The Pittsburgh Pirates are ready for their first split squad action of the spring
On Friday afternoon, the Pittsburgh Pirates will play two games. In their first split squad action of Grapefruit League play, the Bucs will play a pair of road games on Friday afternoon.
In one contest, one Pirate squad will travel to Clearwater to play the Philadelphia Phillies. In the other, the Pirates will send a squad to Dunedin to play the Toronto Blue Jays. Both games are scheduled to start at 1:07 PM EST.
Each of these two games will see a pitcher competing for the final spot in the team’s starting rotation take the hill. In Clearwater, Nick Kingham will toe the rubber for the Bucs. This will be Kingham’s second start of the spring.
Last Sunday, in a start that came against the Miami Marlins, Kingham pitched two scoreless innings for the Pirates. In his two scoreless innings of work, Kingham allowed two hits, he issued a walk, and he recorded one strikeout.
Meanwhile, in Dunedin, Rookie Davis will make his first appearance of the spring for the Pirates. Davis was recently inked to a minor league contract, and will compete for the final spot in the team’s rotation. While Davis will likely start the season in the rotation at Triple-A Indianapolis, the Pirates will give him an opportunity this spring to earn a MLB rotation spot. That opportunity begins on Friday afternoon.
Through the first week of spring, the Pirates have taken it easy on many of their proven veterans. Francisco Cervelli has only played first base and served as a the DH in one game. Left fielder Corey Dickerson was a the DH in his lone start, and Josh Bell has made just one start.
On Friday, we could also see some Pirate regulars begin to pop up in the starting lineup. On Thursday manager Clint Hurdle said second baseman Adam Frazier, who has played in just one game thus far this spring, would start to play more this weekend. The same applies to center fielder Starling Marte.
The Pirates and Phillies match up will be broadcast on KDKA radio, as well as pirates.com. As for the game against Toronto, the Blue Jays broadcast can be found on mlb.com or the MLB At Bat App.