By Chris Adamski
CINCINNATI – Five rookies, two players who were in Triple-A a few weeks ago, one guy making his first MLB start at a particular position and another who’s in the cleanup spot despite a .140 season average.
A spring training “B” game? No, it’s the Pirates’ lineup for Tuesday’s game against the Reds:
A day-after-night-game-getaway-day lineup?
No… Pirates tonight at Reds… pic.twitter.com/dKaMZlPqXV
— Chris Adamski (@C_AdamskiTrib) May 2, 2017
“Seventeen straight games,” manager Clint Hurdle said, simplifying the explanation. “Looking for opportunities to get guys off their feet. We’ll use (usual cleanup hitter Gregory) Polanco off the bench today. If he needs to play today, he will, just not start.
“We’re not hitting on the field tomorrow, so that’s more time off. It was an opportunity to take care of 48 hours. We’re going to find time for everybody. This isn’t a park (Polanco) hit really well in in his career, either, if you pull back some layers and look at numbers (.202 average, 27 strikeouts in 89 at bats). … The matchup today with (Reds starter Scott) Feldman, get (Jose) Osuna out in left, play (John) Jaso in right, get (Josh) Bell a couple extra left-handed at-bats with Polanco being out. It’s just a good time to give him a rest and to get him plugged back in tomorrow.”
Twitter ire mostly has centered around Jaso (.140/.233/.260 in 50 plate appearances this season) batting fourth. Actually, though, after today – assuming he comes up at least twice – it will be the fourth-most common spot he’s hit out of in his career. Jaso is also making his sixth start of the season in right field.
Osuna, a minor-league first baseman, is making his first MLB start in left (he’s made six starts in right). Alen Hanson (.182/.273/.182) is making his fifth start at second baseman and Elias Diaz is making his first start of the season and second MLB start overall at catcher. He was recalled Monday.
The Pirates’ bench Tuesday? Polanco, Gift Ngoepe and Phil Gosselin – unless they want to burn their backup catcher, Chris Stewart. Francisco Cervelli remains out (Hurdle had no update on him pregame).
>>> No Frazier tomorrow:
And if anyone believed reinforcements were coming quickly… think again – at least when it comes to Adam Frazier. Frazier (left hamstring strain) said Tuesday that he will NOT come off the disabled list when first eligible Wednesday.
Frazier said he did plenty of on-field work Tuesday, and he added that he has not had any setbacks.
“Just not ready yet,” Frazier said.
“He had a pretty good workload today,” Hurdle said. “We’ll wait and see how he feels tomorrow and see what’s next. We anticipate him going on a rehab back end of the week.”
>>> You want links? I’ve got links:
“When you don’t execute, you put yourself at the mercy of the game.”
“In the offseason I’ll take a week off. Not now.”
>>> Tuesday’s game: Pirates at Reds, 7:10 p.m., Great American Ball Park. TV: None. Radio: 93.7 FM
Pirates (11-14): Josh Harrison 5, Josh Bell 3, Andrew McCutchen 8, John Jaso 9, Jose Osuna 7, Elias Diaz 2, Alen Hanson 4, Jordy Mercer 6, RHP Tyler Glasnow (0-1, 7.98)
Reds (12-13): Billy Hamilton 8, Zack Cozart 6, Joey Votto 3, Adam Duvall 7, Eugenio Suarez 5, Scott Schebler 9, Jose Peraza 4, Devin Mesoraco 2, RHP Scott Feldman (1-2, 3.25)
Gamecast: The Pirates have won three of Glasnow’s four starts – the best record they have with any starting pitcher – despite the fact he’s averaging just 3 2/3 innings per start. … Glasnow’s lone career start against the Reds (April 10) lasted only 1 2/3 innings and featured five earned runs, four hits and five walks. … Feldman has not faced the Pirates since 2010. … The Reds have lost four of his first five starts even though he’s allowed two or fewer runs in three of the five outings.
>>> Wednesday’s game: Reds at Pirates, 7:10 p.m., Great American Ball Park. TV: Root. Radio: 93.7 FM.
Pirates: Lineup TBA RHP Jameson Taillon (2-0, 2.08)
Reds: Lineup TBA. RHP Rookie Davis (0-1, 11.17)
>>> Thursday’s game: Brewers at Pirates, 7:05 p.m., Great American Ball Park. TV: Root. Radio: 93.7 FM.
Pirates: Lineup TBA. RHP Ivan Nova (3-2, 1.50)
Reds: Lineup TBA. RHP Tim Adelman (0-1, 4.70)
>>> Friday’s game: Reds at Pirates, 7:05 p.m., PNC Park. TV: Root. Radio: 93.7 FM.
Brewers: Lineup TBA. RHP Matt Garza (1-0, 3.88)
Pirates: Lineup TBA. RHP Chad Kuhl (1-2, 6.26)
>>> Saturday’s game: Reds at Pirates, 7:05 p.m., PNC Park. TV: Root. Radio: 93.7 FM.
Brewers: Lineup TBA. RHP Zach Davies (2-2, 6.07)
Pirates: Lineup TBA. RHP Gerrit Cole (1-3, 3.50)
>>> Sunday’s game: Reds at Pirates, 1:35 p.m., PNC Park. TV: Root. Radio: 93.7 FM.
Brewers: Lineup TBA. RHP Wily Peralta (4-1, 5.19 PLUS TUESDAY)
Pirates: Lineup TBA. RHP Tyler Glasnow (0-1, 7.98 PLUS TUESDAY)
Chris Adamski is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @C_AdamskiTrib.