corner, too. The starting outfield can play corners and center; Matt Joyce is competent at both edges. Stew is the only specialist. That's how they've gotten away with being a bat short on the bench until the pitching shapes up.
  • Speaking of versatility, it's a concept that's being carried on in the minors - Alen Hanson, Max Moroff and Adam Frazier, along with guys like P-Flo, are routinely scattered about the yard.
  • Jared Hughes made his first appearance at Indy, and the rust showed. He walked and beaned the first two hitters he faced, but then got a pair of grounders, one for a DP (started by rehab matey Jung Ho Kang), to escape. His command and velo were both a tick or two away today. 
  • JHK's glove looks pretty sharp, but he needs live at-bats; he's whiffed four times in hios first two AAA games.
  • The Bucs have a new home game bullpen catcher to help out Herbie Andrade, Jordan Comadena. Here's a quickie bio (he played in the Astro system) and his path to the big leagues as told by the Bloomington Pantagraph.

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