Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Tuesday: Cole v Tyler Chatwood, Lineup, Notes, Day One Draft Board

Tonight: The middle game against the Rocky Mountain nine starts at 7:05 and is Pup Night at the Park. Oh, and the Stanley Cup Champs will be at PNC Park today, along with Lord Stanley's Cup. The Pens will be recognized on the field in a pre-game ceremony beginning at 7:00. The match will be carried by Root Sports and 93.7 The Fan as the Buccos are looking to win four consecutive games tonight for the first time this season. .

Lineup: Adam Frazier LF, Josh Harrison 2B, Gregory Polanco RF, David Freese 3B, Josh Bell 1B, Cutch CF, Elias Diaz C, Jordy Mercer SS & Gerrit Cole P. These guys have been bopping and JJ has been solid off the bench, so why mess with success?

Lately, Cole Train has been  a riddlewrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.
(photo Pittsburgh Pirates) 
Pitchers: Gerrit Cole (3-6, 4.83) takes on Tyler Chatwood (6-7, 4.37). We know Cole Train's recent woes - he's tossed to a 10.41 ERA in his last four starts, lasted 19-1/3 IP and surrendered 39 hits (.411 oppBA) w/eight long taters. His key is to regain movement on his pitches; they've been flat and drilled all over the yard. He pitched twice last year against the Rox and was 2-0, 2.18, so this might be a good spot for a bounce back (we hope). Don't let Chatwood's slash fool ya -  he gets smacked around at Mile High, but away from Denver he's 4-3, 2.53  with a 0.971 WHIP. He has had the baseball gods on his side on the road, tho - his BABIP is a tiny .183, so he's due to regress; no reason it can't start tonight, right? He's faced the Bucs once last year and went six innings of one-run ball at PNC, although he was dodging raindrops by giving up six hits and walking a pair.

  • Josh Harrison has hit safely in 10 straight games, hitting.395 with three doubles, a triple, two home runs and six RBI.
  • In 16 games since moving to the sixth spot, Cutch has gone 23-for-59 (.390) with four doubles, a triple, three home runs and 12 RBI while producing a 1.123 OPS. Andrew hit safely in 14 of the six-hole games, raising his BA 48 points from .203 to .251.
  • J-Bell is regaining his eye, too. He's hit safely in five straight games and in six of his last seven outings.
Josh is ringin' the bell again (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)
  • The Buc are batting .295 since May 23, the highest mark in MLB over that span. The Pirates have banged out 10 or more hits nine times in their last 11 games.
  • If the Bucs become sellers, one still under-the-radar but too sensible to discount bit of smoke is 2018 FA Juan Nicasio going to the Nats.
  • The Rangers picked up LHP Joely Rodriguez from the Phillies for cash or a PTBNL. Joely was sent to Philly by the Pirates in 2014 for Antonio Bastardo.

Draft Board First Day:
  • The Bucs drafted a Texas high school arm, Shane Baz, at #12. The last time the Pirates used their first pick on a high school pitcher was when they selected Jameson Taillon second overall in 2010, and that worked out OK. Shane a fair-sized 17-year-old at 6'3" with a mid-nineties heater, cutter/slider & curve while working on a changeup and is considered a high-ceiling guy. Sounds like a good catch by Neal & the gang. The only possible downer is that he's a TCU commit and is expected to be a costly sign, but he sounds like he's ready to make the jump if the money is right.
  • With the #42 overall pick, the Pirates selected RHP Steven Jennings out of Tennessee's DeKalb County High School. Jennings, a 6'2" HS-QB, throws in the low-nineties with a slider and in-progress curve. He's recovered from an ACL tear suffered early during football season and is an Ole Miss commit. He's not a stretch, having worked his way back into the BA Top 50 Prospects list.
  • The Pirates took Calvin Mitchell with the #50 pick as they continue to ride the prep road. The Californian is a strong lefty stick with just average defensive chops and speed, so he looks like a LF/1B kinda guy. Cal didn't have the best of senior seasons and dropped from first-round status. He's a San Diego commit.
  • And at #72, the high school trend kept going as OF Conner Uselton was called. The Oklahoman is a potential mid-lineup bat who like Mitchell dropped a little bit into the Pirates lap. He's in CF now but projects as a corner. Conner is 19 and committed to Oklahoma State. The age could make him a poser to sign; he'll be draft-eligible again when he's 21.

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