Pitchers: Jeff Locke (1-3, 5.45) finishes the set against Mike Foltynewicz (1-1, 2.89). With Jeff, it's pretty much been the same ol' - when he can catch the black, he's fine, and when he misses, he ain't. Locke has been working on it; he's been throwing more strikes and keeping his free passes down this month. He's done that by basically putting his curve on the shelf and relying more on the fastball, a bit of a reinvention for the 28 year old. But Pittsburgh hasn't won a Locke start against Atlanta since his debut against the Braves in October 2012. He has a 6.31 ERA and 1.87 WHIP in five starts since. Foltynewicz, 23, is a hard thrower who began the season in AAA after September blood clot surgery, and has been effective both at Gwinnett and Atlanta. His last outing was an eight inning shutout of KC. So don't sleep on him; he was a Top #100 prospect going into this season.
|The Bucs welcome Starling Marte back to the lineup (photo Gene Puskar/Associated Press)|
Lineup: John Jaso 1B, Cutch CF, Gregory Polanco RF, Jung Ho Kang 3B, Starling Marte LF, Josh harrison 2B, Jordy SS, Stew C, Locke P. JHK's leg must be holding up well; he's seeing more time than expected, a blessing thanks to ability to lose baseballs. Starling bats behind him in the fifth spot. Also, Fran gets a day off as Stew gets the call behind the dish.
- Some personnel moves today: Cory Luebke has been optioned to Indy and Wilfredo Boscan has been called up to replace him. Elias Diaz was moved to the 60-day DL to make room for Boscan on the 40-man roster. Also, Starling Marte returned from paternity leave today and Alen Hanson was optioned back to AAA.
- Neil Wineberg of Fangraphs writes that the Bucs have been good this year, just not the way they were expected to be.
- Jameson Taillon has been strong since his return from surgery. Today he gave up no runs in six innings on five hits (no walks) with eight K as Indy topped Columbus 4-2. His slash is 3-2/1.82, and in 49-1/3 innings, JT has punched out 51 batters while allowing just five walks.