-P- The suspensions stemming from Sunday's brawl have been announced by Major League Baseball:
4 players suspended for Brewers-Pirates incident on Sunday: Martin Maldonado 5 games, Carlos Gomez 3, Travis Snider 2, Russell Martin 1.— MLB Public Relations (@MLB_PR) April 22, 2014
After Sunday's game, Carlos Gomez claimed that the brawl was started by Travis Snider, but Snider ends up with one less game than Gomez, and three less than the Maldonado, who landed a punch against the Pirates' right fielder. Gomez said Sunday that he would appeal the suspension. Clint Hurdle said that Travis Snider has already told him that he intends to appeal. There is no official word on the intentions of the other two players.
Martin briefly talked to reporters on his way out of the clubhouse for batting practice and said that he was "surprised ... very surprised" by his suspension.
Hurdle said that he talked to Snider and Martin about their options this afternoon. Initially there was a difference opinion in the room about whether the punishments fit the crimes, Hurdle said, "We just want to make sure the punishment and the crime matchup ... If Russ got one, Snider got two, and Gomez got three and the other guy got five, do the math, watch the video that's the part we're trying to work through and make sense of it."
-P- Hurdle complimented Neal Huntington for the Ike Davis trade today, saying that it "takes courage to remain patient" when it comes making deals. He noted that there is always a lot of external noise and people that think they can do a better job than the GM. "One of the things that Neal does very, very well is that he hunts," Hurdle said, "and he hunts for a fair deal. To stay with it and get this deal done I think it bodes well for us, and it's going to bode well for Ike."
-P- The Pirates are going to give Wandy Rodriguez a couple days rest following having his knee drained yesterday. "A knee can be different," Hurdle said today. "You can have your knee drained and never have it drained again. You can have it drained and have to have it drained again in two months. It's unclear, it depends on the guy, the age, what's involved, we'll have to wait and see."
-P- In a somewhat interesting tweak to the Pirates' lineup, Neil Walker will bat second, with Russell Martin moving back to the fifth spot. Martin batted second in his last for starts, accumulating 20 plate appearances and hitting .313/.450/.313. This will be Walker's first start of the season batting second.
Asked about the move, Hurdle said:
It's couple of things. One of the numbers I'm grabbing with Walker is his batting average on balls in play. He's hit the ball extremely well to be hitting .217 going into last night's game. I like the fact that he is less likely to flipped there (from hitting left handed to right handed) and the fact that the way that Martin lays it out for us everyday, and to put him in front of McCutchen, where there is all that activity, I think I'm asking for more physical challenges from Russell than he needs to have. (Finally) Having him between the two lefties (Alvarez and Davis) means that if they want to bring in a left handed pitcher they have to cut through Russ.
-P- The Pirates continue to receive very little offensive production from their right field platoon. Heading into tonight's game Bucs' right fielders are hitting a collective .209/.261/.279 for 55 OPS+ (these numbers do not include pinch hit plate appearances). Moreover, while it is way too early to make much of defensive metrics, Tabata (-2.7) and Snider (-3.0) rank 62nd and 64th respectively (out of 68 right fielders) in overall defense. (Courtesy of Fangraphs.)