BRADENTON, Fla. — Justin Wilson had a solid spring debut last night against the Orioles — two scoreless, hitless innings with three strikeouts. The lefty walked J.J. Hardy on four pitches to open the third inning, then fanned Adam Jones and Mark Reynolds and got Matt Wieters on a fly ball to right.
“He got sharper the longer he stayed out there,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “The first batter, I’m sure he had some nerves. It was the first time this kid had gotten on the mound, and it’s a big league game to him. It was four quick balls and then, boom, he went to work. It was good to see him repeat his delivery with downward hill plane and that velocity, it’s hard to square up. The arm’s big. The consistency of the arm, the command of his pitches is something he’s got to improve. That’s a fresh arm, sitting at 95 mph (fastball) and with a lot of (other) pitches.”
A fifth-round pick in 2008, Wilson was a starter for his first two-plus seasons in the minors. His numbers have been OK — 6-8 with a 4.50 ERA at Lynchburg, 11-8 with a 3.09 ERA at Altoona, 10-8 with a 4.13 ERA at Indy. Late last season, he was switched to the bullpen. The move seemed to help him, as his velo ticked up to 95-plus mph.
»»» Charlie Morton, Rudy Owens, Kyle McPherson, Gerrit Cole and Duke Welker will pitch in a camp game at 10 a.m. Wednesday at Pirate City. It will be Morton’s first “game” situation this spring.
»»» The Pirates will announce Andrew McCutchen’s contract at 11:30 a.m today with a presser at McKechnie Field.
»»» Righty Kevin Correia is slated to work the first two innings today against the Yankees. Also scheduled to pitch are Daniel McCutchen, Doug Slaten, Chris Resop, Tony Watson, Chris Leroux, Ryota Igarashi and Juan Cruz. Pirates batters have faced a lefty starter in each of their first four games.
Lineups for today’s game:
Yankees (2-1): 1. Derek Jeter ss, 2. Robinson Cano 2b, 3. Alex Rodriguez 3b, 4. Mark Teixeira 1b, 5. Andruw Jones dh, 6. Francisco Cervelli C, 7. Chris Dickerson lf, 8. Dewayne Wise cf, 9. Justin Maxwell rf. CC Sabathia lhp
Pirates (1-2): 1. Jose Tabata rf, 2. Clint Barmes ss, 3. Andrew McCutchen cf, 4. Casey McGehee 1b, 5. Neil Walker 2b, 6. Rod Barajas c, 7. Yamaico Navarro dh, 8. Nick Evans 3b, 9. Brandon Boggs lf. Kevin Correia rhp