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Jameson Taillon to start for Pirates against Red Sox

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USA TODAY Sports

Jameson Taillon will start this afternoon against the Red Sox. It could be his only big-league start this spring -- he isn't in competition for a big-league job, and those types of players tend to be early cuts.

Jonathan Sanchez, Andy Oliver, Tony Watson, Justin Wilson and Bryan Morris will also pitch.

The Pirates' lineup:

Alex Presley CF
Jose Tabata LF
Travis Snider RF
Brandon Inge DH
Clint Robinson 1B
Jared Goedert 3B
Josh Harrison SS
Tony Sanchez C
Chase D'Arnaud 2B

-P- Chris Leroux will throw more fastballs this year.

-P- Baseball Prospectus has a podcast previewing the Pirates' season. Once you get over the name "Taillon" being mispronounced about 50 times, it's a good listen. Notably, they aren't too optimistic about Starling Marte or Travis Snider. I can understand pessimism about Snider (although I have higher hopes for Snider than most), but Marte's defense is so good that it's going to be hard not for him to have a lot of value. As I've suggested before, if the Pirates' pitchers start posting surprisingly good numbers this year, the Marte / Barmes / Martin defense will be a big part of the reason why.

-P- Tom Singer writes about the possibility of signing Neil Walker and Pedro Alvarez to extensions. I'm not sure how you write an article about a long-term contract for Pedro Alvarez without writing the word "Boras," who makes this a non-issue, or pretty close to it. And I'm not sure of the point of speculating about Alvarez signing with the Yankees four years from now. But maybe I'm just feeling a little snarky today.

The important thing to keep in mind here, I think, is that you don't have to sign young players to extensions. It's not, like, a rule. Even if Boras would be willing to consider an extension, it's unclear why the Pirates would want to lock up a big, slow, strikeout-prone corner infielder into his 30s. This is not a player type that ages well. Just take him year-to-year. It's fine.