Lineup: Jordy Mercer SS, Starling Marte CF, Cutch RF, Gregory Polanco LF, David Freese 3B, Fran Cervelli C, Josh Bell 1B, Adam Frazier 2B, Tyler Glasnow P. Lefty tossing, Jordy leads off. Freeser is back after a bad bruising, but J-Hay is out after taking a pitch to the leg yesterday. Fraze is getting a shot against a southpaw, altho from a different end of the lineup than he's accustomed to. This starts a streak of 3-of-4 lefty starters scheduled, so you'll see a lot of Jordy in the top spot and maybe an Alen Hanson or Goose sighting.
|Freeser is back in action and starting tonight. (image Pittsburgh Pirates)|
Pitchers: Tyler Glasnow was a surprise winner for the back end of the rotation; he has all the stuff in the world but is still brutally raw around the edges. The Bucs decided his education is best served in the MLB, and in truth he doesn't have much left to prove in the minors. His start was pushed back a couple of days because of the Boston rainout, but now it's time for classwork to begin. He's seen the Reds before, working three relief appearances last season with a 2.57 ERA in seven IP with eight whiffs. Brandon Finnegan (1-0, 0.00) was a workhorse for the Reds last year, slashing 10-11/3.98 in 31 starts. He's been rough on the Bucs, going 2-1/2.03 in his three starts tho he's only made it to the sixth inning once. He was spectacular in his first outing, tossing a seven-inning, one-hit shutout against the Phils with nine K.
- It will be interesting to see how long Tyler lasts; even in his better spring outings, he ran up a quick pitch count. Some think the reason, despite not much call for a fifth starter early on, that both Glasnow and Trevor Williams made the roster is that TW can provide a kind of piggyback/safety valve option while Tyler stretches out. We probably won't find out tonight, tho, as Trevor tossed two frames yesterday.
- Speaking if Trevor, John Sickel of Minor League Baseball offers his rookie profile of Williams.
|Starling's in some pretty fast clutch company (image via Pittsburgh Pirates)|
- The Pirates have hit 115 walk-off homers; Starling is already third in franchise history with four, as many as were hit by Ralph Kiner, Dick Stuart and Richie Hebner. Second on the list is Cutch with five and the leader of the pack is Pops with six.
- Minor league good stuff: Taylor Hearn threw five-2/3 scoreless innings, allowing four hits and three walks while striking out five in a 5-0 Bradenton (Hi A) victory. Luis Escobar fanned a dozen hitters in five frames, giving up one hit, one walk and four wild pitches, all in the same inning and responsible for the only run he surrendered. That tally hurt as West Virginia (Lo A) lost 2-1 in 11 innings.