Pittsburgh Pirates Player Notes
For The Last 365 Days
 
Jung-Ho Kang, IFHot5/25/2015 3:45:00 PM
Description: Pirates shortstop Jung-Ho Kang is not in Monday's starting lineup.
Insight: It appears that the Pirates have finally realized that Kang is a better option than Jordy Mercer, but he still needs a day off every now and then. Kang is batting .304 with an .804 OPS, Mercer is hitting .177 with a .454 OPS.
Francisco Liriano, SP5/24/2015 5:18:00 PM
Description: Pirates pitcher Francisco Liriano had a huge bounceback game on Sunday after allowing five earned runs in just two innings in his last outing
Insight: Liriano went six innings, allowing just one run on six hits and struck out a season-high 12 batters. It was the first time since 1969 that three straight Pirates starters struck out at least 10 hitters in a game. Liriano is 2-4 with a 3.86 ERA and 64 strikeouts in 53 2/3 innings.
Andrew McCutchen, CF5/24/2015 5:14:00 PM
Description: Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen hit his second home run in as many days as Pittsburgh completed the weekend sweep over the New York Mets, 9-1.
Insight: McCutchen was 2-for-3, hitting another two-run blast into the bullpen on Sunday. In the series versus the Mets, McCutchen went 6-for-10 with two home runs and four RBI. He has three home runs in the last four games. Look out, McCutchen is starting to find his swing. He is hitting .261 with seven home runs and 27 RBI in 153 at-bats this season.
Andrew McCutchen, CF5/24/2015 12:04:00 PM
Description: It is a small sample size, but Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen has been quite successful in his career against Mets lefty Jon Niese.
Insight: McCutchen is 5-for-13 with three doubles and two RBI versus Niese. McCutchen had three hits on Saturday, including a home run, so he should be in every fantasy lineup for this matchup.
Neil Walker, 2B5/24/2015 11:27:00 AM
Description: Pirates second baseman Neil Walker is not starting on Sunday against the Mets.
Insight: Clint Hurdle is really mixing it up with left-hander Jon Niese on the mound. Sean Rodriguez is at first base, Jose Tabata is in right, Jung Ho Kang is at third base, Jordy Mercer is at shortstop and Josh Harrison is at second base. Walker is hitting .253 with two home runs and 14 RBI in 154 at-bats this season.
Pedro Alvarez, 1B5/24/2015 11:24:00 AM
Description: Pirates first baseman Pedro Alvarez is getting an off day on Sunday versus the Mets.
Insight: New York is starting lefty Jon Niese, so this should be expected. Alvarez very rarely starts against lefties. That's too bad because Alvarez has two home runs this week. Sean Rodriguez is starting at first base.
Gregory Polanco, RF5/24/2015 11:21:00 AM
Description: Pirates outfielder Gregory Polanco is not in the lineup on Sunday against the Mets.
Insight: New York is starting left-hander Jon Niese, so Polanco is getting the day off. Polanco is just .143/.182/.143 against southpaws this season. Jose Tabata is starting in right field for Pittsburgh.
Josh Harrison, 3B5/23/2015 7:06:00 PM
Description: Pirates third baseman Josh Harrison had a great game at the plate on his bobblehead day.
Insight: The first 20,000 fans at PNC Park on Saturday received a Harrison bobblehead, and the third baseman celebrated his day going 2-for-4 with two RBI and a run in the, 8-2, victory over the Mets on Saturday. After nearly losing his job due to a posting a batting average below .180 through April, Harrison is hitting .261 with four home runs and 13 RBI in 153 at-bats.
Pedro Alvarez, 1B5/23/2015 7:03:00 PM
Description: Pirates first baseman Pedro Alvarez hit another bomb, his eighth of the season, as Pittsburgh beat the New York Mets, 8-2, on Saturday.
Insight: Alvarez was 2-for-4 with a solo home run. He also had an RBI-double. Alvarez hits his homers in bunches, and he has three in the last seven games, so he is a great daily option for the time being.
A.J. Burnett, SPHot5/23/2015 7:00:00 PM
Description: Pirates starter A.J. Burnett was outstanding, pitching seven innings with 10 strikeouts and no walks in the victory over the Mets on Saturday.
Insight: Burnett allowed one run on five hits in his fourth victory of the year. He is 4-1 with a 1.37 ERA, 1.10 WHIP and 53 strikeouts in 59 innings. His 1.37 ERA leads all of baseball.
Andrew McCutchen, CF5/23/2015 6:56:00 PM
Description: Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen was 3-for-4 with a two-run homer in the, 8-2, victory over the Mets on Saturday.
Insight: McCutchen hit a two-run blast in the first inning. He is now slashing .253/.347/.440 with six home runs and 25 RBI in 150 at-bats this season.
Jung-Ho Kang, IFHot5/23/2015 11:26:00 AM
Description: Pirates shortstop Jung-Ho Kang has pushed his batting average up to .310 with his current five-game hitting streak.
Insight: It appears that the Pirates have finally realized that Kang is a better option than Jordy Mercer. We have thought so for a while now.
Gregory Polanco, RF5/20/2015 6:52:00 PM
Description: Pirates outfielder Gregory Polanco is not in the lineup on Wednesday versus the Twins.
Insight: Polanco has been struggling bit time lately, so Clint Hurdle has elected to go with Josh Harrison in right field, Jung Ho Kang at third base and Jordy Mercer at shortstop. Polanco is 0-for-18 in his last six games.
Francisco Cervelli, C5/20/2015 3:59:00 PM
Description: Pirates catcher Francisco Cervelli is back in the starting lineup on Wednesday versus the Twins.
Insight: Cervelli left Tuesday's game after he took a foul tip directly off his mask. He went through all the concussion tests and is not experiecing any symptoms. Cervelli is hitting .297 with nine RBI this season.
Andrew McCutchen, CF5/20/2015 12:31:00 PM
Description: It is a small sample size, but Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen has been great in his career versus Twins starter Mike Pelfrey.
Insight: McCutchen is 6-for-12 versus Pelfrey. All the hits have been singles. He also has three RBI, two walks and two steals.
Jung-Ho Kang, IF5/19/2015 10:05:00 PM
Description: Pirates third baseman Jung-ho Kang had three hits in the, 8-5, loss to the Twins on Tuesday.
Insight: The Pittsburgh No. 5-7 hitters combined to go 8-for-14 in the game, which allowed Pittsburgh to creep back into this one even though they fell behind, 7-0. Kang was 3-for-5 and is proving to be fantasy relevant. He is hitting .320 with two home runs and 10 RBI in 75 at-bats this season. If he continues to start at shortstop or third base, he should get a lot more looks in fantasy leagues.
Jordy Mercer, SS5/19/2015 3:49:00 PM
Description: Pirates shortstop Jordy Mercer is not in the lineup on Tuesday against the Twins.
Insight: This could be the end of Mercer's usefulness. Jung Ho Kang (.300, 2 HR, 9 RBI in 70 at-bats) will start at shortstop.
A.J. Burnett, SPHot5/17/2015 5:42:00 PM
Description: Pirates starter A.J. Burnett was a bit wild (five walks), but it didn't stop him from shutting down the Cubs offense on Sunday.
Insight: Burnett threw seven innings and yielded just three hits while striking out seven. He's yet to yield more than two earned runs in any game this season and is a valuable fantasy option with his stunning 1.38 ERA.
Pedro Alvarez, 1B5/17/2015 12:40:00 PM
Description: Pirates first baseman Pedro Alvarez is just 1-for-11 lifetime against Jake Arrieta.
Insight: Alvarez could be in line for a long afternoon. Owners need to be aware of his numbers.
Gerrit Cole, SP5/16/2015 10:44:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh right-hander Gerrit Cole took his second loss of the season.
Insight: He lost to the Cubs by giving up two runs on seven hits and one walk over six innings of work. Cole did strike out eight and is now 5-2 with a 2.40 ERA.
Francisco Cervelli, C5/16/2015 1:12:00 PM
Description: Pirates catcher Francisco Cervelli is not in Saturday's lineup against the Cubs.
Insight: Cervelli took a beating behind the plate on Friday, taking several foul balls in the chest, arms and head. He needed the day off even though he had a huge day at the plate on Friday. Chris Stewart is starting behind the plate for Pittsburgh.
Gregory Polanco, RF5/16/2015 1:10:00 PM
Description: Pirates outfielder Gregory Polanco is not in the lineup on Saturday against the Cubs.
Insight: Polanco doesn't start versus lefties, and Jon Lester is on the mound for Chicago. It would have been nice for Polanco to play in order to try and forget about his terribly timed slip in the outfield that allowed the winning run to score on Friday. Maybe he enters later on in the game after Lester leaves. Sean Rodriguez is starting in right field for Pittsburgh.
Pedro Alvarez, 1B5/16/2015 1:08:00 PM
Description: Despite three hits on Friday, Pirates first baseman Pedro Alvarez is not in the lineup on Saturday versus the Cubs.
Insight: Lefty Jon Lester is on the mound for Chicago, so this is an obvious move. Alvarez doesn't start against lefties. Corey Hart will start at first for Pittsburgh.
Josh Harrison, 3B5/15/2015 7:34:00 PM
Description: Pirates third baseman Josh Harrison went 4-for-6 as Pittsburgh scored 10 runs versus the Chicago Cubs on Friday.
Insight: Unfortunately, that wasn't enough as Pittsburgh lost, 11-10, but it is encouraging to see the Pirates offense break out of its shell. Harrison is a big part of the reason the team scored 10 on Friday. He had a single, two doubles and a homer. His bomb started the Pirates four-run rally in the eighth, and they tied the game at 10 in the ninth. Harrison is 9-for-16 with two home runs and four RBI in the last four games.
Andrew McCutchen, CF5/15/2015 7:31:00 PM
Description: Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen went 2-for-4 with a three-run homer in the heartbreaking 12th inning loss to the Cubs on Friday.
Insight: The ball was flying out in Wrigley on Friday, so there were five home runs in the game. McCutchen hit a three-run shot in the eighth to bring the Pirates within a run. At one point, Pittsburgh trailed by six, but they tied it in the ninth to send the game to extras. Chicago, however, won in the 12th on a freak play where Gregory Polanco slipped and couldn't make a catch for the second out.
Starling Marte, LF5/14/2015 5:35:00 PM
Description: Pirates outfielder Starling Marte was 3-for-4 with an RBI and run in the, 4-2, loss to the Phillies on Thursday.
Insight: Marte had a pair of doubles, including an RBI-double in the ninth. He is hitting .287/.341/.525 with eight home runs and 25 RBI in 122 at-bats this season.
Andrew McCutchen, CF5/14/2015 10:34:00 AM
Description: Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen is no in Thursday afternoon's starting lineup.
Insight: McCutchen is fine, just getting a routine day off. He is hitting .231 with three home runs and 19 RBI this season and hit safely in 12 of his last 14 games. Starling Marte will shift to center, Josh Harrison to left field and Jung Ho Kang will start at the hot corner.
Pedro Alvarez, 1B5/14/2015 10:06:00 AM
Description: Pirates first baseman Pedro Alvarez is just 1-for-11 (.091) with six strikeouts versus Phillies starter Aaron Harang.
Insight: Alvarez has five homers this season, but is barely hitting above the Mendoza Line and facing a pitcher in Harang who has pitched well all season. Avoid this matchup.
Andrew McCutchen, CF5/13/2015 9:51:00 PM
Description: Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen was 1-for-3 with two RBI in the loss to the Phillies on Wednesday.
Insight: McCutchen singled in the fifth to score two runs to give the Pirates a, 2-0, lead, but the Phillies answered with three runs in the bottom of the inning. Philadelphia won, 3-2. McCutchen is hitting .231 with three home runs and 19 RBI this season.
Pedro Alvarez, 1B5/13/2015 3:00:00 PM
Description: Pirates first baseman Pedro Alvarez is getting the day off on Wednesday.
Insight: Alvarez will sit against lefty Cole Hamels. Sean Rodriguez will get the nod in place of him.
Neil Walker, 2B5/13/2015 11:13:00 AM
Description: Pirates second baseman Neil Walker has just one hit in 10 at-bats lifetime against Cole Hamels.
Insight: The hit is just a single, so Walker may be in for a rough outing, if in the lineup, Wednesday versus Philadelphia.
A.J. Burnett, SP5/12/2015 10:03:00 PM
Description: Pirates starter A.J. Burnett had another great start and finally received run support as Pittsburgh beat Philadelphia, 7-2.
Insight: Burnett threw seven innings and allowed two runs, one earned, on six hits, struck out five and walked one. His ERA was 1.66 coming into the game and somehow it dropped. Burnett is 2-1 with a 1.60 ERA, 1.16 WHIP and 36 strikeouts in 45 innings this season.
Josh Harrison, 3B5/12/2015 10:01:00 PM
Description: Pirates third baseman Josh Harrison hit a home run in the, 7-2, victory over the Phillies on Tuesday.
Insight: It was a welcome site as Harrison has really struggled to start the year. He was 1-for-3 Tuesday with the three-run homer, two runs and a stolen base. It is clear that Harrison is not going to hit .315 again this season, but there is still time for him to turn his season around.
Andrew McCutchen, CF5/12/2015 10:00:00 PM
Description: Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen went 2-for-4 with a two-run blast in the, 7-2, victory over the Phillies on Tuesday.
Insight: McCutchen started slow, but a lot of experts speculated that was due to a knee issue he was dealing with in April. He looks healthy now as he has gone 9-for-22 (.409) in his last six games. If owners still want to try and buy low on McCutchen, better do that soon because he is trending upwards.
Gerrit Cole, SP5/11/2015 9:36:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh right-hander Gerrit Cole allowed two runs Monday against the Phillies.
Insight: He went seven innings and gave up six hits and two walks, while striking out six. Cole now has a 2.32 ERA.
Josh Harrison, 3B5/11/2015 3:49:00 PM
Description: Pirates third baseman Josh Harrison will sit out another game on Monday night.
Insight: With Jung Ho Kang hitting, Harrison struggling, he's now missed two of the last three games. Eventually Kang figures to move to short and Harrison back to third base with Jordy Mercer the odd-man out.
Starling Marte, LF5/11/2015 12:09:00 PM
Description: Pirates outfielder Starling Marte hit a three-run homer Monday versus Philadelphia.
Insight: It gave the Pirates the lead in the third, and they never looked back. It was Marte's lone hit in four at-bats, and he is now batting .277 with eight homers and 24 overall.
Mark Melancon, RP5/10/2015 4:27:00 PM
Description: Pirates closer Mark Melancon looked a bit shaky, but he nailed down his seventh save of the season as Pittsburgh beat St. Louis, 4-3, on Sunday.
Insight: Melancon allowed two hits in the first three batters as the tying run moved into scoring position, but he was able to strike out Jason Heyward and then induced a grounder from pinch hitter Pete Kozma. Melancon hasn't allowed a run in his last three innings, so his numbers, 3.77 ERA and 1.26 WHIP, look a little bit better after a rough first half of April.
Jung-Ho Kang, IF5/10/2015 4:23:00 PM
Description: Pirates third baseman Jung-ho Kang was 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBI in the, 4-3, victory over the Cardinals on Sunday.
Insight: Kang hit a solo bomb in the first and then came through with a single in the seventh and the game tied at three. Kang is hitting .333/.377/.521 with two home runs and nine RBI in 48 at-bats this season. With the way Josh Harrison is struggling, Kang should definitely see more time at third base.
Starling Marte, LF5/10/2015 12:09:00 PM
Description: Pirates outfielder Starling Marte is back in the lineup on Sunday versus the Cardinals.
Insight: Marte left Saturday's game due to dizziness, but he is apparently good to go on Sunday. He will bat fourth versus the lefty Tyler Lyons. Marte leads the Pirates with 21 RBI.
Pedro Alvarez, 1B5/10/2015 12:08:00 PM
Description: Pirates first baseman Pedro Alvarez will get the day off on Sunday with the lefty Tyler Lyons on the mound for the Cardinals.
Insight: Alvarez doesn't start versus lefties, so this should have been expected. Corey Hart is starting at first base and will bat fifth.
Josh Harrison, 3B5/10/2015 12:06:00 PM
Description: Pirates third baseman Josh Harrison will start at second base and leadoff for the Pirates on Sunday versus the Cardinals.
Insight: With Jung Ho Kang hitting so well and Harrison struggling, it is quite possible that Kang becomes the Pirates everyday third baseman while Harrison returns to a super-utility role. Regardless, it's still probably too early to give up on Harrison. There are a lot of factors that could be leading to this really bad slump, so if possible, store him on the bench.
Travis Snider, LF5/10/2015 12:00:00 PM
Description: Orioles right fielder Travis Snider is not in the lineup for Sunday's game against the Yankees.
Insight: Snider didn't play on Saturday either, but there is no report of an injury. He is hitting .286 with a home run, nine RBI and nine runs in 70 at-bats this season.
Neil Walker, 2B5/9/2015 10:09:00 PM
Description: Pirates second baseman Neil Walker hit his second home run of the season as Pittsburgh beat St. Louis, 7-5, on Saturday.
Insight: Walker was 1-for-4 in the game with the solo bomb. Walker has been hitting well since he moved to the No. 2 spot in the order on Tuesday. Since the move, he is 6-for-15 with three RBI and the homer. Walker is hitting .287 with 10 extra-base hits and 12 RBI in 108 at-bats this season.
Jung-Ho Kang, IF5/9/2015 10:05:00 PM
Description: Pirates third baseman Jung-ho Kang led Pittsburgh with two hits as the Pirates beat the Cardinals for the first time this season, 7-5, on Saturday.
Insight: Pittsburgh came into the game, 0-4, versus the Cardinals. With the struggles of Josh Harrison, Kang has been receiving more playing time, and he is taking advantage of the chance. He is 10-for-22 in his last five games. Kang is hitting .318/.367/.455 with four extra-base hits in 44 at-bats this season. If he continues to hit like this, he should keep seeing playing time.
Starling Marte, LF5/9/2015 8:44:00 PM
Description: Pirates outfielder Starling Marte left Saturday's game against the Cardinals with "severe dizziness" according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Insight: Marte struck out in both his at-bats before Sean Rodriguez replaced him in left field. Marte is having a solid season, hitting .269 with 21 RBI. Consider him questionable for Sunday.
Josh Harrison, 3B5/9/2015 6:06:00 PM
Description: Pirates third baseman Josh Harrison is not in the lineup on Saturday versus the Cardinals.
Insight: Harrison is quickly finding himself in a platoon situation with Jung Ho Kang at third base. Both players are right-handed, so there currently isn't any rhyme or reason as to who starts what days. Harrison is batting just .178/.214/.290 this season.
Francisco Liriano, SP5/8/2015 9:13:00 PM
Description: Pirates pitcher Francisco Liriano had his worst start of the season.
Insight: Liriano gave up six runs (five earned) onb six hits and one walk. He did strike out 10 and still has a solid 2.79 ERA and 0.93 WHIP.
A.J. Burnett, SP5/7/2015 9:37:00 PM
Description: Pirates starter A.J. Burnett posted a quality start Thursday against the Reds.
Insight: Burnett allowed two runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out fout, over seven innings of work. He now has a solid 1.66 ERA overall.
Francisco Cervelli, C5/7/2015 4:06:00 PM
Description: Pirates catcher Francisco Cervelli is not in Thursday's starting lineup.
Insight: Just a day of rest for Cervelli. Chris Stewart will behind the plate for A.J. Burnett.
Gerrit Cole, SP5/6/2015 9:27:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh right-hander Gerrit Cole went just five innings Wednesday against the Reds.
Insight: He allowed three runs on eight hits and two walks, while striking out four. Cole now has a 2.27 ERA this season.
Jordy Mercer, SS5/6/2015 3:30:00 PM
Description: Pirates shortstop Jordy Mercer is not in the lineup on Wednesday against the Reds.
Insight: Manager Clint Hurdle is clearly trying to shake up the lineup as the Pirates have scored just four runs in their last four games. Neil Walker is moving up to second, Starling Marte will bat clean up, and Josh Harrison will bat seventh. Jung Ho Kang will start at shortstop and bat sixth.
Starling Marte, LF5/5/2015 10:03:00 PM
Description: Pirates outfielder Starling Marte hit a line drive solo home run to right field for the Pirates only run in the, 7-1, loss to the Reds on Tuesday.
Insight: Marte was 1-for-2 with the solo bomb that was just a bullet to right, but Pittsburgh can't get any offense going. They have scored one run in each of their last four games, all losses. The Pirates have picked a bad time for the offense to stop hitting as they have dropped six of the last seven to division rivals. Marte is hitting .264 with seven home runs and 18 RBI in 91 at-bats this season.
Josh Harrison, 3B5/5/2015 4:58:00 PM
Description: Pirates third baseman Josh Harrison is not in the lineup on Tuesday versus the Reds.
Insight: Harrison is off to a sluggish start, hitting .188 this season. Jung Ho Kang, who hit a solo home run on Sunday, will get the start at third base.
Pedro Alvarez, 1B5/3/2015 7:04:00 PM
Description: Pirates first baseman Pedro Alvarez was 1-for-2 with four walks in the extra-inning lost to the Cardinals on Sunday.
Insight: Sound familar? Pittsburgh lost all three games this weekend in extra innings to the Cardinals. It appeared that Alvarez was going to give the Pirates a, 2-1, victory when he hit a solo bomb in the top of the 12th, but the Cardinals tied the game in the bottom of the inning. St. Louis won on a walkoff home run in the 14th. Alvarez is hitting .227 and sadly, has a higher batting average than teammates Josh Harrison, Andrew McCutchen, and Jordy Mercer. Alverez also has five home runs and 12 RBI.
Vance Worley, SP5/3/2015 4:20:00 PM
Description: Pirates starter Vance Worley allowed just one run Sunday versus St. Louis.
Insight: He did so over six innings and gave up four hits and one walk while striking out five. Worley left down 1-0 and now owns a 3.90 ERA overall.
Francisco Cervelli, C5/3/2015 11:30:00 AM
Description: Pirates catcher Francisco Cervelli is not in Sunday's starting lineup.
Insight: Chris Stewart will get the start, and give Cervelli a chance to rest up.
Neil Walker, 2B5/3/2015 11:28:00 AM
Description: Pirates second baseman Neil Walker is out of the lineup on Sunday.
Insight: Just a routine day off for Walker. Josh Harrison will slide over to second, with Jung Ho Kang manning third.
Francisco Liriano, SP5/2/2015 5:06:00 PM
Description: Pirates pitcher Francisco Liriano pitched very well Saturday versus St. Louis.
Insight: He allowed one run on three hits and four walks while striking out four over eight innings of work. Liriano received a no-decision and now has a 1.95 ERA.
Josh Harrison, 3B4/29/2015 5:30:00 PM
Description: Pirates third baseman Josh Harrison will not be in the starting lineup on Wednesday against the Cubs.
Insight: Jung Ho Kang will start at third base. It's a day of rest for Harrison, who is hitting just .213/.250/.363 through 20 games this season.
Gregory Polanco, RF4/29/2015 5:24:00 PM
Description: Pirates outfielder Gregory Polanco will return to the Pirates lineup on Wednesday night against the Cubs according to the Pittsburgh Tribune Review.
Insight: Polanco missed Monday and Tuesday's games due to a groin issue. He will bat lead off on Wednesday night. Polanco is hitting .284 with one home run and seven stolen bases this season.
Jeff Locke, SP4/29/2015 9:09:00 AM
Description: Pirates left-hander Jeff Locke was not very sharp Tuesday against the Cubs.
Insight: Locke allowed six runs (five earned) on eight hits and three walks while striking out five over just 3 2/3 innings of work. He is now 2-1 with a 4.76 ERA.
Gregory Polanco, RF4/28/2015 5:57:00 PM
Description: Pirates outfielder Gregory Polanco will not play again on Tuesday due to a sore groin according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Insight: He also missed Monday's game and is considered day-to-day. Sean Rodriguez is playing right field and shortstop Jordy Mercer will bat second.
Neil Walker, 2B4/28/2015 3:28:00 PM
Description: Pirates second baseman Neil Walker is a career .304 hitter with two home runs and five RBI against Cubs starting pitcher Travis Wood.
Insight: Walker is one of many Pirates hitters who have had success versus Wood. Pittsburgh tagged Wood for three runs in five innings last week and scored a total of eight runs in that game. Start Walker and any other Pirates offensive player because it could be a nice night for the team's offense.
Vance Worley, SP4/27/2015 9:59:00 PM
Description: Pirates starter Vance Worley allowed four runs Monday against the Cubs.
Insight: He went six innings and gave up nine hits and one walk while striking out three. Worley now has a 4.50 ERA this season.
Gregory Polanco, RF4/27/2015 7:22:00 PM
Description: Pirates outfielder Gregory Polanco was scratched for Monday's contest.
Insight: He is dealing with a sore groin, and owners should consider him day-to-day for now. Andrew Lambo will take Polanco's place in right field.
Neil Walker, 2B4/26/2015 8:04:00 PM
Description: Pirates second baseman Neil Walker had three hits and two RBI sunday versus Arizona.
Insight: Walker is off to a nice start this season. He has a .300/.333/.457 line with one homer and nine RBI overall.
Francisco Liriano, SP4/26/2015 6:36:00 PM
Description: Pirates pitcher Francisco Liriano walked six, but did not allow a run Sunday against the Diamondbacks.
Insight: Liriano went 6 1/3 innings and allowed just two hits. Liriano struck out seven and now has a solid 2.22 ERA this season.
Francisco Cervelli, C4/26/2015 3:21:00 PM
Description: Pirates catcher Francisco Cervelli is not in Sunday's starting lineup.
Insight: Cervelli is just getting his normal day of rest being Sunday is a day game, and the Pirates fly to Chicago afterward. Cervelli is off to a solid start both offensively and defensively as he is hitting .265/.321/.347 in 49 at-bats this season. He threw out a runner trying to steal in the bottom of the ninth on Saturday in the, 2-1, victory over the Diamondbacks.
Mark Melancon, RP4/26/2015 9:08:00 AM
Description: Pirates closer Mark Melancon looks a bit more like himself as he picked up his fifth save of the season on Saturday versus the Diamondbacks.
Insight: Melancon's velocity is still down, but he has picked up three straight saves since his blown save on Tuesday. He did allow a hit and a walk in the ninth on Saturday, but a caught stealing help Melancon hold the one-run lead. The numbers still look bad, 5.79 ERA and 1.50 WHIP, but hopefully the worse is behind him.
A.J. Burnett, SP4/26/2015 9:05:00 AM
Description: Pirates starter A.J. Burnett pitched well again, but he is still searching for his first win in the 2015 regular season.
Insight: Burnett is likely pleased that his team at least won this time as they scored a run in the top of the ninth and held on, 2-1, versus the Diamondbacks, but Burnett still doesn't have a win this season despite his 1.80 ERA. He pitched seven innings and allowed one run on five hits, throwing just 88 pitches.
Neil Walker, 2B4/26/2015 8:59:00 AM
Description: Pirates second baseman Neil Walker was 2-for-4 with two doubles and both of the Pirates runs as Pittsburgh beat Arizoma, 2-1, on Saturday.
Insight: The Pittsburgh offense is really struggling to start the season, but the team has been able to win games. The Pirates fell behind, 1-0, on Saturday, but Walker scored in the fourth and ninth as Pittsburgh came back to win, 2-1. Walker scored on two-outs hits each time. He is hitting .273 with seven RBI but just one home run this season. The Pirates have won four straight and seven of the last nine.
Mark Melancon, RP4/23/2015 4:17:00 PM
Description: Pirates closer Mark Melancon picked up a much needed save Thursday against the Cubs.
Insight: Melancon blew a save last time out, and still owns an ugly 7.36 ERA, but his 1-2-3 inning on Thursday may be just what he needed to get back on track.
Gregory Polanco, RFHot4/23/2015 4:00:00 PM
Description: Pirates outfielder Gregory Polanco added three more hits on Thursday afternoon and officially gets the "hot" moniker.
Insight: Polanco is 12-for-25 (.480) since Friday night and is now batting .300 with six RBIs on the season.
Starling Marte, LFHot4/23/2015 12:05:00 PM
Description: Pirates outfielder Starling Marte left Wednesday's game after being hit on the hand by a pitch and is out for Thursday's game against the Chicago Cubs.
Insight: X-rays were negative, but he still might need a couple of days off. Too bad, Marte was pounding the ball this week, going 8-for-20 with four homers, 10 RBI and a 1.455 OPS since Friday.
Andrew McCutchen, CF4/23/2015 11:02:00 AM
Description: Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen is not in Thursday afternoon's starting lineup.
Insight: McCutchen owners shouldn't worry, it's just a rest day for the superstar. He's been slow out of the box this season, batting just .204 through 14 games.
Jordy Mercer, SS4/23/2015 9:59:00 AM
Description: Pirates shortstop Jordy Mercer was not in the lineup on Wednesday against the Cubs and is questionable for Thursday's game.
Insight: Mercer took a fastball in the ribs from Brewers starter Matt Garza on Sunday and hasn't played since then. Jung Ho Kang is 3-for-6 with four RBI over the past two games so there is no need to rush Mercer back before he's ready.
Starling Marte, LFHot4/23/2015 9:56:00 AM
Description: Pirates outfielder Starling Marte left Wednesday's game after being hit on the hand by a pitch and is questionable for Thursday's game against the Chicago Cubs.
Insight: X-rays were negative, but he still might need a couple of days off. Too bad, Marte was pounding the ball this week, going 8-for-20 with four homers, 10 RBI and a 1.455 OPS since Friday.
Tony Watson, RP4/22/2015 10:13:00 PM
Description: Pirates lefty Tony Watson picked up a two-inning save Wednesday against the Cubs.
Insight: With Mark Melancon recovering from blowing the save on Tuesday, Pittsburgh turned to Watson on Wednesday. He allowed one hit and struck out one. Melancon is still the closer for now.
Gregory Polanco, RF4/22/2015 10:03:00 PM
Description: Pirates outfielder Gregory Polanco smacked his first homer of the season.
Insight: he did so off Jason Hammel in the fifth inning. Polanco is now batting .268 with four RBIs on the season.
Starling Marte, LF4/22/2015 9:16:00 PM
Description: Pirates outfielder Starling Marte left Wednesday's game after being hit on the hand by a pitch.
Insight: He was hit in the third, but stayed in the game until the fifth. Consider Marte day-to-day for now.
Vance Worley, SP4/22/2015 9:10:00 PM
Description: Pirates starter Vance Worley pitched very well Wednesday against the Cubs.
Insight: He did not allow an earned run on six hits and two walks over 5 2/3 innings of work. Worley struck out five and now owns a 4.00 ERA.
Jordy Mercer, SS4/22/2015 3:15:00 PM
Description: Pirates shortstop Jordy Mercer is still not in the lineup on Wednesday against the Cubs.
Insight: Mercer took a fastball in the ribs from Brewers starter Matt Garza on Sunday and hasn't played since then. Jung Ho Kang, who had a three-run double on Tuesday, will again start at shortstop.
Pedro Alvarez, 1B4/22/2015 10:52:00 AM
Description: Pirates infielder Pedro Alvarez is just 3-for-17 in his lifetime against Cubs starter Jason Hammel.
Insight: Alvarez wasn't in the lineup on Tuesday with Cubs lefty pitcher Travis Wood starting, but Alvarez should start versus the right-handed Hammel on Wednesday. That doesn't mean he should go back into fantasy lineups as Alvarez is hitting just .176 versus Hammel in his career. Two of Alvarez's three hits against Hammel, however, are home runs.
Andrew McCutchen, CF4/22/2015 10:49:00 AM
Description: Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen is a .300 career hitter versus Cubs starter Jason Hammel.
Insight: McCutchen is 6-for-20 with two home runs, one double and three RBI versus Hammel, so perhaps this gets him going. McCutchen went 0-for-3 on Tuesday and is just hitting .222 to begin the season.
Mark Melancon, RP4/21/2015 10:29:00 PM
Description: Pirates closer Mark Melancon is off to a less than desirable start and blew a save on Tuesday versus the Cubs.
Insight: Melancon and Pittsburgh had a three-run lead in the ninth, but he allowed three hits and a walk before recording an out as the lead disappeared. Melancon forced a chopping ground ball twice, but the first time it bounced over third baseman Josh Harrison's head to score two runs and the second one was too slow to turn a double play, which let the game-winning run score. Melancon is 0-1 with a 8.53 ERA in seven appearances this season.
Gregory Polanco, RF4/21/2015 5:38:00 PM
Description: Pirates outfielder Gregory Polanco is not in the starting lineup on Tuesday against the Chicago Cubs.
Insight: There is no indication that Polanco is injured as it appears manager Clint Hurdle is just shaking up his lineup. First baseman Pedro Alvarez is also not starting. Sean Rodriguez will start in right field and bat eighth.
Pedro Alvarez, 1B4/21/2015 3:55:00 PM
Description: Pirates infielder Pedro Alvarez is an ugly 1-for-18 (.056) with seven strikeouts against Cubs starter Travis Wood.
Insight: Alvarez is still an all-or-nothing hitter with four homers this season and a .233 batting average including 13 Ks in 43 at-bats. Avoid this matchup. Update: Alvarez is not in the starting lineup.
Jordy Mercer, SS4/21/2015 3:48:00 PM
Description: Pirates shortstop Jordy Mercer was not in the lineup on Monday against the Cubs due to a rib injury and will not play Tuesday either.
Insight: Mercer took a fastball in the ribs from Brewers starter Matt Garza on Sunday, so Jung Ho Kang will start at shortstop. Too bad, as Mercer is 5-for-11 with two homers versus Tuesday's starter Travis Wood.
A.J. Burnett, SP4/20/2015 10:56:00 PM
Description: Pirates starter A.J. Burnett pitched well again, but he is still searching for his first win in the 2015 regular season.
Insight: Burnett allowed one run on eight hits in six innings on Monday versus the Cubs, but the Pirates only scored one run before the ninth inning. The bullpen took the loss as they allowed three runs in the seventh and another in the eighth. Burnett is 0-1 with a 2.00 ERA.
Andrew McCutchen, CF4/20/2015 10:52:00 PM
Description: Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen went 2-for-4 in the loss to the Cubs on Monday.
Insight: McCutchen had an RBI-single in the first to score Gregory Polanco. Overall, though, McCutchen is off to a slow start, hitting .238 with two home runs and 10 RBI this season.
Jordy Mercer, SS4/20/2015 4:58:00 PM
Description: Pirates shortstop Jordy Mercer is not in the lineup on Monday against the Cubs due to a rib injury.
Insight: Mercer took a fastball in the ribs from Brewers starter Matt Garza on Sunday, so Jung Ho Kang will start at shortstop. Mercer had an X-ray, which came back negative, so he is dealing with a bruise.
Pedro Alvarez, 1B4/19/2015 4:24:00 PM
Description: Pirates infielder Pedro Alvarez launched a homer Sunday versus Milwaukee.
Insight: It was his fourth of the season, and he now has seven RBIs as well.
Mark Melancon, RP4/19/2015 4:22:00 PM
Description: Pirates closer Mark Melancon picked up his second save of the season on Sunday.
Insight: He allowed on hit in the ninth, but escaped without giving up a run.
Gerrit Cole, SP4/19/2015 4:20:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh right-hander Gerrit Cole picked up his second win Sunday against the Brewers.
Insight: He went six innings and allowed tow runs on five hits and one walk, while striking out six. Cole is now 2-0 with a 3.18 ERA.
Pedro Alvarez, 1B4/19/2015 11:03:00 AM
Description: Pirates infielder Pedro Alvarez could be in line for a big day on Sunday.
Insight: He is 8-for-18 lifetime against opposing starter Matt Garza, with one homer and six RBIs. Alvarez will be a solid option on Sunday.
Jeff Locke, SP4/18/2015 9:44:00 PM
Description: Pirates left-hander Jeff Locke defeated the Brewers on Saturday.
Insight: Locke was great, going eight innings and allowing only one run on four hits, while striking out six. He is now 2-0 with a 1.93 ERA.
Starling Marte, LF4/17/2015 10:20:00 PM
Description: Pirates outfielder Starling Marte hit a monster home run for his second of the season as Pittsburgh beat Milwaukee, 6-3, on Friday.
Insight: Marte has really struggled to start the year, but manager Clint Hurdle mixed up his order and moved Marte down, which seemed to work. Marte went 2-for-4 with a two-run bomb that went close to 450 feet. Marte is hitting .152 with four RBI, so maybe this game gets him going.
Gregory Polanco, RF4/17/2015 10:14:00 PM
Description: Pirates outfielder Gregory Polanco went 3-for-4 with a run scored in the, 6-3, victory over the Brewers on Friday.
Insight: Like many of the Pirates hitters, Polanco has been struggling in the first two weeks of the season, but he and the Pirates offense got it going on Friday. Polanco had two singles and a double. He also stole his third base of the season.
Francisco Liriano, SP4/15/2015 10:06:00 PM
Description: Pirates pitcher Francisco Liriano pitched very well, allowing just a solo home run versus the Tigers, but Pittsburgh lost, 1-0, on Wednesday.
Insight: Liriano was lifted after six innings for a pinch hitter otherwise he probably would have kept pitching. The Pirates have given their pitchers no run support the last two games. Pittsburgh hasn't scored a run in the last 20 innings.
A.J. Burnett, SP4/14/2015 10:04:00 PM
Description: Pirates starter A.J. Burnett pitched very well in his return in a Pirates uniform at PNC Park, but Tigers starter Shane Greene spoiled it.
Insight: Greene threw 6 2/3 innings, allowing just one run on seven hits, struck out eight and walked two, but Greene pitched eight shutout inning as the Tigers won, 2-0. Burnett's two walks in the seventh led to the Tigers first run. Burnett is 0-1 but has pitched very well and supports a 2.25 ERA in two starts this season.
Starling Marte, LFCold4/14/2015 3:26:00 PM
Description: Pirates outfielder Starling Marte is not in Tuesday's starting lineup.
Insight: Marte has gone hitless in his last two games and is batting just .115 on the season, so he's getting a day off. His career OPS is 78 points higher in the second half, so fantasy owners shouldn't panic over his slow start. He's a top outfielder who gives fantasy owners 30-plus steals and double-digit home runs.
Francisco Liriano, SP4/14/2015 11:05:00 AM
Description: Pirates pitcher Francisco Liriano will make the start on Wednesday after taking time off for the birth of his daughter.
Insight: He pitched well in his first start, but earned a ND after pitching seven innings and yielding two hits.
Mark Melancon, RP4/13/2015 4:38:00 PM
Description: Pirates closer Mark Melancon struggled in a non-ave situation Monday versus Detroit.
Insight: He allowed three runs on four hits, but luckily Pittsburgh hung onto a 5-4 win. Melancon should be fine moving forward.
Josh Harrison, 3B4/13/2015 4:26:00 PM
Description: Pirates third baseman Josh Harrison smacked his first homer of the season.
Insight: He lead off the bottom of the first with the dinger, and it was also Harrison's first RBI of the campaign as well. He has a .217/.333/.391 early on this season. That should improve quickly.
Gerrit Cole, SP4/13/2015 4:23:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh right-hander Gerrit Cole struck out eight in a win over Detroit on Monday afternoon.
Insight: In Pittsburgh's home opener Cole shined, going six innings and allowed just one run on three hits and two walks. He is 1-0 with a 3.27 ERA through two starts this season.
Andrew McCutchen, CF4/12/2015 6:01:00 PM
Description: Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen is over his knee issue.
Insight: He went 2-for-5 with a homer and four RBIs in a win over the Brewers. McCutchen is batting just .190 early on, but owners should not worry.
Andrew McCutchen, CF4/12/2015 12:37:00 PM
Description: Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen is back in the lineup on Sunday and should be started in all leagues. He is 13-for-41 with two home runs and eight RBI in his career against Brewers starter Kyle Lohse.
Insight: McCutchen missed Saturday's game due to knee soreness. He admitted after the game that his knee was what caused him to miss 10 games during Spring Training according to the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. That, however, remains a minor concern for now as McCutchen returns to the lineup. It was apparently sore enough that it forced McCutchen from the game in the ninth inning, so given his importance to the team so he'll rest Saturday.
Neil Walker, 2B4/12/2015 10:16:00 AM
Description: Pirates second baseman Neil Walker is a career .333 hitter against Brewers starter Kyle Lohse.
Insight: Walker has five extra-base hits and nine RBI against Lohse as well. The Pirates will have to count on Walker and other in the lineup to step up as Andrew McCutchen could be out again on Sunday.
Gregory Polanco, RF4/11/2015 3:16:00 PM
Description: Pirates outfielder Gregory Polanco is not in Saturday's starting lineup.
Insight: It appears to simply be a day off. Andrew Lambo will get the start. Polanco is batting just .222 through the first four games and went 0-for-5 on Friday night.
Andrew McCutchen, CF4/11/2015 3:10:00 PM
Description: Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen is questionable for Saturday's game against Milwaukee due to a sore left knee. Update: He's not in the starting lineup.
Insight: It was apparently sore enough that it forced McCutchen from the game in the ninth inning, so given his importance to the team so he'll rest Saturday.
Francisco Liriano, SP4/11/2015 10:15:00 AM
Description: Pirates pitcher Francisco Liriano will not make his regular start on Sunday due to the birth of his daughter.
Insight: At least he's not injured. Liriano will be moved back to Wednesday against the Tigers. He pitched well in his first start, but earned a ND after pitching seven innings and yielding two hits.
Andrew McCutchen, CF4/11/2015 10:11:00 AM
Description: Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen is questionable for Saturday's game against Milwaukee due to a sore left knee.
Insight: It was apparently sore enough that it forced McCutchen from the game in the ninth inning, so given his importance to the team they could let him rest Saturday.
Andrew McCutchen, CF4/10/2015 11:01:00 AM
Description: Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen is a career .429 (6-for-14) with four home runs and a 1.714 OPS against Milwaukee right-hander Mike Fiers.
Insight: McCutchen homered on opening day, but has gone hitless in the last two games. The streak ends here!
Pedro Alvarez, 1B4/9/2015 4:45:00 PM
Description: Pirates infielder Pedro Alvarez smashed his first homer of the season.
Insight: He did so in a loss to the Reds. Alvarez went 2-for-4 with the homer and two runs scored, and should be a nice source of power throught the season.
Francisco Cervelli, C4/9/2015 11:47:00 AM
Description: Pirates catcher Francisco Cervelli is not in Thursday's starting lineup.
Insight: Cervelli played the first two games of the season, going 2-for-7, but will get the early start off. Cervelli has never been much of a fantasy option and still isn't.
Starling Marte, LF4/8/2015 11:30:00 AM
Description: Pirates outfielder Starling Marte is a lifetime .217 hitter with eight strikeouts in 23 at-bats in 23 at-bats versus Red starter Mike Leake.
Insight: The Sports Network expects Marte to have a big season after he hit .348 in the second half last season, but he should probably be avoided on Wednesday. Marte was 0-for-4 with three strikeouts on Opening Day.
Andrew McCutchen, CF4/6/2015 7:32:00 PM
Description: Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen went 2-for-4 with a two-run homer in the eighth, but the Pirates fell to the Reds on Opening Day, 5-2.
Insight: McCutchen nearly had a huge day, but in the first inning, Reds third baseman Todd Frazier robbed him on a hit down the line that would have likely been extra bases. Any owners who were worried McCutchen wasn't truly healthy coming into the season will probably sleep well tonight.
Francisco Liriano, SP4/6/2015 7:28:00 PM
Description: Pirates pitcher Francisco Liriano pitched seven great innings in a no-decision against the Reds on Monday.
Insight: The same old story for Liriano. He didn't receive much run support last season, and the Pirates scored just two runs on Monday. That was enough to avoid giving Liriano the loss. He pitched seven innings, allowing two runs on two hits, three walks and seven strikeouts. One of the Reds runs versus Liriano was scored on a balk with the other coming on a solo bomb from Jay Bruce.
Travis Snider, LF4/6/2015 6:54:00 PM
Description: Orioles right fielder Travis Snider had three hits in his Baltimore debut on Monday.
Insight: Snider singled in the first to drive in Baltimore's first run of the season and then he doubled in the eighth to score another run. He was 3-for-4 with two RBI on Monday, but fantasy owners should wait-and-see if he can continue to be successful in Baltimore before making the move to pick him up.
Starling Marte, LF4/6/2015 10:42:00 AM
Description: Pirates outfielder Starling Marte is an ugly 1-for-20 (.050) with six strikeouts against Reds starter Johnny Cueto.
Insight: Marte's numbers have improved each season and he hit .291 with 13 HR, 56 RBI and .808 OPS. He also stole 30 bases last season, but this unfavorable matchup should probably be avoided.
Andrew McCutchen, CF4/1/2015 10:06:00 PM
Description: Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen slipped on home plate and didn't run to first during his last at-bat of Wednesday's Spring Training game.
Insight: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, however, reported after the game that McCutchen said he is fine while also saying "I think I made the team already." It's nice for the center fielder to joke about this, but he had fantasy owners and Pirates fans quite worried. Owners can let out a sign of relief.
Jose Tabata, RF3/27/2015 9:45:00 AM
Description: Pittsburgh outfielder Jose Tabata was sent to the minors.
Insight: Once a rising star in the organization, he no longer appears to be in the long-term plans. The Pirates will likely use Sean Rodriguez and Corey Hart to back up the starting outfield trio of Andrew McCutchen, Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco.
Andrew McCutchen, CF3/23/2015 12:49:00 PM
Description: Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen is expected to return to the field on Tuesday, according to Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Insight: McCutchen has been out since March 12 with "lower body soreness," whatever that means. Fantasy owners should be a little concerned, but if you plan to invest a top first-round pick in McCutchen, this shouldn't stop you. At least not if he comes back soon enough to get some at-bats before the season begins.
Francisco Liriano, SP3/17/2015 7:36:00 PM
Description: Pirates pitcher Francisco Liriano will pitch Opening Day for the Pirates according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Insight: Liriano didn't have a great record (7-10) last season, which could scare some owners, but he had a respectable 3.38 ERA. Get him in a middle round if you can.
Andrew McCutchen, CF3/15/2015 11:11:00 AM
Description: Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen is out again on Sunday due to lower body sorness according to the Pittsburgh Post Gazette.
Insight: McCutchen has been out since Friday with this soreness, but he said it is not a concern. Therefore, fantasy owners don't have to be concerned yet either, but if you plan to invest a top first-round pick in McCutchen, it is worth monitoring this injury.
Neil Walker, 2B3/11/2015 10:06:00 AM
Description: Pirates second baseman Neil Walker is back in the Pittsburgh lineup for Wednesday's game.
Insight: Walker took a pitch in the back of the knee on Monday, but he appears fine. Walker hit .271/.342/.467 and led second basemen with 23 home runs.
Francisco Liriano, SP3/10/2015 6:18:00 PM
Description: Pirates pitcher Francisco Liriano allowed just one hit and struck out four in three innings on Tuesday.
Insight: Liriano has the potential to give fantasy owners tremendous value this season. Fantasy owners might not want to touch him since his record was just 7-10 last season, but he did post a respectable 3.38 ERA. All indications are that Liriano even return to his 2013 form where he was 16-8 and a 3.02 ERA.
Francisco Liriano, SP3/5/2015 5:57:00 PM
Description: Pirates pitcher Francisco Liriano started and threw two scoreless innings versus the Yankees on Thursday.
Insight: Liriano allowed two hits, one walk and struck out two. Liriano was just 7-10 last season, but he posted a healthy 3.38 ERA. He should be a quality backend fantasy starter in 2015.
Josh Harrison, 3B3/5/2015 9:42:00 AM
Description: Pirates third baseman Josh Harrison rolled his left ankle Wednesday, but it doesn't appear too serious.
Insight: Harrison can play multiple positions, but should be the primary 3B this season as Pedro Alvarez has been moved to 1B. Harrison was a huge ssurprise last season batting .315 with, 52 RBI, 77 runs and 18 stolen bases and an .839 OPS. He'll go much higher in this year's drafts.
Pedro Alvarez, 1B3/3/2015 7:35:00 PM
Description: Pirates corner infielder Pedro Alvarez hit a three-run home run and an RBI double versus the Blue Jays in Tuesday's Spring Training game.
Insight: Both of the hits were to opposite field off Blue Jays starting pitcher Aaron Sanchez. Alvarez's fantasy value is somewhat limited since he is projected to be platooned at first base, but he can certainly still hit 30 home runs if he gets enough at-bats. He should also hit for a higher average if he doesn't face lefties this season. Alvarez hit just .175 versus south paws in 2014.
Jung-Ho Kang, IF3/3/2015 7:34:00 PM
Description: Pirates prized free-agent signee Jung-ho Kang belted a homer in his second at-bat on Tuesday against the Blue Jays.
Insight: Kang hit 40 home runs in Korea last season, so he certainly has some pop. It will be interesting to see if the right-hander's power translates to the bigger parks in the United States. So far, so good. He also grounded out and walked on Tuesday. Kang is projected to be an utilityman, playing mostly third base and shortstop, but if he continues to display this kind of power, Pittsburgh will have to find an everyday spot for him. Fantasy owners should keep an eye on him.
Vance Worley, SP2/12/2015 10:45:00 AM
Description: Pirates starter Vance Worley won his arbitration case and will make $2.45 million next season.
Insight: Worley was 8-4 with a 2.85 ERA and 1.211 WHIP in 110 2/3 innings last season. Though his won-loss record and ERA were solid, he's never had a great WHIP and is not a strikeout pitcher (342 in 437 career innings) which limits his fantasy value.
Jung-Ho Kang, IF1/16/2015 11:54:00 AM
Description: The Pirates have signed shortstop Jung-ho Kang to a four-year deal.
Insight: Kang should be given a chance to beat out Jordy Mercer, who did little to help fantasy owners (.255, 12 HR, 55 RBI, 56 RBI, 4 SB). Kang batted .356 with 40 home runs and 117 RBI in 117 games last season for the Nexen Heroes of the Korean Baseball Organization.
Edinson Volquez, SP12/17/2014 6:02:00 PM
Description: Starter Edinson Volquez has agreed to a two-year, $20 million contract with the Kansas City Royals according to CBS Sports reporter Jon Heyman.
Insight: Volquez had a great bounce back year with a 3.04 ERA, 1.23 WHIP and nearly twice as many strikeouts as walks over 192 2/3 innings in 2014 with the Pirates. Volquez, however, was one of the worst pitchers in the league in 2013, and Pittsburgh has become a pitcher's heaven, where down-and-out pitchers revitalize their careers. Francisco Liriano and A.J. Burnett were the first to do that with the Pirates and now Volquez. Now let's see if Volquez can be better than Burnett was after he left Pittsburgh.
Francisco Liriano, SP12/9/2014 5:15:00 PM
Description: Francisco Liriano and the Pirates have agreed to a three-year, $39 million contract according to Robert Murray of MLB Daily Rumors and Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
Insight: It's nice to finally see the Pirates open up the wallets a bit to keep an important player to their cause. Liriano has posted a 3.20 ERA with 338 strikeouts in 323 1/3 innings over two seasons in Pittsburgh. Last season, he was just 7-10 but had a 3.38 ERA in 162 1/3 innings.
A.J. Burnett, SP11/14/2014 4:46:00 PM
Description: Right-hander A.J. Burnett will return to the scene of his last successful seasons, Pittsburgh, for 2015.
Insight: Burnett agreed to a one year deal. He was 26-21 in two seasons with the Pirates from 2012-13. He'll try an capture the magic again after an 8-18 campaign in Philadelphia.
Russell Martin, C10/10/2014 9:00:00 PM
Description: Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that catcher Russell Martin turned down a contract extension from the Pirates during the second half of the regular season.
Insight: Heyman also reported the two sides negotiated in spring training but the Pirates opted not to extend a contract offer at that point. Martin was then not interested in the middle of the season. The catcher batted .290 with 11 home runs and 67 RBI while being a leader behind the plate the last two years for Pittsburgh. He will have many suitors this winter.
Russell Martin, C10/1/2014 5:12:00 PM
Description: Pirates catcher Russell Martin (groin) is in the lineup Wednesday versus San Francisco.
Insight: There was little doubt that he would miss the Wild Card Game, however Martin is now officially active, and batting fourth for Pittsburgh. One other note is Gaby Sanchez gets the start against Giants' lefty Madison Bumgarner
Edinson Volquez, SP10/1/2014 10:34:00 AM
Description: Pirates starter Edinson Volquez is 9-1 with a 1.85 ERA in his last 17 starts going into his NL Wild Card game start on Wednesday.
Insight: Volquez has also allowed just four earned runs in his last 34 2/3 innings at home. In his last two starts, each lasting seven innings, he did not yield a single run. Experts can second guess the Pirates rotation strategy this week all they want, but Pittsburgh has a hot pitcher on the mound, in front of an electric crowd at home, and with the support of one of the hottest offenses in September.
Andrew McCutchen, CF10/1/2014 10:26:00 AM
Description: Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen is 2-for-10 in his career against Giants starter Madison Bumgarner.
Insight: McCutchen finished the regular season with a .314 average, 25 home runs, 83 RBI, 89 runs and 18 stolen bases. He will have to perform well if the Pirates hope to make a deep playoff run, but the Pittsburgh offense is much more potent and balanced this season than a year ago.
Josh Harrison, 3B10/1/2014 10:17:00 AM
Description: Although it is a small sample size, Pirates third baseman Josh Harrison is 4-for-5 with a solo home run and a walk against Giants starter Madison Bumgarner.
Insight: Harrison just behind Justin Morneau for the NL batting title with a .315 average. He also had 58 extra-base hits, 52 RBI, 77 runs and 18 stolen bases. Pittsburgh will need him to set the tone on Wednesday.
Russell Martin, C9/30/2014 8:25:00 PM
Description: Pirates catcher Russell Martin is expected to start Wednesday's Wild Card game against the Giants according to Mercury News.
Insight: Martin left Friday's game after reinjurying his left hamstring. He did not return the entire weekend, but that will not keep him out of the single elimination Wild Card affair on Wednesday. Pittsburgh still plans to carry a third catcher just in case.
Russell Martin, C9/28/2014 11:37:00 AM
Description: Pirates catcher Russell Martin (hamstring) remains out of lineup Sunday.
Insight: With Pittsburgh attempting to capture the NL Central, they will be without their starting catcher yet again. Martin should be ready for postseason play, but Chris Stewart gets the nod today.
Neil Walker, 2B9/28/2014 9:47:00 AM
Description: Pirates second baseman Neil Walker could be in line for a rough afternoon on Sunday.
Insight: He is a .171 career hitter (7-for-41) off Reds' starter Johnny Cueto, with seven strikeouts. In a game Pittsburgh needs to win, Walker is not a recommended daily play.
Francisco Liriano, SP9/27/2014 5:20:00 PM
Description: Pirates starter Francisco Liriano pitched lasts only five innings Saturday.
Insight: He was on fire of late, but did not have it today. Liriano gave up four runs (three earned) on five hits and five walks, while striking out five. His 2014 season finishes off with a 7-10 record and a 3.38 ERA and 1.30 WHIP.
Russell Martin, C9/27/2014 10:09:00 AM
Description: Pirates catcher Russell Martin left Friday's game against the Reds in the seventh reaggravated his hamstring and with a poor matchup on Saturday he's not likely to be in the starting lineup.
Insight: martin is just 1-for-11 against Alfredo Simon. He will likely not play the rest of the weekend to ensure he is healthy for the playoffs.
Gaby Sanchez, 1B9/26/2014 10:09:00 PM
Description: Pirates first baseman Gaby Sanchez hit a solo home run to help the Pirates inch closer to the Cardinals in the division race as Pittsburgh beat Cincinnati, 3-1.
Insight: Sanchez was only in the lineup against righty Mike Leake because Ike Davis is ill, but he took the Reds starter deep in the fifth to put the Pirates up 1-0. Pittsburgh scored two runs in the eighth to win. The Pirates now wait to see what St. Louis does in Arizona.
Russell Martin, C9/26/2014 9:15:00 PM
Description: Pirates catcher Russell Martin left Friday's game against the Reds in the seventh after a walk.
Insight: It was hard to tell because he left after not swinging or running, but it appears that Martin may have reaggravated his hamstring. The camera caught Martin going into the clubhouse very unhappy and grimacing. He will likely not play the rest of the weekend to ensure he is healthy for the playoffs.
Charlie Morton, SP9/26/2014 7:30:00 PM
Description: Pirates starter Charlie Morton will be out the next six-to-eight months after undergoing surgery to repair the labrum in his right hip on Friday according to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review.
Insight: Morton was hoping to stick out the hip injury until the end of the season, but he will officially miss the playoffs at this point. He did return for one start a couple weeks ago and threw five scoreless innings. Morton had the same surgery in October of 2011 and missed the first two weeks of 2012, so his Opening Day status is in doubt.
Edinson Volquez, SP9/25/2014 10:38:00 PM
Description: Pirates starter Edinson Volquez pitches gem against the Braves.
Insight: He allowed no runs on four hits, over seven innings of work, and also struck out 10. He finishes the year at 13-7 with an impressive 3.04 ERA. He will be a highly sought after free agent this offseason.
Travis Snider, LF9/25/2014 10:30:00 PM
Description: Pirates right fielder Travis Snider hits second homer in three games against Atlanta.
Insight: It was his 13th of the year, and he now has 37 RBI. SNider is not a relevant fantays player, but has produced as of late.
Russell Martin, C9/25/2014 5:18:00 PM
Description: Pirates catcher Russell Martin is back in the lineup after leaving Wednesday's game against the Braves.
Insight: He had some hamstring tightness, but it looks like Pittsburgh was just playing it safe. Martin is hitting fifth against Atlanta starter David Hale.
Jeff Locke, SP9/24/2014 10:30:00 PM
Description: Pirates left-hander Jeff Locke gets lit up by Atlanta.
Insight: He lasted only four innings, yielding six runs on eight hits and five walks. Locke is now 7-6 with a 3.91 ERA.
Andrew McCutchen, CF9/24/2014 10:23:00 PM
Description: Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen blasted his 25th homer of the season Wednesday against Atlanta.
Insight: He took Braves' starter Julio Teheran deep in the fifth, for a two-run shot. McCutchen is now firmly in the MVP race yet again, as he is slashing .314/.409/.546 with 78 RBI.
Russell Martin, C9/24/2014 9:31:00 PM
Description: Updating on a previous item: Pirates catcher Russell Martin left Wednesday's contest with left hamstring tightness, according to Bill Brink.
Insight: Hamstring injuries are never an easy injury to deal with, but hopefully Pittsburgh is just playing it safe with Martin, as they have a playoff spot already locked up.
Russell Martin, C9/24/2014 8:50:00 PM
Description: Pirates catcher Russell Martin was removed from Wednesday's game against Atlanta with a potential ankle injury, according to Bill Brink.
Insight: Martin was attemting to get back to first base, when the injury appeared to happen. Chris Stewart replaced him, in the bottom of the fifth inning. We should have a firm update shortly.
Travis Snider, LF9/23/2014 10:05:00 PM
Description: Pirates right fielder Travis Snider hits big homer versus Atlanta.
Insight: He tied the game in the fifth inning with his 12th dinger of the season, which helped Pittsburgh seal the deal in earning a playoff spot.
Tony Watson, RP9/23/2014 10:03:00 PM
Description: Pirates lefty Tony Watson earns rare save.
Insight: With Mark Melancon unavailable, Watson worked a scoreless ninth, for his second save of the season. He struck out one, and now owns a 1.44 ERA. Solid year for Tony Watson.
Gerrit Cole, SP9/23/2014 10:01:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh right-hander Gerrit Cole helps Pittsburgh clinch playoff spot.
Insight: He went seven strong innings, allowing two runs on four hits, and struck out eight. Assuming Pittsburgh plays in the wild card playoff, Cole has a solid chance of starting. He is now 11-5 with a 3.78 ERA.
Gaby Sanchez, 1B9/23/2014 5:41:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh first baseman Gaby Sanchez gets the start tonight.
Insight: With Braves' lefty Alex Wood on the mound, Sanchez gets the nod in place of Ike Davis. However, with a .235 batting average, combined with only six homeruns and 31 RBI, Sanchez is not a recommended play.
Francisco Liriano, SPHot9/22/2014 10:14:00 PM
Description: Pirates starter Francisco Liriano pitched six shutout innings as Pittsburgh inched closer to a playoff berth with a 1-0 victory over the Braves.
Insight: Liriano struggled with his control for a second straight start, walking four batters, but he allowed just three hits and struck out seven. Liriano is just 7-10 but has a 3.32 ERA and 170 strikeouts in 157 1/3 innings this year.
Andrew McCutchen, CF9/22/2014 10:08:00 PM
Description: Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen hit a solo home run to defeat the Braves, 1-0, on Monday.
Insight: The reigning National League MVP is making his case to win the award again. McCutchen took Braves starter Aaron Harang deep in the top of the sixth for the only run of the game. McCutchen's numbers, .310 average and 76 RBI, are slightly down from a season ago, .317 average and 84 RBI, but he has hit three more home runs in 2014, and it is still hard to argue any player is more important to a National League club than McCutchen. He is hitting .308 with 23 homers 81 runs, 75 RBI and 17 stolen bases. He's also 5-for-5 in stolen bases against Gallardo anytime he gets on.
Russell Martin, CHot9/22/2014 12:15:00 PM
Description: Pirates catcher Russell Martin is a career .471 hitter (8-for-17) against Braves starter Aaron Harang.
Insight: Martin has put together an excellent season batting .297 with 11 HR, 67 RBI and an .850 OPS. He's on a 12-game hitting streak. Hot hitter plus favorable matchup equals must start.
Pedro Alvarez, 1BCold9/21/2014 7:10:00 PM
Description: Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said on Sunday that first baseman Pedro Alvarez (foot) could return if the team advances to the NLDS according to the Pittsburgh Tribune Review.
Insight: This confirms that Alvarez will not be ready for the Wild Card game. Alvarez suffered a stress reaction in his left foot in late August and the injury normally takes four to six weeks to recover.
Josh Harrison, 3B9/21/2014 6:30:00 PM
Description: Pirates third baseman Josh Harrison went 2-for-4 on Sunday against the Brewers to extend his hitting streak to nine games.
Insight: With one week to go in the season, Harrison leads the batting title race by nine ten-thousanth of a point over Justin Morneau. Harrison also has a .350 on-base percentage, .500 slugging percentage, 13 home runs, 52 RBI, 72 runs and 17 steals this year.
Russell Martin, CHot9/21/2014 6:15:00 PM
Description: Pirates catcher Russell Martin had the game-winning RBI single in the, 1-0, victory over the Brewers on Sunday.
Insight: Martin accounted for four of the five runs Pittsburgh scored in the series against Milwaukee. Martin hit a 3-run homer in the bottom of the eighth to win on Friday. Pittsburgh took two of three from Milwaukee to increase its wild card lead. Martin has a 12-game hitting streak.
Vance Worley, SP9/21/2014 6:04:00 PM
Description: Pirates starter Vance Worley threw eight scoreless innings, allowing four hits, to defeat the Brewers, 1-0, on Sunday.
Insight: It was Worley's biggest start as a Pirate, and he came through, giving up just four singles and walking one Brewer. Pittsburgh now has a 4 1/2 game lead over Milwaukee for the final wild card spot with a week to go in the season. Worley has won his last three decisions and is 8-4 with a 2.93 ERA in 104 1/3 innings this season.
Jordy Mercer, SS9/21/2014 9:57:00 AM
Description: Pirates shortstop Jordy Mercer is just 1-for-10 in his lifetime against Brewers starter Wily Peralta.
Insight: Mercer missed a few games early in the week due to a tight back. Since his return, he is 1-for-9 with a double. If possible, avoid Mercer on Sunday.
Mark Melancon, RP9/20/2014 10:43:00 PM
Description: Pirates closer Mark Melancon has not been great in non save situations this season, since becoming closer.
Insight: He took the loss to the Brewers, giving a run in the ninth, dropping his record to 3-5. However, Melancon has been extremely reliable when Pittsburgh has the lead, with 31 saves a 1.96 ERA. He is an extremely dependable fantasy closer.
Edinson Volquez, SP9/20/2014 10:35:00 PM
Description: Pirates starter Edinson Volquez continued his hot pitching of late, Saturday versus Milwaukee.
Insight: He hit Ryan Braun, which casued warnings to be issued, eventually resulting in the ejection of Matt Garza. However, Volquez did not allow a run on three hits and seven innings. He did not factor into the decision, and owns a healthy 3.15 ERA.
Jeff Locke, SP9/19/2014 10:23:00 PM
Description: Pirates left-hander Jeff Locke pitched seven innings, allowed two runs on five hits, struck out three and walked none as Pittsburgh beat Milwaukee, 4-2.
Insight: Locke did not receive the win as the Pirates rallyed in the bottom of the eighth to take the lead. The outing was still very nice for Locke, who is know to have control problems, as he did not walk a batter. That is only the sixth time that has happened in 20 starts this season. Locke is 7-5 with a 3.60 ERA.
Russell Martin, CHot9/19/2014 10:15:00 PM
Description: Pirates catcher Russell Martin hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the eighth to rally the Pirates over the Brewers, 4-2, on Friday.
Insight: Brewers starter Yovani Gallardo held the Pirates scoreless for seven innings and gave way to relief pitcher Jonathan Broxton. Left fielder Starling Marte and pinch runner Chase d'Arnaud scored on Martin's homer to right center field. Pittsburgh added an insurance run later in the inning. The pending free agent is hitting .296 with 11 home runs and 66 RBI this season.
Andrew McCutchen, CF9/19/2014 12:15:00 PM
Description: Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen is a career .327 hitter with four home runs and a 1.006 OPS versus Milwaukee right-hander Yovani Gallardo.
Insight: He is hitting .308 with 23 homers 81 runs, 75 RBI and 17 stolen bases. He's also 5-for-5 in stolen bases against Gallardo anytime he gets on.
Mark Melancon, RPHot9/18/2014 11:30:00 PM
Description: Pirates closer Mark Melancon notched his 30th save of the season.
Insight: Melancon has thrived since taking over for Jason Grilli in July of last season.
Gerrit Cole, SP9/18/2014 11:23:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh right-hander Gerrit Cole was solid against Thursday night, winning for the 10th time this season.
Insight: Cole yielded just six hits in seven innings and struck out seven without a walk to raise his record to 10-5 with a 3.85 ERA. He's won his last three starts.
Jordy Mercer, SSHot9/18/2014 6:36:00 PM
Description: Pirates shortstop Jordy Mercer returns to the starting lineup on Thursday against the Red Sox.
Insight: Mercer sat out the last two games with back tightness, but he is feeling better. He will bat seventh against Boston starter Brandon Workman.
Francisco Liriano, SPHot9/18/2014 2:02:00 PM
Description: Pirates starter Francisco Liriano allowed one run in six innings as Pittsburgh defeated Boston, 9-1, on Wednesday.
Insight: Liriano struggled with his control, walking five batters but he only allowed three hits and struck out two. Liriano's scoreless inning streak did come to an end when Bryce Brentz scored on a groundout. The scoreless inning streak ended at 20.
Francisco Liriano, SPHot9/17/2014 10:14:00 AM
Description: Pirates starter Francisco Liriano looks to continue his hot play tonight against Boston.
Insight: He is a major reason why Pittsburgh is likely to make the postseason. After beginning the season in dreadful fashion, Liriano has been unreal over the past month (2-0 with 0.67 ERA and 0.96 WHIP). Look for that trend to continue the rest of the season.
Charlie Morton, SP9/16/2014 10:59:00 PM
Description: Pirates starter Charlie Morton returned to the rotation on Tuesday after missing a month with a sports hernia and threw five scoreless innings to beat the Red Sox, 4-0.
Insight: Five relief pitches combined with Morton to shutout the Red Sox. Morton allowed four hits, struck out six and walked two. He worked around lead off doubles in the fourth and fifth to keep Boston off the board. Morton has elected not to receive surgery until after the year and will gut out the rest of the season.
Russell Martin, CHot9/16/2014 10:55:00 PM
Description: Pirates catcher Russell Martin hit a two-run home run as Pittsburgh shutout Boston, 4-0.
Insight: The homer was Martin's 10th of the year and came in the second inning as the first runs of the game. The catcher finished the game 1-for-4. Martin is batting .294 with 63 RBI to go with his 10 homers.
Josh Harrison, 3B9/14/2014 7:18:00 PM
Description: Pirates third baseman Josh Harrison went 2-for-5 with a two-run double and scored against the Cubs on Sunday
Insight: Harrison's two-RBI double started a big fifth inning for the Pirates as they erased a 3-0 deficit to comeback and win, 7-3. Harrison is hitting .357 in September and now leads the National League with a .317 batting average. He also has a .351 on-base percentage and .508 slugging percentage with 51 RBI and 71 runs.
Neil Walker, 2B9/14/2014 6:22:00 PM
Description: Pirates second baseman Neil Walker went 3-for-4 with a home run, two RBI and two runs to lead the Pirates over the Cubs, 7-3, on Sunday.
Insight: Walker hit a solo home run in the fourth, which was his 20th of the season. Walker added an RBI-double and scored in the fifth as Pittsburgh erased a 3-0 deficit. Walker has been great this season, batting .279/.351/.468 with those 20 home runs and 69 RBI.
Charlie Morton, SPCold9/14/2014 12:42:00 PM
Description: Pirates starter Charlie Morton (hernia) will rejoin the Pirates rotation on Tuesday against the Red Sox according to MLB.com.
Insight: Morton will be gutting out his sports hernia the last few weeks of the season as he has elected to wait for the required surgery until after the season. Vance Worley will move to the bullpen with Morton's return. Morton is 5-12 but has a respectable 3.84 ERA.
Russell Martin, CHot9/14/2014 9:57:00 AM
Description: Pirates catcher Russell Martin went 2-for-3 with a bases clearing double in the eighth on Saturday, but the Pirates still lost to the Cubs, 6-4.
Insight: Martin drove in Josh Harrison, Jordy Mercer and Neil Walker with his double to left field. At the time, the Pirates trailed 6-0. Martin has been awesome for Pittsburgh this year, hitting .294 with nine home runs and 61 RBI in 343 at-bats. The catcher looks poised to test free agency this winter.
Starling Marte, LFCold9/13/2014 4:33:00 PM
Description: Pirates outfielder Starling Marte is not in the starting lineup again on Saturday.
Insight: Marte has been out with a sore elbow since a pitch hit him in his left elbow on Thursday. X-rays were negative, which is obviously a good thing. Marte could possibly pinch run against the Cubs Saturday.
Jordy Mercer, SSHot9/12/2014 11:11:00 PM
Description: Pirates shortstop Jordy Mercer went 3-for-5 with three RBI in Friday night's victory over the Cubs, 7-3.
Insight: Mercer hit a single in the fourth to score Travis Snider and his single in the sixth scored Chris Stewart and Josh Harrison. Mercer and Harrison, the top two hitters in Friday's lineup, combined to go 6-for-9 with two runs and three RBI.
Josh Harrison, 3B9/12/2014 11:00:00 PM
Description: Pirates third baseman Josh Harrison went 3-for-4 on Friday to move back in front of Justin Morneau for the NL batting title lead as the Pirates defeated the Cubs, 7-3.
Insight: Harrison went 0-for-5 on Thursday to drop his average to .314 but he is back to .318 after Friday. In his last two games against the Cubs, Harrison is 7-for-10 with two doubles and two RBI. He also walked on Friday.
Russell Martin, CHot9/12/2014 6:08:00 PM
Description: Pirates catcher Russell Martin is not in the lineup on Friday against the Cubs.
Insight: Martin is having a tremendous season both offensively and defensively. Friday is just a normal day of rest for the catcher. Chris Stewart will start behind the plate on Friday.
Andrew McCutchen, CF9/11/2014 12:44:00 PM
Description: Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen went 2-for-4 with a walk and an inside-the-park home run as the Pirates defeated the Phillies, 6-3, on Wednesday.
Insight: After a brief cold streak after returning from his rib injury, McCutchen is a legitimate contender for the National League batting title again. He is hitting .311, which is only behind Justin Morneau (.317) and teammate Josh Harrison (.318). The home run was the center fielder's 23rd of the season. He also has 77 runs, 75 RBI and 17 stolen bases.
Russell Martin, CHot9/9/2014 10:22:00 PM
Description: Pirates catcher Russell Martin was 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI against the Phillies on Tuesday.
Insight: Martin did get thrown out trying to extend a single into a double in the second inning and failed to throw out two base stealers, but for fantasy purposes, he had a good game. Martin would have likely scored in the second as well, and the Pirates lost by one. Martin is 5-for-13 (.385) in his last three games.
Josh Harrison, 3B9/9/2014 3:58:00 PM
Description: Pirates star utility man Josh Harrison was not in the lineup on Monday, but is in the starting lineup for Tuesday's game against Philadelphia.
Insight: Harrison rolled his left ankle making a catch on Saturday. He has not played since then. The 27-year-old has had a tremendous season, batting .315 with 13 HR, 48 RBI, 66 runs and 17 SB in 124 games.
Josh Harrison, 3B9/9/2014 10:36:00 AM
Description: Pirates star utility man Josh Harrison was not in the starting lineup on Monday and is questionable for Tuesday's game against Philadelphia.
Insight: Harrison rolled his left ankle making a catch on Saturday. He has not played since then. The 27-year-old has had a tremendous season, batting .315 with 13 HR, 48 RBI, 66 runs and 17 SB in 124 games.
Josh Harrison, 3BHot9/8/2014 4:04:00 PM
Description: Pirates third baseman Josh Harrison is not in the starting lineup on Monday against the Phillies.
Insight: Harrison rolled his left ankle making a catch on Saturday. He has not played since then. Pittsburgh has won the last two games without him. Brent Morel will play third on Monday. Harrison has had a tremendous season, so Pittsburgh hopes to get him back soon.
Andrew McCutchen, CF9/8/2014 12:12:00 PM
Description: Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen hits just .231 (3-for-13) against Phillies starter Kyle Kendrick.
Insight: That is basically irrelavant though because McCutchen is 3-for-5 in each of his last two games with two RBI and a home run. He should stay in your lineup, but fantasy owners should be aware that McCutchen has not had much success against Kendrick in the past.
Neil Walker, 2B9/8/2014 11:29:00 AM
Description: Pirates second baseman Neil Walker went 3-for-5 with a home run, two RBI and three runs as the Pirates defeated the Cubs, 10-4.
Insight: Walker hit his two-run homer in the first inning, and he also scored second and fourth innings. Walker has two three-hit games in his last four, going 8-for-15 in that span. He is hitting .279/.351/.468 with a career-high 19 home runs and 63 RBI.
Josh Harrison, 3BHot9/7/2014 7:26:00 PM
Description: Pirates third baseman Josh Harrison did not play on Sunday against the Cubs.
Insight: Harrison left after rolling his left ankle after making a catch in the first game on Saturday and did not return. He went through drills in Sunday's pre-game but apparently did not feel well enough to go. Pittsburgh did just fine, scoring 10 runs.
Andrew McCutchen, CF9/7/2014 7:20:00 PM
Description: Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen went 3-for-5 with a solo home run and two runs in Pittsburgh's victory over the Chicago Cubs, 10-4, on Sunday.
Insight: It was the second straight day McCutchen went 3-for-5 with an RBI. It looked like the center fielder was going to have to play through his rib injury down the stretch, but the way he is swinging now, it appears McCutchen is over the injury. He is hitting .308 with 22 home runs and 74 RBI this season.
Pedro Alvarez, 1BCold9/7/2014 10:00:00 AM
Description: Pirates first baseman Pedro Alvarez an ugly 1-for-18 (.056) versus Cubs left-hander Travis Wood.
Insight: Alvarez has been dealing with a foot problem and has just one at-bat since Aug 26. Sunday is not the day for him to return.
Jordy Mercer, SSHot9/6/2014 9:30:00 PM
Description: Pirates shortstop Jordy Mercer went 2-for-5 with a home run and two RBI as the Pirates defeated the Cubs, 5-0, on Saturday.
Insight: The home run was Mercer's third in six games. Over that stretch, he is hitting .260 with four RBI, three runs and a steal to go with the three bombs. Mercer is batting .254 with 10 home runs and 46 RBI this season.
Andrew McCutchen, CF9/6/2014 9:20:00 PM
Description: Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen went 3-for-5 with three singles, an RBI and run to lead Pittsburgh past the Chicago Cubs, 5-0, on Saturday.
Insight: It was one of McCutchen's best days at the plate since returning from his rib injury. McCutchen has had four other multi-hit games since returning, but the center fielder looked completely comfortable and confident at the plate as he battled in his at-bats even in the ninth inning when the Pirates aleady led by five. McCutchen should start in your lineup every day.
Francisco Liriano, SP9/6/2014 9:13:00 PM
Description: Pirates starter Francisco Liriano pitched well for a third straight start to win his fourth game of the season as the Pirates shut out the Cubs, 5-0.
Insight: Liriano allowed seven earned runs against Atlanta on Aug. 18, but has yielded just two earned runs in his last 19 innings. The story of Liriano's season, however, is his inability to receive enough run support to win games. His record is 4-10, but he has a respectable 3.74 ERA and 149 strikeouts in 137 1/3 innings this year.
Josh Harrison, 3BHot9/6/2014 5:15:00 PM
Description: Pirates third baseman Josh Harrison left Saturday afternoon's resumed suspended game with an ankle injury according to Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Insight: Harrison suffered the injury making a catch in foul ground. Chase d'Arnaud replaced Harrison at third base. Before departing, Harrison went 4-for-6 with the game-winning single in the top of the 11th. With another game on Saturday, Harrison will likely need to rest and could be out a few days. The Pirates need him though as they continue to chase after a playoff spot.
Vance Worley, SP9/5/2014 7:15:00 PM
Description: Pirates starter Vance Worley struck out six on Friday, but things got away from Worley in the fifth as the Cubs came back to tie the game. Worley left with a no-decision, and umpires suspended the game due to rain.
Insight: Worley finished with four and 2/3 innings and allowed two earned runs. The Pirates pitcher has been hot and cold lately. He pitched six and 1/3 strong innings in his last start, allowing one run, but the prior two starts he gave up nine runs in 12 and 1/3 innings of work.
Travis Snider, LF9/5/2014 10:36:00 AM
Description: Pirates right fielder Travis Snider (strained left hamstring) is probable for Friday's game against the Chicago Cubs.
Insight: Snider (.260, 10 HR, 32 RBI in 258 at-bats) missed three games, but did pinch hit Monday and should be ready to play in the field tonight.
Pedro Alvarez, 1B9/5/2014 10:32:00 AM
Description: Pirates first baseman Pedro Alvarez is questionable for Friday's game against the Chicago Cubs.
Insight: Alvarez left Tuesday's game with a sprain between two toes in his left foot and has not returned to the field since then. He is available to pinch hit, according to Paul Zeise of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but is unlikely ready to play in the field.
Ike Davis, 1BCold9/3/2014 12:10:00 PM
Description: Pirates first baseman Ike Davis is surprisingly in the starting lineup Wednesday, but fantasy owners should avoid him.
Insight: Davis is hitless in nine tries versus Cardinals right-hander Shelby Miller. He's also just 3-for-15 over the past five games without an extra-base hit.
Russell Martin, CHot9/3/2014 9:51:00 AM
Description: Pirates catcher Russell Martin is a career .258 hitter, but a .385 hitter (5-for-13) against Cardinals right-hander Shelby Miller.
Insight: Batting in the heart of the Pirates lineup, mostly fifth, has been good for Martin, who is hitting .324 over the past four weeks, including a home run Tuesday night and .292 for the season. Start him.
Andrew McCutchen, CF 9/1/2014 6:13:00 PM
Description: Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen went 2-for-5 with a double and a solo homer Monday at St. Louis.
Insight: McCutchen has gone 18-for-55 (.327) with three doubles and four home runs since he returned from a fractured rib on Aug. 19.
Travis Snider, LF9/1/2014 12:15:00 PM
Description: Pirates right fielder Travis Snider is not in the lineup for Monday's game against St. Louis due to a strained left hamstring.
Insight: Snider's spot will be taken by Andrew Lambo, who batted .328 at Triple-A Indianapolis and is 3-for-9 with the Pirates this season.
Andrew McCutchen, CFCold9/1/2014 10:10:00 AM
Description: Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen has struggled against Cardinals right-hander Lance Lynn, batting just .125 in 32 at-bats including 12 strikeouts.
Insight: McCutchen hasn't done much over the past week as he continues to deal with health issues. The reigning National League MVP is 4-for-16 over the past five games without an extra-base hit. Look elsewhere for offensive help.
Francisco Liriano, SP8/31/2014 8:46:00 PM
Description: Pirates starter Francisco Liriano pitched seven innings, allowed two runs and earned a no-decision against the Reds on Sunday.
Insight: Liriano made just one mistake to Chris Heisey, who hit a two-run home run in the fifth inning. Liriano keeps running into tough opposing pitchers as Johnny Cueto threw eight innings to earn the victory. Despite the fact Liriano's ERA is nearly a run higher than last season's, he is pitching better than his record (3-10) indicates.
Josh Harrison, 3BHot8/31/2014 6:01:00 PM
Description: Pirates third baseman Josh Harrison went 2-for-4 with a solo home run but Pittsburgh lost to Cincinnati, 3-2, on Sunday.
Insight: Harrison extended his hitting streak to six games with a homer and single on Sunday. Over that stretch, he is hitting .417 with two home runs, two doubles, a triple, three RBI, and three runs. Harrison is now in the NL batting title conversation. His average sits at .310, one point behind leader Justin Morneau, with a month left in the series.
Andrew McCutchen, CF8/31/2014 4:59:00 PM
Description: Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen went 2-for-4 on Sunday against the Reds.
Insight: McCutchen was not able to score or drive in a run as the Pirates lost 3-2. A big series looms in St. Louis starting Monday, so even though he is likely still battling a rib injury, count on the MVP to play big.
Starling Marte, LFCold8/31/2014 9:26:00 AM
Description: Pittsburgh outfielder Starling Marte is hitless in 14 at-bats against Reds ace Johnny Cueto.
Insight: Marte is batting .337 over the past four weeks even though he's just 3-for-16 this week. Avoid him Sunday.
Pedro Alvarez, 1B8/30/2014 2:16:00 PM
Description: Pirates first baseman Pedro Alvarez is not in the starting lineup for the third game in a row.
Insight: Alvarez left Tuesday's game with a sprain between two toes in his left foot and has not returned to the field since then. The Pirates have won both games with Alvarez in the lineup, but he did have three home runs in a three game span last week, so Pittsburgh would like to get him back soon.
Andrew McCutchen, CF8/30/2014 10:33:00 AM
Description: Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen is a career .250 hitter (4-for-16) with a home run against Reds starter Alfredo Simon.
Insight: McCutchen looked frustrated on Friday night, popping up a couple times with runners on base. The MVP did register a bloop single to go 1-for-4. It's pretty clear that McCutchen is still not completely healthy with his ribs, but he is in the lineup, and he should be in yours too.
Jose Tabata, RF8/29/2014 9:55:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh outfielder Jose Tabata was 2-for-4 on Friday and drove in the game-winning RBI in the eighth as the Pirates beat the Reds, 2-1.
Insight: The Pirates called up Tabata this week. On Friday, he record his first major league hit since June 18, playing for the injured Travis Snider. He will continue to fill in for Snider, who is ailing with a hamstring injury.
Josh Harrison, 3BHot8/29/2014 9:48:00 PM
Description: Pirates third baseman Josh Harrison hit a game-tying triple in the bottom of the eighth and eventually scored the winning run in the next at-bat against the Reds on Friday.
Insight: Harrison played out of his mind on Friday, going 3-for-4 with a double, triple, RBI and run. He also showcased the leather bailing the Pirates out of a few jams in the field. In the last four games, Harrison is hitting .412 with two doubles, a triple and home run. The new everyday Pirate third baseman is batting .308 with 49 extra-base hits, 45 RBI, 62 runs, and 17 steals this year.
Edinson Volquez, SPHot8/29/2014 9:41:00 PM
Description: Pirates starter Edinson Volquez pitched seven and 2/3 innings on Friday, allowing one run on three hits, striking out six and walking three. Volquez earned a no-decision.
Insight: Volquez pitched six hitless innings to start Friday. He did not get the win because Pittsburgh scored its two runs in the bottom of the eighth, but the 31-year-old continues to pitch well. Volquez is 7-1 with a 2.18 ERA in his last 12 starts.
Pedro Alvarez, 1B8/29/2014 4:50:00 PM
Description: Pirates first baseman Pedro Alvarez is again not in the lineup on Friday.
Insight: Alvarez left Tuesday's game with a sprain between two toes in his left foot and has not returned to the field since then. Alvarez is still day-to-day, but Ike Davis has been swinging a hot bat, so manager Clint Hurdle might ride out Davis' hot streak at first base anyway.
Travis Snider, LF8/29/2014 3:29:00 PM
Description: Pirates right fielder Travis Snider left Wednesday's game against the Cardinals with an apparent leg injury and is not in Friday's starting lineup.
Insight: Snider tweaked something after beating out a bunt single in the third inning. Jose Tabata will start in right field. Tabata is batting .283, but without much power as his .645 OPS will attest.
Russell Martin, CHot8/29/2014 9:48:00 AM
Description: Pirates catcher Russell Martin is a career .258 hitter, but a .370 hitter against Reds starter Mike Leake.
Insight: Batting in the heart of the Pirates lineup, mostly fifth, has been good for Martin, who is hitting .347 over the past four weeks and .295 for the season. Start him.
Jeff Locke, SP8/27/2014 4:19:00 PM
Description: Pirates left-hander Jeff Locke won his second straight game, pitching into the eighth inning, allowing just one run on six hits, striking out three and walking two as the Pirates beat the Cardinals, 3-1.
Insight: The outing (7 1/3 IP) was Locke's longest since July 6. The only run Locke allowed was a solo home run to Matt Holliday in the third inning. Over his last five starts, the 26-year-old is 4-0 with a 2.90 ERA.
Ike Davis, 1B8/27/2014 4:09:00 PM
Description: Pirates first baseman Ike Davis hit a massive home run to right-center field for the second day in a row.
Insight: With Pedro Alvarez banged up, Davis got the start at first base and hit a towering home run off a speaker in right-center field at PNC Park. Davis finished the day 1-for-3. The sudden burst of power is very encouraging for the 27-year-old that has been struggling this year. Perhaps, he will have a big September though now manager Clint Hurdle has the difficulty of find both the streaking Alvarez and Davis at-bats (when both are healthy).
Pedro Alvarez, 1B8/27/2014 11:50:00 AM
Description: Pirates first baseman Pedro Alvarez is not in the starting lineup for Wednesday's afternoon game against the Cardinals.
Insight: Alvarez sprained his left foot in Tuesday's game and was seen wearing a walking boot in the clubhouse Wednesday morning. He is listed as day-to-day. Alvarez has hit three home runs in the last four games, but Ike Davis, who slugged the game-winning home run on Tuesday, will take over in the meantime.
Andrew McCutchen, CF8/27/2014 11:31:00 AM
Description: Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen is back in the Pirates lineup on Wednesday against the Cardinals.
Insight: We are all happy to see him back in the lineup as Pirate fans collectively held their breathe on Tuesday. McCutchen left Tuesday night's game after running into the outfield wall and aggravating his rib injury. McCutchen said he exited the game as a precautionary reason. The reigning NL MVP is hitting just .250 (7-for-28) since his return from the DL, but he does have three home runs.
Andrew McCutchen, CF8/26/2014 10:37:00 PM
Description: Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen left Tuesday's game against the Cardinals with rib discomfort, but he said he expects to be in the lineup Wednesday, according to Tom Singer of mlb.com.
Insight: McCutchen missed two weeks due to an avulsion fracture of his rib before returning on Aug. 19. He said he was just "being smart" in leaving Tuesday's game after feeling some soreness.
Josh Harrison, 3BHot8/26/2014 10:19:00 PM
Description: Pirates third baseman Josh Harrison went 1-for-5 with a solo homer Tuesday against the Cardinals.
Insight: Harrison has collected 23 extra-base hits (7 HR), scored 27 runs and stolen eight bases in 152 at-bats since the All-Star break. He had 24 extra-base hits (5 HR), 34 runs and nine steals in 249 at-bats before the break.
Gerrit Cole, SP8/26/2014 10:16:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh right-hander Gerrit Cole struck out nine batters and gave up two runs on three hits in six innings Tuesday against St. Louis.
Insight: Cole had a no-hitter through 5 2/3 innings. After making just three starts from May 30 to Aug. 19 due to shoulder fatigue and a strained lat, Cole has allowed four runs on eight hits and struck out 15 in 13 innings since he came off the DL.
Pedro Alvarez, 1B8/26/2014 10:11:00 PM
Description: Pirates first baseman Pedro Alvarez left Tuesday's game due to left foot discomfort, according to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Insight: He went 0-for-3 before being replaced by Gaby Sanchez. Alvarez was 4-for-10 with three homers and five RBI in his previous three games.
Andrew McCutchen, CF8/26/2014 9:07:00 PM
Description: Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen left Tuesday's game against the Cardinals with rib discomfort, according to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Insight: McCutchen missed two weeks due to an avulsion fracture of his rib before returning on Aug. 19. He homered in three of the previous four games.
Clint Barmes, SS8/26/2014 3:57:00 PM
Description: Pirates shortstop Clint Barmes will get his first start since returning from the disabled list.
Insight: Jordy Mercer will take a seat. Barmes missed almost two months with a groin strain. He was batting .239 with 14 runs scored and four RBI in 42 games. That isn't fantasy worthy.
Andrew McCutchen, CF8/26/2014 10:43:00 AM
Description: Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen is just 4-for-29 (.138) versus Cardinals right-hander Lance Lynn.
Insight: McCutchen has been hot with three home runs in his last four games, but this matchup is not a good won for the MVP outfielder.
Neil Walker, 2B8/26/2014 10:40:00 AM
Description: Pirates second baseman Neil Walker is a career .308 hitter (8-for-26) with two home runs among five extra-base hits versus Cardinals right-hander Lance Lynn.
Insight: Walker has already set a career mark for home runs with 17 and his OPS (.805) is the highest it's been in four seasons.
Francisco Liriano, SP8/25/2014 10:37:00 PM
Description: Pirates starter Francisco Liriano bounced back from his worst start of the season with six scoreless innings Monday against St. Louis.
Insight: Liriano allowed nine runs (seven earned) on 10 hits in four innings against the Braves in his last start. Even with that start included, the left-hander has recorded a 2.81 ERA, a 1.10 WHIP and 54 strikeouts in his last 48 innings.
Andrew McCutchen, CFHot8/25/2014 10:34:00 PM
Description: Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen homered for the third time in the last three games Monday against St. Louis.
Insight: McCutchen is officially back after missing two weeks with a fractured rib and going 0-for-8 in his first two games after returning to the lineup.
Pedro Alvarez, 1B8/25/2014 10:31:00 PM
Description: Pirates first baseman Pedro Alvarez has gone 4-for-10 with three homers, five RBI and two steals in his last three games.
Insight: Perhaps now that he's at first base he'll be able to focus entirely on hitting rather than worrying about making throws across the diamond. Alvarez made 24 throwing errors at third base this season.
Charlie Morton, SPCold8/25/2014 9:33:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh placed starter Charlie Morton (hernia) will begin a rehab assignment Thursday, according to mlb.com.
Insight: Morton will throw five innings or 75 pitches for Double-A Altoona. He went on the disabled list with a sports hernia on Aug. 17.
Clint Barmes, SS8/25/2014 3:32:00 PM
Description: Pirates shortstop Clint Barmes returns from the disabled list, but Jordy Mercer will continue to get the starts.
Insight: Barmes missed almost two months with a groin strain. He was batting .239 with 14 runs scored and four RBI in 42 games and should sit while Mercer (.259, 7 HR, 42 RBI, 47 runs) gets the at-bats.
Jose Tabata, RF8/25/2014 3:18:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh outfielder Jose Tabata was promoted from Triple-A Indianapolis to take the place of struggling gregory Polanco.
Insight: Tabata doesn't figure to see much action or have any fantasy value with the team using Andrew McCutchen, Starling Marte and Travis Snider as its primary outfielders. Tabata wasn't doing much at Triple-A batting .281 with a 686 OPS.
Gregory Polanco, RFCold8/25/2014 11:54:00 AM
Description: Pirates outfielder Gregory Polanco was all the rage after he began his major league career with an 11-game hitting streak, but that was June and after a 1-for-30 slide he was sent to Triple-A Indianapolis.
Insight: He'll likely return for September call ups, but the bloom is certainly off the rose.
Andrew McCutchen, CF8/24/2014 6:24:00 PM
Description: Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen went 1-for-4 with a solo homer Sunday against the Brewers.
Insight: McCutchen has homered twice in the past three games after going 0-for-8 in his first two games back from the disabled list.
Starling Marte, LFHot8/24/2014 6:21:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh outfielder Starling Marte has gone 26-for-70 (.371) with six doubles, a triple, four homers, 10 RBI and four steals in August.
Insight: Marte went 1-for-3 with a homer and two RBI Sunday at Milwaukee. He was hitting .255 with a .713 OPS when he went on the DL with a concussion, but he's up to .276 with a .782 OPS after Sunday's game.
Andrew McCutchen, CF8/24/2014 11:08:00 AM
Description: Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen has "owned" Brewers starter Mike Fiers.
Insight: McCutchen is 6-for-11 with four home runs, nine RBI and a 2.182 OPS versus the young Fiers. It should be noted, however, Fiers has pitched great since returning to the Brewers rotation in August (3-0, 0.86 ERA, 0.52 WHIP) so it may not be quite so lopsided this time around.
Pedro Alvarez, 3B8/23/2014 10:34:00 PM
Description: Pedro Alvarez belted two opposite field home runs against the Brewers on Saturday.
Insight: Alvarez proved to everyone on Saturday why the Pirates will try and get him at-bats at third base. He hit a three-run bomb in the fourth inning to put Pittsburgh ahead for good and added insurance with a solo shot the next inning. It's a great sign for Alvarez, but seeing as he had the same amount of home runs in this game as in July, we are going to hold back our excitement for now. If Saturday says anything though, it says this guy can erupt at any time.
Neil Walker, 2B8/23/2014 10:28:00 PM
Description: Pirates second baseman Neil Walker went 3-for-4 with a double, three RBI and two runs against the Brewers on Saturday.
Insight: In the biggest series of the year so far for the Pirates, Walker is 5-for-9 with three extra-base hits and four RBI. Walker and Pittsburgh go for the sweep of first place Milwaukee on Sunday.
Jeff Locke, SP8/23/2014 9:49:00 AM
Description: Pittsburgh left-hander Jeff Locke worked around six walks to win Friday's game at Milwaukee.
Insight: Locke gave up two runs on two runs and didn't strike out anyone in six innings. Walks were a big problem for Locke in 2013, as he issued 4.55 per nine innings. While he walked just 1.44 per nine in his first 81 innings this season, Locke has issued 12 free passes in his last 16 2/3 innings.
Starling Marte, LFHot8/23/2014 9:45:00 AM
Description: Pittsburgh outfielder Starling Marte went 2-for-3 with a walk, a steal and three runs scored Friday against the Brewers.
Insight: Marte has batted .371 with 10 extra-base hits, eight RBI, 17 runs and three steals since he returned from a concussion. He's raised his average from .255 to .274 and his OPS from .713 to .775 in that span.
Andrew McCutchen, CF8/23/2014 9:43:00 AM
Description: Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen went 2-for-5 with a solo homer and two runs Friday at Milwaukee.
Insight: McCutchen went hitless in his first two games after returning from a fractured rib, but the reigning MVP came through to help the Pirates win the first game of what is their biggest series of the season so far.
Josh Harrison, 3BHot8/23/2014 9:41:00 AM
Description: Pirates third baseman Josh Harrison went 3-for-5 with a double, a homer and five RBI Friday at Milwaukee.
Insight: Harrison has been unbelievably good since the All-Star break, batting .328 with 12 doubles, two triples, six homers, 15 RBI, 25 runs, eight steals and a .946 OPS.
Gregory Polanco, RFCold8/22/2014 5:53:00 PM
Description: Pirates outfielder Gregory Polanco is out of the starting lineup for the third straight game Friday.
Insight: Andrew McCutchen returned from the disabled list on Tuesday and the Pirates opted to keep Travis Snider in the lineup rather than Polanco, who has gone 1-for-27 (.037) with eight Ks over his last seven games. Snider has gone 17-for-37 (.459) with six doubles, three homers, seven RBI and a 1.365 OPS over his last 10 games.
Pedro Alvarez, 3BCold8/22/2014 3:46:00 PM
Description: Pedro Alvarez is a career 2-for-29 (.069) hitter with a double against Brewers starter Yovani Gallardo.
Insight: Alvarez made his debut at first base on Monday and MLB.com reported he would not play third base again this season unless it was an emergency. He is now stuck in a timeshare at first base with Ike Davis and Gaby Sanchez, so there is a good chance even without the history Alvarez has against Gallardo that Alvarez will not be in the lineup on Friday. Either way, it would be wise not to put him in your lineup. Update: Alvarez is not in Friday's starting lineup.
Andrew McCutchen, CF8/22/2014 11:46:00 AM
Description: Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen is a career .306 hitter (15-for-49) with seven extra-base hits including three home runs and seven RBI against Brewers starter Yovani Gallardo. McCutchen also has five stolen bases off Gallardo.
Insight: McCutchen has gone hitless in two games since his return from the rib fracture. This is by far the biggest series of the season for the slipping Pirates. Expect the MVP to show up.
Starling Marte, LFHot8/22/2014 11:28:00 AM
Description: Pittsburgh outfielder Starling Marte is a career 3-for-19 (.158) hitter against Brewers starter Yovani Gallardo.
Insight: Marte had a six-game hitting streak before going 0-for-4 on Thursday against the Braves. He is still hitting .393 in his last seven games.
Andrew McCutchen, CF8/20/2014 10:11:00 PM
Description: Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen has gone 0-for-8 with two strikeouts in two games since he returned from the disabled list.
Insight: McCutchen sat out more than two weeks due to an avulsion fracture of his rib. The Pirates have off Thursday before beginning a three-game series Friday at Milwaukee.
Gerrit Cole, SP8/20/2014 9:59:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh right-hander Gerrit Cole (lat) allowed two runs on five hits and had a 6/4 K/BB over seven innings in his return to the rotation Wednesday against Atlanta.
Insight: From the start of June to tonight, Cole made just three starts and two trips to the disabled list, first due to shoulder fatigue and then a strained lat. He's 7-4 with a 3.69 ERA, a 1.31 WHIP and 84 Ks in 92 2/3 innings.
Gerrit Cole, SP8/20/2014 4:53:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh right-hander Gerrit Cole (lat) has been activated from the disabled list.
Insight: Since the start of June, Cole has made just three starts and two trips to the disabled list, first due to shoulder fatigue and then a strained lat. He'll start against the Braves Wednesday night after allowing six hits and one walk over 13 scoreless innings his last two rehab starts for Triple-A Indianapolis.
Charlie Morton, SPCold8/20/2014 3:47:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh placed starter Charlie Morton was initially diagnosed with hip inflammation, but he actually has a sports hernia, according to Tom Singer of mlb.com.
Insight: Morton is hoping to return in September, but a sports hernia is more serious than hip inflammation. He can be dropped in most leagues.
Francisco Liriano, SP8/19/2014 10:10:00 PM
Description: Pirates starter Francisco Liriano gave up nine runs (seven earned) on 10 hits and three walks in four innings Tuesday against Atlanta.
Insight: Liriano gave up two runs or less in each of his previous six starts and hadn't allowed more than three since May 25. The left-hander is 3-10 with a 4.18 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP, but he also has 127 Ks in 118 1/3 innings.
Pedro Alvarez, 3BCold8/19/2014 9:46:00 PM
Description: Pedro Alvarez is not expected to see any more action at third base this season, according to mlb.com.
Insight: Alvarez made his debut at first base Monday and was out of the lineup Tuesday. He can no longer play third base due to frequent defensive lapses and is now in a platoon with Ike Davis and Gaby Sanchez. "Everybody is going to have to get some at-bats," manager Clint Hurdle said. "There's a certain method I have in mind. We're not going to quit on anybody. Pedro has shown us a bat that can get white-hot. It hasn't this year." Josh Harrison is the new everyday third baseman.
Jordy Mercer, SSHot8/19/2014 6:17:00 PM
Description: Pirates shortstop Jordy Mercer said his forearm is not 100 percent, according to Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Insight: Mercer is going to try to play through his forearm strain. "I don't think it's going to be completely healed," he said. "I know that." Mercer has hit .306 over his last 68 games and .348 in August.
Pedro Alvarez, 3BCold8/19/2014 3:36:00 PM
Description: Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez is not in Tuesday's starting lineup.
Insight: He can't play third base anymore due to defensive lapses which only leaves him a shared situation at first base. Ike Davis gets the start Tuesday.
Andrew McCutchen, CF8/19/2014 3:30:00 PM
Description: Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen (rib) has been activated and is in Tuesday's starting lineup, playing his customary center field and batting third.
Insight: McCutchen has been out since Aug. 3 due to an avulsion fracture of his rib. The Pirates and fantasy owners desperately need his bat back in the lineup (.311, 17 HR, 67 RBI, 64 runs, 17 SB). Gregory Polanco is not in the lineup.
Russell Martin, C8/19/2014 10:40:00 AM
Description: Pirates catcher Russell Martin is a career .462 hitter against Braves starter Aaron Harang.
Insight: Martin has hits in 13 of his last 15 games. He is batting .282 with 18 extra-base hits, 48 RBI and a .798 OPS this season.
Neil Walker, 2B8/18/2014 10:18:00 PM
Description: Pirates second baseman Neil Walker went 2-for-3 with a solo homer and a walk Monday against the Braves.
Insight: Walker had just eight at-bats the first two weeks of August due to a lower back injury, but he's started three of the last four games.
Starling Marte, LFHot8/18/2014 10:11:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh outfielder Starling Marte went 3-for-4 with a double and two solo homers Monday against Atlanta.
Insight: Marte has been remarkably hot since he returned from a concussion. going 19-for-51 (.373) with six doubles, a triple, three homers, eight RBI, 13 runs and two steals in 14 games.
Pedro Alvarez, 3BCold8/18/2014 4:56:00 PM
Description: Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez will start Monday night's game at first base.
Insight: After his "throw" to the plate Sunday, he should be banned from playing the hot corner. At least he started to hit over the weekend, going 4-for-11, but he hasn't homered since July 11.
Andrew McCutchen, CF8/18/2014 4:40:00 PM
Description: Pirates manager Clint Hurdle is "optimistic" that center fielder Andrew McCutchen (rib) will return Tuesday, according to Tom Singer of mlb.com
Insight: McCutchen has been out since Aug. 3 due to an avulsion fracture of his rib. The Pirates and fantasy owners desperately need his bat back in the lineup (.311, 17 HR, 67 RBI, 64 runs, 17 SB).
Charlie Morton, SPCold8/18/2014 12:21:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh placed starter Charlie Morton on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to August 16, due to right hip inflammation.
Insight: Morton's hip injury could explain why the veteran has pitched poorly over his last two starts. In those outings, Morton allowed a total of 10 runs in eight innings of work. Morton should be able to return at the beginning of September. In the meantime, the Pirates will activate Gerrit Cole and replace Morton with him in the rotation.
Jordy Mercer, SSHot8/18/2014 12:09:00 PM
Description: Pirates shortstop Jordy Mercer pinch ran in the ninth inning and remained in the game for extra innings on Sunday night. He is listed as probable for Monday's game against Atlanta.
Insight: Mercer was having a great second half before his forearm injury, batting .319 in July and .348 in 13 games in August. If doesn't suffer a setback, Mercer a can be a viable fantasy option down the stretch.
Alex Presley, LF8/18/2014 10:56:00 AM
Description: Astros outfielder Alex Presley suffered a setback from his oblique injury over the weekend and will not play again for 7-10 days.
Insight: Presley has been out since July 8 with a strained right oblique. He was scratched last week from a rehab game for Class A Tri-City due to discomfort. Presley is batting .252 with five home runs and 13 RBI in 206 at-bats this season.
Gerrit Cole, SP8/17/2014 1:31:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh right-hander Gerrit Cole (right lat tightness) is expected to replace injured Charlie Morton's spot in the rotation and pitch Wednesday, according to Tom Singer of mlb.com
Insight: Cole has pitched 13 scoreless inning at Triple-A Indianapolis. He is 7-4 with a 3.78 ERA, 1.31 WHIP and 78 Ks in 85 2/3 IP for the Pirates, but he has a high upside with his 95-plus mph fastball.
Jeff Locke, SP 8/16/2014 10:19:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh left-hander Jeff Locke held the Nationals scoreless over 5 2/3 innings and left with a 3-0 lead Saturday, but the bullpen blew the game.
Insight: Locke has been a solid back-end starter this season, going 4-3 with a 3.73 ERA, a 1.22 WHIP and a 63/19 K/BB in 91 2/3 innings.
Andrew McCutchen, CF8/16/2014 6:11:00 PM
Description: Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen (rib) ran the bases and took batting practice Saturday, according to Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Insight: McCutchen has been out since Aug. 3 due to an avulsion fracture of his rib. He could be back in a week.
Neil Walker, 2B8/16/2014 2:53:00 PM
Description: Pirates second baseman Neil Walker (back) isn't in the lineup Saturday.
Insight: Walker went 1-for-4 with a double Friday at Washington after a back injury kept him out of the lineup in 11 of the previous 12 games.
Starling Marte, LFHot8/15/2014 10:22:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh outfielder Starling Marte hit his first homer since June 13 Friday against the Nationals.
Insight: Marte has gone 13-for-39 (.333) with four doubles, a homer, five RBI, two steals and nine runs since he returned from a concussion on Aug. 5.
Charlie Morton, SPCold8/15/2014 10:21:00 PM
Description: Pirates starter Charlie Morton has allowed four runs or more in four of his last five starts and five runs in two straight.
Insight: Morton lasted just three innings Friday at Washington. His ERA, which was 3.10 on July 7, has climbed to 3.84.
Jordy Mercer, SSHot8/15/2014 6:13:00 PM
Description: Pirates shortstop Jordy Mercer isn't in the lineup Friday night due to a forearm injury, according to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Insight: Mercer has batted .307 with six homers, 35 RBI, 34 runs and an .817 OPS over his last 66 games, but he is only hitting .264 with a .696 OPS on the season because he hit .190 with one homer and a .487 OPS in his first 47 games. Super-utilityman Josh Harrison is starting at shortstop for the first time this year.
Neil Walker, 2B8/15/2014 4:00:00 PM
Description: Pirates second baseman Neil Walker (back) is not only back in Friday's starting lineup, he's batting cleanup.
Insight: Walker is batting .277 with 16 HR and 50 RBI, but has just three at-bats since Aug 1. He'll face a hot pitcher in Tanner Roark, who has given up exactly one run in five of his last six starts, and it may be best to avoid this matchup.
Jayson Nix, SS8/14/2014 10:41:00 AM
Description: You weren't going to start the .149 hitting Jayson Nix anyway, but it's interesting to note that he's a career 0-for-11 with nine strikeouts against Detroit right-hander Max Scherzer.
Insight: That's not seeing the ball well. In the league seven seasons, the utility infielder has never batted above .243, and has zero fantasy value.
Russell Martin, CHot8/14/2014 12:55:00 AM
Description: Pirates catcher Russell Martin is not in Thurday's starting lineup. Chris Stewart will get the start.
Insight: Martin, on an 11-game hitting streak, is having a solid season, batting .288 with 47 RBI and a .813 OPS. The OPS is his highest since 2007.
Travis Snider, LF8/13/2014 10:19:00 PM
Description: Pirates right fielder Travis Snider went 1-for-3 with a homer, a walk and two RBI.
Insight: Snider has been getting extra playing time with Andrew McCutchen on the disabled list and he's taken advantage of it. He's gone 6-for-12 with two doubles, three home runs and seven RBI his last three games.
Neil Walker, 2B8/13/2014 6:07:00 PM
Description: Pirates second baseman Neil Walker (back) hasn't been placed on the disabled list yet, but he's out of the lineup Wednesday for the eighth straight game and the 10th time in his last 11.
Insight: The Pirates have continued to win even though Andrew McCutchen (rib) and Walker have been out of the lineup. They've gone 7-4 in August and are 1.5 games out of first place in the NL Central.
Edinson Volquez, SPHot8/12/2014 10:31:00 PM
Description: Pirates starter Edinson Volquez has gone 6-1 with a 2.30 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP over his last nine starts.
Insight: Volquez' ERA climbed to 4.67 after he allowed eight runs in 2 1/3 innings on June 18, but it dropped to 3.67, its lowest point since April 27, Tuesday when he allowed two runs on five hits in six innings against the Tigers.
Gerrit Cole, SP8/12/2014 5:18:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh right-hander Gerrit Cole (right lat tightness) will make another rehab start, according to beat writer Travis Sawchik.
Insight: Cole allowed one hit over six scoreless innings Sunday in his latest rehab start, but the Pirates want him to throw one more. He's 7-4 with a 3.78 ERA, 1.31 WHIP and 78 Ks in 85 2/3 IP, but he has a high upside with his 95-plus mph fastball.
Starling Marte, LFHot8/11/2014 10:49:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh outfielder Starling Marte has gone 9-for-25 (.360) with three doubles and a triple since he returned from a concussion.
Insight: Marte went 2-for-4 with a triple, a walk, three RBI, two runs and a steal Monday against the Tigers.
Travis Snider, LF8/11/2014 10:47:00 PM
Description: Pirates right fielder Travis Snider went 3-for-5 with a double, two homers, four RBI and three runs Monday against the Tigers.
Insight: Snider's huge game came on the same day Pittsburgh placed Andrew McCutchen on the disabled list with an avulsion fracture of his rib. He's hit .251 with nine home runs and 29 RBI in 203 at-bats this season. His home run off Phil Coke in the eighth inning was his first off a left-hander since 2012.
Andrew McCutchen, CF8/11/2014 5:22:00 PM
Description: The Pirates have placed Andrew McCutchen (rib) on the disabled list.
Insight: McCutchen has been out since Aug. 3 due to an avulsion fracture of his rib. GM Neal Huntington said Sunday that McCutchen has made "remarkable" progress in his recovery, but he apparently wasn't going to be ready to return in the next few days.
Pedro Alvarez, 3BCold8/11/2014 11:06:00 AM
Description: Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez is just 1-for-10 with six strikeouts versus Detroit starter Justin Verlander.
Insight: The Pirates aren't starting Alvarez, so this unfavorable matchup can be ignored. He's batting just .232 this season with 15 HR and 49 RBI after blasting 36 homers and knocking in 100 last year.
Gerrit Cole, SP8/11/2014 10:22:00 AM
Description: Pittsburgh right-hander Gerrit Cole (right lat tightness) pitched well in his last rehab start and could return to the Pirates this week.
Insight: Cole only threw 73 pitches for Indianapolis, but went six scoreless innings. He's 7-4 with a 3.78 ERA, 1.31 WHIP and 78 Ks in 85 2/3 IP, but has a high upside with his 95-plus mph fastball.
Gregory Polanco, RFHot8/10/2014 5:43:00 PM
Description: Pirates outfielder Gregory Polanco went 2-for-4 with a double, a homer and two RBI Sunday against the Padres.
Insight: Polanco has bounced back from the first slump of his career (12-for-74 from June 27 to July 20) by going 22-for-71 (.310) with six doubles, three homers, 14 RBI, 13 runs and four steals in his last 18 games.
Andrew McCutchen, CF8/10/2014 2:23:00 PM
Description: Pirates general manager Neal Huntington says center fielder Andrew McCutchen (rib) has made "remarkable" progress in his recovery, according to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Insight: "Is (McCutchen) game ready? No. But next steps will be to determine how quickly he can be game ready. He's getting after it." McCutchen has been out since Aug. 3 due to an avulsion fracture of his rib, but the team hasn't placed him on the disabled list yet.
Neil Walker, 2B8/10/2014 12:38:00 PM
Description: Pirates second baseman Neil Walker (back) is expected to go on the disabled list, according to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Insight: Walker has appeared in just three games in August due to a back injury. His injury comes at a terrible time for Pittsburgh, as the Pirates are without Andrew McCutchen (rib).
Josh Harrison, IF/OFHot8/9/2014 10:10:00 PM
Description: Another two hits Saturday for Pittsburgh utilityman Josh Harrison extended his current hitting streak to 13 games.
Insight: Harrison has been fantasy's No. 1 overall player in the past two weeks and has hit .464 with six doubles, two triples, five homers, 17 runs and five steals in his last 13 games.
Gregory Polanco, RFHot8/8/2014 9:57:00 PM
Description: Pirates outfielder Gregory Polanco has gone 13-for-32 (.406) with five doubles, six RBI, seven runs and three steals in his last eight games.
Insight: Polanco's average dropped to .243 on July 30, but he's back up to .268 after going 3-for-4 Friday against the Padres. Fantasy owners shouldn't give up on the super-talented prospect.
Vance Worley, SPHot8/8/2014 9:55:00 PM
Description: Pirates starter Vance Worley took advantage of San Diego's feeble offense Friday night to get his fifth win.
Insight: Worley was tossed in the scrap heap by the Twins after he had a 7.21 ERA and a 1.99 WHIP last season, but he's been resurgent with the Pirates. In 62 2/3 innings, he's gone 5-1 with a 2.30 ERA, a 1.07 WHIP and 39 Ks.
Josh Harrison, IF/OFHot8/8/2014 9:54:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh utilityman Josh Harrison went 3-for-3 with a triple and a walk Friday against San Diego.
Insight: Harrison can do no wrong at the moment. He's been fantasy's No. 1 overall player in the past two weeks and has hit .462 with six doubles, two triples, five homers, 16 runs and four steals in his last 12 games.
Neil Walker, 2B8/8/2014 4:04:00 PM
Description: Pirates second baseman Neil Walker (back) is not in the lineup Friday.
Insight: Walker has played just one game since Aug. 1. He's batting .278 with 16 HR and 50 RBI. Jayson Nix will get the start, but has not done much in limited opportunities.
Ike Davis, 1B8/8/2014 11:36:00 AM
Description: Pittsburgh first baseman Ike Davis is a career 4-for-12 (.333) with four home runs against Padres starter Ian Kennedy.
Insight: Just the medicine for a guy who hasn't hit a home run since July 26. He's batting .208 with an ugly .630 OPS over his last 11 games.
Gaby Sanchez, 1B8/7/2014 3:05:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh first baseman Gaby Sanchez will be the cleanup hitter Thursday night and play first base.
Insight: Sanchez hasn't done much this season, batting .225 with five homers and 20 RBI this season, but he should at least get some RBI chances batting in the middle of the order.
Neil Walker, 2B8/7/2014 3:00:00 PM
Description: Pirates second baseman Neil Walker (back) is not in the lineup Thursday.
Insight: Walker left Tuesday's gam with back tightness after missing the previous two games with the same issue, which he blamed on the beds he had to sleep on during the road trip. He's batting .278 with 16 HR and 50 RBI. Michael Martinez will get a start, but has no fantasy value.
Jeff Locke, SPHot8/6/2014 10:08:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh left-hander Jeff Locke bounced back from two straight shaky starts Wednesday against Miami.
Insight: Locke struck out seven, walked none and gave up three runs on six hits in a win Wednesday night. He allowed 10 earned runs on 19 hits over 12 innings his previous two starts. Locke has trimmed his BB/9 from 4.55 last season to 1.44 this year, but throwing more strikes has resulted in a spike in home runs (1.22 HR/9).
Josh Harrison, IF/OFHot8/6/2014 10:03:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh utilityman Josh Harrison has gone 20-for-44 (.455) with six doubles, a triple, five homers, seven RBI and 14 runs in his last 10 games.
Insight: He went 3-for-4 with a double, a steal and two runs Wednesday and is up to .309 with 10 homers, 38 RBI, 50 runs, 14 steals and an .849 OPS on the year. Harrison made the NL All-Star team, but this torrid stretch has really come out of nowhere. He hit .286 with five homers, 31 RBI, 36 runs and a .751 OPS in his first 87 games.
Neil Walker, 2B8/6/2014 3:11:00 PM
Description: Pirates second baseman Neil Walker (back) is not in the lineup Wednesday.
Insight: Walker left Tuesday's gam with back tightness after missing the previous two games with the same issue, which he blamed on the beds he had to sleep on during the road trip.
Neil Walker, 2B8/5/2014 10:45:00 PM
Description: Pirates second baseman Neil Walker (back) left Tuesday's game with renewed back tightness, according to Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Insight: Walker missed the previous two games with the same issue, which he blamed on the beds he had to sleep on during the road trip.
Charlie Morton, SP8/5/2014 10:12:00 PM
Description: Pirates starter Charlie Morton gave up one run on six hits over seven innings Tuesday against Miami.
Insight: Morton gave up four runs in each of his previous two starts and had a 3.89 ERA in July, but he has a 3.43 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP on the year. Morton took a no decision Tuesday and is 5-10 this year.
Gerrit Cole, SP8/5/2014 8:41:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh right-hander Gerrit Cole (right lat tightness) was rocked in his latest rehab start Tuesday night for Triple-A Indianapolis.
Insight: Cole allowed five runs on 10 hits in 4 1/3 innings against Toledo. He was initially supposed to start Saturday but was scratched in order to work on his mechanics in a bullpen session. He's likely to need another rehab start before returning to the Pirates rotation.
Neil Walker, 2B8/5/2014 8:27:00 PM
Description: Pirates second baseman Neil Walker (back) returned to the lineup Tuesday after missing two games with back tightness.
Insight: According to mlb.com, Walker blamed the issue on the beds he slept on during Pittsburgh's road trip. The team returned home Sunday night and began an eight-game homestand Tuesday.
Andrew McCutchen, CF8/5/2014 5:02:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh center fielder Andrew McCutchen has an avulsion fracture of the 11th rib, according to Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He won't go on the disabled list yet.
Insight: It was reported Monday that McCutchen had a serious oblique injury, but that's not the case. An avulsion fracture occurs when a small chunk of bone attached to a tendon or ligament gets pulled away from the main part of the bone. Manager Clint Hurdle does not think the injury was caused by McCutchen getting drilled between the numbers by a Randall Delgado fastball Friday night.
Russell Martin, C8/5/2014 4:47:00 PM
Description: Pirates catcher Russell Martin is not in Tuesday's starting lineup. Chris Stewart will get the start.
Insight: Martin is having a solid season, batting .281 with 41 RBI and a .792 OPS. The OPS is his highest since 2007.
Starling Marte, LF8/5/2014 4:45:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh left fielder Starling Marte has been activated from the concussion list and will start in center field for the injured Andrew McCutchen.
Insight: Marte was hit in the helmet with a pitch on July 18 and was placed on the DL a few days later due to a concussion.
Josh Harrison, IF/OFHot8/5/2014 4:44:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh utilityman Josh Harrison will bat in Andrew McCutchen's No. 3 spot Tuesday.
Insight: Harrison has been one of the hottest hitters in the league over the past two weeks, batting .396 with five homers and a 1.286 OPS. Still, he's no McCutchen.
Pedro Alvarez, 3B8/5/2014 3:32:00 PM
Description: Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez has been place on the bereavement leave list.
Insight: The Pirates will likely use Josh Harrison at 3B while he's out and perhaps a lot longer. Alvarez has 24 errors at third base and may be shifted to the other side of the infield at first base.
Starling Marte, LF8/5/2014 3:29:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh left fielder Starling Marte has been activated from the concussion list.
Insight: Marte was hit in the helmet with a pitch on July 18 and was placed on the DL a few days later due to a concussion. He shouls move into the lineup with Josh Harrison taking Pedro Alvarez's spot at the hot corner.
Andrew McCutchen, CF8/4/2014 6:16:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh center fielder Andrew McCutchen could be out 3-4 weeks due to a serious oblique muscle injury, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Insight: McCutchen (.310, 17 HR, 66 RBI, 64 runs, 17 SB) appeared to reach for his left side after an eighth inning at-bat on Sunday. He's expected to be placed on the 15-day disabled list.
Andrew McCutchen, CF8/4/2014 10:43:00 AM
Description: Pittsburgh center fielder Andrew McCutchen left Sunday's game and X-rays on his left side were negative, but he is questionable for Tuesday's game against Miami.
Insight: McCutchen (.310, 17 HR, 66 RBI, 64 runs, 17 SB) appeared to reach for his left side after an eighth inning at-bat. The Pirates and fantasy owners can ill-afford to be without the star outfielder.
Andrew McCutchen, CF8/3/2014 7:25:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh center fielder Andrew McCutchen left Sunday's game with an undisclosed injury.
Insight: McCutchen (.310, 17 HR, 66 RBI, 64 runs, 17 SB) appeared to reach for his left side after an eighth inning at-bat. The Pirates and fantasy owners can ill-afford to be without the star outfielder.
Neil Walker, 2B8/3/2014 2:39:00 PM
Description: Pirates second baseman Neil Walker is not in Sunday's lineup due to an ongoing stiff back.
Insight: With a rest day tomorrow, the hope is with three consecutive days of rest Walker will be ready to go Tuesday. He is batting .280 with 50 RBI, 51 runs and an .808 OPS.
Pedro Alvarez, 3B8/3/2014 2:26:00 PM
Description: The Pirates are seriously considering moving third baseman Pedro Alvarez over to first base.
Insight: The move makes a lot of sense. Alvarez has 24 errors at third base, plus the move would open up a spot for Josh Harrison when Starling Marte (concussion) returns from injury.
Neil Walker, 2B8/2/2014 7:46:00 PM
Description: Pirates second baseman Neil Walker is a late scratch from Saturday's lineup due to a stiff back, according to Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Insight: Walker is batting .280 with 50 RBI, 51 runs and an .808 OPS. Consider him day-to-day.
Gerrit Cole, SP8/1/2014 8:52:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh right-hander Gerrit Cole (right lat soreness) has been scratched from his rehab start on Saturday, according to Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Insight: Pirates GM Neal Huntington said Cole was scratched so he could throw another bullpen "to refine some things," but he didn't elaborate on Cole's health, pitching issues or timetable.
Pedro Alvarez, 3B8/1/2014 5:46:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh third baseman Pedro Alvarez is not in the lineup Friday.
Insight: Alvarez doesn't appear to be starting against any left-handers these days. He's hit .178 with a .510 OPS against them this year.
Starling Marte, LF7/31/2014 7:13:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh left fielder Starling Marte (concussion) will start a four-game rehab assignment Saturday with Triple-A Indianapolis, according to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Insight: Marte was hit in the helmet with a pitch on July 18 and was placed on the DL a few days later due to a concussion. If all goes well, he'll return on Aug. 6 against Miami.
Jordy Mercer, SSHot7/30/2014 9:18:00 PM
Description: Pirates shortstop Jordy Mercer hit his first home run since June 21 Wednesday at San Francisco.
Insight: Mercer has gone 29-for-88 (.330) in July and 58-for-193 (.301) with six home runs, 29 RBI and 28 runs over his last 52 games.
Josh Harrison, IF/OFHot7/30/2014 9:13:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh utilityman Josh Harrison homered for the fourth straight game on Wednesday at San Francisco.
Insight: Prior to July 27, Harrison hadn't homered in his past 29 games (22 starts) and he had just five home runs all season. He's now hitting .297 with nine home runs, 37 RBI, 42 runs and 13 steals, but fantasy owners shouldn't expect him to suddenly become a power hitter.
Starling Marte, LF7/29/2014 9:26:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh left fielder Starling Marte (concussion) is eligible to return from the disabled list Wednesday, but manager Clint Hurdle is not optimistic he'll be ready, according to Jenn Menendez of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Insight: Marte was hit in the helmet with a pitch on July 18 and was placed on the DL a few days later due to a concussion.
Gerrit Cole, SP7/29/2014 11:23:00 AM
Description: Pittsburgh right-hander Gerrit Cole (right lat soreness) threw five scoreless inning in his first rehab start Monday.
Insight: More importantly, he appears to have come out of it healthy. Cole has been on the disabled list twice since June 3, first with shoulder fatigue and lat strain. He should make another start or two in the minors before returning to the bigs.
Pedro Alvarez, 3B7/28/2014 6:58:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh third baseman Pedro Alvarez is out of the lineup Monday.
Insight: Alvarez wasn't in the starting lineup for three straight games due to knee discomfort before returning Sunday. He's healthy, but the Giants are starting lefty Madison Bumgarner.
Josh Harrison, IF/OF7/27/2014 8:18:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh utilityman Josh Harrison went 4-for-6 with a double and a homer Sunday at Colorado.
Insight: Harrison was a questionable choice for the NL All-Star team, but there's no denying he's been a valuable utility player for Pittsburgh this season, filling in at second, third and both corner outfield spots. He's picked up 282 at-bats and hit .294 with six home runs, 33 RBI, 38 runs and 13 steals.
Pedro Alvarez, 3B7/27/2014 1:25:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh third baseman Pedro Alvarez (knee) is back in the starting lineup Sunday.
Insight: Alvarez left with discomfort in his left knee Tuesday and hasn't started since. He's gone 12-for-54 (.222) with two home runs in July.
Pedro Alvarez, 3B7/26/2014 6:03:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh third baseman Pedro Alvarez (knee) is not in Saturday's starting lineup.
Insight: Alvarez has played sparingly since Tuesday, when he left with discomfort in his left knee. Alvarez has gone 12-for-54 (.222) with two home runs in July.
Pedro Alvarez, 3B7/25/2014 5:29:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh third baseman Pedro Alvarez (knee) is out Friday.
Insight: Alvarez hasn't played since Tuesday, when he left with discomfort in his left knee. Alvarez has gone 12-for-53 (.226) with two home runs in July and is batting .239 with 27 extra-base hits in 383 plate appearances (.070 XBH%) this season. He had a .098 XBH% last season.
Francisco Liriano, SP7/23/2014 10:00:00 PM
Description: Pirates starter Francisco Liriano has allowed two runs (one earned) on seven hits in his last 12 innings to lower his ERA from 4.72 to 4.18.
Insight: Liriano has the lowest contact rate in baseball (minimum 80 innings) this season, but he's struggled with walks (4.79 BB/9).
Pedro Alvarez, 3B7/23/2014 5:53:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh third baseman Pedro Alvarez (knee) is not in the lineup Wednesday. Josh Harrison is starting.
Insight: Alvarez left Tuesday's game with discomfort in his left knee. Alvarez has gone 12-for-53 (.226) with two home runs in July and is batting .239 with 27 extra-base hits in 383 plate appearances (.070 XBH%) this season. He had a .098 XBH% last season.
Starling Marte, LF7/23/2014 3:39:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh left fielder Starling Marte (head) will be placed on the disabled list, according to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Insight: Marte was hit in the helmet with a pitch Friday night and is out of the lineup Wednesday for the fourth time in the past five games.
Neil Walker, 2BHot7/22/2014 10:56:00 PM
Description: Pirates second baseman Neil Walker homered for the fourth time in his last 10 games Tuesday against the Dodgers.
Insight: Walker is now one home run away from tying his career high of 16. He's batting .286 with 48 RBI, 46 runs and an .831 OPS in 325 at-bats this season. Among second basemen, only Brian Dozier has more home runs.
Gregory Polanco, RF 7/22/2014 10:55:00 PM
Description: Pirates outfielder Gregory Polanco went 2-for-4 with a homer, three RBI, a walk and three runs Tuesday against the Dodgers.
Insight: Polanco entered the game in a 3-for-35 (.086) slump, but fantasy owners shouldn't give up on the talented prospect.
Pedro Alvarez, 3B7/22/2014 9:29:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh third baseman Pedro Alvarez exited Tuesday's game with discomfort in his left knee, according to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Insight: Alvarez has gone 12-for-53 (.226) with two home runs in July and is batting .239 with 27 extra-base hits in 383 plate appearances (.070 XBH%) this season. He had a .098 XBH% last season.
Starling Marte, LF7/22/2014 3:15:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh left fielder Starling Marte (head) is not in Tuesday's starting lineup.
Insight: Marte was hit in the helmet with a pitch Friday night and didn't play much over the weekend, but returned Monday. This could just be a rountine day off
Gregory Polanco, RFCold7/21/2014 3:37:00 PM
Description: Pirates outfielder Gregory Polanco went 0-for-10 this weekend and will sit on Monday in favor of Michael Martinez.
Insight: Fantasy owners shouldn't give up on the talented prospect, but the 11-game hitting streak to start his career is a distant past. His average has dropped to .246 and he'll likely share time the remainder of the way.
Starling Marte, LF7/21/2014 3:34:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh left fielder Starling Marte (head) was out Sunday and was listed as questionable for Monday's game against the LA Dodgers, but he's in the starting lineup batting second and playing in left field.
Insight: Marte was hit in the helmet with a pitch Friday night. He did get into Sunday's game as a pinch hitter (walked) and therefore we knew he was close to returning.
Pedro Alvarez, 3B7/21/2014 3:30:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh third baseman Pedro Alvarez will sit Monday night against left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu.
Insight: Very understandable as Alvarez is batting just .186 against left-=handers this season. Josh Harrisonn will get the start at the hot corner.
Starling Marte, LF7/21/2014 10:33:00 AM
Description: Pittsburgh left fielder Starling Marte (head) was out Sunday and is questionable for Monday's game against the LA Dodgers.
Insight: Marte was hit in the helmet with a pitch Friday night. He did get into Sunday's game as a pinch hitter (walked) and therefore may be close to returning.
Jordy Mercer, SSHot7/20/2014 8:36:00 PM
Description: Pirates shortstop Jordy Mercer has hit .311 with eight doubles, five home runs, 25 RBI and 25 runs over his last 43 games.
Insight: Mercer went 2-for-3 with two RBI and a walk Sunday against Colorado. He started off batting .190 with one home run and six RBI in his first 47 games, but he's turned into a competent fantasy shortstop option.
Gregory Polanco, RFCold7/20/2014 5:08:00 PM
Description: Pirates outfielder Gregory Polanco has gone 3-for-35 (.086) in his past eight games.
Insight: The skid has cut down his average from .299 to .246. Fantasy owners shouldn't give up on the talented prospect.
Neil Walker, 2B7/20/2014 5:05:00 PM
Description: Pirates second baseman Neil Walker had his second straight three-hit game and hit his 14th homer of the year Sunday against the Rockies.
Insight: Walker is just two homers away from tying his career high. He's batting .283 with 14 homers, 45 RBI, 43 runs and an .814 OPS, very good numbers for a second baseman.
Jeff Locke, SPHot7/20/2014 5:04:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh left-hander Jeff Locke threw his eighth straight quality start Sunday against the Rockies.
Insight: Locke has cut his walks down from 4.55 per nine last season to 1.16 this year. The left-hander is 2-1 with a 3.05 ERA and a 1.03 WHIP in 62 innings.
Starling Marte, LF7/20/2014 12:13:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh left fielder Starling Marte (head) is out Sunday.
Insight: Marte was hit in the helmet with a pitch Friday night. Manager Clint Hurdle said Marte will work out before Sunday's game and could be available off the bench, which is a sign he's avoided a concussion.
Starling Marte, LF7/19/2014 6:43:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh left fielder Starling Marte is not in Saturday's starting lineup. Josh Harrison will join Andrew McCutchen and Gregory Polanco in the outfield.
Insight: Marte was hit in the helmet with a pitch Friday night and the team will play it safe. He's batting a productive .258 with 40 runs scored, five homers, 34 RBI and 21 SB.
Andrew McCutchen, CFHot7/15/2014 10:24:00 AM
Description: Pittsburgh center fielder Andrew McCutchen is the hottest hitter in baseball.
Insight: McCutchen is batting .408 with a 1.363 OPS over the past dozen games, including 12 extra base hits (five homers), 13 RBI and 13 runs scored. It's no wonder he's at the top of the NL All-Star lineup - I'd want him to get as many at-bats as possible too.
Neil Walker, 2B7/13/2014 5:28:00 PM
Description: Pirates second baseman Neil Walker hit his 13th home run of the season Sunday against the Reds.
Insight: Walker's career high in home runs is 16, which he set last year. Six of those came in his last 34 at-bats last season, so he's blasted 19 home runs in his last 340 at-bats.
Starling Marte, LF7/13/2014 12:59:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh left fielder Starling Marte (bereavement) will rejoin the team Wednesday, according to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Insight: Marte has been away from the team due to the passing of his mother-in-law since July 9. The outfielder's average has dropped from .280 in 2013 to .256 due to an increase in strikeout rate from 24.4 percent to 27.7 percent.
Andrew McCutchen, CFHot7/13/2014 12:20:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh center fielder Andrew McCutchen is the only Pirates player with respectable numbers against Reds starter Johnny Cueto.
Insight: McCutchen homered twice Saturday night and has hit .396 with 11 extra-base hits this month. He's gone 13-for-49 (.265) with four doubles, four homers and six walks against Cueto while Pedro Alvarez, Starling Marte, Russell Martin, Neil Walker, Ike Davis and Travis Snider are a combined 16-for-118 (.136) against the right-hander.
Neil Walker, 2B7/13/2014 12:18:00 PM
Description: Pirates second baseman Neil Walker is hitting .171 against Cincinnati starter Johnny Cueto.
Insight: Walker has collected just six hits in 35 at-bats against Cueto, who will start Sunday against the Pirates.
Pedro Alvarez, 3B7/13/2014 12:16:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh third baseman Pedro Alvarez is 5-for-28 lifetime against Reds starter Johnny Cueto.
Insight: Alvarez is hitting just .238 with 15 home runs, 47 RBI and a .741 OPS. At the All-Star break last year, he was hitting .250 with an .827 OPS and already had 24 homers and 62 RBI. He'll face Cueto Sunday in Pittsburgh's last game before the break.
Andrew McCutchen, CFHot7/13/2014 12:16:00 AM
Description: Pittsburgh center fielder Andrew McCutchen took his hot streak to another level with two home runs and a double Saturday night.
Insight: McCutchen is up to .321 with 17 HR, 61 RBI and 15 steals. He's gotten better each month, batting .286 in April, .310 in May, .343 in June and .372 so far this month.
Pedro Alvarez, 3B7/11/2014 10:29:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh third baseman Pedro Alvarez went 1-for-3 with a homer and three RBI Friday at Cincinnati.
Insight: At the All-Star break last season, Alvarez was hitting .250 with 24 homers and 62 RBI. With just two games to go before the break this year, he's batting .241 with 15 HR and 47 RBI.
Andrew McCutchen, CFHot7/11/2014 10:26:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh center fielder Andrew McCutchen went 2-for-3 with a double, a walk and a solo homer Friday at Cincinnati.
Insight: McCutchen has batted .372 with eight extra-base hits (3 HR) and 11 RBI in 43 at-bats this month after hitting .343 with 20 extra-base hits in June. He has nine more extra-base hits and five more home runs than he had before the All-Star break last season.
Gerrit Cole, SP7/11/2014 5:27:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh right-hander Gerrit Cole (right lat soreness) will not return from the disabled list when he's first eligible on July 20, according to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Insight: Cole has been on the disabled list twice since June 3, first with shoulder fatigue and now with a right lat strain. The team won't rush the recovery process with the former No. 1 overall pick.
Russell Martin, C7/10/2014 9:48:00 AM
Description: Pirates catcher Russell Martin is 4-for-11 with a pair of home runs and a 1.462 OPS versus Cardinals right-hander Shelby Miller.
Insight: Martin is batting .323 over the past two weeks and Miller has yielded 16 earned runs in his last four starts (19 2/3 IP) so may be primed for a big game.
Starling Marte, LF7/9/2014 8:18:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh left fielder Starling Marte was placed on the bereavement list on Wednesday. SOURCE: Rob Biertempfel, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Insight: Marte will be out for at least the next three days, including Wednesday, due to the death of his mother-in-law.
Francisco Liriano, SP7/9/2014 5:52:00 PM
Description: Pirates starter Francisco Liriano (oblique) will Sunday against the Reds, according to Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Insight: Liriano strained his oblique on June 10. The left-hander has gone 1-6 with a 4.60 ERA this season after going 16-8 with a 3.02 ERA a year ago. Vance Worley will move to the bullpen.
Andrew McCutchen, CFHot7/9/2014 1:11:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh center fielder Andrew McCutchen has collected just four hits while fanning 10 times in 26 at-bats (.154) against Cardinals starter Lance Lynn.
Insight: McCutchen should be in all standard league lineups, but daily league players should spend their budget elsewhere Wednesday.
Francisco Liriano, SP7/8/2014 6:25:00 PM
Description: Pirates starter Francisco Liriano (oblique) will start one of Pittsburgh's games against the Reds from July 11-13, according to Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Insight: Liriano strained his oblique on June 10. The left-hander has gone 1-6 with a 4.60 ERA this season after going 16-8 with a 3.02 ERA a year ago.
Gerrit Cole, SP7/8/2014 12:03:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh right-hander Gerrit Cole (right lat soreness) has been placed on the 15-day disabled list.
Insight: The right-hander just returned from shoulder fatigue on June 28 after sitting out more than three weeks and pitched one time. He's a solid 7-4 with a 3.78 ERA and 78 strikeouts in 85 2/3 innings pitched. We'd like him to walk a few less batters to get him WHIP down to a reasonable level.
Gregory Polanco, RF7/7/2014 4:13:00 PM
Description: Pirates outfielder Gregory Polanco is not in Monday's starting lineup, it will be Starling Marte, Andrew McCutchen and Josh Harrison in the outfield tonight.
Insight: After an 11-game hitting streak to start his career, he's batted just .204 over the past 14 games.
Andrew McCutchen, CFHot7/7/2014 11:27:00 AM
Description: Pittsburgh center fielder Andrew McCutchen is a career .382 hitter with seven extra-base hits and a 1.082 OPS versus Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright.
Insight: Add that McCutchen is 11-for-22 with two doubles, two triples and one home run in his last five games. It's hard to imagine him much hotter as he enters this favorable matchup.
Jeff Locke, SPHot7/6/2014 4:54:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh left-hander Jeff Locke has thrown six straight quality starts since he was recalled from the minors on June 8.
Insight: He was solid again on Sunday against the Phillies, going eight innings and yielding just four hits and one earned run to lower his ERA to 3.08.
Andrew McCutchen, CFHot7/6/2014 4:45:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh center fielder Andrew McCutchen went 2-for-4 with a triple and home run against the Phillies on Sunday.
Insight: McCutchen is now 11-for-22 with two doubles, two triples and one home run in his last five games. It's hard to imagine him much hotter.
Gerrit Cole, SP7/6/2014 10:32:00 AM
Description: Pittsburgh right-hander Gerrit Cole (right lat soreness) is questionable for Wednesday's scheduled start against St. Louis
Insight: The right-hander just returned from shoulder fatigue on June 28 after sitting out more than three weeks. He'll receive treatment and the team will reevaluate him.
Andrew McCutchen, CFHot7/5/2014 7:10:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh center fielder Andrew McCutchen went 4-for-5 with two doubles, a triple, two RBI and a steal Friday against the Phillies.
Insight: McCutchen was 8-for-14 in his last three games and added a home run on Saturday, just his secong homer since June 15.
Neil Walker, 2B7/5/2014 1:08:00 PM
Description: Pirates second baseman Neil Walker will get a routine day off on Saturday.
Insight: Walker was off to a fast start before his stint on the diabled list and hasn't been able to recapture that level of production since his return (.205, 0 HR, 2 RBI, .545 OPS in 11 games).
Russell Martin, C7/5/2014 1:07:00 PM
Description: Pirates catcher Russell Martin is not in Saturday's starting lineup.
Insight: Normal day game after a night game off for Martin. Chris Stewart will be behind the plate, but has little fantasy value.
Jordy Mercer, SSHot7/4/2014 9:24:00 PM
Description: Pirates shortstop Jordy Mercer drove in four runs Friday against Philadelphia.
Insight: Mercer has batted .308 with five doubles, five homers, 20 RBI and 21 runs in his last 31 games after starting out with a .190 average, one homer and six RBI in his first 47 games of the year.
Andrew McCutchen, CFHot7/4/2014 9:22:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh center fielder Andrew McCutchen went 4-for-5 with two doubles, a triple, two RBI and a steal Friday against the Phillies.
Insight: McCutchen has hit just one homer in his last 17 games after belting seven in the first 13 games of June, but he's still contributing in other ways. The 2013 NL MVP is batting .323 with 12 homers, 51 RBI, 45 runs, 13 steals and a .961 OPS this season.
Gerrit Cole, SP7/4/2014 7:38:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh right-hander Gerrit Cole left Friday's start due to right lat soreness, according to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Insight: Cole allowed just one hit and struck out five over five scoreless innings. The right-hander just returned from shoulder fatigue on June 28 after sitting out more than three weeks. He'll receive treatment and the team will reevaluate him Saturday.
Pedro Alvarez, 3B7/4/2014 2:58:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh third baseman Pedro Alvarez is not in Friday's starting lineup against the Phillies.
Insight: Alvarez hasn't backed up last season's 36-home runs with an equivalent effort this season. He's hit 13 to date among just 23 extra base hits and his .740 OPS is the lowest in three seasons.
Vance Worley, SPHot7/3/2014 10:41:00 PM
Description: Vance Worley has gone 2-1 with a 2.28 ERA and a 0.94 WHIP in four starts with the Pirates.
Insight: Pittsburgh picked Worley up off the scrap heap after he had a 7.21 ERA and a 1.99 WHIP in 48 2/3 innings with the Twins last season. The 26-year-old had a 3.01 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP over 131 2/3 innings with the Phillies in 2011.
Jordy Mercer, SS7/2/2014 10:26:00 PM
Description: Pirates shortstop Jordy Mercer has hit .290 with five homers since the start of June.
Insight: Mercer's overall numbers (.237, 6 HR, 22 RBI, 31 R, .620 OPS) aren't impressive because he started out 29-for-146 (.199) with one homer and a .508 OPS. However, he's been good lately and could be a shortstop option in NL-only leagues.
Gregory Polanco, RF7/2/2014 10:24:00 PM
Description: Pirates highly touted outfielder Gregory Polanco has lived up to expectations so far. Through 85 at-bats, he's hitting .306 with three homers, 12 RBI, 17 runs, 12 walks and four steals.
Insight: Polanco went 2-for-4 with a double, a homer, two RBI, a walk and two runs Wednesday against the Diamondbacks.
Charlie Morton, SP7/2/2014 10:23:00 PM
Description: Pirates starter Charlie Morton held the Diamondbacks to one run on five hits over six innings Wednesday to pick up his fifth win of the year.
Insight: Morton had 39 Ks in 32 innings last month and is 5-9 with a 3.30 ERA, a 1.23 WHIP and 89 Ks in 106 1/3 innings this year.
Jeff Locke, SPHot7/1/2014 9:54:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh left-hander Jeff Locke has thrown five straight quality starts since he was recalled from the minors on June 8.
Insight: He's gone 1-1 with a 2.48 ERA in that span. Locke threw eight innings and allowed two runs Tuesday against the Diamondbacks. He was an All-Star in 2013 before fading in the second half and has cut his BB/9 down from 4.55 last year to 1.08 in 2014.
Pedro Alvarez, 3B6/29/2014 4:40:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh third baseman Pedro Alvarez had a double, a homer and three RBI Sunday against the Mets.
Insight: With just 23 extra-base hits (13 HR) in 324 plate appearances this season, Alvarez' extra-base hit rate is 7.1 percent, down from 9.8 percent last year.
Edinson Volquez, SP 6/29/2014 4:36:00 PM
Description: Pirates starter Edinson Volquez threw six shutout innings Sunday against the Mets to even his record at 6-6.
Insight: Volquez (4.07 ERA, 1.24 WHIP) has allowed one run on 13 hits in his last 14 innings and three earned runs or less in seven of his last eight starts, but he gave up eight runs in 2 1/3 three starts ago. The right-hander has cut his BB/9 down from 4.07 last year to 2.94 in 2014, but it has come at the expense of his K/9. He's no more than an NL-only arm.
Andrew McCutchen, CF6/29/2014 2:38:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh center fielder Andrew McCutchen was not in Sunday's starting lineup.
Insight: McCutchen was just getting a day off after playing 45 in a row. he's batting .314 with 12 HR, 48 RBI, 44 runs and 12 steals ... a complete fantasy player if there every was one.
Starling Marte, LF6/29/2014 11:38:00 AM
Description: Pittsburgh left fielder Starling Marte didn't start Saturday, but he did get into the game as a pinch hitter and will get the start on Sunday.
Insight: Marte (.259, 5 HR, 27 RBI) injured his head and finger in a collision at second base earlier this week.
Starling Marte, LF6/29/2014 10:08:00 AM
Description: Pittsburgh left fielder Starling Marte didn't start Saturday, but he did get into the game as a pinch hitter.
Insight: Marte (.259, 5 HR, 27 RBI) injured his head and finger in a collision at second base earlier this week. He's obviously close.
Gerrit Cole, SP6/28/2014 8:21:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh right-hander Gerrit Cole took a beating in his return from the disabled list Saturday against the Mets.
Insight: Cole, who was on the DL due to shoulder fatigue, walked three and gave up five runs on seven hits in four innings. He now has a disappointing 4.02 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP this season.
Ernesto Frieri, RP6/27/2014 8:48:00 PM
Description: The Angels have sent struggling reliever Ernesto Frieri to Pittsburgh. SOURCE: Bob Nightengale, USA Today
Insight: Meanwhile, the Pirates are giving up right-hander Jason Grilli. Frieri (0-3, 6.39 ERA) probably won't have a chance to close for the Pirates unless Mark Melancon (1-2, 2.41 ERA) gets hurt.
Starling Marte, LF6/27/2014 6:47:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh left fielder Starling Marte won't be available Friday against New York. SOURCE: Pirates.com
Insight: Marte (.260, 5 HR, 27 RBI) injured his head and finger in a collision at second base earlier this week. Travis Snider (.239, 4 HR, 14 RBI) is getting another start in left field.
Gregory Polanco, RF6/26/2014 10:14:00 PM
Description: Gregory Polanco drove in four of Pittsburgh's five runs Thursday in a win against the Mets.
Insight: He plated three of those runs with one swing in the fifth inning. Polanco has played well in his first month in the bigs, collecting a .338 average in 68 at bats.
Starling Marte, LF6/26/2014 10:13:00 AM
Description: Pirates left fielder Starling Marte (head) was not in the lineup Wednesday afternoon, but is questionable for Thursday's game against the NY Mets.
Insight: Marte took a knee to the head and jammed his right middle finger on a stolen base attempt Tuesday night. He's batting .260 with five homers, 27 RBI, 37 runs and 18 steals.
Gerrit Cole, SP6/25/2014 7:24:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh right-hander Gerrit Cole will make his return to the starting rotation Saturday against New York. SOURCE: Rob Biertempfel, Pittsburgh Tribune
Insight: He missed a few turns in the rotation because of shoulder fatigue. Jeff Locke (1-1, 3.74 ERA) is likely to lose his spot in the rotation upon Cole's return.
Wandy Rodriguez, SP6/25/2014 4:09:00 PM
Description: Free agent pitcher Wandy Rodriguez has undergone season-ending right knee surgery, according to Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes.
Insight: The Pirates designated Rodriguez for assignment last month and now it makes sense why he wasn't picked up. The left-hander had a 3.48 ERA over 997 1/3 innings from 2008-13, but he suffered an elbow injury last year and gave up 37 hits (10 HR) and 20 earned runs over 26 2/3 innings this season.
Charlie Morton, SP 6/25/2014 3:45:00 PM
Description: Pirates starter Charlie Morton had a career-high 11 strikeouts in Wednesday's loss to Tampa Bay.
Insight: Morton allowed three runs (two earned) on four hits with one walk over seven innings. The 30-year-old has a 3.41 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP but is just 4-9. He has struck out 39 batters in 32 innings this month.
Starling Marte, LF6/25/2014 12:07:00 PM
Description: Pirates left fielder Starling Marte (head) is not in the lineup Wednesday afternoon, but he's been cleared of a possible concussion, according to Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Insight: Marte took a knee to the head and jammed his right middle finger on a stolen base attempt Tuesday night. He's day-to-day.
Starling Marte, LF6/24/2014 9:20:00 PM
Description: Pirates left fielder Starling Marte is being checked for a concussion after taking a knee to the head Tuesday against Tampa Bay. SOURCE: Bill Brink, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Insight: The injury occurred on a stolen base attempt in the fifth inning. Travis Snider (.234, 4 HR, 14 RBI) has come on to take Marte's place in left field.
Jose Tabata, RF6/24/2014 6:57:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh outfielder Jose Tabata was demoted to Triple-A Indianapolis on Tuesday.
Insight: He's no longer on the Pirates' 40-man roster. Neil Walker (.280, 11 HR, 35 RBI) was activated from the disabled list in the corresponding roster move.
Neil Walker, 2B6/24/2014 2:47:00 PM
Description: Pirates second baseman Neil Walker (appendectomy) has been activated from the 15-day disabled list.
Insight: Walker missed the minimum amount of time. He'll return to a .280 average, 11 homers, 35 RBI, 29 runs and an .805 OPS. Josh Harrison (.304, 5 HR, 5 SB), who filled in for Walker at second base, has hit .368 with a homer, seven RBI and three steals over his last nine games. The Pirates will have to find a way to keep his bat in the lineup, though it won't come at the expense of Walker.
Pedro Alvarez, 3B 6/23/2014 10:47:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh third baseman Pedro Alvarez launched his first homer since June 3 Monday against the Rays.
Insight: Alvarez has failed to take a step forward after batting .233 with 36 homers, 100 RBI and a .769 OPS in 2013. This season, he has just 21 extra-base hits (12 HR) to go with a .232 average.
Andrew McCutchen, CFHot6/23/2014 10:45:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh center fielder Andrew McCutchen went 3-for-5 with two RBI, two runs and two steals Monday at Tampa Bay.
Insight: McCutchen should have had three RBI, but Starling Marte misread McCutchen's grounder up the middle in the first inning. He's now hitting .317 with 11 homers, 45 RBI, 40 runs and 12 steals on 12 attempts.
Starling Marte, LF6/23/2014 4:41:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh left fielder Starling Marte had left the team to deal with a family issue, but is back and in the lineup for Monday's game with Tampa Bay.
Insight: Marte (.258, 5 HR, 26 RBI, 34 runs, 17 steals) only missed a couple of games.
Gregory Polanco, RFHot6/23/2014 4:22:00 PM
Description: Pirates outfielder Gregory Polanco lost his 11-game hitting streak Sunday afternoon, but is still batting .345 with 11 runs scored in 12 career games.
Insight: Polanco tore up Triple-A and he's doing the same in the majors. It's interesting to note, however, his first hitless game came facing Travis Wood for the second time. Perhaps Wood learned something the first time around.
Starling Marte, LF6/21/2014 5:23:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh left fielder Starling Marte has left the team to deal with a family issue. SOURCE: Tom Singer, MLB.com
Insight: He's gone home to the Dominican Republic. The Pirates are hoping Marte (.258, 5 HR, 26 RBI) won't miss more than a game or two.
Pedro Alvarez, 3BCold6/21/2014 4:09:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh third baseman Pedro Alvarez should be avoided on Saturday in an unfavorable matchup.
Insight: Alvarez is a career .056 hitter (1-for-18) with seven strikeouts against Cubs left-hander Travis Wood. The power hitter hasn't homered in since June 3. Avoid him. Update: Alvarez is not in the starting lineup on Saturday.
Gregory Polanco, RFHot6/21/2014 4:08:00 PM
Description: Pirates outfielder Gregory Polanco brings a 10-game hitting streak to the plate Saturday night.
Insight: Polanco has only played 10 major leagues games, so you do the math. He tore up Triple-A and he's doing the same in the majors, hitting .367 with a homer, six RBI and nine runs scored. He'll face Travis Wood for a second time so it will be interesting to see how Wood pitches to him the second time around.
Pedro Alvarez, 3BCold6/21/2014 10:33:00 AM
Description: Pittsburgh third baseman Pedro Alvarez should be avoided on Saturday in an unfavorable matchup.
Insight: Alvarez is a career .056 hitter (1-for-18) with seven strikeouts against Cubs left-hander Travis Wood. The power hitter hasn't homered in since June 3. Avoid him.
Mark Melancon, RPHot6/20/2014 2:16:00 PM
Description: Fantasy owners should jump on the Mark Melancon (1-2, 1.89 ERA, 0.780 WHIP) bandwagon while Jason Grilli has been exiled from the closer's role.
Insight: Melancon thrived in the role last season after Grilli was sidelined by injury. He accumulated 16 saves in 2013.
Jason Grilli, RPCold6/20/2014 2:12:00 PM
Description: Pirates manager Clint Hurdle will temporarily take Jason Grilli out of the closer's role, according to Tom Singer of mlb.com
Insight: Grilli has allowed six hits (2 HR), walked three and given up four runs in his last 2 2/3 innings. He has a 4.34 ERA and a 17/10 K/BB in 18 2/3 innings this season. Setup man Mark Melancon will close.
Starling Marte, LFHot6/20/2014 9:43:00 AM
Description: Pirates left fielder Starling Marte is 8-for-17 (.471) with a 1.138 OPS against Cubs starter Edwin Jackson.
Insight: Marte has also stolen six bases against Jackson. Marte is in the middle of a 10-game hitting streak that has raised his average 22 points. Start him.
Andrew McCutchen, CFHot6/20/2014 9:38:00 AM
Description: Pittsburgh center fielder Andrew McCutchen is 12-for-26 (.462) with three homers and nine RBI against Cubs starter Edwin Jackson.
Insight: McCutchen is batting .317 with 11 homers, 42 RBI, 38 runs, nine steals and a .965 OPS. The only ominous number is a league-leading 51 walks which means pitchers are avoiding challenging him whenever possible.
Jason Grilli, RPCold6/19/2014 6:12:00 PM
Description: Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said he will evaluate the closer situation when asked about Jason Grilli's status, according to Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Insight: Grilli has allowed six hits (2 HR), walked three and given up four runs in his last 2 2/3 innings. He has a 4.34 ERA and a 17/10 K/BB in 18 2/3 innings this season, while Mark Melancon has a sub-two ERA for the second straight season to go with a microscopic 0.78 WHIP.
Gregory Polanco, RFHot6/19/2014 5:37:00 PM
Description: Pirates outfielder Gregory Polanco has hit safely in all nine games since he was called up.
Insight: Polanco tore up Triple-A and he's doing the same in the majors, hitting .378 with a homer, six RBI and nine runs so far. He would have been up in April if not for the Super Two classification.
Russell Martin, C6/19/2014 11:09:00 AM
Description: Pirates catcher Russell Martin is not in Thursday's starting lineup.
Insight: Normal day game after a night game off for Martin. Chris Stewart will be behind the plate, but has little fantasy value (.266, 0 HR, 3 RBI, .624 OPS).
Josh Harrison, IF/OF6/19/2014 10:20:00 AM
Description: Pittsburgh utility man Josh Harrison is just 1-for-10 versus Reds starter Homer Bailey.
Insight: Harrison (.317, 4 HR, 18 RBI, 23 runs) has been a catalyst for the Pirates offense, but isn't likely to help in this unfavorable matchup.
Josh Harrison, UTILHot6/18/2014 9:33:00 AM
Description: Pittsburgh utility man Josh Harrison cranked four hits in Tuesday night's loss to Cincinnati.
Insight: Harrison (.319, 4 HR, 18 RBI) has gone 9-for-14 with three RBI over his last three games. As long as he keeps hitting, the Pirates will continue to find ways to get him in the lineup.
Neil Walker, 2B6/17/2014 8:25:00 PM
Description: Pirates second baseman Neil Walker (appendectomy) is expected to return from the disabled list when he's first eligible on June 24, according to mlb.com.
Insight: Walker is eager to get back in the lineup but has to wait until his 15 days are up. He'll return to a .280 average, 11 homers, 35 RBI, 29 runs and an .805 OPS.
Gregory Polanco, RFHot6/17/2014 2:55:00 PM
Description: Pirates outfielder Gregory Polanco is 12-for-31(..387) in the six games since being called up and put at the top of the lineup.
Insight: Polanco tore up Triple-A and he's doing the same in the majors, having hit safely in all six games he's played. Pittsburgh is 4-2 in those six games.
Pedro Alvarez, 3B6/17/2014 10:01:00 AM
Description: Pittsburgh third baseman Pedro Alvarez has never homered against Reds right-hander Johnny Cueto.
Insight: Alvarez is a career .200 hitter (5-for-25), but they are all singles. If he's not hitting the long ball, Alvarez is mostly useless to fantasy owners.
Starling Marte, LF6/17/2014 9:58:00 AM
Description: Pirates left fielder Starling Marte should be avoided on Tuesday as he's hitless in 11 at-bats against Johnny Cueto with four strikeouts.
Insight: Marte is batting .326 with an .858 OPS in June. His fantasy prospects look much better now that he's hitting in the No. 2 hole between rookie Gregory Polanco and Andrew McCutchen. Tuesday, however is a poor matchup.
Andrew McCutchen, CF6/17/2014 9:55:00 AM
Description: Pittsburgh center fielder Andrew McCutchen is only batting .261 versus Reds ace Johnny Cueto, but he has taken him deep four times.
Insight: McCutchen powewr numbers were down in May, but he now has seven homers over 14 games in June. He's batting .325 with 11 homers, 41 RBI, 37 runs, nine steals and a .990 OPS.
Vance Worley, SP6/15/2014 4:56:00 PM
Description: Vance Worley pitched well Sunday in his Pirates debut.
Insight: The former Phillies and Twins right-hander spun seven scoreless innings, though Tony Watson's eighth inning meltdown prevented him from picking up the victory. Worley should get a few more starts while Francisco Liriano and Gerrit Cole recover from injuries.
Gerrit Cole, SP6/15/2014 12:01:00 PM
Description: Pirates starter Gerrit Cole (shoulder) could be back a few days after he's eligible to return from the disabled list, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. He's been out with shoulder fatigue.
Insight: Cole last pitched on June 3 and is first eligible to come off the DL on Thursday. "If everything stays the way it is, we could have him back a few days after that," manager Clint Hurdle said.
Starling Marte, LFHot6/14/2014 7:45:00 PM
Description: Pirates left fielder Starling Marte has gone 14-for-26 with three doubles, a homer, five RBI, four runs and two steals in his last six games.
Insight: Marte raised his average from .230 to .261 in that span. His fantasy prospects look much better now that he's hitting between Gregory Polanco and Andrew McCutchen.
Gregory Polanco, RFHot6/14/2014 7:44:00 PM
Description: Pirates outfielder Gregory Polanco is 12-for-31(..387) in the six games since being called up and put at the top of the lineup.
Insight: Polanco tore up Triple-A and he's doing the same in the majors, having hit safely in all six games he's played. Pittsburgh is 4-2 in those six games.
Andrew McCutchen, CFHot6/14/2014 7:40:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh center fielder Andrew McCutchen went 2-for-4 with a three-run homer Saturday at Miami. He's knocked in 13 runs in his last six games.
Insight: McCutchen didn't have a single home run in May, but he now has seven over 13 games in June. He's batting .323 with 11 homers, 41 RBI, 37 runs, eight steals and a .988 OPS.
Francisco Liriano, SP6/11/2014 3:18:00 PM
Description: Pirates starter Francisco Liriano (oblique) has been placed on the 15-day disabled list.
Insight: Liriano left Tuesday's start with soreness in his side. He's had a miserable year, going 1-6 with a 4.60 ERA, and it just got worse.
Andrew McCutchen, CFHot6/10/2014 10:28:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh center fielder Andrew McCutchen homered for the second straight game and the fifth time in nine games this month Tuesday against the Cubs.
Insight: McCutchen is making up for lost time after hitting zero homers in May. He went 2-for-4 Tuesday and is hitting .312 this season.
Francisco Liriano, SP6/10/2014 9:13:00 PM
Description: Pirates lefty Francisco Liriano left Tuesday's start with oblique discomfort.
Insight: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reporter Dejan Kovacevic suggested that Liriano (1-6, 4.60 ERA) could be placed on the disabled list. It's bad news for a Pittsburgh rotation already without one of its best starters (Gerrit Cole was placed on the DL Sunday with shoulder fatigue).
Francisco Liriano, SPCold6/10/2014 8:20:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh left-hander Francisco Liriano exited Tuesday's start against the Cubs prior to the fourth inning, according to Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Insight: Liriano appeared to be in some discomfort and left after stretching and throwing a few warm-up pitches. Liriano was excellent last season, going 16-8 with a 3.02 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP, but this year he's 1-6 with a 4.60 ERA and a 1.45 WHIP.
Pedro Alvarez, 3B6/10/2014 2:33:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh third baseman Pedro Alvarez won't suit up Tuesday against the Cubs.
Insight: Alvarez lost his six-game hitting streak the other day but managed two hits in Monday night's series opener. He wouldn't have been of much use today as Alvarez is just an .056 career hitter against tonight's starting pitcher, Travis Wood.
Gregory Polanco, RF6/10/2014 2:32:00 PM
Description: Pirates top prospect Gregory Polanco is in Tuesday's starting lineup, batting second and playing right field.
Insight: Polanco hit .347 with seven homers, 49 RBI, 15 steals and a .945 OPS in 62 games for Triple-A Indianapolis before his promotion. He would have been up earlier if not for the Super Two cutoff. He'll replace Neil Walker, who underwent an appendectomy Monday, on the active roster.
Pedro Alvarez, 3B6/10/2014 9:38:00 AM
Description: Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez should be avoided on Tuesday in an unfavorable matchup with Cubs left-hander Travis Wood.
Insight: Alvarez is 1-for-18 (.056) with seven strikeouts against Wood. He's batted .349 over the past two weeks with a .962 OPS. He's just not a good option on Tuesday.
Andrew McCutchen, CF6/10/2014 9:34:00 AM
Description: Pittsburgh center fielder Andrew McCutchen is just 2-for-20 (.100) against Cubs left-hander Travis Wood.
Insight: McCutchen has had a very good week, batting .400 with three home runs. One concerning note, he's leading the league in walks. He needs better protection in the lineup.
Gregory Polanco, RF6/9/2014 10:59:00 PM
Description: The Pittsburgh Pirates will call up top prospect Gregory Polanco for Tuesday's game.
Insight: Polanco has hit .347 with seven homers, 49 RBI, 15 steals and a .945 OPS in 62 games with Triple-A and would have been up earlier if not for the Super Two cutoff point. He'll replace Neil Walker, who underwent an appendectomy Monday, on the active roster and is a must own in all leagues.
Neil Walker, 2B6/9/2014 10:54:00 PM
Description: Pirates second baseman Neil Walker has been placed on the disabled list after undergoing an appendectomy.
Insight: Walker was scratched from the lineup Monday after complaining of abdominal pain and needed to undergo the procedure. Josh Harrison will take over for Walker at second base and the Pirates will call up top prospect Gregory Polanco Tuesday to man right field.
Andrew McCutchen, CFHot6/9/2014 10:13:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh center fielder Andrew McCutchen has collected 10 extra-base hits in eight games this month.
Insight: McCutchen went 2-for-4 with a double, a homer and three RBI Monday against the Cubs. He's slugged four homers in June after hitting zero in May.
Charlie Morton, SP6/9/2014 10:11:00 PM
Description: Pirates starter Charlie Morton was fantastic in seven innings of work Monday against the Cubs.
Insight: Morton struck out seven with zero walks and allowed one run on six hits to win his third game of the season. He has a 3.14 ERA, a 1.24 WHIP and a 61/29 K/BB in 80 1/3 innings this season.
Ike Davis, 1B6/9/2014 10:06:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh first baseman Ike Davis started off 0-for-19 in June but went 1-for-3 with a solo homer Monday against the Cubs.
Insight: Davis is hitting .245, but he has a .363 OBP due to 30 walks. Since he was recalled from the minors on July 5 last season, Davis has recorded a 68/68 K/BB in 360 plate appearances but hit just nine home runs in that span.
Gerrit Cole, SP6/9/2014 7:58:00 PM
Description: Pirates starter Gerrit Cole (shoulder) played catch Monday, according to Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Insight: Cole was placed on the DL on Sunday with shoulder fatigue. Monday was the first time he's thrown since his start on June 3. The Pirates hope he'll only miss two starts.
Neil Walker, 2B6/9/2014 7:30:00 PM
Description: Pirates second baseman Neil Walker was scratched from Monday's lineup, according to Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Insight: He's dealing with abdominal pain. Walker is on pace to shatter his career high of 16 homers, as he has 11 in 62 games this season.
Neil Walker, 2B6/9/2014 6:48:00 PM
Description: Pirates second baseman Neil Walker was scratched from Monday's lineup, according to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Insight: The Pirates say a reason will be given "as soon as it becomes available." Walker is on pace to shatter his career high of 16 homers, as he has 11 in 62 games this season.
Russell Martin, C6/9/2014 2:56:00 PM
Description: Pirates catcher Russell Martin is not in Monday's starting lineup.
Insight: Martin caught the entire series over the weekend, going 4-for-8 with four RBI, but its an unfavorable matchup on Monday against Edwin Jackson (3-for-19) so he'll take a seat. Chris Stewart will make the start, but has little to offer fantasy owners.
Andrew McCutchen, CFHot6/9/2014 10:36:00 AM
Description: Pittsburgh center fielder Andrew McCutchen is a career .435 hitter (10-for-23) with a pair of homers and a 1.334 OPS versus Cubs starter Edwin Jackson.
Insight: McCutchen is performing as expected after his 2013 MVP season. He's hitting .305 with seven homers, 28 RBI, 32 runs and seven steals. He should build on those numbers in Monday's favorable matchup.
Russell Martin, C6/8/2014 6:02:00 PM
Description: Pirates catcher Russell Martin was thrown out for arguing balls and strikes Sunday against Milwaukee. SOURCE: Rob Biertempfel, Pittsbugh Tribune
Insight: He was tossed after striking out to end the eighth. Chris Stewart (.250, 0 HR, 0 RBI) came in to catch the final inning. Martin has already been suspended once this year but we doubt Sunday's incident will lead to further punishment.
Jeff Locke, SP6/8/2014 4:59:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh left-hander Jeff Locke was outdueled by Milwaukee starter Yovani Gallardo Sunday at PNC Park.
Insight: Locke, who has taken over Gerrit Cole's spot in the starting rotation, pitched well, allowing just three hits and one run in seven innings of work. His next start will be Friday against the Marlins.
Gerrit Cole, SP6/8/2014 3:12:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh has placed right-hander Gerrit Cole on the 15-day DL.
Insight: He's out with shoulder fatigue. The hope is that Cole (6-3, 3.64 ERA) will only miss a couple of starts. Jeff Locke, an All-Star for the Pirates last season, was called up from Triple-A Indianapolis in the corresponding roster move.
Starling Marte, LFCold6/8/2014 10:38:00 AM
Description: Pirates left fielder Starling Marte has struck out in half of his career at-bats against Brewers starter Yovani Gallardo.
Insight: Marte is 3-for-16 (.188) with eight Ks against Gallardo. The 25-year-old is also hitting just .234 this season.
Pedro Alvarez, 3BHot6/8/2014 10:37:00 AM
Description: Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez has gone 15-for-40 (.375) with three doubles, two home runs and eight RBI in his last 11 games, but he hasn't had success against Brewers starter Yovani Gallardo.
Insight: Alvarez is 2-for-26 (.077) with 11 Ks against Gallardo. He may be in the midst of a hot streak, but he shouldn't be used Sunday against Milwaukee.
Andrew McCutchen, CF6/8/2014 10:36:00 AM
Description: Pittsburgh center fielder Andrew McCutchen's 46 career at-bats against Brewers starter Yovani Gallardo have yielded a .304 average, three doubles, a triple and three homers.
Insight: McCutchen is performing as expected after his 2013 MVP season. He's hitting .302 with seven homers, 28 RBI, 32 runs and seven steals.
Gerrit Cole, SP6/7/2014 8:20:00 PM
Description: The Pirates may place Gerrit Cole on the disabled list due to shoulder fatigue, according to Tom Singer of mlb.com.
Insight: Cole will miss his scheduled start on Monday against the Cubs. Pittsburgh will push back Charlie Morton from Sunday to Monday and call up Jeff Locke to start Sunday against the Brewers. In Cole's 17 starts in the majors last year, he averaged 91 pitches, but he's thrown 100 pitches per start in 2014 and that may be contributing to his shoulder fatigue.
Pedro Alvarez, 3BHot6/7/2014 7:43:00 PM
Description: Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez has gone 15-for-40 (.375) with three doubles, two home runs and eight RBI in his last 11 games.
Insight: Alvarez went 2-for-3 with two RBI Saturday against the Brewers and is hitting .239 with 35 RBI this season. However, he has just five doubles to go with his 11 homers so his slugging percentage is just .410. Alvarez slugged .473 in 2013.
Russell Martin, C6/6/2014 10:21:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh catcher Russell Martin had quite a game Friday versus Milwaukee.
Insight: Martin finished the night with three hits, one walk and four RBI. He raised his batting average 24 points in the process. Martin (.263, 3 HR, 17 RBI) has been in and out of the lineup recently but when he does get the nod at catcher, fantasy owners should pay attention.
Jose Tabata, RF6/6/2014 9:42:00 AM
Description: Pirates right fielder Jose Tabata is a career .424 hitter (14-for-33) with a 1.094 OPS versus Milwaukee right-hander Kyle Lohse.
Insight: Tabata doesn't provide much power or speed, but is worthy of a shot on Friday in this favorable matchup.
Francisco Liriano, SPCold6/4/2014 9:44:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh left-hander Francisco Liriano allowed just one hit in five innings Wednesday at San Diego, but he walked six and allowed three runs (two earned).
Insight: Liriano has thrown 100+ pitches in each of the last two starts without making it through the sixth inning. The left-hander walked 3.52 batters per nine innings last year but has issued 4.67 free passes per nine in 2014. He hasn't thrown more than 5 2/3 innings in a start since May 14 and now has a 4.54 ERA, a 1.47 WHIP and a 73/36 K/BB in 69 1/3 innings.
Gregory Polanco, RF6/4/2014 7:34:00 PM
Description: A "high-ranking Pirates official" told Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that top prospect Gregory Polanco is NOT coming up Friday.
Insight: That conflicts reports from Tim Williams of PiratesProspects.com and Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports. Polanco has hit .351 with 27 extra-base hits (6 HR), 14 steals and 42 runs in 57 games with Triple-A Indianapolis this season and only remained in the minors this long because of the Super Two cutoff. He should be in the majors at some point in June and must be owned in all leagues.
Gregory Polanco, RF 6/4/2014 6:51:00 PM
Description: Pirates top prospect Gregory Polanco is expected to make his MLB debut Friday, according to Tim Williams of PiratesProspects.com.
Insight: Polanco has hit .351 with 27 extra-base hits (6 HR), 14 steals and 42 runs in 57 games with Triple-A Indianapolis this season and only remained in the minors this long because of the Super Two cutoff. He should be owned in all leagues.
Russell Martin, C6/4/2014 4:10:00 PM
Description: Pirates catcher Russell Martin will take a breather Wednesday against San Diego. SOURCE: Pirates on Twitter
Insight: Martin (.242, 3 HR, 13 RBI) has been resting about once every three or four days. Chris Stewart (.264, 0 HR, 3 RBI) will take over behind the plate.
Neil Walker, 2B6/4/2014 4:05:00 PM
Description: Pirates second baseman Neil Walker will ride the pine Wednesday against San Diego. SOURCE: Pirates on Twitter
Insight: Walker (.279, 11 HR, 34 RBI) has appeared in all 58 games for Pittsbugh this season so he was due for a rest. Utility man Josh Harrison (.303, 4 HR, 12 RBI) will make a rare start at second base.
Starling Marte, LFCold6/4/2014 4:01:00 PM
Description: Pirates left fielder Starling Marte won't be in action Wednesday against the Padres. SOURCE: Pirates on Twitter
Insight: Jose Tabata (.281, 0 HR, 10 RBI) will draw the start in left. Marte (.236, 4 HR, 17 RBI) is just one for his last 23 and should be on the bench until further notice.
Pedro Alvarez, 3B6/4/2014 10:38:00 AM
Description: Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez has been brutal against Padres right-hander Ian Kennedy.
Insight: He's only managed two hits versus Kennedy in 14 career at bats (.143 AVG). Alvarez homered for the 11th time last night but he won't come close to doing that against Kennedy.
Andrew McCutchen, CF6/4/2014 10:33:00 AM
Description: Pittsburgh center fielder Andrew McCutchen is a .417 lifetime hitter against Padres starter Ian Kennedy.
Insight: Luckily for McCutchen, he gets to face Kennedy later tonight. McCutchen's numbers (.300, 5 HR, 25 RBI, 7 SB) are down across the board from last season but he's still a useful fantasy contributor and should definitely be in your lineup on Wednesday.
Andrew McCutchen, CF6/1/2014 10:44:00 AM
Description: Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen has gone 4-for-21 with five Ks against Dodgers starter Zack Greinke.
Insight: McCutchen also went 0-for-10 in his last three games of May. We don't suggest benching him in standard leagues, but daily players should consider other options rather than paying the high price to use McCutchen Sunday.
Russell Martin, C5/31/2014 3:58:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh catcher Russell Martin is getting the night off Saturday against the Dodgers.
Insight: Martin (.259, 3 HR, 13 RBI) hasn't played more than two games in a row since returning from a hamstring injury earlier this month. Another former Yankee, Chris Stewart, will get the start at catcher.
Pedro Alvarez, 3B5/31/2014 3:50:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh third baseman Pedro Alvarez will take a seat Saturday against Los Angeles.
Insight: Alvarez (.216, 10 HR, 28 RBI) was due for a rest having suited up in all 54 games prior to Saturday. Josh Harrison (.290, 3 HR, 10 RBI) will get the nod at third base.
Andrew McCutchen, CFHot5/29/2014 11:01:00 AM
Description: Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen is 4-for-9 with a double and a pair of homers versus Dodgers starter Dan Haren.
Insight: McCutchen continues to be an excellent option batting .314 with a .898 OPS, though we are concerned with his league-leading 40 walks that they are starting to choose to pitch around him. Haren would be wise to do just that based on their previous matchups.
Pedro Alvarez, 3B5/27/2014 4:23:00 PM
Description: Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez is not in Tuesday's starting lineup versus Jonathon Niese and the Mets.
Insight: Alvarez has only hit one home run in the last 17 games and if he isn't doing that he has limited fantasy value.
Brandon Cumpton, SP5/26/2014 6:48:00 PM
Description: Pirates righty Brandon Cumpton allowed two runs (one earned) on seven hits in six innings in his return to the majors Monday against the Mets.
Insight: Cumpton spent the past three and a half weeks in Triple-A and was called up to take Wandy Rodriguez' spot in the rotation after Rodriguez was designated for assignment. He has a 3.38 ERA, a 1.07 WHIP and a 10/2 K/BB in 18 2/3 innings this season and should have some NL-only value.

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