Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Tuesday: Tampa Bay @ Pittsburgh - Kuhl v Alex Cobb, Lineup, Notes, Bucs Squeak Out Another W

Today: The Rays play the back end of a home-and-home series with the Pirates. The opening pitch is at 1:05 at LECOM Park in Bradenton. The match will be carried by Root Sports and 93.7 The Fan.

Lineup (starters): Adam Frazier SS, Phil Gosselin 1B, John Jaso 3B, Fran Cervelli C, Jose Osuna LF, Danny Ortiz CF, Eric Wood RF, Max Moroff 2B & Chad Kuhl P. Goose is at first and JJ debuts at third, a role reversal for the duo.

JJ is at the hot corner (photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)

Pitchers: Chad Kuhl, AJ Schugel, & Josh Lindblom. Chad has a tight grip on the fourth spot in the rotation with two weeks to go. AJ needs to pick it up in his challenge for a bullpen spot. Josh has opened some eyes as a depth guy; it'll be interesting to see where he starts the season and in what role.

Yesterday's Game: The Bucs kept rollin' with a 5-4 win over Tampa Bay. JT had a so-so start with control issues and Edgar Santana was brought to earth, but Wade LeBlanc's and Dan Runzler's zippos held the fort. There are gonna be some interesting decisions when it's rug-cutting time for the pen. Jose Osuna is still red-hot, smacking his fifth HR and adding three ribbies to go with a .441 BA. Fraze hasn't been a slouch either; his three hits brought his spring line to .450. Jordy banged a two-run shot as the Pirates now have a 15-7-1 Grapefruit slate after overcoming four GIDPs on the way to the victory.


  • The Bucs made an interesting defensive change yesterday when jack-of-all-trades Phil Gosselin slid to first base to replace Josh Bell in the eighth inning. The Goose has now played every IF position this spring, and he'll get the start at first today. 
The Goose is loose (photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)
  • Ivan Nova will toss a minor league game at Pirate City today. He’s slated for 100 pitches, a sure sign the season is just around the bend.
  • The players were involved in a paintball shootout at the ballyard this morning; the club calls it a "team-building exercise," we call boys gotta be boys after a month of camp.
  • Audrey Stark of Beyond the Box Score makes the argument that Cutch still has CF chops and last year's woes were the result of a perfect storm of shallow positioning and Pirate pitchers serving up few ground balls
  • Matt Eddy of Baseball America projected the Top 20 Rookies of 2017; Josh Bell and Tyler Glasnow made the list.
  • The safety net behind the plate at PNC Park will be extended to the end of dugouts this season. A pain to watch through to be sure, but it beats a liner or bat to the noggin and the ensuing visits to the doc and/or lawyer.

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