The Houston Astros roll into McKechnie Field today to take on the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Bucs have a three-day homestand in Bradenton beginning today with the 1:05 first pitch.
On the mound will be Kyle McPherson who will be looking to move up the RumBunter Pittsburgh Pirates Fifth Starter Power Rankings. McFear fired two scoreless innings against the Twins in the right handers first start of the spring.
Also scheduled to pitch are the Bucs closer Jason Grilli, Tony Watson and Justin Wilson who are both looking to improve on their last time out. Bryan Morris and Kyle Waldrop will finish off the action at the new McKechnie.
It’s still not clear who will be the battery mate for the Buccos pitching staff. Russell Martin was hitless yesterday (just missing a double thanks to Miguel Cabrera’s great play) as the DH with one walk. It’s not clear if he will be behind the dish today.
Dejan Kovacevic reported that Martin was reluctant to say he would be behind the dish. The Bucs big splash in free agency said he doesn’t feel the need to rush back. Certainly we would agree with that statment seven-hundred percent. But of course when Martin doesn’t play, there is the likelihood that the team would have to watch just how awful Michael McKenry is at catcher–maybe Hurdle is sick of seeing it too?
The bottom line is the Pirates need a one-hundred-percent healthy, focused on shocking the world catcher if they plan on doing anything in 2013. What the team doesn’t need is starting a player that states he doesn’t want to rush anything. If the 30-year old Martin would tweak something because Hurdle says he is ready to go, what purpose does that serve?
The undefeated Grapefruit League season is already a distant memory. Why not focus on getting, or keeping everyone healthy as April Fools Day approaches.