Under the lights in Port Charlotte tonight, Kyle McPherson gets the start for the Pittsburgh Pirates against the Tampa Bay Rays. The 25-year-old is making his sixth start of the spring, and none will be bigger than this one for McFear with the fourth/fifth starter’s job on the line.
It’s pretty obvious: McPherson needs to be sharp to remain off the buses in Indianapolis in April. The right hander has allowed 16 earned runs in his 17.1 innings pitched over five outings. Here they are…
Braves. March 20: 4.2 IP/10H/9R/8ER/0BB/3K
Phillies: March 14: 5 scoreless innings 4H/0BB/1K
Orioles: March 8: 3 IP/6H/4R/4ER/1BB/3K
Astros: March 3: 2.2IP/2H/4R/4ER/3BB/2K
Twins: February 25: 2IP/1H/zero runs/zero strikeouts
The Pirates “offense-first” lineup is as follows:
Jose Tabata in right field
Russell Martin has reached in nine of 11 games he came to the plate.
Andrew McCutchen has hit homers in two of his past three games, and will play his usual center field
Gaby Sanchez will be at the hot corner
Brandon Inge is back from an injury and will be playing first base
Neil Walker at second base
Josh Harrison will be in left field, a position he played quite often in the minors. Jay Hay has eight hits in last 18 at bats.
Clint Barmes at short
Kyle McPherson will be on the mound and bat ninth, which is cool. The fact that he won’t have the best defense behind him isn’t, but with any luck McFear shows up and takes matter in his own hands.
Jonathan Sanchez will get the start tomorrow against the Blue Jays.