Saturday, April 1, 2017

Saturday: Pitching Settled (Glasnow In, Webb Out); Bucs / Blue Jays, Kuhl v Frankie, Lineup, Notes & Some Sister-Kissing

Big News of the Day: The Bucs named their going north (or in this case, east) pitching staff. The rotation is set with Gerrit Cole (Opening Day) - Jameson Taillon - Chad Kuhl - Ivan Nova (Home Opener) - Tyler Glasnow. An young rotation to be sure, with lots of potential and a steep learning curve to work through. The pen will consist of Tony Watson, Felipe Rivero, Juan Nicasio, Daniel Hudson, Antonio Bastardo, Wade LeBlanc and Trevor Williams, and that's a solid, experienced group.

We're a little surprised that Tyler Webb was chopped and both fifth starter candidates carried, but a good spring was had by all except for Watson, who was already a given. Experience carried the day for Wade, right-handed bullpen balance helped Trevor and the Pirates decided Tyler can accelerate his mound education more quickly on the big team.

Webb will be waived and if unclaimed (as a Rule 5 guy, a claiming team has to carry him on the active roster) returned to the Yankees unless the Bucs can strike a deal with the Bronx FO, so we'll see where that leads. All that remains is to sort out the Jose Osuna - Alen Hanson match for the 25th man (we're assuming that Phil Gosselin has earned a spot, although ya never know; he may be in play, too). It may come down to player control; Osuna can be optioned and Hansen can't.

Olympic Stadium 2017 (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)

Today: The Pirates and Blue Jays get it on again at Olympic Stadium in Montreal at 1:07. The game will be carried on 93.7 The Fan and on the MLB Network.

Lineup: Jordy Mercer SS, Starling Marte CF, Cutch RF, David Freese 3B, Jose Osuna DH, Josh Harrison 2B, Josh Bell 1B, Phil Gosselin LF, Elias Diaz C (Chad Kuhl P). Jordy at leadoff (v LHP); still, he and Starling have been at the set-up end of the lineup quite a bit this spring.

Pitchers: Chad Kuhl, Tyler Glasnow and Wade LeBlanc; the pressure is off now that the pitching staff has been finalized.

Yesterday's Game: In a nice touch, Montreal honored some old Expos pre-game: Al Oliver, Dennis Martinez, Tim Raines, even Youppi. That was most of the excitement for the 43,180 announced fans. The game ended up a 1-1 draw. Pirates pitching was tight - Jameson Taillon gave up a run over three innings, then Wade LeBlanc, Daniel Hudson, Felipe Rivero, Juan Nicasio, Antonio Bastardo, and Tyler Webb all tossed zippo frames. Both runs were keyed by triples - Adam Frazier's for the Pirates and Darwin Barney's for the Jays. One more exhibition to go before showtime.

  • It's a mixed bag regarding the two Bucs left in camp, Gregory Polanco and Stew. The FO seems to think Gregory should be good to go on Opening Day and are "optimistic" but still guarded a bit about Stewart.
Gregory is expected to be ready for Boston (image via ESPN)
  • Dave Adler of has five storylines to watch for the 2017 Pirates.
  • Will Leitch of Sports on Earth picks a reason to watch your team in 2017. For the Pirates, he says it's to view the best outfield in baseball from seats in the best stadium in baseball.

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