Monday, April 16, 2018

Rox Open Brief Bucco Homestand, Brault v Marquez, Notes - J-Hay Out Six Weeks, Max Up, Enny Arrives, Dovy Departs

Today: The Rox open with a 7:05 game that will carried by AT&T SportsNet and 93.7 The Fan. God still hasn't decided on when to schedule Spring; it's forecast to be cloudy, windy and in the upper 30s.

Lineup: Adam Frazier 2B, Gregory Polanco RF, Starling Marte CF, J-Bell 1B, Corey Dickerson LF, Fran Cervelli C, Colin Moran 3B, Jordy SS & Steven Brault P. The A-Team w/o Josh. And good news w/Cervy; his hand was swollen after being HBP yesterday, but he's in the lineup.

Pitchers: LHP Steven Brault (2-0, 3.46) opens against RHP German Marquez (0-1, 4.97).  Brault needs to throw some strikes if he wants to be more than a placeholder in the rotation; he's setting up too many hitters counts, has walked six in 10 IP as a starter and not lasted past five innings with an xFIP of 4.99. His mix is a little different this year; unlike most Bucs, he's gone less with the four-seamer and shown more slider/changeup stuff, so maybe he's still in the learning process of controlling his off-speed offerings. Steven has tossed once against the Rockies; that outing was in 2017 and he was tagged with two runs in an inning's work. Marquez, like Brault, hasn't worked past the five inning mark and is a wild child, with 10 walks in 12-2/3 IP. He's faced Pittsburgh twice, both times last year, and is 2-0/2.25 against them, going six innings both times, so he's been tough to solve.The key for both hurlers is early strikes; the key for the hitters is patience to see if they can throw any.

Looking to fill up the strike zone (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)
Notes:
  • The Rockies are on the second leg of a seven-game road trip; they just went 3-1 against the Nats and have won 4-of-5. They are similar to the Pirates in that they like to get into six inning games; the back end of their bullpen is strong. But unlike Pittsburgh, they're not too strong offensively, so a quick starting attack could be the difference.
  • The first major injury of the year: 2B Josh Harrison has a fractured fifth metacarpal (the same bone he broke when he was plunked last September) in his left hand as a result of getting bopped last night and is expected to miss six weeks. Max Moroff was called up to replace him and is in the house.
  • Enny Romero joined the club; to make space, Dovy Neverauskas was sent to Indy.
  • Rox 3B Nolan Arenado will miss the series as he serves out his five-game suspension for instigating a basebrawl with San Diego last week. 
  • The last time a Bucco went 5-for-5 with a homer as Starling did yesterday was in 2012, when Neil Walker unloaded on the Padres at PNC Park.
  • @THEChris Mack of 93.7 The Fan builds on the @JPerrotto story: Has the locker room mojo improved with the departure of Cutch and Cole
  • Tony Sanchez has joined the Rangers and was assigned to AAA
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