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Morning briefing: Game 25 @ Orioles


birdSARASOTA, Fla. — So, the Pirates offered Starling Marte a multi-year contract, but he didn’t find the numbers exactly to his liking. Both sides say they will continue to talk over a possible deal. Your thoughts? … This is the first game this spring the Pirates have not used a designated hitter. … Andrew Lambo was listed on the tentative traveling roster yesterday, but will not make the 20-minute trip from McKechnie Field. Travis Ishikawa is in the lineup at first base. Hmmm. Then again, manager Clint Hurdle has been bundling at-bats for various guys this spring. Since Ishikawa missed some time early this spring with a sore hammy, it makes sense he’s getting a bunch of at-bats now. … Gerrit Cole is slated for 90-plus pitches today. Bryan Morris, Andy Oliver and Jay Jackson are down for one inning apiece. … Jason Grilli and Tony Watson each will throw one inning today in a minor league game at Pirate City. … Baltimore beat guy Ed Encina tells me Kevin Gausman has pitched well enough this spring to merit consideration for the Orioles’ rotation, but there’s simply no room for him there. This could be his final Grapefruit League start before being sent to minor league camp.

Pirates (12-9-1) @ Orioles (12-7-1), 1:05 p.m., Ed Smith Stadium, Sarasota, Fla.
Radio: 93.7 FM Weather: Sunny, 77 degrees
Pirates: 1. Starling Marte LF, Travis Snider RF, 3. Andrew McCutchen CF, 4. Pedro Alvarez 3B, 5. Neil Walker 2B, 6. Travis Ishikawa 1B, 7. Tony Sanchez C, 8. Jordy Mercer SS, 9. Gerrit Cole RHP.
Orioles: 1. Nick Markakis RF, 2. David Lough LF, 3. Adam Jones CF, 4. Chris Davis 1B, 5. Nelson Cruz DH, 6. Matt Wieters C, 7. J.J. Hardy SS, 8. Ryan Flaherty 3B, 9. Jemile Weeks 2B. Kevin Gausman RHP.
Other pitchers: Bryan Morris, Andy Oliver, Jay Jackson and (if necessary) Daniel Schlereth.
Bench: Nevin Ashley, Josh Harrison, Jose Tabata, Omir Santos and a host of minor leaguers.
Rob Biertempfel



  1. LeeFoo says:

    some morning bad news


  2. NMR says:

    Wei-Yin Chen/Bud Norris : Kevin Gausman :: Edinson Volquez : Jameson Taillon

  3. LeeFoo says:

    NMR…not following your reply.

  4. LeeFoo says:

    Don’t quite ‘get this’ from DK this morn:

    If you missed it, Biertempfel broke news Sunday about the Pirates making Starling Marte a multiyear offer. Marte, to his infinite credit, rejected it.
    Can’t help but wonder: Would the Pirates ever make Gerrit Cole such an offer? Or would they presume that Scott Boras, unlike Jose Tabata’s agent, isn’t brain-dead? Or will only the Latin American players be approached in such a manner, in hopes that they’re all stupid enough to forfeit arbitration and free-agency years before they’re even remotely established?”

    Isn’t calling Latins ‘stupid’ perpetuated a grievous stereotype? To even SUGGEST that the Pirates might think that, is extremely callous?

  5. LeeFoo says:

    First two paragraphs should be in quotes…man I wish I could edit here.

  6. NMR says:

    Are you TRYING to find something wrong with anything Dejan writes at this point?

  7. NMR says:

    It was a comment on Rob’s bit on Gausman not having room in the O’s rotation.

    Chen/Norris is to Kevin Gausman as Volquez is to Jameson Taillon. Just watch how quickly room in that rotation appears once service time dates have come and gone.

  8. FlBucco says:

    This service time charade is going to end at some point. The George Springer situation could be the start of the end. A smart agent will be able to make the case the his client is worthy of X% more because he/she would have been in the majors months earlier if the team was being “fair”.

    If service time were not an issue for the Pirates.
    1. Would they have brought back Snider
    2. Or maybe the bring him back but try him at first base.
    3. Would Polanco have been given 40 or more ST at bats.
    4. Would Volquez have been signed
    5. Would Taillon have been given a fair shot at #5 slot [or Locke for that matter]

    I understand the logic of the service time game – but I am not sure it serves us fans well – I WANT to see the best OF in baseball from game 1 if Polanco is really ready.

    I DON”T want to watch one inning of the walking disaster that is Edison Volquez.

    I WORRY that playing this silly game will lead to the Pirates fighting the Brewers for fourth place in the division by Labor Day.

    We fans deserve better – it is about WINNING [or it SHOULD BE] – not making Nutting more money..

  9. NMR says:

    You most certainly do NOT understand the “service time game” if you believe it hurts fans.

    Because of service time rules, us fans will get an entire extra season of Gregory Polanco in his prime in exchange for two months as a rookie.

    An entire seaosn of Gregory Polanco in his prime unquestionably will lead to more wins than a couple months as a rookie. Holding players back because of service time is all about wins.

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