Lineup: Adam Frazier SS, Starling Marte CF, Cutch RF, Gregory Polanco LF, David Freese 2B, Fran Cervelli C, Josh Bell 1B, Josh Harrison 2B & Tyler Glasnow P. Jordy gets the day off as Fraze gets his first MLB start at short. He played the position semi-regularly in the minors in 2015 and twice last year at Indy, so we'll see how he handles the spot. The Bucs don't have a legitimate glove guy when they want to give Jordy a blow, the closest mitt man being Gift Ngoepe at Indy. So whenever Mercer's off, the infield defense slips a notch by default. (EDIT - Gregory was a late scratch with a groin tweak; Alen Hanson replaced him. Bump everyone behind Polanco up a notch and insert Alen in the eight-hole)
|Fraze gets his first MLB start at short (photo Justin Aller/Getty)|
Pitchers: Tyler Glasnow (0-1, 27.00) had a pretty forgettable start to the season and has his work cut out for him today against Jake Arrieta (2-0, 2.08). A deer in the headlights was more poised than Tyler last time out, so we'll see today if he can lower his heartbeat and trust his stuff enough to challenge hitters by tossing some strikes in his first-ever meeting with the Cubbies. Another thing to watch is his delivery which Uncle Ray is trying to simplify; lots of moving parts when you're 6'8". Jake was oddly human against the Buccaneers last year, slashing 3-2/4.93 in six starts (the Bucs teed off on him in the last three) even with 40 whiffs in 38 IP. But overall he's 9-3/2.96 against Pittsburgh, so we'll see if 2016 was just a deviation from his usual norm.
- Freeser has a four game hitting streak (7-for-11), has reached base safely in all nine of his games and 11 times in his last 14 plate appearances. His .576 OBP leads the league.
- David Heim of Players Trust has a post on Andrew's "Cutch's Crew." The organization helps fund groups that mentor inner city youth.
- 2B Kevin Kramer has an eight-game hitting steak at Altoona. He was the Bucs' second selection in the 2015 draft.
- Today is the 70th anniversary of Jackie Robinson's MLB debut.