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.