Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Wednesday: Bucs, LA Close Out Series; Kuhl v Kenta Maeda, Lineup, Notes

Tonight: The Bucs try to avoid being broomed at Dodger Stadium tonight with the first pitch at 10:10. The game will be on Root Sports & 93.7 The Fan.

Lineup: Josh Harrison 3B, Fran Cervelli C, Cutch CF, Gregory Polanco RF, Josh Bell 1B, Jose Osuna LF, Max Moroff 2B, Jordy Mercer SS & Chad Kuhl P. Clint just can't make up his mind with all those second basemen to choose from; it's like trying to pick your favorite jelly bean. The only other deviation from the norm is Osuna in LF instead of JJ, who usually sees action against a righty and homered last night.

Jose gets the start over JJ in left field tonight (photo MLB Pipeline)

Pitchers: Chad Kuhl (1-2, 5.54) tries to stop the Buc bleeding against Kenta Maeda (2-2, 5.81).  Cool Chad is coming off a short start due to rain against the Brewers, so he should be strong. Don't let his ERA fool ya - he's allowed two earned runs or less in five of his six outings, but a Cubbie clobbering skewed his number. Chad is 2-0/4.09 in two career starts against LA, both last year. He shouldn't lack confidence; his first MLB win (in his debut) was against Clayton Kershaw on ESPN last June and he whipped the Blue Crew in Dodger Stadium last August. Maeda had a strong debut last year (16-11/3.48) but is getting bumped around some this season. He's still got great swing-and-miss stuff, but has been bitten by the long ball. Kenta looks to be rounding into shape, tho - his last two starts have been pretty strong and he's been stretching out his pitch count to 90-100 tosses. He's faced the Pirates once last year and was chased after five in a game the Buccos won 6-1.

  • Opposite directions: Cervy has a five-game hitting streak since taking a break, but J-Bell has cooled off, going 0-for-10 with five whiffs.
  • Fraze is batting second and playing LF for Indy today; sounds a lot like what he'll be doing for the Bucs when he's sprung from rehab. BTW, he went 2-for-3 with a walk & stolen base. He says he feels physically ready for action and it's up to the team medicos to make the call.
Fraze is just about ready to saddle up again (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)
  • If you notice the Bucs sporting purple wristbands tonight, the Pirates and team staff were issued them to show support for Jameson Taillon.
  • John Sickels of Minor League Ball gives the latest projection for Chris Bostick. Chris Mitchell of Fangraphs does the same for Max Moroff.
  • Altoona's 2B Kevin Kramer extended his on-base streak to 27 games; he was hitting .385 going into today's game. His infield partner SS Kevin Newman went down today after being drilled in the helmet with a heater and removed for evaluation; he's deemed day-to-day with a forehead contusion. He was beaned last year and broke an orbital bone in his eye.

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