Gamethread: Bucs look to sweep the Blue Jays

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Today's lineup:

Josh Harrison RF

Neil Walker 2B

Andrew McCutchen CF

Pedro Alvarez 3B

Starling Marte LF

Ike Davis 1B

Jordy Mercer SS

Chris Stewart C

Edinson Volquez P


-P- Jeff Locke will start Monday against the San Francisco Giants. Wandy Rodriguez will pitch a rehab game on Tuesday. Charlie has the full update.

-P- The Pirates placed Stolmy Pimentel on the 15-day disabled list yesterday. Hurdle said that a drop in the reliever's velocity got his attention a few weeks ago. Pimentel did not tell the team of any discomfort. Rather, Hurdle said that they suspected something based on an "eye test" and began to question the reliever. Eventually, Pimentel told them he wasn't feeling right.

"I'm just glad he got to the point where he was comfortable letting us know where he stood physically," Hurdle said. "Now we can calm him down, get him back out, build him back up, and get the guy we know, and really like, out on the mound."

-P- Hurdle was asked today if he thought Starling Marte has been "miscast" as a leadoff hitter. Hurdle response was interesting:

No, I wouldn't say that. I know where I've liked him all along. I'm not going to share that will you. In my mind, I think it goes back to what you said about what's best for the team at the time. Who knows, time will tell. This is a short window, four days.

-P- The Pirates underlying starting pitching issues should not be lost in the consecutive comeback victories vs. the Blue Jays. Following Francisco Liriano's 3.2 rocky innings last night, Pirates' starters currently have the fourth highest FIP, 4.40; sixth (tied) highest ERA, 4.42; eighth lowest K/BB ratio, 2.41; and, second worst WPA, -3.24.

Focusing in on WPA, only Edinson Volquez (0.03) and Brandon Cumpton (0.06) are posting positive win shares. Wandy Rodriguez (-1.33), Charlie Morton (-0.93), Francisco Liriano (-0.73) and Gerrit Cole (-0.34) have all have cost the team win shares. (Statistics courtesy of Fangraphs.)

-P- The Pirates have had a number of big hits the last two nights. If you missed it, I posted a statistical analysis of the Pirates and game-changing hits on Thursday.

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