Pirates spring training: A glimpse of lineup vs LHP?


As the seemingly-never-ending 2015 Pirates spring training continues, we have come to the point where managers are putting out lineups that feature more and more regulars.  The game later today vs the Atlanta Braves is no exception for Clint Hurdle and his club.  Today the Pirates go up against old friend Wandy Rodriguez.  Rob Biertempfel of the Tribune-Review tweeted out today’s very intriguing lineup:

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This lineup caught my eye for a number of reasons.  First, this is as close to a purely regular lineup as we’ve seen from the club thus far this spring.  Perhaps more importantly, it stuck me that this could very well be the de-facto lineup against LHP for the 2015 season.  It’s not hard to see why, aside from

Josh Harrison


Andrew McCutchen

holding down their accustomed spots, we see

Corey Hart

in the lineup, batting cleanup and playing right field, and

Jordy Mercer

batting sixth.

Neil Walker

is interestingly enough in the second spot in the order, rather than fifth.  This seems to be in line with

Hurdle’s declaration on Starling Marte’s role as a run producer

.  Walker did well in the 2-hole in 2014, slashing .291/.359/.440.

In case you were wondering, here are some interesting 2014 slashlines vs. LHP to consider:

Walker – .280/.353/.374
Hart – .290/.362/.504 *
Mercer – .340/.382/.531

*-Hart’s slashline is for his career

Looking at those lines against southpaws has me very excited to see how the club does today.  Of course, it’s impossible to ignore the fact that Pedro Alvarez is in the lineup as well.  Alvarez’ career slash of .196/.267/.321 against lefties is uninspiring at best.  We have heard rumblings that the Pirates may in fact allow Pedro the chance to stay in the lineup everyday, and today’s lineup could be the first test of such a scenario.  Lastly, Francisco Cervelli does well against LHP too, with a slash of .297/.384/.396.

Pay close attention to the game today, Pirates fans, as this may be a preview of what’s to come against heavy left-handers such as Jon Lester and Clayton Kershaw.

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