Pitchers: Juan Nicasio (3-3, 4.02) takes on Alfredo Simon (1-3, 9.86). Juan looks like he's settling in to his starting role. His weak contact rate is Top Ten at 25%, though he oddly gives up a homer per game. Juan spun a three hit, seven inning goose egg at Cincy at the end of April. The Big Pasta has done OK against the Bucs this campaign. He's started twice and gone nine innings, giving up four earned runs. But he's walked six in those two games and was chased both time because of sky high pitch counts.
|Juan gets the ball tonight (photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)|
Lineup: David Freese 1B, Cutch CF, Greg Polanco RF, Starling Marte LF, Fran Cervelli C, Jung Ho Kang 3B, S-Rod 2B, Jordy SS, Nicasio P. Seems like a lot of moving pieces tonight, just when we thought mad scientist Clint had changed his ways.
- Freeser has played at first nine times prior to tonight, starting once in 2011 as a Card. That's nine times more than he played second, as he did recently. Quite the rigmarole just to give Josh a blow.
- John Dreker of Pirates Prospects reported that the Bucs sold minor league OF'er Mel Rojas Jr to the Braves. Rojas was toolsy, but an up-and-down performer, and the Pirate farm is bursting with outfielders.