The Pirates travel to Tampa to take on the Yankees at 1:05PM, but the Pirates also have made some roster moves further clearing the picture for the Opening Day roster.
They sent Rob Scahill, Trey Haley and Jake Goebbert to Triple-A Indy while also reassigning outfielders Antoan Richardson and Danny Ortiz and relievers Curtis Partch and Robert Zarate to minor league camp.
Neal Huntington also confirmed today that Matt Joyce has made the Opening Day roster and that Jeff Locke will be in the rotation. The rotation is now Liriano, Cole, Niese, Locke and the final spot will be between Juan Nicasio or Ryan Vogelsong. The other will head to the bullpen. I would imagine it’s Nicasio in the rotation over the 38-year-old Vogelsong who was only supposed to be a warm body until Tyler Glasnow emerged to save the day in June. We’ve also said all spring that Locke would be in the rotation and here we are. He should be in the rotation. He sports a 3.98 ERA and 4.10 FIP the past three seasons and still holds some upside.
As for today’s game against the Yanks, lefty Stephen Brault will start for the Bucs as Locke will start a minor league game today as well. New York will counter with C.C. Sabathia. Jorge Rondon, Jim Fuller and Arquimedes Caminero is also scheduled to pitch in relief today. The lineup is below. Jordy Mercer was projected to start and leadoff, but he was scratched due to an eye infection, possibly even pink eye. Holy smokes, everyone wash your hands! Cutch will bat second again and JHay sees a return to the leadoff role…for one game anyway.