By Rob Biertempfel/Photo by Christopher Horner
ST. LOUIS — The lineup has a lot of moving parts, which makes manager Clint Hurdle happy. “That’s what makes our lineup and our roster very interesting and flexible,” he said. “Even during a game, we can make some switches and move people around if need be.”
Hurdle had to do a little shuffling again today, as LF Gregory Polanco will miss his third straight game with a sore right groin. Adam Frazier is in left. David Freese goes back to third (he started yesterday’s game at first), Josh Harrison is at second (he was at third yesterday) and Josh Bell is at first base.
It’s not like Hurdle pulls names and positions out of a hat. “We’ve prioritized what their best positions are, as we see them,” Hurdle said. “With each guy who plays multiple positions, there’s one position where he plays more comfortable and with more confidence than the others. It actually makes sense to us. It might not to anybody else.”
>>> UPDATE 1:55 p.m. — The Pirates acquired RHP Johnny Barbato from the Yankees for cash or a PTBNL. He was placed on the 40-man roster and optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis. The Pirates sill have one open roster spot.
Barbato, 24, made one outing for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre before being designed for assignment. He was on the Yankees’ opening day roster last year and made 13 relief appearances — and put a 7.62 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP. Over 13 innings, he struck out 15 and walked five.
After being drafted by the Padres in the sixth round in 2010, Barbato was traded to the Yankees in December 2014 for Shawn Kelley.
>>> UPDATE 3:11 p.m. – Polanco was panting and dripping sweat after a workout a little while ago, but he had good news: he’s been cleared to play. “We tested (the groin) outside,” Polanco said. “Nothing’s bothering me, so I’m healthy. Hopefully, I’ll be in the lineup again soon.” Polanco said he felt his groin tighten on Friday after he went first to third base on David Freese’s sixth-inning single. Polanco has reached base in six straight games.
>>> You want links? I’ve got links:
Pirates 6, Cubs 1: A hostile crowd, bases loaded and Kris Bryant at the plate? Good times, says Jameson Taillon.
Notebook: In which Glasnow sticks around, the bullpens move and Nicasio finds redemption.
Which was the bigger gain for the #Pirates on Saturday v Cubs?
— Rob Biertempfel (@BiertempfelTrib) April 15, 2017
>>> Monday: Pirates at Cardinals, 7:05 p.m., Busch Stadium, St. Louis. TV: Root/ESPN. Radio: 93.7 FM
UPDATE 4:38 p.m. – The Cardinals have scratched Matt Carpenter due to a finger injury sustained last night while fielding a ground ball.
Pirates: Adam Frazier 7, Starling Marte 8, Andrew McCutchen 9, David Freese 5, Josh Bell 3, Francisco Cervelli 2, Josh Harrison 4, Jordy Mercer 6, RHP Ivan Nova (1-1, 2.25)
Cardinals: Dexter Fowler 8, Aledmys Diaz 6,
Matt Carpenter 3, Stephen Piscotty 9, Randal Grichuck 7, Jose Martinez 3, Greg Garcia 5, Eric Fryer 2, Kolten Wong 4, RHP Lance Lynn (0-1, 5.23)
Gamecast: Nova has never faced the Cardinals. … Cardinals SS Aledmys Diaz has a career batting average of .365 during the month of April. He ranks third in the majors over the past two seasons (minimum 100 AB) behind Zack Cozart (.400) and Daniel Murphy (.385). … Lynn missed all of last season while recovering from Tommy John surgery. … With 774 career strikeouts, Lynn is five shy of tying Bill Sherdel (1918-1930, 1932) for 14th on the Cardinals’ all-time list. … Lynn has pitched in 19 games (17 starts) vs. the Pirates, his most games and starts against any opponent.
>>> Tuesday: Pirates at Cardinals, 8:15 p.m., Busch Stadium, St. Louis. TV: MLB Network. Radio: 93.7 FM
Pirates: RHP Chad Kuhl (1-0, 2.38) Cardinals: RHP Mike Leake (1-0, 0.60)
>>> Wednesday: Pirates at Cardinals, 1:45 p.m., Busch Stadium, St. Louis. TV: Root. Radio: 93.7 FM
Pirates: RHP Gerrit Cole (1-1, 5.29) Cardinals: RHP Michael Wacha (1-1, 3.00)
>>> Thursday: Off
Rob Biertempfel is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @BiertempfelTrib.