Pirates A.M. — Marte, Polanco v. the Pirates


By Rob Biertempfel

MatePolancoDRBRADENTON, Fla. — It’s going to be a bit unusual this afternoon seeing Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco wearing visiting uniforms at LECOM Park. The two outfielders are playing for the Dominican Republic’s World Baseball Classic team, which will play an exhibition against the Pirates. On Tuesday, the DR lost 5-4 against the Orioles.

Manager Clint Hurdle expects the DR will use its regular starters. “I’ve got to imagine they’ll throw their guys at us, because they’ve got games coming up,” Hurdle said. “It’s going to be a good test.”

It should be interesting to watch Polanco and Marte dig in against Gerrit Cole and Tyler Glasnow. “That will be different,” Hurdle said with a smile. “We’ll see how our pitching philosophy works out against them.”

>>> DR manager Tony Pena talks about his memories of McKechnie Field and what he thinks about Polanco and Marte (please ignore the cameo appearance by Jayson Starks camera phone; it was tight quarters in the dugout):

>>> Wednesday’s game: Dominican Republic at Pirates, 1:05 p.m., LECOM Park, Bradenton. Webcast: pirates.com

Dominican Republic: Carlos Santana 3, Robinson Cano 4, Manny Machado 5, Jose Bautista 7, Nelson Cruz DH, Starling Marte 8, Jean Segura 6, Gregory Polanco 9, Wilington Castillo 2. RHP Wily Peralta

Also pitching for Dominican Republic: RH Tyler Eppler, LH Cody Dickson, LH Jared Lakind, RH Cesar Valdez

Pirates: Alen Hanson 4, Jordy Mercer 6, Josh Bell 3, David Freese 5, John Jaso 9, Eury Perez 7, Danny Ortiz 8, Jackson Williams 2, Gerrit Cole RHP.

Also pitching for Pirates: RH Tyler Glasnow, LH Dan Runzler, RH Angel Sanchez, RH Pat Light

>>> The Dominican team will wear black armbands in honor of Andy Marte and Yordano Ventura.

>>> There definitely is a heightened security presence, including bomb-sniffing doges, at LECOM Park. The DR team arrived on two buses and passed through a tented area (with a black curtain) as they entered the clubhouse.

>>> Three Pirates minor leaguers — Tyler Eppler, Cody Dickson and Jared Lakind — will work out of the DR’s bullpen today.

>>> Most of the folks who follow me on Twitter apparently don’t particularly care about the WBC:

>>> You want links? I’ve got links:

Some advice from Cole and Ray Searage might push Steven Brault over the top in the battle for the lone open job in the rotation.

How does Chris Stewart keep Father Time at bay? Fewer spring training starts, more ice-tub baths and more massages.

Pirates 6, Braves 3. A gusty wind helps Austin Meadows at the plate, hurts him in right field.

>>> Thursday’s game: Pirates at Rays, 1:05 p.m., Charlotte Sports Park, Port Charlotte. Webcast: pirates.com

Pirates: Lineup TBA. RHP Chad Kuhl. Also pitching for Pirates: LH Felipe Rivero, RH A.J. Schugel and LH Wade LeBlanc

Rays: Lineup TBA. LHP Blake Snell. Also pitching for Rays: RH Tommy Hunter, RH David Carpenter, RH Ryan Garton, RH Kevin Gadea, LH Justin Marks

>>> Friday’s game: Rays at Pirates, 1:05 p.m., LECOM Park, Bradenton. Radio: 93.7 FM. TV: Root

Rays: Lineup TBA. RHP Matt Andriese. Also pitching for Rays: TBA

Pirates: TBA. Also pitching for Pirates: TBA

Rob Biertempfel is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at rbiertempfel@tribweb.com or via Twitter @BiertempfelTrib.