Pitching: Juan Nicasio (1-3-1, 3.86) v Mike Leake (11-10, 3.70). Nicasio pitched his way out of a bullpen gig to a rotation spot with a strong spring. He doesn't have much success against the Cards, tho - Nicasio is 1-2/6.59 in six career games (two starts) against St. Louis. Leake makes his first Redbird start after signing an $80M deal, taking the rotation spot left open by the loss of Lance Lynn to TJ surgery. He's 8-3/3.01 ERA against the Pirates in his career and has a seven game winning streak against Pittsburgh. So by the numbers, it's a tough matchup tonight.
|Juan Nicasio debuts as a Buc (photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)|
Lineup: John Jaso 1B, Cutch CF, David Freese 3B, Starling Marte LF, Fran Cervelli C, Gregory Polanco RF, Josh Harrison 2B, Jordy Mercer SS, Nicasio P. Same ol'; been good enough so far.
- Elias (Sports Bureau) Says: "Pittsburgh has won its last six extra-inning home games against St Louis, dating back to 2011. (Jordy) Mercer became the sixth different player to provide the game-ending RBI."
- Casey Boguslaw of Baseball Essential takes a quick look at the use of the two spot in MLB lineups, and notes that five teams use their best hitter in that position, while 17 still put their top bat at #3.
- The Altoona Curve roster (Class AA - Eastern League) is set. The Bradenton Marauders (High Class A - Florida State League) also announced their roster.
- The Pirates draft bonus pool is $7,007,900 for the first 10 rounds. Their top picks are #22nd of the first round, with a slot value of $2,253,700 and #41 sandwich selection, worth $1,576,000.