Lineup (starters): Adam Frazier 2B, Alen Hanson SS, Phil Gosselin 1B, Josh Bell DH, Elias Diaz C, Austin Meadows CF, Danny Ortiz LF, Eury Perez RF, Gift Ngoepe 3b & Clay Holmes P. The infield corners are Gosselin and Ngoepe, both looking to earn S-Rod's jack-of-all-trades spot on the bench. Fraze and Hanson are also guys who would get score big points by exhibiting some up-the-middle chops.
|Fraze has been seeing a lot of time at the top of the order (photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)|
Pitchers: Clay Holmes, Nick Kingham, Jared Hughes, Antonio Bastardo, Josh Lindblom, LH Dan Runzler. Holmes, Kingham, Lindblom & Runzler have been solid so far, while Bastardo & Hughes hope to keep on an even keel after righting their ships following rough starts.
Yesterday's Game: Hutch became the first Bucco of the spring to go four frames; did OK, too. He whiffed five, giving up a run on a solo bomb. David Freese's first inning single chased home Max Moroff and the pitching was stellar for both sides the rest of the way; the Pirates gave up just four hits and fanned 12 Rays. It stayed 1-1 until the ninth when Edwin Espinal (23-year-old 1B for Altoona) cracked a one-out, walk-off homer with a pair of teammates aboard, and Pittsburgh claimed another Grapefruit League win 4-1.
- Steve Nesbitt of the Post-Gazette reports that Jung-Ho Kang will be placed on the restricted list. That means he's inactive (not on the 25 or 40-man rosters) but still under team control, and that's a bright red flag that all is not going well with his visa.
- Ivan Nova and Angel Sanchez are scheduled to pitch in a minor-league game at Pirate City today; Jameson Taillon tossed a sim game yesterday.
- Jon Heyman of Fanrag Sports picks the Pirates as one of his seven surprise teams to watch in 2017. He also tweeted that the "Braves, Pirates are among many teams to make offers to Angel Pagan. So far none acceptable." So the Bucs are looking for a fourth OF'er, interesting.
|Will a chip on the shoulder spark Cutch ? - 2014 Topps Breaking Out|
- Matt Whitener of Yardbarker selected his NL roster of players with something to prove this campaign and yep, Andrew is on it. Whitener wrote that "...it is hard to imagine a more motivated player in the game this year than McCutchen."
- Mark the Shark is set to join Team USA for the second round of WBC play.
- For the curious: MLB Trade Rumors' Mike Bates has a list of where all the free agents have landed - or not. Some big bopper 1B/DH types (Pedro Alvarez, Billy Butler, Ryan Howard) are still looking for some love.