The Pirates will meet the Yankees for the first of two meetings this month today at 1:05PM from McKechnie Field. This game will be televised live on ROOT Sports and MLB-TV.
The 5-9-1 Bucs will feature Jeff Locke on the mound this afternoon as he makes his fourth appearance this spring. Locke is working on a new delivery and showed some promising results last time out against the Tigers lineup. The southpaw has allowed six runs in 9.0 innings of work in spring training. Locke will look to go deeper into this game as he continues to get stretched out.
Mark Melancon, Eric O’Flaherty (Hurdle has a sense of humor with St. Patty’s Day), Cory Luebke and A.J. Schugel are also scheduled to pitch. Luebke will make his Pirates debut when he steps onto the mound today after being sidelined the first half of spring training with a hamstring strain.
As for the lineup, Hurdle continues to tinker with the top of the order putting high-OBP guy John Jaso at leadoff. And look for David Freese to play his first game this spring as he bats third is the designated hitter.
The Yankees will counter with RHP Masahiro Tanaka on the mound to start the day. Tanaka looked liked the ace the Yankees hoped for when they signed him to a 7 year/$155M deal in 2014 before blowing out in his arm midseason. He returned last season with a higher ERA as he posted a 3.51 ERA in 24 starts, but still managed a high 8.1 K/9. The Japanese right-hander has yet to allowed an earned run in five innings this spring.