Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Wednesday: Dominican v Pittsburgh - Cole v Wily Peralta, Lineup, Notes, Pirates On Fire, Win 6-3

Today: The Dominican Republic WBC squad warms up against the Pirates. The exhibition begins at 1:05 at LECOM Park in Bradenton. The action will be webcast (audio) at

Lineup (subs): Alen Hanson 2B, Jordy Mercer SS (Max Moroff), Josh Bell 1B, David Freese 3B, John Jaso RF (Jose Osuno), Eudy Perez LF (Barrett Barnes), Danny Ortiz CF, Jackson Williams C (Christian Kelley) & Gerrit Cole P. JJ gets another crack at pasture play and a lot of young Buccos are getting some long looks while the cats are away.

Angel Sanchez is back on the barstool (photo Robbie Rogers/Getty)

Pitchers: Gerrit Cole, Tyler Glasnow, Dan Runzler, Angel Sanchez & Pat Light. Sanchez, who had TJ surgery in 2015 while in the midst of a strong Indy/Altoona campaign (13-2, 2.69), will make his first outing since then today. It'll also be interesting to see which Glasnow hits the hill today - the strike-throwing machine of his first foray or the wild child of his second trip to the hill.

Yesterday's Game: The Pirates ran their spring mark to 9-3 with a 6-3 victory over the the Bravos yesterday. Trevor Williams and minor-league tosser John Kuchno were touched for all three runs in the first three frames; Steven Brault and three relievers (Jared Hughes, Antonio Bastardo, Ty Webb) tossed goose eggs following him. Austin Meadows and Jose Osuna homered. Stew was back in mid-season form behind the dish; he was the middle man in a strike 'em out, throw 'em out DP and picked a runner off second.

Austin Meadows will see plenty of work during the WBC (photo via MLB Pipeline)
  • Three Pirates pitchers will be on lend-lease to the Dominican today for bullpen use - Tyler Eppler, Cody Dickson and Jared Lakind.
  • The defending-champion Dominican Republic is on the short list as WBC favorites. They have strong starting pitching, an explosive attack and a gold-glove defense. Their only hole is in the bullpen, and that may hold the key to a repeat crown. Starling and El Coffee are active on the DR roster; Ivan Nova is eligible for second round play. Former Buccos Edinson Volquez and Jose Bautista are on the team, along with ex-farmhand Mel Rojas Jr. and Jumbo Diaz.
  • Speaking of WBC, the USA added Josh Harrison based largely on his ability to play everywhere on the diamond. They sure do take his versatility to the bank - he played in center field yesterday.
  • And hey - if you wondered where Nick Leyva went, he's also off to the WBC as a coach for Mexico.
  • Pirate great Dick Groat, who returned to his other love by announcing Pitt basketball for the past 38 years, was awarded the Marvin “Skeeter” Francis Award presented by the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association yesterday. The award is given annually in recognition of significant contributions to the coverage of ACC athletics.

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