Pittsburgh Pirates Grapefruit League Game 9: Jordan Lyles Toes The Rubber

BRADENTON, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 20: Jordan Lyles #31 of the Pittsburgh Pirates poses for a portrait during the Pittsburgh Pirates Photo Day on February 20, 2019 at Pirate City in Bradenton, Florida. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
BRADENTON, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 20: Jordan Lyles #31 of the Pittsburgh Pirates poses for a portrait during the Pittsburgh Pirates Photo Day on February 20, 2019 at Pirate City in Bradenton, Florida. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
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Six pitchers that figure to be key cogs for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2019 will toe the rubber against a powerful Yankee lineup on Saturday afternoon

After picking up a loss and a tie, both on the road, in split squad action on Friday afternoon, the Pittsburgh Pirates return to Bradenton on Saturday afternoon. Owning a record of 3-4-1 in Grapefruit League play, the Bucs will welcome the 3-2 New York Yankees to LECOM Park.

Saturday afternoon’s game will be one worth following for Pirate fans. This is due to who is scheduled to pitch. Barring any changes, six pitchers that are projected to play important roles for the Pirates in 2019 are scheduled to pitch.

Jordan Lyles will get the start for the Pirates. This will be the second start of the spring for Lyles who figures to be the favorite to land the final spot in the team’s starting rotation. Lyles allowed a solo home run, while issuing a walk and picking up a strikeout in two innings of work against the Red Sox this past Tuesday. He will look to pitch three innings on Saturday afternoon.

Following Lyles, five other pitchers that figure to be key members of the 2019 Pittsburgh Pirates are scheduled to follow. Closer Felipe Vazquez and setup man Keone Kela will each make their first appearance of the Grapefruit League season. Key high leverage reliever Richard Rodriguez will also make his 2019 Grapefruit debut.

The fourth member of the bullpen’s core four – Kyle Crick – is also scheduled to pitch. This will be the second outing of the Grapefruit season for Crick. The other projected key pitcher scheduled to take the mound is lefty Francisco Liriano.

This will be the third outing of the spring for Liriano. Earlier this week, Nick wrote about the strong start to the spring for Liriano. All signs continue to point toward Liriano earning a spot in the team’s Opening Day bullpen.

Righty Dario Agrazal is also scheduled to pitch. Agrazal has already carried a big workload this spring having logged 3 1/3 innings through the first week of games. In these 3 1/3 innings pitched he has not allowed a run and has struck out three batters.

Next. Pirate Mailbag: March 1st, 2019. dark

Saturday’s contest will be broadcast on pirates.com and the MLB At Bat App. First pitch from LECOM Park is scheduled for 1:05 PM.

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