Pitchers: Jeff Locke (8-6, 5.43) will toe the rubber against Bob Whalen (0-0, 0.00). Locke hasn't started since July 20th, and before that, on July 6th. Jeff was rocked both games. He's relieved twice in the interim, tossing 4-1/3 IP of scoreless ball, albeit while surrendering six hits. He hasn't fared well against his old organization, going 2-2, 4.89 in seven career starts v the Bravos. We'll see what a little rest and contemplation does for his game. Whalen is making his first MLB start. The 22-year-old righty was 7-5, 2.49 at Mississippi in AA and 0-1, 1.93 in three AAA starts at Gwinnett. He's a fast riser for the Braves, with a primary sinker/slider combo, but also having a 92-94 MPH four seamer, drop curve and change in his tool kit. The Bucs are facing an unknown in Whalen, but the alternative was to dig in against Julio Teheran, who was placed on the DL with back problems and replaced in the rotation by the youngster.
|Jeff Locke back on the bump (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)|
Lineup: Adam Frazier 2B, Gregory Polanco RF, Jung Ho Kang 3B, Starling Marte CF, Matt Joyce LF, David Freese 1B, Jordy SS, Eric Fryer C, Locke P. Cutch usually gets a two day rest, so this is an extended sit down for him. We're guessing that J-Hay and Fran are both still achy. JJ sits again. He's hitting .194 since June 1st (.163/.226/.204 in the last four weeks), and that number will get a guy some pine time.
- The Pirates have made a couple of catching moves at Indy to make Elias Diaz available in Atlanta (he's with the team now) in case Fran's beaning last night turns into down time.
- Eric Longenhagen of Fangraphs rated the prospects traded at the deadline by Future Value. LHP Taylor Hearn, OF Harold Ramirez and C Reese McGuire were all given 40, approximately a 1-WAR player. In Hearn's case, the new Bucco is considered a swing/spot pitcher ("raw secondaries") and Ramirez/McGuire were given bench player status (Ramirez - "lack of power an issue"; McGuire "poor bat speed and swing plane"). Their scouting reports are linked. Drew Hutchison, tho in AAA, wasn't included because of prior MLB time. Hutch (6-5, 3.26 w/ AAA Buffalo) will start at Indy tonight.