Gameday: 3/1 Pittsburgh Pirates at Detroit Tigers

Sep 14, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Kyle Lobstein (53) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 14, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Kyle Lobstein (53) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports /

The Pittsburgh Pirates begin their 2016 Spring Training schedule with a visit to Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland, FL to face the Detroit Tigers.

The Bucs will start former Tiger Kyle Lobstein. The Tigers will put lefty Matt Boyd on the mound to start the 2016 spring season.

Lobstein made 13 appearances for Detroit last season including 11 starts. The 26-year old will be stretched out this spring and could be considered for the rotation. Most likely, he is pitching for a bullpen spot. Lobstein is left-handed which could help his chances considering the Pirates only have one lefty, Tony Watson, who is considered a sure-thing to start the season on the 25-man roster.

Lobstein was 3-8 with a 5.94 ERA with the Tigers last season.

Boyd came over in a trade for David Price from Toronto last season. He has made 12 career MLB starts including 10 for Detroit last season following the trade. He is 6th on the Tigers rotation depth chart for 2016.



1. Josh Harrison – 2B
2. Francisco Cervelli – C
3. Jason Rogers – DH
4. Michael Morse – 1B
5. Jordy Mercer – SS
6. Matt Joyce – LF
7. Willy Garcia – RF
8. Cole Figueroa – 3B
9. Danny Ortiz – CF

Expected Pitchers
LHP Kyle Lobstein
RHP Wilfredo Boscan
RHP Neftali Feliz
RHP Curtis Partch
RHP Rob Scahill
RHP Trey Haley


1. Jose Iglesias – SS
2. Justin Upton – LF
3. Miguel Cabrera – 1B
4. Victor Martinez –  DH
5. J.D. Martinez – RF
6. Nick Castellanos – 3B
7. James McCann – C
8. Mike Aviles – 2B
9. Wynton Bernard – CF

Expected pitchers
LHP Matt Boyd
RHP Michael Fulmer
RHP Angel Nesbitt
LHP Kyle Ryan
RHP Logan Kensing

Check back for game comments throughout the afternoon.

4:12PM: After retiring the first two hitters, former Giant farm hand Kelvin Marte walked back-to-back hitters, but managed to get out of the inning without any runs. Pirates win 4-2

3:59PM: Pirates prospects Hanson and Reese McGuire reach base via walks, but the Bucs come away empty-handed in the 9th. Now, the Tigers get one more shot.

3:45PM: RHP Trey Haley makes his debut in Florida and has a 1-2-3 inning including two strikeouts. Haley is a former 2nd round pick of Cleveland. Pirates 4-2 after 8.

3:35PM: Jake Goebbert, another player battling for a bench spot, walked but was caught stealing later in the inning. Pirates can’t increase their lead.

3:28PM: Curtis Partch in the game for the Bucs and gives up one harmless hit. Partch is a probably bullpen help for Indianapolis although he does have 20 career MLB apperances with Cincinnati. Pirates 4-2 after 7.

3:19PM: What started out as a great inning turned into a buzz kill when Bell grounded into a double play. The inning was still productive as two prospects to watch – Hanson and Diaz – both got hits as did a player trying to make the Pirates bench Rogers. He was robbed of a hit earlier in the game so it’s safe to say Rogers had a nice day.

3:16PM: The Pirates have strung together four straight hits from Adam Frazier, Alen Hanson, Elias Diaz and Jason Rogers to plate two runs. Now, top prospect Josh Bell gets his chance.

3:05PM: There are probably three bullpen spots available for the opening day roster and Rob Scahill has to be in consideration for one of them. However, he did not get off to a good start this spring. Scahill retired the first two batters he faced, but then Dominic Ficociello doubled and veteran slugger Victor Martintez went yard to tie the game up. Tied 2-2 after 6.

2:51PM: Willy Garcia also reached base with a walk in the 6th, but the only damage was Mercer’s long ball.

2:46PM: Jordy Mercer hits the second Pirates home run of the afternoon. The shot was wind-aided but nonetheless hit to the biggest part of the park. It would be a bonus if Mercer’s numbers improve this season.

2:40PM: Maybe the best news of this first exhibition game. Neftali Feliz comes in and pitches a 1-2-3 inning. The Pirates need another reliable bullpen arm to pitch in the late innings. While some are worried about putting another lefty in the pen, I think they just need someone who can get people out. Obviously, Feliz has had some success in the majors, but he was awful in 2015.  Pirates 1-0 after 5.

2:33PM: After making a great play in the previous inning, Cole Figueroa singles to start off the fifth. Harrison would walk and the Bucs had an opportunity when both runners were moved into scoring position with two outs, but Wynton Bernard robbed Jason Rogers with a diving catch to save a couple runs. Another note from the inning. Former Bucco farm hand JaCoby Jones came into the game to play shortstop. He was traded to Tigers for Joakim Soria during the pennant run last season.

2:23PM: New play-by-play man Joe Block joins Brown and Steve Blass in the booth. Anxious to hear him call a game as we have been stuck with Tim Neverette the past several season. I wasn’t a big fan of Neverette who made poor calls and factual errors consistently.

2:21PM: Boscan gets himself into early trouble with back-to-back singles by Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez, but battles back nicely with a strike out of J.D. Martinez and a line-out double play to end the threat. Pirates 1-0 after 4.

2:09PM: New Pirates outfielder Matt Joyce, who was signed to a minor league deal a couple weeks ago gets his first hit as a Bucco, a broken-bat single. If Joyce has a strong spring, don’t be surprised if he is on the opening day roster. His hit the only damage in the 4th inning.

2:02PM: Righty Wilfredo Boscan starts the third inning for the Bucs and proceeds to have a 1-2-3 inning. Boscan is 26-year old right handed career minor leaguer. He pitched for Indianapolis last season. He pitched pretty well for the Indians and will probably be back there this year. His strikeout ratio was low and his BB ratio high. Pirates 1-0 after 3.

1:55PM: Pirates face Angel Nesbitt in the 3rd and go 1-2-3.

1:47PM: Not a bad outing for Lobstein. He pitches two innings, gives up three base runners. Had one K. He was hit on the foot by Mike Aviles on the last play of the inning, but seemed to be okay according to Pirates radio man Greg Brown. Pirates 1-0 after 2.

1:35PM: Jordy Mercer singles and Willy Garcia doubles, but the two are stranded at 2nd and 3rd. Three hits for Pirates so far after two innings. Garcia is someone to watch. He could end up being a possible big league player if his progress continues. He should start in Indianapolis in 2016.

1:24PM: Kyle Lobstein is a little shaky in the bottom of the inning with back-to-back walks with one out, but a 5-4-3 double play bails out the lefty. Pirates 1-0 after 1.

1:15PM: Jason Rogers and Michael Morse are retired, but the Pirates lead 1-0 after a half inning after the dinger by Franciso. Hopefully, he can stay healthy again in 2016 as he will be a key piece to the Pirates offense.

1:13PM: First hit of the spring for the Pirates also produces the first run as Francisco Cervelli goes yard to deep center field. 1-0 Bucs.

1:07PM: First pitch to Josh Harrison from Matt Boyd is a strike.