Pitching: Jameson Taillon (1-0, 1.93) gets his first national spotlight game in the series closer against Kyle Hendricks (4-6, 3.05). We'll see what JT has against the anointed ones. This will be Hendricks first 2016 outing against the Bucs. He's been quite steady for the Cubs so far, mixing the good with the workmanlike and doing a consistent job of keeping Chicago in the game when he works.
|JT takes the bump tonight hoping to salvage a game out of the series (photo Pgh Pirates)|
Lineup: JJ 1B, Gregory Polanco RF, Cutch CF, Starling Marte LF, Jung Ho Kang 3B, Josh Harrison 2B, Jordy SS, Jake Stallings C, Taillon P. There was, as usual, a delay in making the lineup while the medicos checked on player availability, in this case, Starling, who was given the green light. It makes sense that Jake is catching JT; they were a battery at Indy. Stew is still out, so Clint is short handed on the bench again, although he does at least have two catchers tonight.
- Jacob Stallings, good glove, bad stick C, has gotten the call to the show. In fact, with Stew unavailable last night, the FO blew it on several levels by not calling him up Saturday instead of Jason Rogers, who was sent back to Indy today to make space for Jake. The team doesn't have to make a 40-man move as Cory Luebke was DFA'ed, opening a spot (and we believe that Juan Nicasio's spot is also open as long as he remains on the restricted list). No word on Stew, so they haven't determined that he has to go on the DL. He may just need a few days off with Jake serving as the second catcher until that time. We'll find out Tuesday when the team has to call up a pitcher.
- Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald reported that "According to multiple baseball sources, the (Red) Sox have not shied away from asking about a few of the most elite names in the game - Jose Fernandez of the Marlins, Gerrit Cole of the Pirates are two such prime talents - even if the teams have no plans of moving that player."
- The Bucs might want to play four outfielders - Austin Meadows now has a hit in 26 straight games after he homered in his second outing at Indy. Maybe a couple of 1B, too - Josh Bell has a .470 BA in his last 10 games.
- The Pirates announced the signings of college P's John Pomeroy (13th round), Adam Oller (20th), and Geoff Hartlieb (29th), along with OF Garrett Brown (23).