I got down to Bradenton around noon on Wednesday, after about 15 hours of driving from Virginia. For the last two days I’ve been unpacking the moving truck. That’s not finished yet, but I thought I’d take a break for this.
The Pirates are set to open their Spring Training schedule today with a Black and Gold intrasquad scrimmage. The teams are set to go five and a half innings. Below are the lineups and pitchers.
1. Alex Presley, CF
2. Chase d’Arnaud, SS
3. Jerry Sands, RF
4. Clint Robinson, 1B
5. Brandon Inge, DH
6. Jared Goedert, 3B
7. Josh Harrison, 2B
8. Michael McKenry
9. Felix Pie, LF
SP – Gerrit Cole
RP – Kyle Waldrop, Erik Cordier, Hunter Strickland
Bench – Anderson Hernandez, Lucas May
1. Starling Marte, LF
2. Jose Tabata, CF
3. Matt Hague, 3B
4. Gaby Sanchez, 1B
5. Brad Hawpe, DH
6. Jordy Mercer, SS
7. Tony Sanchez, C
8. Ivan De Jesus Jr., 2B
9. Darren Ford, CF
SP – Jameson Taillon
RP – Kyle Johnson, Vic Black
Bench – Carlos Paulino, Ali Solis
The big thing here, other than the obvious start to the baseball season, is that Cole and Taillon will be squaring off. The top prospects will be going up against a group largely made of non-roster invitees, or 40-man roster players competing for jobs. It’s pretty much the equivalent of a really good Triple-A squad. That will be a good first test for Cole, who is set to open his 2013 season with Indianapolis. Taillon is set to open in Altoona, but this will be a good chance for him to face some upper level hitting.
Cole and Taillon are each throwing two innings, with all of the relievers pitching one inning each. The game starts at noon, and I’ll update this post throughout the game with notes on all of the performances.
UPDATE 12:40 PM: Cole and Taillon are both finished for the day. Cole gave up one hit in two shutout innings, with no walks and one strikeout. The lone hit was a single through the right side of the infield to Brad Hawpe. Cole erased him with a 5-4-3 double play. The only other base runner came with two outs when Chase d’Arnaud threw wide of first base, allowing Matt Hague to reach.
Taillon gave up two hits in two shutout innings, striking out three. The right-hander was mostly throwing the fastball, but mixed in a few curveballs. He finished his day striking out Michael McKenry swinging.
UPDATE 12:58 PM: Ivan De Jesus Jr. led off the third inning against Kyle Waldrop with a triple to right field. It would have been a single, but Jerry Sands tried to dive for it, missed it, and allowed De Jesus to keep running. Starling Marte came up a few batters later and crushed the first pitch he saw to left field for a two run homer. The ball went over the new bleachers here at McKechnie. The wind is blowing out to center, which might have carried the ball. Marte made solid contact, so it would have been a homer no matter where the wind was blowing.
UPDATE 1:07 PM: Kyle Waldrop is a ground ball machine, with a career ground ball rate over 70% in the majors. He just showed why in his second inning of work. The right-hander gave up an infield single to Gaby Sanchez. The ball went between third and short, and was stopped by Chase d’Arnaud, who didn’t have time for a throw. Waldrop then got a hard grounder to Josh Harrison at second, who tried to backhand the ball and start a double play. The ball hit off the heel of his glove, but Harrison was able to catch up to it and flip it to d’Arnaud for the first out. Waldrop got another grounder, this time to d’Arnaud, who started a 6-4-3 double play.
UPDATE 1:35 PM: Erik Cordier had a pretty rough inning. He didn’t give up a run, but put runners on second and third with two outs. He issued a walk to Jose Tabata on a 3-2 pitch, and the inning was ended due to his pitch count. Vic Black is now on to pitch in the bottom of the 5th.
UPDATE 1:45 PM: Black gave up a leadoff walk to Felix Pie, which hurt him later in the inning. Pie stole second and eventually scored on a sacrifice fly to tie the game. Black gave up a two out walk to Chase d’Arnaud on a full count. D’Arnaud then stole second. Both stolen bases came off Ali Solis. He then walked Jerry Sands on another full count. Black struck out Clint Robinson looking to end the inning. That was Robinson’s third strikeout of the day.