After an off day yesterday, the Bucs will be back in action this afternoon versus the Orioles in Sarasota. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05PM and available online at MLB-TV.

The Pirates are coming off two straight wins and hold a 5-8-1 record in Grapefruit League play. The big news in this game is Juan Nicasio making another start after pitching great so far with zero runs allowed in 6.0 innings of work. The Pirates continue to stretch Nicasio out with the possibility that he could make the rotation by Opening Day.

The second bit of news in this game is the Pirates will face Pedro Alvarez for the first time since non-tendering him this offseason. Alvarez is batting second today as the Orioles DH. The Pirates should have the book on how to pitch to him and get him out.

And looking at the lineup below, John Jaso is leading off. It’s an interesting move as Hurdle could be playing around to see what lineup works best, but as I mentioned in my lineup post last week, I like the high OBP guys at the top of the order, especially Cervelli in the two hole. Jaso has a career .361 OBP and Cervelli a .357 OBP guy.

Pirates lineup
Jaso 1B
Cervelli C
McCutchen CF
Marte LF
Polanco RF
Harrison 2B
Figueroa 3B
Mercer SS
Nicasio SP

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