The Pirates lose another Grapefruit League game with a 7-2 loss to the Yankees today at McKechnie Field. The Bucs are now just 5-10-1 in spring play.
There wasn’t much good in this one other than Andrew McCutchen is ready for the season. He batted second for the first time this spring and belted his third home run of the spring, a solo shot off Masahiro Tanaka in the first inning. John Jaso went 2-for-3 and drove in a run to continue his solid spring. It looks like Jaso will be batting at the top of the order when he’s in the lineup. Michael Morse also had a hit, walk and a run scored and is hitting .350 this spring. Freese made his spring debut and went 1-for-3 with two strikeouts.
Jeff Locke started for the Bucs and was hit hard for most of the afternoon. He allowed five runs on six hits in 5.0 innings of work, including two home runs allowed. Rob Refsnyder and Starlin Castro each took Locke deep. Locke’s spring ERA sits at 7.07 now and I’m sure yinzers will be calling for Nicasio over him in the rotation, but I have a feeling Locke’s job is safe and will be in the rotation no matter what his spring numbers are.
After Locke exited, Mark Melancon pitched another scoreless inning to continue his dominant spring. Eric O’Flaherty struggled with two runs allowed (one earned) and Cory Luebke made his debut, working a scoreless inning of work. Not really sure where Luebke fits into the Pirates plans especially if he starts pitching well since the rotation looks set and the Triple-A rotation looking solid as well.
The Pirates hit the road tomorrow and head north to Clearwater to meet a familiar face in Charlie Morton and his new team, the Phillies.