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Pittsburgh Pirates Player Notes
For The Last 365 Days
 
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.
Russell Martin, C5/25/2014 11:06:00 AM
Description: Pirates catcher Russell Martin will take a seat Sunday against Washington. SOURCE: Pirates on Twitter
Insight: Martin played Friday and Saturday so he'll get a rest on Sunday. Chris Stewart (.262, 0 HR, 3 RBI) will do the catching.
Andrew McCutchen, CF5/24/2014 11:19:00 AM
Description: Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen is just 1-for-10 against Washington ace Stephen Strasburg.
Insight: McCutchen continues to be an excellent option batting .312 with a .910 OPS, but this is an unfavorable matchup.
Mark Melancon, RP5/23/2014 4:16:00 PM
Description: Fantasy owners who have ridden Mark Melancon while Jason Grilli has been sidelined will be disappointed to see that Grilli has been activated a day earlier than expected.
Insight: Melancon (0-0, 2.05 ERA, 0.955 WHIP) accumulated eight saves and a win in May while blowing just two games. He should return to his customary setup role with an occasional closing opportunity when Grilli has pitched too many days in a row.
Jason Grilli, RP5/23/2014 4:12:00 PM
Description: Pirates closer Jason Grilli has been activated for Friday's game against Washington.
Insight: Grilli needed a month to recover from a strained oblique. Mark Melancon has been outstanding in his place but Grilli (0-1, 4.50 ERA) is fully expected to reclaim his role as closer.
Russell Martin, C5/23/2014 3:30:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh catcher Russell Martin, activated from the 15-day DL on Thursday, will start Friday night's game against Washington.
Insight: Martin (.242, 2 HR, 11 RBI) injured his hamstring in April but is finally back to 100 percent. Last night he served a one-game suspension for his involvement in last month's bench-clearing brawl with Milwaukee.
Wandy Rodriguez, SP5/22/2014 7:52:00 PM
Description: The Pirates have designated left-hander Wandy Rodriguez for assignment.
Insight: Rodriguez was doing Pittsburgh more harm than good, compiling an ugly 6.75 ERA across 26 2/3 innings. He should get another chance in the big leagues but we think the 35-year-old might be out of gas.
Russell Martin, C5/22/2014 6:19:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh catcher Russell Martin has been activated from the 15-day DL.
Insight: Martin (.242, 2 HR, 11 RBI) injured his hamstring in April but is finally back to 100 percent. Tonight he's serving a one-game suspension for his involvment in last month's bench-clearing brawl with Milwaukee. He'll be back in the starting lineup Friday against Washington.
Starling Marte, LFHot5/21/2014 10:47:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh left fielder Starling Marte had three hits, including a triple, Wednesday against the Orioles.
Insight: Marte drove in two runs and scored two. He's gone 8-for-22 (.364) with two doubles, a triple, two homers, seven RBI and five runs in his past seven games.
Andrew McCutchen, CFHot5/21/2014 10:46:00 PM
Description: Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen had a pair of doubles and a single in five at-bats Wednesday to raise his average to .317.
Insight: McCutchen has batted .364 in May, though he hasn't homered since April 23.
Ike Davis, 1B 5/20/2014 10:07:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh first baseman Ike Davis hit his first homer since April 21 Tuesday against Baltimore.
Insight: It was his third homer of the season, but the first one that wasn't a grand slam. Davis has hit .302 with five doubles, four RBI and 10 walks this month.
Francisco Liriano, SPCold5/20/2014 10:04:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh left-hander Francisco Liriano gave up six runs on nine hits in five innings Tuesday against the Orioles.
Insight: Liriano hasn't been the same pitcher he was in 2013. His BB/9 is up from 3.52 to 4.02 and he's allowed seven homers in 53 2/3 innings after giving up just nine in 161 innings last season. He's 0-4 with a 4.86 ERA and a 1.45 WHIP.
Jason Grilli, RP5/20/2014 7:55:00 PM
Description: Pirates closer Jason Grilli (strained oblique) will be activated if he avoids a setback during his simulated game Wednesday, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Insight: Grilli threw a simulated game Tuesday and the Pirates want to test him on back-to-back days. He's been out since April 21. Mark Melancon has been outstanding in his place, but Grilli should reassume the closer role.
Starling Marte, LF5/20/2014 5:20:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh left fielder Starling Marte (hamstring) is starting Tuesday against the Orioles.
Insight: Marte left Game 2 of Sunday's doubleheader against the Yankees due to tightness in his left hamstring, but Pittsburgh had a day off Monday and he's ready to go.
Starling Marte, LF5/18/2014 10:15:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh left fielder Starling Marte hopes to play Tuesday against Baltimore after leaving Sunday's game with a tight hamstring. SOURCE: Travis Sawchik, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Insight: Marte has only been so-so offensively this season (.264, 4 HR, 12 RBI) but his speed has proven to be a major fantasy asset (12 steals on 14 attempts). We expect him to be ready for Tuesday's series opener against the O's.
Jose Tabata, RF5/18/2014 6:26:00 PM
Description: Pirates right fielder Jose Tabata exited Sunday's game with a tight hamstring. SOURCE: Root Sports
Insight: Tabata grounded into a fielder's choice in his only at bat of the afternoon. Travis Snider (.215, 3 HR, 11 RBI) is now manning right field for the Bucs. Until we hear more, consider Tabata (.262, 0 HR, 8 RBI) day-to-day.
Starling Marte, LF5/17/2014 7:14:00 PM
Description: Pirates left fielder Starling Marte went 3-for-3 with a double, a homer and a steal Saturday against the Yankees.
Insight: Marte has been limited to pinch-hitting and defensive duty over the past week due to back stiffness, but he appears to be fine. His average is up to .270 on the year.
Starling Marte, LF5/17/2014 12:01:00 PM
Description: Pirates left fielder Starling Marte is in Saturday's starting lineup.
Insight: He hasn't started since last Saturday due to stiffness in his back though he had pinch hit and played a few innings in the field during the week. He's batting .255 with 2 HR, 9 RBI, 19 runs scored and 11 steals, though he may not run much in his first few games back.
Andrew McCutchen, CF5/17/2014 11:58:00 AM
Description: Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen is in the lineup for Saturday's game against the NY Yankees despite to a sore left foot.
Insight: He awkwardly hit the first base bag in Thursday's game, but continued to play through it. Friday night's rainout likely did him a lot of good and he's back in his customary No. 3 spot in the lineup.
Andrew McCutchen, CF5/17/2014 10:43:00 AM
Description: Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen is questionable for Saturday's game against the NY Yankees due to a sore left foot.
Insight: He awkwardly hit the first base bag in Thursday's game, but continued to play through it. Friday night's rainout likely did him a lot of good and we think he'll be a go on Saturday. Put him in your preliminary lineup, but check back when lineups are officially announced.
Gregory Polanco, RFHot5/15/2014 2:59:00 PM
Description: Pirates outfield prospect Gregory Polanco is batting .373 with five homers, 35 RBI and a 1.054 OPS at Triple-A Indianapolis.
Insight: MLB.com ranked the 22-year-old Polanco as the 13th overall prospect in baseball this preseason and given his hot start he should be up with the big club right after the "Super Two" date. Expect Jose Tabata and Travis Snider to lose all fantasy value when that happens.
Starling Marte, LF5/15/2014 12:18:00 PM
Description: Pirates left fielder Starling Marte is not in Thursday's starting lineup.
Insight: We're not sure what to think as he pinch hit Wednesday night and stayed in the game playing left field. He hasn't started since Saturday due to stiffness in his back.
Wandy Rodriguez, SP5/15/2014 11:54:00 AM
Description: Pirates left-hander Wandy Rodriguez has been activated from the 15-day DL and will start Thursday's contest against Milwaukee.
Insight: Rodriguez (0-2, 7.65 ERA) is winless in four starts this season and is 10-10 with a 4.18 ERA in his career against the Brewers. Milwaukee's lineup will be without Aramis Ramirez, but Ryan Braun just returned and he's always hit Rodriguez well in the past.
Pedro Alvarez, 3B5/15/2014 9:43:00 AM
Description: Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez is an ugly 2-for-24 (.083) with 10 strikeouts against Milwaukee right-hander Yovani Gallardo.
Insight: Alvarez batted .316 this past week, but without the power we associate with him - no extra-base hits. This matchup should be avoided.
Jason Grilli, RP5/14/2014 8:43:00 PM
Description: Pirates closer Jason Grilli (strained oblique) threw 24 pitches in a simulated game on Wednesday without issue, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Insight: Manager Clint Hurdle said he hasn't discussed Grilli's next step with pitching coach Ray Searage and GM Neal Huntington yet, but we assume he'll go on a short rehab assignment soon. He should take over the closer role when he returns even though Mark Melancon has been outstanding (1.50 ERA, 0.78 WHIP) in his place.
Josh Harrison, 3B5/13/2014 4:36:00 PM
Description: Pirates utility man Josh Harrison will make his eighth start of the season in place of injured Starling Marte.
Insight: Josh Harrison will lead off and play right field. He's batting .367 with a .954 OPS in seven starts this season.
Starling Marte, LF5/13/2014 4:30:00 PM
Description: Pirates left fielder Starling Marte missed Sunday's game against St. Louis and is not in Tuesday's starting lineup.
Insight: Josh Harrison will lead off and play right field. He's batting a pedestrian .277 with a .774 OPS in 47 at-bats this season, but his performance jumps to .367 with a .954 OPS in his seven starts.
Starling Marte, LF5/12/2014 11:27:00 AM
Description: Pirates left fielder Starling Marte missed Sunday's game against St. Louis and is still doubtful for Tuesday's game against Milwaukee.
Insight: The Pirates removed the left fielder from Saturday's game in the bottom of the fourth inning due to back tightness. They gave him Sunday off and the team has an off day on Monday so he could be ready for Tuesday's contest.
Andrew McCutchen, CF5/11/2014 4:29:00 PM
Description: Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen is dealing with a "gimpy" right ankle but is in Sunday's starting lineup, according to Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Insight: The Pirates are without Starling Marte so losing McCutchen would have been a tough assignment for the Pittsburgh offense to overcome. Fortunately, they won't have to.
Starling Marte, LF5/11/2014 4:25:00 PM
Description: Pirates left fielder Starling Marte has been downgraded to out for Sunday's game against St. Louis.
Insight: The Pirates removed the left fielder from Saturday's game in the bottom of the fourth inning due to back tightness. With Monday a scheduled off day, this wasn't unexpected.
Jason Grilli, RP5/11/2014 3:52:00 PM
Description: Pirates closer Jason Grilli (strained oblique) will throw a bullpen session today, according to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Insight: It's his first time off a mound since the injury three weeks ago. Mark Melancon has been serving as the Pirates' closer while Grilli is out.
Andrew McCutchen, CF5/11/2014 10:11:00 AM
Description: Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen is dealing with a "gimpy" right ankle and is questionable for Sunday's game against St. Louis.
Insight: The Pirates will likely be without Starling Marte so losing McCutchen as well would be a tough assignment for the Pittsburgh offense to overcome.
Starling Marte, LF5/11/2014 10:09:00 AM
Description: Pirates left fielder Starling Marte is doubtful for Sunday's game against St. Louis.
Insight: The Pirates removed the left fielder from Saturday's game in the bottom of the fourth inning due to back tightness. Marte has batted .325 with four steals in May after hitting .225 last month. The Pirates will play on Sunday Night Baseball against the Cardinals and then have a day off Monday to travel to Milwaukee, so the team may opt for two complete days of rest.
Edinson Volquez, SPCold5/10/2014 10:39:00 PM
Description: Pirates starter Edinson Volquez gave up three runs on four hits with four walks in 4 2/3 innings Saturday against St. Louis.
Insight: Volquez is unraveling after a strong start. He had a 1.93 ERA and a 1.61 BB/9 in his first 28 innings this year, but he's posted an 8.81 ERA and a 4.70 BB/9 his last 15 1/3.
Andrew McCutchen, CF5/10/2014 9:11:00 PM
Description: Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen is dealing with a "gimpy" right ankle, according to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Insight: We knew something was amiss when Starling Marte had to leave with back tightness and Pittsburgh sent Gaby Sanchez out to play the outfield for the first time in his career rather than bringing McCutchen off the bench. The Pirates haven't removed Jaff Decker, Chris Dickerson or top prospect Gregory Polanco from Triple-A Indianapolis' game against Norfolk, so McCutchen's injury may not be serious.
Starling Marte, LF5/10/2014 9:02:00 PM
Description: The Pirates removed left fielder Starling Marte from Saturday's game in the bottom of the fourth inning due to back tightness, according to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Insight: Marte has batted .325 with four steals in May after hitting .225 last month. The Pirates will play on Sunday Night Baseball against the Cardinals and then have a day off Monday to travel to Milwaukee, so we may see them sit out Marte tomorrow.
Andrew McCutchen, CF5/10/2014 5:01:00 PM
Description: Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen is just a .154 hitter (.4-for-26) against Cardinals starter Lance Lynn.
Insight: McCutchen has been hot of late, batting .381 over the past seven days and .358 over the past month, but this is an unfavorable matchup to be avoided. Update: McCutchen is not in the starting lineup.
Starling Marte, LF5/10/2014 12:46:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh left fielder Starling Marte is a career .462 hitter (6-for-13) versus Cardinals right-hander Lance Lynn.
Insight: Marte can help fantasy owners with runs (19) and stolen bases (11) while not destroying an owners' OPS totals. He hit 12 homers last season and posted a solid-for-a-speed-guy .784 OPS.
Francisco Liriano, SP5/9/2014 10:42:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh left-hander Francisco Liriano has walked two or more batters in all eight starts this season.
Insight: Liriano (0-3, 4.64 ERA) issued four free passes and allowed three runs on five hits in five innings Friday against St. Louis. The left-hander walked more than 5.00 batters per nine innings in 2012 and 2013, but he walked 3.52 per nine in 2013 and went 16-8 with a 3.02 ERA.
Neil Walker, 2B5/9/2014 10:32:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh second baseman Neil Walker drove in four runs Friday against the Cardinals.
Insight: He went 3-for-4 with his seventh homer. The second baseman's career high for homers in a season came last year when he hit 16, but going back to last September he has hit 13 home runs in his last 168 at-bats.
Gerrit Cole, SP5/7/2014 3:42:00 PM
Description: Pirates starter Gerrit Cole gave up three runs in the first five innings Wednesday against the Giants but finished up his day with three scoreless frames.
Insight: Cole allowed seven hits and one walk while striking out seven in eight innings. The former No. 1 overall pick is 3-2 with a 3.64 ERA, a 1.26 WHIP and 39 strikeouts in 47 innings.
Ike Davis, 1BCold5/7/2014 9:48:00 AM
Description: Pittsburgh first baseman Ike Davis is just 3-for-18 (.167) with eight strikeouts against Giants starter Tim Lincecum.
Insight: The move to Pittsburgh hasn't done much to revive Davis' fantasy value. He's hitting .178 with one homer and a .591 OPS in 15 games as a Pirate.
Charlie Morton, SP5/6/2014 9:53:00 PM
Description: Pirates starter Charlie Morton fired eight innings and allowed two hits and one unearned run in a no decision against the Giants on Tuesday.
Insight: Morton has a solid 3.45 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP, but he's 0-4. His fantasy vaue is limited because he has just 28 strikeouts and 16 walks.
Edinson Volquez, SPCold5/4/2014 6:37:00 PM
Description: Pirates starter Edinson Volquez allowed six earned runs for the second straight start on Sunday against Toronto.
Insight: Volquez gave up four homers in 10 2/3 innings in that span and his ERA is now 4.19. The 30-year-old's BB/9 is just 2.09, but he's struck out fewer than five batters per nine innings.
Jeff Locke, SP5/4/2014 12:13:00 PM
Description: The Pirates will call up Jeff Locke Monday to pitch against the Giants. SOURCE: Rob Biertempfel, Pittsburgh Tribune
Insight: Despite being an All-Star last season, Locke didn't make the team out of spring training. He's gone 0-1 with a 5.68 ERA in four starts for Triple-A Indianapolis.
Andrew McCutchen, CFHot5/3/2014 11:55:00 AM
Description: Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen has had a tough time against R.A. Dickey.
Insight: McCutchen owns a .133 career average against the knuckleballer. We're not crazy enough to expect you to bench the reigning National League MVP. Just make sure to significantly lower your expectations on Saturday.
Pedro Alvarez, 3B5/3/2014 11:50:00 AM
Description: Don't count on Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez helping your fantasy team tonight against Toronto.
Insight: Alvarez has managed just one hit in ten trips to the plate against R.A. Dickey (2-3, 5.09 ERA). Even with six hits in his last 15 at bats, the right move is to sit Alvarez (.204, 7 HR, 17 RBI) on Saturday.
Neil Walker, 2B5/3/2014 11:47:00 AM
Description: Pittsburgh second baseman Neil Walker could be in for a rough night against R.A. Dickey.
Insight: The knuckleball is almost as difficult to hit as it is to catch. Walker (.264, 6 HR, 13 RBI) has never been to able to figure Dickey out (2-for-12 in his career) and we don't see that changing on Saturday.
Starling Marte, LFHot5/3/2014 10:08:00 AM
Description: Pittsburgh left fielder Starling Marte went deep for his first career walkoff home run Friday against Toronto.
Insight: The hit came as part of a 4-for-5 night. Marte has raised his batting average 36 points in the last two days (seven for his last 12 with three RBI).
Gaby Sanchez, 1B5/1/2014 2:55:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh first baseman Gaby Sanchez will be thge DH on Thursday as the Pirates visit Baltimore.
Insight: This will be just the second time he's been a DH since entering the league in 2008. Sanchez is batting .220 with three homers and seven RBI this season. He's normally a much better hitter versus left-handers, though he's 2-for-7 (.286) against Bud Norris.
Neil Walker, 2B5/1/2014 10:10:00 AM
Description: Pirates second baseman Neil Walker is a career .429 hitter (9-for-21) against Baltimore starter Bud Norris.
Insight: Walker's batting average isn't much to talk about (.235) but he's hitting the ball with plenty of power with six homers. That ranks him in a tie for second among all big league second basemen.
Jose Tabata, RFHot4/29/2014 3:48:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh right fielder Jose Tabata will get another start in the leadoff spot on Tuesday night.
Insight: Tabata is batting .400 over the past seven days and with Starling Marte batting .191 over the past two weeks he's getting a shot at the top. If permanent it will add to his value and reduce Marte's value.
Edinson Volquez, SP4/27/2014 5:56:00 PM
Description: Pirates starter Edinson Volquez gave up six earned runs on seven hits (two homers) in 5 2/3 innings Sunday at St. Louis.
Insight: Volquez (1-2, 3.21 ERA) only walked one and still has just six BBs all year (1.59 BB/9), but he also only has 18 strikeouts (4.81 K/9) and now has a 3.80 FIP.
Andrew McCutchen, CFHot4/27/2014 11:27:00 AM
Description: Pittsburgh center fielder Andrew McCutchen is one of the few hitters in the league who's had success against Cardinals right-hander Adam Wainwright (.419 AVG in 31 at bats).
Insight: How convenient. McCutchen got off to a bit of a slow start but a recent 10-for-20 surge has lifted his average up to .298. Expect him to do some damage today versus Wainwright (4-1, 1.46 ERA).
Francisco Liriano, SP4/26/2014 6:19:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh left-hander Francisco Liriano exited Saturday's game with flu-like symptoms. SOURCE: Bill Brink, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Insight: Stolmy Pimentel relieved Liriano in the third inning. Despite a respectable 3.97 ERA in six starts, Liriano is still winless on the season. Consider him day-to-day.
Jason Grilli, RP4/25/2014 8:37:00 PM
Description: Updating an earlier report, the Pirates will place Jason Grilli (strained oblique) on the disabled list Saturday, according to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Insight: The Pirates announced that they had placed Grilli on the DL, retroactive to April 21, and called up Jared Hughes from the minors, but that was against MLB rules because Hughes pitched in the majors after April 21. Mark Melancon will serve as the Pirates' closer while Grilli is out.
Jason Grilli, RP4/25/2014 6:49:00 PM
Description: The Pirates have placed Jason Grilli on the 15-day disabled list with a left oblique strain.
Insight: Grilli last pitched on April 20. Mark Melancon (1.64 ERA) will take over as Pittsburgh's closer and should be added in all leagues in case Grilli is out longer than two weeks.
Starling Marte, LF4/25/2014 6:11:00 PM
Description: Pirates left fielder Starling Marte will take a seat Friday at St. Louis.
Insight: Marte leads baseball with 35 strikeouts and is hitting .245 with 14 runs and seven steals. He's been missing pitches that he hit last year (81.1 z-contact% 2014, 85.8% 2013).
Pedro Alvarez, 3B4/25/2014 11:22:00 AM
Description: Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez is just 3-for-13 against Cardinals right-hander Shelby Miller, but the three hits are all home runs.
Insight: Alvarez is never going to hit for a high average, but he's certainly going to produce power. He's batting just .176 this season, but has blasted six homers and knocked in 14 runs.
Gregory Polanco, RFHot4/24/2014 9:30:00 PM
Description: Pirates outfield prospect Gregory Polanco has hit .403 with three homers, three steals, 20 RBI and a 1.062 OPS in his first 19 games with Triple-A Indianapolis this season.
Insight: MLB.com ranked Polanco as the 13th overall prospect in baseball this preseason after he hit .285 with 12 homers, 38 steals and a .792 OPS in the minors last year. He should be up within the next six weeks to replace Travis Snider in right field.
Russell Martin, C4/24/2014 12:03:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh catcher Russell Martin is not in Thursday afternoon's starting lineup.
Insight: Martin, who is appealing a one-game suspension for his role in a bench-clearing brawl this past weekend, was seen walking gingerly after a slide at home plate Wednesday night. Don't be surprised if he drops his appeal and uses the off day to his best advantage.
Andrew McCutchen, CFHot4/23/2014 10:47:00 PM
Description: Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen made it three straight games with a home run Wednesday against the Reds.
Insight: The reigning NL MVP went 7-for-10 with three homers, three RBI, four runs and four walks in the first three games of Pittsburgh's series against the Reds. He's hitting .298 with four homers, 13 RBI, 12 runs, three steals and 19 walks so far.
Russell Martin, C4/23/2014 12:06:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh catcher Russell Martin is hitless in seven trips to the plate against Reds starter Alfredo Simon.
Insight: Martin, who is appealing a one-game suspension for his role in a bench-clearing brawl this past weekend, has just one hit in 15 at bats against Cincinnati this season (.067). Tonight should be more of the same.
Andrew McCutchen, CFHot4/22/2014 10:10:00 PM
Description: Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen homered for the second straight game Tuesday against the Reds.
Insight: McCutchen went 5-for-6 with two homers, three walks and three runs in the first two games of Pittsburgh's series versus Cincinnati and is hitting .288 with a career-high 18.2 percent walk rate, up from 11.6 percent last year.
Edinson Volquez, SPHot4/22/2014 10:06:00 PM
Description: Pirates starter Edinson Volquez tossed seven innings and allowed two runs on five hits Tuesday against the Reds.
Insight: After walking 4.07 batters per nine innings last year, Volquez has issued just five total walks in 28 innings this season and owns a 1.93 ERA and a 0.93 WHIP. He has a 4.0 percent HR/FB and allowed one homer all year.
Gerrit Cole, SP4/22/2014 6:27:00 PM
Description: Somehow, Pirates starter Gerrit Cole was able to avoid a suspension despite his role in instigating a brawl Sunday against the Brewers. SOURCE: Ken Rosenthal, Fox Sports
Insight: Cole took exception to Carlos Gomez admiring his triple and things escalated quickly from there. To Cole's credit, he only yelled at Gomez and didn't throw any punches. Some will say he got off too easy but Cole (2-1, 3.67 ERA) should be a decent fantasy play when he starts Friday against St. Louis.
Russell Martin, C4/22/2014 5:26:00 PM
Description: Pirates catcher Russell Martin has appealed his one-game suspension, according to Tom Singer of mlb.com.
Insight: Major League Baseball suspended Carlos Gomez, Martin Maldonado, Travis Snider and Martin for their roles in Sunday's bench-clearing altercation between Milwaukee and Pittsburgh. Maldonado is the only player who didn't appeal.
Travis Snider, LF4/22/2014 5:24:00 PM
Description: Pirates right fielder Travis Snider has appealed his two-game suspension, according to Tom Singer of mlb.com.
Insight: MLB suspended Snider for his role in Sunday's bench-clearing brawl with the Brewers. He's hitting .250 with three homers, eight RBI and a .722 OPS in 18 games this season.
Jerry Sands, LF4/22/2014 2:30:00 PM
Description: Rays minor league outfielder Jerry Sands, is off to a hot start with Triple-A Durham, batting .371 with five homers, 17 RBI and a 1.192 OPS after 18 games.
Insight: Sands dominated Triple-A in 2012 with 26 HR and 107 RBI, but did little in 2013. If David DeJesus continues to hit .119, he could have company in the outfield.
Starling Marte, LF4/22/2014 11:30:00 AM
Description: Pirates left fielder Starling Marte is hitless in seven at-bats versus Red starter Johnny Cueto.
Insight: Marte is batting .259, but has scored 13 runs and stolen seven bases as the Pirates leadoff man. The bad news is that he leads the league in strikeouts (31).
Russell Martin, C4/22/2014 11:29:00 AM
Description: Pirates catcher Russell Martin is just 1-for-11 (.091) versus Reds starter Johnny Cueto.
Insight: This might be a good day to give Martin a rest. Backup Chris Stewart is 2-for-3 against Cueto. Martin is hitting .263 with two homers and 11 RBI in 57 at-bats.
Ike Davis, 1B4/21/2014 10:50:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh first baseman Ike Davis launched his third career grand slam Monday in a win over Cincinnati.
Insight: Davis (.270, 2 HR, 9 RBI) already has two grand slams this season. This was his first home run as a Pirate after being traded to Pittsburgh on Friday.
Andrew McCutchen, CF4/21/2014 10:27:00 PM
Description: Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen pounded three hits in Monday night's win over Cincinnati.
Insight: McCutchen (.273, 2 HR, 11 RBI) lost his eight-game hitting streak on Sunday but wasted no time starting a new one on Monday. Eight of McCutchen's 21 hits this season have come against the Reds.
Wandy Rodriguez, SP4/21/2014 9:06:00 PM
Description: The Pirates have placed left-hander Wandy Rodriguez on the 15-day DL.
Insight: He's been diagnosed with right knee inflammation. Jared Hughes was called up from Triple-A Indianapolis to take his spot on the active roster. Rodriguez (0-2, 7.65 ERA) is winless in four starts this season.
Ike Davis, 1B4/21/2014 11:35:00 AM
Description: Pirates newly-acquired first baseman Ike Davis should probably get the day off as he's just 1-for-11 (.091) versus Cincinnati starter Mike Leake.
Insight: Davis is 3-for-9 since coming over to the Pirates who hope he can find the swing that produced 32 homers in 2012.
Russell Martin, C4/21/2014 11:32:00 AM
Description: Pirates catcher Russell Martin is 9-for-22 (.409) versus Mike Leake with a homer and a 1.000 OPS.
Insight: Martin is hitting .283 with two homers and 11 RBI in 53 at-bats. He put up a six-homer April last season ... and hit just nine the rest of the way.
Neil Walker, 2B4/20/2014 9:16:00 PM
Description: Pirates second baseman Neil Walker contributed three hits Sunday in a loss to Milwaukee.
Insight: Walker's batting average hasn't been up to snuff (.250 through 19 games) but he's hitting the ball with plenty of power. His 394-foot blast in the fourth inning Sunday was his sixth of the season. That leads all big league second basemen.
Gerrit Cole, SP4/20/2014 6:56:00 PM
Description: Despite allowing just one run in eight innings, Pirates starter Gerrit Cole had to settle for a no-decision Sunday against Milwaukee.
Insight: He also had an altercation with Brewers center fielder Carlos Gomez that led to a bench-clearing brawl in the third inning. Through four starts, Cole is 2-1 with a 3.67 ERA. His next outing will be Friday against St. Louis.
Russell Martin, C4/20/2014 11:49:00 AM
Description: Chris Stewart is starting behind the plate for the Pirates on Sunday, giving Russell Martin a day off.
Insight: Russell Martin will rest for the day game following a night game. He's hitting .283 with two homers and 11 RBI in 53 at-bats.
Pedro Alvarez, 3BCold4/20/2014 11:47:00 AM
Description: Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez is not in the starting lineup on Sunday against the Brewers.
Insight: Alvarez has gone 3-for-18 with eight strikeouts against Marco Estrada and he went 3-for-33 (.091) with 13 Ks in his last nine games. Josh Harrison is starting in his place.
Pedro Alvarez, 3BCold4/20/2014 9:37:00 AM
Description: Brewers starter Marco Estrada has held Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez to three hits in 18 at-bats.
Insight: Alvarez struck out eight times against Estrada, Sunday's scheduled starter against Pittsburgh. The third baseman is stuck in one of his typical extended slumps, going 3-for-33 (.091) with 13 Ks in his last nine games. He's tied for the NL lead with six homers but is batting .162.
Starling Marte, LF 4/19/2014 10:26:00 PM
Description: Pirates left fielder Starling Marte has swiped four bases in his last three games.
Insight: Marte went 5-for-13 with five singles and two walks in that span, so he was on first base a lot. He's hitting .274 with 13 runs and seven steals, but the strikeouts are starting to pile up. Marte has 28 Ks in 73 at-bats.
Wandy Rodriguez, SPCold4/19/2014 10:22:00 PM
Description: Pirates starter Wandy Rodriguez gave up four runs on six hits in four innings Saturday against the Brewers.
Insight: Rodriguez, who missed most of last season with an elbow injury, has allowed 26 hits, 17 earned runs and seven homers in 20 innings this season.
Pedro Alvarez, 3B4/19/2014 10:31:00 AM
Description: Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez is 6-for-13 (.462) against Milwaukee starter Matt Garza.
Insight: The 27-year-old leads the NL in homers with six, but he's also batting .172 with 18 strikeouts. This is an all-or-nothing pick.
Ike Davis, 1B4/18/2014 8:08:00 PM
Description: New York traded first baseman Ike Davis to Pittsburgh Friday for right-hander Zack Thornton.
Insight: Take a hike, Ike. Davis hit a walkoff grand slam on April 5th but other than that, his season has been a disaster (.208, 1 HR, 5 RBI in 12 games). He might be an upgrade over the Pirates' current first baseman, Gaby Sanchez, but not by much.
Jose Tabata, RF4/18/2014 1:54:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh right fielder Jose Tabata is a stunning .467 hitter versus Milwaukee starter Kyle Lohse (14-for-30).
Insight: Tabata suffered a blow to the head in Wednesday's loss to Cincinnati and only pinch hit on Thursday, but could be ready to go in this favorable matchup. If he's in the Pirates lineup, he should be in yours. Update - He's in Friday's lineup, batting seventh.
Jose Tabata, RF4/18/2014 10:03:00 AM
Description: Pittsburgh right fielder Jose Tabata is a stunning .467 hitter versus Milwaukee starter Kyle Lohse (14-for-30).
Insight: Tabata suffered a blow to the head in Wednesday's loss to Cincinnati and only pinch hit on Thursday, but could be ready to go in this favorable matchup. If he's in the Pirates lineup, he should be in yours.
Pedro Alvarez, 3B4/17/2014 10:14:00 AM
Description: Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez is just 1-for-22 (.045) with 10 strikeouts against Milwaukee starter Yovani Gallardo.
Insight: The 27-year-old, who tied for the NL lead with 36 bombs last season, already has five homers, 10 RBI and 10 runs despite a .161 batting average. But this is an extremely unfavorable matchup to be avoided.
Jose Tabata, RF4/16/2014 5:07:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh right fielder Jose Tabata suffered a mild concussion Wednesday in a loss to Cincinnati. SOURCE: C. Trent Rosecrans, Cincinnati Enquirer
Insight: Tabata went 0-for-2 with a strikeout before exiting. Travis Snider (.240, 3 HR, 6 RBI) figures to see most of the playing time in right field, which was already the case even before Tabata (.222, 0 HR, 1 RBI) got hurt.
Jose Tabata, RF4/16/2014 2:49:00 PM
Description: Pirates outfielder Jose Tabata left Wednesday's game with concussion-like symptoms, according to Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Insight: Tabata was hurt when ran into the left-field wall after making a running catch. He started the game in place of Starling Marte, who was supposed to get the day off but entered after Tabata's injury.
Starling Marte, LFCold4/16/2014 1:07:00 PM
Description: Pirates left fielder Starling Marte got a day off Wednesday, according to Tom Singer of mlb.com. He's been scuffling at the plate and has 23 Ks.
Insight: "Marte's swing just doesn't look right to me," manager Clint Hurdle said. "We've been too soft at the top." Jose Tabata started in left field and hit leadoff Wednesday against the Reds.
Neil Walker, 2BHot4/16/2014 11:29:00 AM
Description: Pittsburgh second baseman Neil Walker has hit four home runs over his last five games but he'll run into Johnny Cueto Wednesday against the Reds.
Insight: Walker has five homers in 14 games after blasting six in his final nine last year. He didn't hit his fifth homer in 2013 until his 51st game. Cueto has limited the second baseman to six hits in 28 at-bats (.214), however.
Neil Walker, 2BHot4/15/2014 10:36:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh second baseman Neil Walker continued his home run binge with another long ball Tuesday in the second game of a double-header.
Insight: That gives Walker five blasts in 58 at bats this season. Last season, Walker didn't hit his fifth home run until June 12th. Walker's .310 batting average is a noticeable improvement from the .265 clip he hit for in 2013.
Neil Walker, 2B4/15/2014 9:05:00 PM
Description: Pirates second baseman Neil Walker finished 3-for-5 with two homers in Monday's game against the Reds, which was suspended due to rain and completed on Tuesday.
Insight: Walker hit six homers in his final nine games last year and now he has started off with four in his first 13 games this season.
Russell Martin, C4/15/2014 11:36:00 AM
Description: Pirates catcher Russell Martin is a lifetime .474 hitter with a home run against Reds starter Mike Leake.
Insight: After a hot series against the Cubs (4-for-7, 2 HR), Martin is just 2-for-11 over his last three games. This matchup could get him going again.
Russell Martin, CHot4/14/2014 10:05:00 AM
Description: Pirates catcher Russell Martin is a lifetime .357 hitter with a pair of homers against Reds starter Homer Bailey.
Insight: Martin posted a six home run April in 2013 and is off to a .281 start this season with a four-game hitting streak, 25 points above his career numbers. Bad weather is in the forecast, however, so be prepared to make changes if you plan on starting him.
Russell Martin, C4/13/2014 10:44:00 AM
Description: Pirates catcher Russell Martin will not be in the starting nine Sunday against Milwaukee. SOURCE: Pirates on Twitter
Insight: Martin's four-game hitting streak will have to be put on hold for 24 hours. Tony Sanchez (.333, 0 HR, 4 RBI) is making his fourth start of the season behind home plate.
Pedro Alvarez, 3B4/12/2014 10:24:00 AM
Description: Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez is just 1-for-20 (.050) with nine strikeouts against Milwaukee starter Yovani Gallardo.
Insight: The 27-year-old, who tied for the NL lead with 36 bombs last season, already has five homers, 10 RBI and eight runs. But this is an extremely unfavorable matchup to be avoided.
Pedro Alvarez, 3BHot4/10/2014 9:20:00 PM
Description: Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez went 1-for-5, but his one hit was a big three-run homer Thursday against the Cubs.
Insight: Alvarez' shot came in the top of the seventh inning and put the Pirates ahead 5-4. The 27-year-old, who tied for the NL lead with 36 bombs last season, already has five homers, 10 RBI and eight runs. Alvarez also has a 6/6 K/BB (14.6% K rate) in 41 plate appearances; his K rate ranged from 30.3% to 30.7% in each of the last three years.
Gerrit Cole, SP4/10/2014 8:58:00 PM
Description: The Pirates' offense came alive in the top of the seventh inning Thursday at Chicago to get Gerrit Cole his second win of the season.
Insight: Cole struck out 10 batters and allowed four runs (three earned) on five hits in six innings Thursday but was down 4-0 until Pittsburgh put up five runs in the seventh. He has a 3.46 ERA and a 13/4 K/BB in 13 innings this season.
Russell Martin, C4/10/2014 12:55:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh catcher Russell Martin, he of the two home run night on Wednesday, is not in Thursday's starting lineup.
Insight: Normal day game after a night game off for a catcher. Martin had done nothing until last night and is batting .292 with two homers and six RBI.
Andrew McCutchen, CF4/10/2014 9:55:00 AM
Description: Pittsburgh center fielder Andrew McCutchen is just a career .111 hiiter (2-for-18) versus Cibs starter travis Wood.
Insight: Wood has struck him out five times and walked him five times as he's pitched him very tough.
Pedro Alvarez, 3B4/10/2014 9:52:00 AM
Description: Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez had another two-homer game Wednesday against the Cubs, but has an unfavorable matchup on Thursday.
Insight: Alvarez is just 1-for-15 (.067) with six strikeouts against Cubs starter Travis Wood. The Pirates slugger has continued where he left off last season (36 HR), but this matchup should be avoided.
Pedro Alvarez, 3BHot4/9/2014 10:52:00 PM
Description: Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez had another two-homer game Wednesday against the Cubs.
Insight: He also hit two round-trippers on April 4 and has gone 6-for-15 with four homers, seven RBI and a 1/6 K/BB in his last five games.
Andrew McCutchen, CF4/8/2014 1:32:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh center fielder Andrew McCutchen is a career .381 hiiter (8-for-21) with two homers versus Cibs starter Edwin Jackson.
Insight: McCutchen has gone 5-for-23 (.217) with six Ks and six BBs in his first six games this season, so perhaps this will get him going.
Jameson Taillon, SP4/6/2014 1:19:00 PM
Description: According to Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pirates pitching prospect Jameson Taillon will undergo Tommy John surgery.
Insight: Pittsburgh picked Taillon with the second overall pick in the 2010 MLB Draft, one year before they took Gerrit Cole first overall. However, Cole reached the big leagues first. Taillon has posted a 3.72 ERA, a 1.22 WHIP and a 356/112 K/B in 382 innings in the minors, and his MLB debut will now be put off indefinitely.
Russell Martin, C4/6/2014 11:04:00 AM
Description: Pittsburgh catcher Russell Martin will get Sunday off to rest after catching a night game Saturday. Tony Sanchez will catch Edinson Volquez. SOURCE: Bill Brink, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Insight: Martin will miss facing Adam Wainwright; he has gone 9-for-22 (.409) with two doubles and four walks against the Cardinals right-hander.
Russell Martin, C4/6/2014 9:39:00 AM
Description: Pittsburgh catcher Russell Martin is just 3-for-17 (.176) this season but he has great numers against Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright.
Insight: Martin has gone 9-for-22 (.409) with two doubles and four walks against Wainwright.
Andrew McCutchen, CF4/6/2014 9:38:00 AM
Description: Pittsburgh center fielder Andrew McCutchen has amassed 12 hits (four 2B, one 3B, one HR) in 28 at-bats against Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright.
Insight: That's a .429 average. McCutchen has gone 4-for-19 (.211) with five Ks and six BBs in his first five games this season.
Edinson Volquez, SP4/3/2014 8:53:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh will hand the ball to right-hander Edinson Volquez Sunday versus St. Louis. SOURCE: Dan Zangrilli, 93.7 The Fan
Insight: Volquez tossed two innings of shutout ball Thursday in his season debut. His 5.71 ERA in 2013 was among the worst in the major leagues.
Russell Martin, C4/3/2014 11:20:00 AM
Description: Pittsburgh catcher Russell Martin will get Thursday afternoon off after last night's 16-inning marathon.
Insight: Martin went 0-for-6 and is just 1-for-10 to open the season. Last year he hit six homers in 24 April games and showed some early fantasy value.
Andrew McCutchen, CF4/2/2014 10:10:00 AM
Description: Pittsburgh center fielder Andrew McCutchen is a career .400 hitter with a pair of homers and a 1.278 OPS against Cubs starter Edwin Jackson.
Insight: McCutchen has been a consistent performer over the past three seasons. With a .317 average, 21 HR, 97 runs, 84 RBI and 27 SB in 157 games, McCutchen was a box score filler.
Francisco Liriano, SP3/31/2014 9:42:00 PM
Description: Pirates starter Francisco Liriano took a no decision Monday against the Cubs despite throwing six shutout innings with 10 strikeouts.
Insight: Jeff Samardzija was fantastic for the other side and the Pirates ended up winning 1-0 in 10 innings. Monday's results are exactly what we want to see from Liriano early in the season. He had a 3.02 ERA, a 1.22 WHIP and 163 Ks in 161 innings in 2013 but put up an ERA above five in three of the previous four years.
Francisco Liriano, SP3/27/2014 5:53:00 PM
Description: According to mlb.com, the Pirates move to send pitcher Brandon Cumpton to the minors on Thursday is an indication that Francisco Liriano (groin) has received the green light to start on Opening Day.
Insight: Liriano left his last start due to left groin tightness, but he was able to throw a successful simulated game Wednesday. The lefty resurrected his career with a 16-8 record, a 3.02 ERA, a 1.22 WHIP and 163 strikeouts in 161 innings last season after posting an ERA north of five in 2009, 2011 and 2012 with the Twins.
Francisco Liriano, SP3/26/2014 12:06:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh left-hander Francisco Liriano (groin) said he is "good to go" after he threw 55 pitches in a three-inning simulated game Wednesday, according to Tom Singer of mlb.com.
Insight: Liriano left his last start due to left groin tightness, but he's expected to start Opening Day against the Cubs. The lefty resurrected his career with a 16-8 record, a 3.02 ERA, a 1.22 WHIP and 163 strikeouts in 161 innings last season after posting an ERA north of five in 2009, 2011 and 2012 with the Twins.
Starling Marte, LF3/26/2014 11:40:00 AM
Description: The Pirates have signed Starling Marte to a six-year, $31 million contract, according to Jim Duquette of MLB Network Radio.
Insight: The deal begins in 2014, so it replaces the salary Marte was supposed to make this year. The 25-year-old hit .280 with 12 home runs, 35 RBI, 83 runs, 41 steals and a .784 OPS in 135 games last season, which was his first full one in the majors.
Vance Worley, SPCold3/25/2014 5:37:00 PM
Description: The Twins have traded Vance Worley to the Pirates for cash considerations.
Insight: Pittsburgh assigned Worley to minor league camp. Worley was Minnesota's Opening Day starter last season but went 1-5 with a 7.21 ERA and a 1.99 WHIP in 10 starts and had a miserable spring.
Jameson Taillon, RP3/23/2014 2:19:00 PM
Description: According to Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pirates GM Neal Huntington said pitching prospect Jameson Taillon doesn't have ligament damage in his sore elbow.
Insight: Taillon will go for a second opinion. Pittsburgh picked Taillon with the second overall pick in the 2010 MLB Draft, one year before they took Gerrit Cole first overall. However, Cole reached the big leagues first. Taillon has posted a 3.72 ERA, a 1.22 WHIP and a 356/112 K/B in 382 innings in the minors and is expected to make his major league debut this season if he's healthy.
Francisco Liriano, SP3/20/2014 9:15:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh left-hander Francisco Liriano had to leave Thursday's game early after landing awkwardly on one of his pitches. SOURCE: Rob Biertempfel, Pittsburgh Tribune
Insight: It sounds like he may have sprained his ankle. For the most part, Liriano has looked pretty good this spring. In four appearances, he owns a 2.31 ERA with ten strikeouts and four walks.
Edinson Volquez, SP3/16/2014 5:32:00 PM
Description: Edinson Volquez is expected to land a spot in the Pirates rotation, according to Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Insight: Volquez has a 11 ERA and a 2.11 WHIP in nine innings this spring after going 9-12 with a 5.71 ERA and a 1.59 WHIP last year. There's no reason to draft him in any leagues. Jeff Locke will be bumped to the bullpen or Triple-A.
Russell Martin, CHot3/14/2014 4:43:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh catcher Russell Martin is on fire this spring, batting .444 with four homers in 18 at-bats.
Insight: Martin exploded out of the gate last season with six April homers, but it was downhill from there. He's swing a hot bat and that might be worth something for the first few weeks this year as well.
Francisco Liriano, SP2/18/2014 7:43:00 PM
Description: The Pirates will go with lefthander Francisco Liriano on Opening Day. SOURCE: Jayson Stark, ESPN
Insight: He'll get the nod March 31st against the Cubs. Liriano was a pleasant surprise for fantasy owners last season. His 3.02 ERA over 161 innings was his first sub-five ERA since 2010.
A.J. Burnett, SP2/7/2014 9:29:00 PM
Description: Free agent righthander A.J. Burnett would prefer to pitch in the National League. SOURCE: Roch Kubatko, MASN
Insight: That means he probably won't be pitching for Baltimore in 2014. The Orioles were interested but the feeling doesn't appear to be mutual. Burnett has narrowed his search down to two teams: Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. The Pirates, the team Burnett pitched for last season, are considered the favorites.
A.J. Burnett, SP2/2/2014 4:52:00 PM
Description: The Orioles, Phillies and Pirates are considered the frontrunners to land free agent starting pitcher A.J. Burnett. SOURCE: Nick Cafardo, Boston Globe
Insight: The Blue Jays and Rays are also thought to be in the mix. Burnett spent his last two seasons in Pittsburgh though that doesn't necessarily make the Pirates the favorites. The 37-year-old flirted with retirement this offseason so it's unlikely he'll be looking for anything longer than a one-year contract.
A.J. Burnett, SP1/28/2014 7:25:00 PM
Description: According to Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, free agent A.J. Burnett will pitch at least one more season in the major leagues.
Insight: A few months ago Burnett (10-11, 3.30 ERA in 191 IP for Pittsburgh in 2013) was strongly considering retirement but apparently he's decided to give baseball one more shot. The 37-year-old has plenty left in the tank and it's likely he'll be scooped up by someone before spring training.
Chris Dickerson, LF1/6/2014 11:25:00 AM
Description: The Pirates signed outfielder/DH Chris Dickerson to a minor league contract.
Insight: Dickerson looked promising early in his Cincinnati days, but his time with Milwaukee, the Yankees and Baltimore have not panned out. He'll likely start the season at Triple-A.
Clint Barmes, SS12/12/2013 10:01:00 PM
Description: The Pirates were able to re-sign shortstop Clint Barmes on Thursday. SOURCE: Buster Olney, ESPN
Insight: It's a one-year deal worth $2 million. Aside from a fluke 23 HR-season for Colorado in 2009, Barmes has never been on the fantasy radar.
Charlie Morton, SP12/11/2013 8:20:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh starter Charlie Morton has agreed to a three-year, $21 million extension. SOURCE: Yahoo Sports
Insight: His contract was going to be up at the end of the 2014 season. Morton's last two seasons have been cut short by injuries. He owns a 4.70 ERA in 109 career big league appearances.
Edinson Volquez, SP12/11/2013 8:14:00 PM
Description: The Pirates inked righthander Edinson Volquez to a one-year deal on Wednesday. SOURCE: Ken Rosenthal, Fox Sports
Insight: He'll earn $5 million next season. Volquez hasn't been fantasy relevant since 2007 when he won 17 games for Cincinnati. In 33 appearances last season, Volquez went 9-12 with a 5.71 ERA. He figures to be a back of the rotation starter/long relief option for Pittsburgh in 2014.
Justin Morneau, 1B12/3/2013 9:03:00 PM
Description: The Rockies are close to signing Justin Morneau to a two-year contract. SOURCE: Troy Renck, Denver Post
Insight: Morneau hasn't been an All-Star since 2010 and the .259 clip he hit for last season was well below his career average (.277). Then again, if he was ever going to have a bounceback season, hitter-friendly Coors Field is the perfect park for him to do it in.
Chris Stewart, C12/2/2013 8:56:00 PM
Description: The Yankees dealt catcher Ian Stewart to the Pirates on Monday. SOURCE: Jon Heyman, CBS Sports
Insight: The Pirates are giving the Yanks a player to be named later. With Brian McCann inked to a five-year contract, Stewart was only going to be a backup if he stayed in New York. Then again, that's all he'll be in Pittsburgh with Russell Martin slated to get the lion's share of the work behind the plate.
Justin Morneau, 1B11/30/2013 4:10:00 PM
Description: The Rockies are hoping to sign free agent first baseman Justin Morneau before the Winter Meetings begin on December 9th. SOURCE: Troy Renck, Denver Post
Insight: Morneau (.259, 17 HR, 77 RBI) was a borderline fantasy player last season and he should see a nice boost in production from the hitter-friendly conditions at Coors Field, assuming the two sides can work out a deal. Morneau would be replacing Todd Helton at first base.
Garrett Jones, 1B11/25/2013 2:03:00 PM
Description: Pirates first baseman Garrett Jones has been designated for assignment.
Insight: Jones hit .233 last season, but has some pop in his bat with 15 HR and 51 RBI in 403 at-bats. He hit 27 homers in 2012, but the Pirates obviously didn't want to pay the price needed to keep him.
Andrew McCutchen, CF11/14/2013 8:55:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh center fielder Andrew McCutchen has been named the 2013 National League MVP.
Insight: McCutchen was instrumental in leading the Pirates back to the playoffs for the first time in 21 years. With a .317 average, 21 HR and 27 SB in 157 games, McCutchen was arguably the most complete player in either league this season.
A.J. Burnett, SP11/5/2013 8:45:00 PM
Description: According to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, free agent starter A.J. Burnett is strongly considering retirement.
Insight: Burnett only wants to play for the Pirates but that's unlikely to happen after the team declined to give him a qualifying offer before Monday's deadline. The 36-year-old is coming off arguably his best season after leading the team in strikeouts (209) and innings pitched (191).
Francisco Liriano, SP11/4/2013 10:33:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh ace Francisco Liriano took home Comeback Player of the Year honors for the National League.
Insight: Liriano won 16 games for the Pirates a year after going 6-12 with Minnesota. He went 1-0 in the playoffs with a 2.08 ERA in two starts.
Gerrit Cole, SPHot10/10/2013 9:53:00 AM
Description: It may not have come in a winning effort but Gerrit Cole gave the Pirates everything he had Wednesday in Game 5.
Insight: For the most part, Cole (5 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 5 K's, 1 BB) was matching Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright pitch for pitch. His lone blemish came in the second inning when he allowed a two-run homer to David Freese. Cole had his ups and downs early but he finished the season with a flourish. Even though he doesn't strike out a lot of hitters, Cole has the mental toughness to be one of the best pitchers in the National League someday. Expect him to have a huge season in 2014.
Francisco Liriano, SP10/9/2013 6:53:00 PM
Description: Game 3 starter Francisco Liriano will be available out of the pen should Pirates rookie Gerrit Cole run into trouble on Wednesday night. SOURCE: Stan McNeal, Fox Sports Midwest
Insight: While we're not expecting Clint Hurdle to pull a Joe Maddon, Cole will probably be on a pretty short leash. Liriano is 1-0 this postseason with a 2.08 ERA in two starts.
Gerrit Cole, SPHot10/9/2013 9:42:00 AM
Description: Pirates right-hander Gerrit Cole was the team's best pitcher in September and it's not surprising he got the call for the deciding game against St. Louis. The other option would have been A.J. Burnett, who gave up six hits and seven earned runs, in the series opener.
Insight: Cole put together a stunning September, going 4-0 with a 1.69 ERA and 1.063 WHIP then gave up just two hits and a single run in six innings against the Cardinals last Friday.
Russell Martin, C10/9/2013 9:32:00 AM
Description: Pittsburgh catcher Russell Martin is a career .409 hitter (9-for-22) against Cardinals NLDS Game 5 starter Adam Wainwright.
Insight: Martin didn't do much in the regular season, but his two-homer game sunk the Reds in the wild card game and he's batting .357 with six RBI this postseason.
Andrew McCutchen, CFHot10/9/2013 9:28:00 AM
Description: Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen is a .429 hitter (12-for-28) against St. Louis right-hander Adam Wainwright.
Insight: McCutchen has had a good postseason, batting .412 through four games against the Cardinals and one against the Reds (7-for-22).
Gerrit Cole, SPHot10/7/2013 9:10:00 PM
Description: The Pirates are going with Gerrit Cole in Game 5 against St. Louis. SOURCE: Michael Sanserino, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Insight: The rookie has been Pittsburgh's best pitcher lately so he'll get the nod over A.J. Burnett. Cole tossed six innings of two-hit ball last time out against the Cardinals in Game 2. He'll be pitching on normal rest.
Pedro Alvarez, 3BHot10/7/2013 6:26:00 PM
Description: El Toro strikes again. Pittsburgh third baseman Pedro Alvarez continued his torrid October Monday with a home run against the Cardinals.
Insight: The solo blast ended Michael Wacha's no-hit bid in the eighth inning. Three of Alvarez's four hits this postseason have come on home runs. Game 5 will be held Wednesday in St. Louis.
Russell Martin, C10/6/2013 11:08:00 AM
Description: Pittsburgh catcher Russell Martin has only faced Cardinals starter Joe Kelly four times, but has rapped out three hits, including a home run.
Insight: Martin is hitting .400 in three playoff games this season with a pair of home runs. Given this favorable matchup we think he's a must start Sunday.
Gerrit Cole, SPHot10/5/2013 9:03:00 AM
Description: Gerrit Cole's postseason debut was a success. The Pirates rookie pitched six innings of two-hit ball Friday in a win over top-seeded St. Louis.
Insight: Cole probably could have gone deeper into the game (he only threw 86 pitches) but Pittsburgh had a six-run cushion so he didn't have to. Cole has been spectacular since the All-Star break with seven victories and a 2.76 ERA in 13 starts.
Andrew McCutchen, CF10/4/2013 9:59:00 AM
Description: Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen is just a .154 hitter (4-for-26) with 10 strikeouts against St. Louis right-hander Lance Lynn.
Insight: McCutchen had a couple of singles against Adam Wainwright in the series opener, but this matchup doesn't bode well.
Starling Marte, LF10/4/2013 9:55:00 AM
Description: Pittsburgh left fielder Starling Marte is a career .462 hitter (.6-for-13) against Cardinals right-hander Lance Lynn.
Insight: Like most of his fellow Pirates hitters, Marte didn't do much in the series opener, going 0-for-4 with a pair of strikeouts. This is a much more favorable matchup.
Russell Martin, C10/3/2013 10:33:00 AM
Description: Pittsburgh catcher Russell Martin was the hero Tuesday night against Cincinnati (3-for-4, two homers). With Adam Wainwright throwing for the Cardinals in Game 1 of the Division Series, Martin has a chance to have another successful outing on Thursday.
Insight: Martin is hitting over .400 in his career against Wainwright. Prior to Tuesday night's offensive explosion, Martin had been just a .200 hitter in 115 postseason at bats. We'll see if either of these trends continue Thursday at Busch Stadium.
Andrew McCutchen, CF10/3/2013 10:19:00 AM
Description: Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen was brilliant Tuesday in his playoff debut (2-for-3, with two walks) and if history repeats itself, he should be in for another big day Thursday against St. Louis.
Insight: McCutchen has a .429 lifetime average versus Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright. He's also a .343 hitter in 108 career at bats at Busch Stadium. With numbers like that, the Cardinals would be wise to pitch around McCutchen this series.
Russell Martin, CCold10/1/2013 11:10:00 AM
Description: Pirates veteran catcher Russell Martin will likely be behind the plate for this one-game playoff, but he's just 1-for-12 against Cincinnati right-hander Johnny Cueto.
Insight: Martin has provided the team with leadership, but a .226 average isn't going to help many fantasy owners. He did hit 15 homers and knock in 55 runs, but most of his production came earlier in the season. Martin batted just .207 with a .651 OPS after the break.
Marlon Byrd, CFHot10/1/2013 11:03:00 AM
Description: Marlon Byrd is batting a .583 hitter (7-for-12) against Reds starter Johnny Cueto with a home run and a 1.560 OPS.
Insight: Byrd is batting .375 against Reds pitching this season while playing for both the Mets and Pirates. He put together the best season of his career in 2013, batting .291 with 24 HR and 88 RBI.
Jeff Locke, SP9/29/2013 1:32:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh lefty Jeff Locke won't pitch again in 2013. SOURCE: Michael Sanserino, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Insight: He was unlikely to make the team's postseason roster anyway. After putting together a stellar first half (8-2, 2.15 ERA in 109 innings), Locke hasn't looked right since the All-Star break (2-5, 6.12 in 12 appearances).
Justin Morneau, 1B9/29/2013 11:49:00 AM
Description: Pittsburgh first baseman Justin Morneau is sitting out Sunday's regular season finale against the Reds.
Insight: He's been splitting time at first base with Gaby Sanchez and Garrett Jones. At this stage of his career, Morneau (.259, 17 HR, 77 RBI) is only a borderline fantasy player.
Andrew McCutchen, CF9/29/2013 10:46:00 AM
Description: Pittsburgh center fielder Andrew McCutchen isn't starting Sunday's game against the Reds. SOURCE: Michael Sanserino, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Insight: They're saving him for Tuesday's Wild Card game, which is also against Cincinnati. The likely NL MVP will close out the 2013 regular season with 21 HR, 84 RBI, 27 SB and a .317 batting average.
Neil Walker, 2B9/28/2013 6:39:00 PM
Description: Neil Walker assured the Pirates of home field advantage for the NL Wild Card game by blasting two homers Saturday in a win over the Reds.
Insight: Walker's power surge has included six round-trippers in his last nine contests. His batting average has only improved marginally over that span, rising from .245 to where it sits now at .251.
Andrew McCutchen, CF9/28/2013 10:47:00 AM
Description: Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen went 0-for-3 against Bronson Arroyo last week and is 1-for-26 (.038) lifetime against the right-hander.
Insight: Arroyo starts Saturday, which means McCutchen will likely struggle. We still don't advise benching a guy who is hitting .317 with 20 homers, 83 RBI, 96 runs and 27 steals this season.
Pedro Alvarez, 3B9/28/2013 10:44:00 AM
Description: Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez has hit .313 with two homers over his last eight games and has a .500 average against Reds starter Bronson Arroyo.
Insight: After going 10-for-71 (.141) with one home run and 18 K from Aug. 28 to Sept. 18, Alvarez has picked up the pace recently and has a favorable matchup Saturday against Arroyo. He has gone 6-for-12 with three doubles and a homer against the Reds starter and is one RBI shy of 100.
Neil Walker, 2B9/28/2013 10:44:00 AM
Description: Pirates second baseman Neil Walker is 7-for-16 (.438) with two doubles and two homers in his career against Reds starter Bronson Arroyo.
Insight: Walker has hit four homers over his last eight games to give him 14 this year, but he still has had a disappointing season after flashing some positive signs in 2012. However, he should be started with Arroyo on the mound Saturday.
A.J. Burnett, SP9/27/2013 10:26:00 PM
Description: Pirates starter A.J. Burnett tossed eight innings and allowed five hits and a run with six strikeouts Friday versus the Reds.
Insight: The 36-year-old may have made his final start in the big leagues, as he is considering retirement and won't start again unless Pittsburgh wins the Wild Card play-in game. He went 10-11 with a 3.30 ERA, 209 strikeouts and a 1.21 WHIP this season.
Pedro Alvarez, 3B9/27/2013 10:23:00 PM
Description: Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez went 2-for-4 with a homer and two RBI Friday at Cincinnati.
Insight: After going 10-for-71 (.141) with one home run and 18 K from Aug. 28 to Sept. 18, Alvarez has .313 with two homers over his last eight games. The third baseman is hitting .231 with 35 homers, 99 RBI and a .761 OPS this season.
Jeff Locke, SPCold9/24/2013 6:08:00 PM
Description: Pirates pitcher Jeff Locke is not expected to start again this season, according to MLB.com.
Insight: Much like former Pirates pitcher James McDonald in 2012, Locke had a fantastic first half and a disastrous second half this season. He went 8-2 with a 2.15 ERA before the All-Star break and is 2-5 with a 6.12 ERA in the second half.
Russell Martin, C9/22/2013 8:03:00 PM
Description: Pirates catcher Russell Martin left Sunday's game due to left knee soreness.
Insight: Martin dealt with soreness in that knee earlier this season. He has provided the team with a .230 average, 15 homers and 55 RBI but most of his value comes from his work behind the plate, something fantasy owners cannot benefit from.
Andrew McCutchen, CF9/22/2013 10:25:00 AM
Description: Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen has been baffled by Cincinnati starter Bronson Arroyo.
Insight: McCutchen is 1-for-23 (.043) against Arroyo, though the one hit was a home run. He's also hitless in his last three games. We don't recommend sitting McCutchen Sunday because he's a fantasy star, but if he does have a big day it will have to come against Cincinnati's bullpen.
Neil Walker, 2B9/22/2013 10:23:00 AM
Description: Pirates second baseman Neil Walker has produced strong numbers against Reds starter Bronson Arroyo.
Insight: Walker had four hits Thursday and has homered in two of his last three games, but he's still hitting just .143 (7-for-49) over his last 14 games. He does have a .357 average with a double and a homer in 14 at-bats against Arroyo, however.
Marlon Byrd, CF9/22/2013 10:21:00 AM
Description: Marlon Byrd is batting .302 in 24 games since joining the Pirates, but he has just two homers in that timeframe.
Insight: Byrd set a new career high of 21 homers in 117 games with the Mets, but his power has regressed with Pittsburgh. If you still own him, he has a good matchup Sunday against Reds starter Bronson Arroyo. Byrd is 8-for-21 (.381) with two doubles and a homer against Arroyo.
Pedro Alvarez, 3BCold9/22/2013 10:18:00 AM
Description: Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez has a .500 lifetime average against Reds starter Bronson Arroyo.
Insight: He has five hits, including three doubles and a homer, in 10 at-bats against Arroyo. After making the NL All-Star team, Alvarez has had a miserable second half, hitting .202 with 10 homers and a .669 OPS. However, he's tied with Paul Goldschmidt for the league lead with 34 homers and needs six more RBI for his first 100-RBI season.
A.J. Burnett, SP9/21/2013 10:16:00 PM
Description: Pirates starter A.J. Burnett struck out 12 batters and allowed two runs on four hits over seven innings Saturday to help Pittsburgh defeat the Reds.
Insight: In what could be his final season, the 36-year-old reached 200 strikeouts for the first time since 2008 and the third time in his career. He's 9-11 despite posting a 3.39 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP.
Jason Grilli, RP9/21/2013 6:44:00 PM
Description: Pirates closer Jason Grilli will return to the closer role Saturday, according to Jon Morosi of FOXSports.com.
Insight: Grilli missed six weeks with a strained forearm and has allowed four runs on eight hits in five innings since returning. After Mark Melancon blew his second straight save chance Friday, the Pirates will go back to Grilli, who has 30 saves and a 2.85 ERA this year.
A.J. Burnett, SP9/21/2013 12:07:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh righthander A.J. Burnett said he's 50/50 about returning to play another season. SOURCE: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Insight: The 36-year-old may retire after the season. He's had another good year for the Pirates, though it hasn't shown up in the win/loss column (8-11, 3.43 ERA in 28 starts).
Mark Melancon, RPCold9/21/2013 9:19:00 AM
Description: Mark Melancon's worst stretch of the season couldn't have come at a worse time.
Insight: Pittsburgh's All-Star closer has blown two saves in a row with a 10.80 ERA in those two outings. Melancon's overall numbers are still excellent but the Pirates need more from him down the stretch. If Melancon (2-2, 1.30 ERA, 0.96 WHIP) continues to scuffle, the Pirates could go back to their original closer, fellow All-Star Jason Grilli.
Francisco Liriano, SP9/20/2013 10:57:00 PM
Description: Pirates starter Francisco Liriano gave up just three hits and two runs over eight innings Friday against the Reds, but Mark Melancon blew the save in the ninth to cost Liriano his 17th win.
Insight: Liriano has proved to be a fantastic pickup for the Pirates after several erratic seasons for the Twins over the last few years. He's 16-7 with a 2.88 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP and has struck out 155 batters in 156 innings.
Starling Marte, LF9/20/2013 3:08:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh left fielder Starling Marte was not in Thursday's lineup, but should be back in time for Friday's series opener with Cincinnati. Latest update - Marte is not in the starting lineup.
Insight: His wife went into labor Thursday morning. The outfielder has gone 1-for-7 with three strikeouts in two games since returning from a hand injury that kept him out of the lineup for nearly a month.
Starling Marte, LF9/20/2013 10:31:00 AM
Description: Pittsburgh left fielder Starling Marte was not in Thursday's lineup, but should be back in time for Friday's series opener with Cincinnati.
Insight: His wife went into labor Thursday morning. The outfielder has gone 1-for-7 with three strikeouts in two games since returning from a hand injury that kept him out of the lineup for nearly a month.
Neil Walker, 2B9/19/2013 6:51:00 PM
Description: Pirates second baseman Neil Walker had a big day Thursday against the Padres.
Insight: Walker went 4-for-5 with three RBI. He had been just two for his last 36 before today's game.
Gerrit Cole, SPHot9/19/2013 6:15:00 PM
Description: Pirates rookie Gerrit Cole set a new career-high in strikeouts Thursday versus San Diego.
Insight: He fanned 12 Padres in six innings of work. Cole (9-7, 3.23 ERA) projects as a rock solid No. 3 starter heading into the playoffs.
Francisco Liriano, SP9/19/2013 6:05:00 PM
Description: Lefthander Francisco Liriano is likely to start Pittsburgh's playoff opener. SOURCE: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Insight: It's looking like that start will be the do-or-die Wild Card game rather than Game 1 of the Division Series. In order to win the division, Pittsburgh needs to gain two games on St. Louis in the next week and a half.
Starling Marte, LF9/19/2013 10:58:00 AM
Description: Pittsburgh left fielder Starling Marte is not in Thursday's lineup. His wife went into labor this morning. SOURCE: Michael Sanserino, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Insight: If Pittsburgh was playing at 7 p.m. instead of 12:35 p.m. Marte probably would have played Thursday. However, the early start prevents him from being in the lineup. The outfielder has gone 1-for-7 with three strikeouts in two games since returning from a hand injury that kept him out of the lineup for nearly a month.
Charlie Morton, SP9/18/2013 9:57:00 PM
Description: Pirates righthander Charlie Morton had everything working Wednesday against San Diego (8 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 9 K's, 3 BB).
Insight: Unfortunately, closer Mark Melancon didn't hold up his end of the bargain in the ninth inning and the Pirates wound up losing by a count of 3-2. Still, this was easily the best game Morton (7-4, 3.35 ERA) has pitched all season. Morton seems to be rounding into form just in time for the playoffs.
Starling Marte, LF9/17/2013 5:20:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh left fielder Starling Marte (hand) is in the starting lineup Tuesday.
Insight: Marte hasn't started since Aug. 18 due to a contusion and sprained ligament in his right hand. He has been serving as a defensive replacement and pinch-runner but finally is ready to hit.
Starling Marte, LF9/15/2013 11:27:00 AM
Description: Pittsburgh left fielder Starling Marte has been playing the field but has yet to see an at bat since his return from the DL early last week. That should change this week when the Padres come to town. SOURCE: Rob Biertempfel, Pittsburgh Tribune
Insight: Manager Clint Hurdle acknowledged that Marte's hand probably won't be 100 percent the rest of the season but the Pirates need him if they want to make a deep postseason run. Getting a few at bats in before the playoffs is probably a good idea.
Andrew McCutchen, CFHot9/15/2013 10:34:00 AM
Description: Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen is just 1-for-16 (.063) against Cubs starter Travis Wood.
Insight: In fact, Wood (9-11, 3.05 ERA) has a 3.40 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP in 42 1/3 career innings against the Pirates. However, fantasy owners should never think about benching McCutchen, who is hitting .365 with nine home runs (24 XBH) and a 1.049 OPS since the All-Star break and .419 with a 1.207 OPS in August.
Gerrit Cole, SPHot9/14/2013 10:25:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh starter Gerrit Cole was firing on all cylinders Saturday versus the Cubs.
Insight: After an up and down first few months in the big leagues, Cole has really found his groove in September. In three September starts he's 2-0 with a 1.35 ERA. Cole usually isn't a big strikeout guy but he's averaged eight whiffs a game in his last two contests.
Wandy Rodriguez, SP9/14/2013 8:41:00 PM
Description: Pirates starter Wandy Rodriguez (elbow) won't pitch again this season. SOURCE: Rob Biertempfel, Pittsburgh Tribune
Insight: He'll finish the 2013 campaign with six wins and a 3.59 ERA in 12 starts. The Pirates have been without him since early June so this injury won't have much bearing on the pennant race.
Jeff Locke, SP9/12/2013 10:15:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh lefthander Jeff Locke (7 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 5 K's, 1 BB) earned his tenth win of the year Thursday against the Cubs.
Insight: Thursday was Locke's first victory in almost two months (July 21st against Cincinnati). He'll try and make it two straight when he pitches Tuesday against the Padres.
Starling Marte, LF9/12/2013 4:37:00 PM
Description: Pirates left fielder Starling Marte (bruised right ring finger) took full swings in a simulated game Thursday, which manager Clint Hurdle said is the "last piece" before Marte returns. SOURCE: Travis Sawchik, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Insight: The Pirates activated Marte last week even though he has been unable to swing with two hands due to a finger contusion. He isn't in the lineup Thursday but could be back Friday.
Justin Morneau, 1B9/11/2013 10:12:00 PM
Description: Pirates first baseman Justin Morneau was 6-for-27 in his first nine games with the team but he went 4-for-5 Wednesday against the Rangers.
Insight: Morneau snapped out of a 0-for-14 slump with the four-hit game but is still hitting just .203 over his last 59 at-bats.
Neil Walker, 2BCold9/11/2013 10:05:00 AM
Description: Pittsburgh second baseman Neil Walker is hitless in nine at-bats versus Texas starter Matt Garza.
Insight: Walker's recent hot streak is over as he's batted just .063 over the past five games (1-for-160. He doesn't figure to break out of his slump on Wednesday.
Pedro Alvarez, 3B9/11/2013 10:02:00 AM
Description: Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez is 5-for-12 (.417) with a 1.083 OPS versus Texas starter Matt Garza.
Insight: The Pirates third baseman, with a career .235 batting average, has been a great option for most of the season (.232, 32 HR, 88 RBI) and Wednesday should help those totals.
Starling Marte, LF9/11/2013 9:58:00 AM
Description: Pirates left fielder Starling Marte (bruised right ring finger) took batting practice Tuesday, according to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Insight: The Pirates activated Marte last week even though he has been unable to swing, but he was used as a pinch-runner in Tuesday's game.
Starling Marte, LF9/10/2013 5:40:00 PM
Description: Pirates left fielder Starling Marte (bruised right ring finger) took batting practice Tuesday, according to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Insight: The Pirates activated Marte last week even though he has been unable to swing two-handed due to a hand injury. Taking batting practice is a good first step toward returning to the lineup at some point this month.
Charlie Morton, SP9/10/2013 5:34:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh starter Charlie Morton (foot) expects to make his next start Friday against the Cubs, according to Michael Sanserino of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Insight: Morton left Sunday's start against the Cardinals in the second inning and was diagnosed with plantar fasciitis in his left foot.
Starling Marte, LF9/10/2013 10:52:00 AM
Description: Pirates left fielder Starling Marte (bruised right ring finger) is questionable for Tuesday's game against Texas
Insight: Much like Colorado's Carlos Gonzalez and Los Angeles' Peter Bourjos, Marte is active even though he cannot hit due to a hand injury. The September roster expansion allows those teams to keep them active as pinch-runners and defensive replacements. Obviously you have to avoid putting him in your lineup.
Gerrit Cole, SP9/9/2013 10:39:00 PM
Description: Pirates rookie Gerrit Cole won a classic pitcher's duel against Rangers starter Yu Darvish Monday in Texas.
Insight: Cole's seventh win of the season may have been his most impressive one yet. He finished the night with nine strikeouts in seven shutout innings. Cole will take the mound again Saturday versus Chicago.
Charlie Morton, SP9/8/2013 5:58:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh starter Charlie Morton left Sunday's game with a left foot injury.
Insight: He'll undergo treatment and further evaluation in the next few days, according to MLB.com. The good news for Morton is that he doesn't have an arm injury; the right-hander had Tommy John surgery last year.
Charlie Morton, SP9/8/2013 3:15:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh starter Charlie Morton was removed with an undisclosed injury Sunday against St. Louis.
Insight: He only made it through an inning and two thirds. The Cardinals hammered him for five runs on six hits over that span. Stolmy Pimentel has entered the game in Morton's place.
Starling Marte, LF9/8/2013 11:24:00 AM
Description: Pirates left fielder Starling Marte (finger) said his hand felt "brutal" swinging two-handed. SOURCE: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Insight: Much like Colorado's Carlos Gonzalez and Los Angeles' Peter Bourjos, Marte is active even though he cannot hit due to a hand injury. The September roster expansion allows those teams to keep them active as pinch-runners and defensive replacements.
Jeff Locke, SPCold9/7/2013 10:21:00 PM
Description: In his return to the Pirates rotation, Jeff Locke allowed three runs (two earned) on three hits with four walks over five innings.
Insight: Locke used smoke and mirrors to go 9-2 with a 2.11 ERA over his first 115 innings this year, but he has put 83 men on base and allowed 28 earned runs over his last 38 1/3 innings (6.57 ERA, 2.17 WHIP). Saturday was his first outing since being demoted to the minors in late August.
Starling Marte, LF9/7/2013 6:38:00 PM
Description: Pirates left fielder Starling Marte (finger) has been activated from the 15-day disabled list even though he is unable to hit.
Insight: Marte, who is out with a sprained right ring finger and cannot yet grip a bat, will serve as a defensive replacement and a pinch runner.
James McDonald, SP9/7/2013 3:35:00 PM
Description: Pirates right-hander James McDonald was an All-Star just a season ago and a valuable member of many fantasy rotations, but he was designated for assignment on Saturday.
Insight: The Pirates have dealt with injures and poor pitching (2-2, 5.76 ERA, 1.65 WHIP) and apparently finally gave up.
Andrew McCutchen, CF9/7/2013 11:17:00 AM
Description: Pittsburgh center fielder Andrew McCutchen is a career .400 hitter versus Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright with a 1.149 OPS.
Insight: McCutchen isn't going to reach last year's 31 home run mark, but he's having another excellent all-around season batting .320 with 19 HR, 76 RBI, 87 runs, 27 steals and playing great defense.
Starling Marte, LF9/4/2013 6:31:00 PM
Description: Pirates left fielder Starling Marte (finger) still cannot let loose throwing the ball or take swings two-handed, according to Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Insight: Marte, who is out with a sprained right ring finger, has no timetable for a return.
Jason Grilli, RP9/3/2013 6:00:00 PM
Description: Pirates closer Jason Grilli (forearm) will return to Pittsburgh's bullpen Tuesday night.
Insight: Grilli has been out for six weeks with a strained right forearm. He had 30 saves and a 2.34 ERA before his injury and will likely reclaim the closer job from Mark Melancon. However, that's not guaranteed so Melancon owners should hold onto him.
Jeff Locke, SP9/3/2013 5:52:00 PM
Description: According to Tom Singer of MLB.com, Jeff Locke will rejoin the Pirates rotation Saturday against the Cardinals.
Insight: Locke was demoted to the minors at the end of August to rest after struggling for the last month. The left-hander was 9-2 with a 2.11 ERA after his start on July 21 but he has gone 0-2 with a 7.02 ERA and a 2.28 WHIP over his last seven starts. He'll need to pitch well to earn a spot in the postseason rotation.
Pedro Alvarez, 3B9/3/2013 1:53:00 AM
Description: Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez is just 1-for-20 (.050) with nine strikeouts against Milwaukee right-hander Yovani Gallardo.
Insight: The Pirates third baseman has been a great option for most of the season (.232, 32 HR, 86 RBI), but is not a good choice for Tuesday.
Neil Walker, 2BHot9/2/2013 7:57:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh second baseman Neil Walker is 11-for-26 with a double, a triple, two homers and seven RBI over his last six games.
Insight: He went 2-for-5 with a homer and three RBI Monday against the Brewers. Walker is hitting .316 with four home runs and 16 RBI over his last 34 games.
Charlie Morton, SPHot9/2/2013 7:53:00 PM
Description: Pirates right-hander Charlie Morton had another strong outing Monday against the Brewers, tossing seven innings and allowing two runs (one earned) with six K.
Insight: Morton is 4-0 with a 1.74 ERA in 41 1/3 innings over his last six starts and is 7-3 with a 3.00 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP in 90 innings this season.
Gerrit Cole, SP9/1/2013 3:08:00 PM
Description: According to Tom Singer of MLB.com, Pirates GM Neal Huntington confirmed that Gerrit Cole will start Tuesday against the Brewers.
Insight: Cole is 6-7 with a 3.80 ERA since making his big league debut. He has thrown 153 1/3 innings between Triple-A and the majors this year, up from 132 last season, so the team may choose to shut him down at some point.
Andrew McCutchen, CFHot9/1/2013 10:11:00 AM
Description: Pittsburgh center fielder Andrew McCutchen went 38-for-99 (.384) with five doubles, two triples, two homers, 15 RBI and a 19/20 K/BB in August.
Insight: McCutchen's HR/PA is down from 4.6 percent to 3.0 percent since last season, but McCutchen has trimmed his strikeout rate from 19.6 percent to 15.3 percent, is batting .317 and has 81 runs, 74 RBI and 27 steals. He's everything a fantasy owners could want.
Neil Walker, 2B8/31/2013 10:16:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh second baseman Neil Walker has gone 8-for-17 with a double, a triple, a homer and four RBI over his last four games.
Insight: Walker hasn't been able to put together an extended hot streak. He started off the month hitting .329 with an .859 OPS over the first 18 games before falling in a 1-for-18 slump. That's been the story of this season for Walker, who is hitting .262 with a .762 OPS after going 3-for-4 with a triple and one RBI Saturday.
Russell Martin, C8/31/2013 10:13:00 PM
Description: Pirates catcher Russell Martin went 1-for-3 with a homer, three RBI, a walk and two runs Saturday against the Cardinals.
Insight: Martin has homered in two straight games and 13 times this season. He's hitting .243 with 51 RBI and a .748 OPS this year.
A.J. Burnett, SP8/31/2013 10:08:00 PM
Description: Pirates starter A.J. Burnett fired seven innings and allowed one run on four hits with six strikeouts Saturday against the Cardinals to pick up his seventh win.
Insight: Burnett had an up-and-down month, going 3-2 with a 3.79 ERA in six starts. He has a 3.09 ERA this season, a career best, but he has gone just 7-9.
Justin Morneau, 1B8/31/2013 2:38:00 PM
Description: Twins first baseman Justin Morneau has been traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Insight: The Pirates were in need of first base help and traded for the best possible option on the market. After hitting seven homers prior to the All-Star break, Morneau has 10 in his last 41 games.
Andrew McCutchen, CF8/31/2013 10:29:00 AM
Description: Pittsburgh center fielder Andrew McCutchen is just a .174 hitter with eight strikeouts against Cardinals right-hander Lance Lynn.
Insight: McCutchen (.320, 17 HR, 74 RBI, 81 runs, 27 SB) has done everything a fantasy owner could have asked for, including batting .400 over the past four weeks to help in the stretch drive. He's a fantasy stud, he just isn't likely to have a big day against Lynn.
Garrett Jones, 1BCold8/30/2013 10:22:00 PM
Description: Pirates first baseman Garrett Jones went 3-for-4 with a homer and four RBI Friday against St. Louis.
Insight: Jones had just one multi-hit game this month prior to Friday. He's 10-for-63 (.159) in August.
Francisco Liriano, SP8/30/2013 10:16:00 PM
Description: Pirates starter Francisco Liriano easily dispatched the Cardinals Friday night to help Pittsburgh tie for first place in the NL Central.
Insight: Over eight two-hit innings, Liriano struck out six, walked two and didn't give up a run to win his 15th game of the season, tied for first in the NL and second in the majors. Liriano still has not had two consecutive subpar starts this season.
Jason Grilli, RP8/30/2013 4:58:00 PM
Description: Pirates closer Jason Grilli (flexor strain in his right forearm) will start a minor league rehab assignment Saturday with Double-A Altoona, according to Tom Singer of MLB.com.
Insight: Grilli will throw one inning Saturday and another one Monday before making another appearance with Triple-A Indianapolis. The right-hander should be back in the bullpen by the second week of September.
Jeff Locke, SP8/29/2013 9:28:00 PM
Description: Jeff Locke's stay in the minor leagues won't be a long one. He's expected to rejoin the Pirates rotation next Tuesday against Milwaukee. SOURCE: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Insight: The Bucs have opted to skip Locke's turn in the rotation on Sunday to give him some extra rest. He's really struggled in the second half but it appears the Pirates still have faith in him. Fantasy owners, however, may not be as forgiving.
Starling Marte, LF8/29/2013 4:20:00 PM
Description: Pirates left fielder Starling Marte (finger) has an outside shot at playing rehab games next weekend, according to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Insight: Marte, who is out with a sprained right ring finger, took one-handed swings Thursday and could swing with two hands over the weekend. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Tuesday that Marte wouldn't swing a bat for another two weeks.
Pedro Alvarez, 3B8/29/2013 11:10:00 AM
Description: Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez is only batting .208 with a .696 OPS over his last 38 games and he has been shut down by Brewers starter Yovani Gallardo in their previous meetings.
Insight: Gallardo has limited Alvarez to one hit over 17 at-bats while striking him out eight times. The Pirates third baseman is not a good option Thursday.
Charlie Morton, SPHot8/29/2013 9:49:00 AM
Description: Pirates right-hander Charlie Morton is 3-0 with a 1.83 ERA over his last five starts.
Insight: Morton has allowed 86 hits in 83 innings this season, but he has a solid 2.28 BB/9 and a 0.54 HR/9. His ERA dropped to 3.14 after he threw 6 2/3 innings and allowed just one unearned run Wednesday against Milwaukee.
Marlon Byrd, CFHot8/29/2013 9:47:00 AM
Description: Marlon Byrd homered to dead center fielder in his first game with the Pirates.
Insight: Byrd hit a career-high 21 homers in 117 games with the Mets this season, and he added to that total Wednesday. He's hitting .284 with 74 RBI and an .852 OPS.
Jeff Locke, SPCold8/28/2013 8:33:00 PM
Description: The Pirates are sending struggling lefthander Jeff Locke down to Double-A Altoona.
Insight: Locke has officially reached rock bottom. In less than two months, he's gone from an All-Star to a full-fledged fantasy disaster. Since the break, Locke is 1-2 with an ERA over six. Opponents are hitting .340 against him over that span. At this point, it's doubtful Locke (9-4, 3.22 ERA in 26 starts) would be asked to start a game in the postseason.
Pedro Alvarez, 3B8/27/2013 10:42:00 PM
Description: Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez went 4-for-4 with a solo home run Tuesday against the Brewers.
Insight: Even with the big game, Alvarez is hitting .219 with 52 K in 36 games since the All-Star break and .233 with 34 K in 22 games this month. However, he is 10-for-27 (.370) with two homers and seven total extra-base hits over his last seven games.
Jeff Locke, SPCold8/27/2013 10:37:00 PM
Description: Pirates starter Jeff Locke's season continued to unravel Tuesday against the Brewers.
Insight: Locke allowed five earned runs on eight hits over 4 2/3 innings. After going 9-2 with a 2.11 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP over his first 115 innings, Locke is 0-2 with a 7.02 ERA and a 2.28 WHIP over 33 1/3 his last seven starts.
Starling Marte, LF8/27/2013 5:50:00 PM
Description: Pirates left fielder Starling Marte (finger) won't swing a bat for another two weeks, according to Michael Sanserino of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Insight: Marte is eligible to return Sept. 3, but he won't come close to that date. It's likely he won't be back until the latter half of September. The 24-year-old has been a tremendous fantasy player this season, hitting .282 with 11 homers, 79 runs, 35 steals and a .786 OPS in 118 games.
Marlon Byrd, CFHot8/27/2013 5:36:00 PM
Description: Marlon Byrd is now a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Insight: The Mets traded him along with John Buck to the Pirates Tuesday for a minor leaguer and a player to be named later. The 35-year-old Byrd is having a career year, hitting .285 with a career-high 21 homers and 71 RBI. He'll take over as Pittsburgh's starting right fielder.
Jose Tabata, RF8/27/2013 10:35:00 AM
Description: Pirates right fielder Jose Tabata is 12-for-23 (.522) with four extra base hits and a 1.386 OPS versus Milwaukee starter Kyle Lohse.
Insight: Tabata has a pair of three-hit games in his last four starts. He's batting .269 with 4 HR, 20 RBI and a .744 OPS in 80 games. He's worth a one-day flier.
Neil Walker, 2BHot8/25/2013 11:30:00 AM
Description: Pittsburgh second baseman Neil Walker has picked up seven hits (four 2B) in just 13 at-bats against Giants starter Ryan Vogelsong.
Insight: With Vogelsong on the mound Sunday, make sure Walker is in your fantasy lineup. The Pirates second baseman has a significantly lower strikeout rate and similar and batted ball distribution to 2012, including a 24.6 percent line-drive rate, but his average is down 25 points due in large part to a 35-point drop in BABIP. Part of that is Walker's fault as he has exhibited a dropoff in power, hitting .178 with a 13.6 percent extra-base hit rate on flyballs this year compared to .246 with a 20.8 percent extra-base hit rate on flies in 2012.
Starling Marte, LF8/24/2013 7:46:00 PM
Description: A sprained finger will send Pittsburgh left fielder Starling Marte to the 15-day DL.
Insight: The roster move is retroactive to August 19th. Marte has had a brilliant season for the Bucs (.282, 11 HR, 33 RBI, 35 SB) and will be very difficult to replace at the top of the order. Pittsburgh is hoping Marte will be able to return as soon as he's eligible to on September 3rd.
Russell Martin, CCold8/24/2013 12:08:00 PM
Description: Pirates catcher Russell Martin is a career .100 hitter (2-for-20) versus Giants hurler Tim Lincecum.
Insight: He's batting .246 with 11 homers and 47 RBI, but hasn't produced much since a strong April. Martin continues to do an excellent job behind the plate for the Pirates so will likely play through these bad matchups to help the pitching staff. Fantasy owners don't need to suffer, however, choose another catcher.
Starling Marte, LF8/23/2013 11:47:00 AM
Description: Pirates left fielder Starling Marte's sore right ring finger kept him out Thursday, but he was available to pinch hit so he should be very close to returning.
Insight: Marte has become a solid fantasy contributor, batting .282 as the team's leadoff hitter with 11 HR, 33 RBI, 79 runs and 35 stolen bases. We'd like to see him improve his steal percentage as he's been caught 13 times.
Wandy Rodriguez, SP8/22/2013 9:12:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh lefthander Wandy Rodriguez suffered another setback in his return from a forearm injury Thursday while pitching in a simulated game. SOURCE: Tom Singer, MLB.com
Insight: Dr. James Andrews will take a look at his arm sometime next week. Tommy John surgery could be in Rodriguez's future. Don't expect to see him back on a baseball field in 2013.
Starling Marte, LF8/21/2013 4:18:00 PM
Description: Pirates left fielder Starling Marte's sore right ring finger kept him out Tuesday and he will not be in Wednesday starting lineup either.
Insight: Marte was initially in Tuesday's lineup but was scratched, so we thought he was close, but apparently not close enough.
Neil Walker, 2BHot8/21/2013 11:00:00 AM
Description: Pittsburgh second baseman Neil Walker is 6-for-12 with two homers and seven RBI in 12 at-bats against Padres right-hander Ian Kennedy.
Insight: Walker has been a solid producer in August, batting .329 in 18 games and should be a nice option on Wednesday.
Starling Marte, LF8/21/2013 9:51:00 AM
Description: Pirates left fielder Starling Marte's sore right ring finger kept him out Tuesday and he is questionable for Wednesday's game against San Diego.
Insight: Marte was initially in Tuesday's lineup but was scratched, according to Tom Singer of MLB.com, so he must be close to returning.
Starling Marte, LF8/20/2013 8:41:00 PM
Description: Pirates left fielder Starling Marte's sore right ring finger kept him out again Tuesday.
Insight: Marte was initially in the lineup but was scratched, according to Tom Singer of MLB.com.
Starling Marte, LF8/19/2013 10:33:00 PM
Description: Pirates left fielder Starling Marte sat out Monday's game against the Padres because of a bruised hand.
Insight: It's not considered a serious injury. Jose Tabata (.268, 4 HR, 17 RBI) will make the start in Marte's place.
Gerrit Cole, SP8/18/2013 12:25:00 PM
Description: Despite a strong outing on Friday, Pittsburgh righthander Gerrit Cole isn't assured a place in the team's starting rotation for September and October. SOURCE: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Insight: If the Pirates make the postseason, they'd probably go with a rotation of A.J. Burnett, Francisco Liriano, Jeff Locke and Wandy Rodriguez, which leaves Cole as the odd man out. To prepare him for his role as a reliever, Cole may shift to the bullpen before the end of the season. Nothing is official yet and for now Cole (6-5, 3.88 ERA) is still scheduled to start Wednesday against the Padres.
Garrett Jones, 1B8/18/2013 11:36:00 AM
Description: First baseman Garrett Jones will be on the sidelines Sunday when the Pirates take on Arizona.
Insight: Jones is hitless in the series (0-for-7). Gaby Sanchez, who went 1-for-1 with a double on Saturday, will get the nod at first base.
Neil Walker, 2B8/18/2013 11:32:00 AM
Description: Pittsburgh second baseman Neil Walker has been given the day off Sunday versus Arizona.
Insight: It's Walker's first off-day since July 30th. Jordy Mercer (.271, 5 HR, 19 RBI) will fill in at second base.
Pedro Alvarez, 3B8/15/2013 9:42:00 AM
Description: Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez hit his 29th home run of the season Wednesday night against the Cardinals.
Insight: Alvarez is in a slump -- he's hitting .192 with five home runs and a .634 OPS since the All-Star break and has zero multi-hit efforts over his last 20 games -- but he's been known to go into much worse downswings where he offers virtually nothing for 2-3 weeks; fantasy owners can't complain too much.
Francisco Liriano, SP8/14/2013 10:50:00 PM
Description: Pirates lefthander Francisco Liriano recorded his second complete game of the season Wednesday in a 5-1 win over St. Louis.
Insight: He's 2-0 against the Cardinals this season with a 1.13 ERA. Liriano's last start was a disaster (2 1/3 IP, 12 H, 10 ER versus Colorado) so it's good to see him get back on track.
Wandy Rodriguez, SP8/14/2013 6:53:00 PM
Description: Pirates left-hander Wandy Rodriguez (forearm) threw a 35-pitch bullpen Tuesday with only fastballs and changeups. He'll mix in his curveball Friday. SOURCE: Michael Sanserino, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Insight: Rodriguez is making progress in his rehab from forearm tightness but is still not expected to return until after Sept. 1. He hasn't pitched since June 5.
Jason Grilli, RP8/14/2013 3:48:00 PM
Description: Pirates closer Jason Grilli (flexor strain in his right forearm), played catch and felt good, according to Tom Singer of MLB.com.
Insight: The right-hander was expected to rest for 4-8 weeks, but we're three weeks since he last pitched (July 22). He's still not expected to return until September.
Jose Tabata, RF8/14/2013 11:15:00 AM
Description: Pirates right fielder Jose Tabata is questionable for Wednesday's game against St. Louis with flu-like symptoms.
Insight: The illness gave the Pirates a chance to use just called up youngster Andre Lambo, who has hit 31 homers between Double-A and Triple-A this season. the 25-year-old Lambo went hitless in his big league debut on Tuesday.
Jose Tabata, RF8/13/2013 11:30:00 AM
Description: Pirates right fielder Jose Tabata is one of four likely starters who own a batting average of at least .385 against Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright.
Insight: Tabata is 6-for-13 (.462) against Wainwright and should get the start along with Russell Martin (.474), Neil Walker (.385) and Andrew McCutchen (.391).
Andrew Lambo, LF8/12/2013 4:13:00 PM
Description: The Pittsburgh Pirates will call up IF/OF Andrew Lambo for Tuesday's three-game opener against St. Louis.
Insight: Lambo has long ball power having blasted a total of 31 homers between Altoona and Indianapolis. He could be a useful option for those looking to add power to their fantasy lineup.
Gerrit Cole, SP8/11/2013 2:26:00 PM
Description: Pirates starter Gerrit Cole won't make his next start until Friday, according to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Insight: The team has a day off Monday, so they can push Cole back from Wednesday to Friday to get him some extra rest. The rookie has struggled lately, allowing seven earned runs in 10 1/3 innings over his last two starts. He's 5-5 with a 3.95 ERA and a 47/15 K/BB in his first 11 big league starts.
Starling Marte, LF8/11/2013 2:22:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh left fielder Starling Marte (hand) is not in the lineup Sunday.
Insight: Marte was hit by a pitch in his left hand in the seventh inning Saturday. He's day-to-day with a contusion.
Wandy Rodriguez, SP8/11/2013 1:52:00 PM
Description: Pirates left-hander Wandy Rodriguez (elbow) said he had "no problems" after throwing a 25-pitch bullpen session Saturday, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Insight: It was his first session since his setback in late June. He's tentatively scheduled to throw another session Wednesday that will be finalized if he feels good Sunday. Rodriguez is still not expected to return until after Sept. 1.
Starling Marte, LF8/11/2013 10:34:00 AM
Description: Pittsburgh left fielder Starling Marte left Saturday's game with a left hand contusion and is day-to-day, according to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Insight: Marte was hit by a pitch in his left hand in the seventh inning Saturday. Fortunately, he doesn't have a fracture. He's questionable for Sunday's game.
Francisco Liriano, SP8/9/2013 10:54:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh starter Francisco Liriano imploded Friday against the Rockies, allowing 12 hits and ten earned runs in just 2 1/3 innings.
Insight: Unless the Pirates can erase a 10-1 deficit, Liriano will pick up his fifth loss of the season. We're not sure what happened to Liriano tonight. Just six days ago, he dominated these same Rockies, allowing just two hits over seven scoreless innings. He'll go back to the drawing board next week against St. Louis.
Jose Tabata, RF8/9/2013 10:46:00 AM
Description: Pirates right fielder Jose Tabata is 4-for-10 with a pair of homers and a 1.455 OPS versus Colorado starter Jorge De La Rosa.
Insight: Tabata is only a part-time player these days, but this matchup, along with an injury to Andrew McCutchen, could persuad the team to get him back in the starting lineup and if that happens he should be in fantasy lineups.
Andrew McCutchen, CF8/9/2013 10:24:00 AM
Description: Pittsburgh center fielder Andrew McCutchen didn't start on Thursday and is questionable for Friday's game against Colorado.
Insight: He was scratched because of right shoulder discomfort, but did end up getting into the game as a pinch hitter. McCutchen (.313, 16 HR, 65 RBI, 71 runs, 24 SB) has only missed three games all season.
Neil Walker, 2B8/8/2013 9:12:00 PM
Description: Pirates second baseman Neil Walker went 3-for-3 with two RBI Thursday against Miami.
Insight: Walker is 17-for-43 (.395) with six doubles, a homer and five RBI over his last 12 games. The second baseman has a 25 percent line-drive rate this season, so it's about time he saw some better luck on balls in play.
Andrew McCutchen, CF8/8/2013 11:55:00 AM
Description: Pittsburgh center fielder Andrew McCutchen won't play Thursday against the Marlins.
Insight: He was scratched because of right shoulder discomfort. Starling Marte, usually the team's left fielder, will get the start in center in McCutchen's place. Alex Presley will take over for Marte in left. McCutchen (.312, 16 HR, 65 RBI, 24 SB) has only missed three games this season.
Andrew McCutchen, CFHot8/7/2013 10:29:00 PM
Description: Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen has collected two hits and at least one RBI in five straight games.
Insight: McCutchen went yard for the 16th time this season Wednesday against Miami and was 2-for-3 with a walk and a steal in the game. McCutchen, who has trimmed his strikeout rate from 19.6 percent to 14.9 percent and raised his line-drive rate from 21.9 percent to 24.7 percent from 2012 to 2013, is now hitting .312 with 16 home runs, 65 RBI, 71 runs and 24 steals. He's easily a top-10 fantasy asset.
Charlie Morton, SP8/7/2013 10:25:00 PM
Description: Pirates right-hander Charlie Morton gave up two runs on six hits, didn't walk a batter and struck out five in seven innings Wednesday against Miami.
Insight: Morton has issued just four free passes over his last 31 2/3 innings after walking nine in his first 24. He's 4-3 with a 3.88 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP over 55 2/3 innings since returning from his Tommy John surgery rehab.
Wandy Rodriguez, SP8/7/2013 7:54:00 PM
Description: Pirates left-hander Wandy Rodriguez (elbow) threw off a mound Wednesday for the first time since leaving a start in early June with forearm discomfort.
Insight: Rodriguez is scheduled to throw a bullpen session Saturday. If he can get through that, we should have a more exact timetable for his return.
Jeff Locke, SPCold8/6/2013 10:22:00 PM
Description: Pirates lefty Jeff Locke has allowed 27 hits and walked 10 batters over his last 16 1/3 innings.
Insight: Locke, who has been unreal with runners on base all season, has limited the damage to nine earned runs in that span (4.96 ERA) despite recording a 2.27 WHIP. After posting a .223 BABIP and a 3.77 FIP (2.11 ERA) over his first 19 starts this year, Locke is finally experiencing some regression.
A.J. Burnett, SP8/4/2013 5:41:00 PM
Description: Pirates righthander A.J. Burnett shut down the Rockies Sunday for his fifth win of the season.
Insight: He's allowed two earned runs or fewer in each of his last seven starts. Sunday's win was actually Burnett's first since June 8th. Burnett's next start will be Saturday against these same Rockies.
Russell Martin, C8/4/2013 9:32:00 AM
Description: Pirates catcher Russell Martin is questionable for Sunday's game against Colorado with a sore left knee.
Insight: Martin sat out Saturday's game, but could return for the series finale. He's batting .252 with nine homers and 38 RBI, but hasan't produced much since a strong April. There should be better fantasy options out there than a gimpy Martin.
Francisco Liriano, SPHot8/3/2013 10:56:00 PM
Description: Pirates ace Francisco Liriano pitched seven innings of two-hit baseball as he continues to show that old magic. He's now 12-4 this season.
Insight: Liriano has gone from a posting an ERA above 5.00 in three of the previous four seasons with Minnesota to a Cy Young contender with the Pirates. He's one of the major reasons why Pittsburgh leads the majors in ERA.
Pedro Alvarez, 3B8/3/2013 7:09:00 PM
Description: Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez is not in Saturday's starting lineup. Josh Harrison will man the hot corner.
Insight: Alvarez is batting .240, but with tremendous power - 27 homers and 71 RBI. He still strikes out too much (127 times in 367 at-bats), but it's hard to keep him out of the lineup.
Garrett Jones, 1B8/2/2013 10:00:00 AM
Description: Pirates 1B/OF Garrett Jones is 5-for-9 against Colorado right-hander Jhoulys Chacin with a pair of homers and a 1.859 OPS.
Insight: Jones hasn't hit one out in 11 games, but this favorable matchup might be just the thing to change that situation.
Wandy Rodriguez, SP8/1/2013 9:35:00 PM
Description: Pirates left-hander Wandy Rodriguez (elbow) is not likely to return before September, according to MLB.com.
Insight: Rodriguez played catch from 60 feet Thursday, nearly two months after he left a start with forearm discomfort. He'll need to throw a bullpen session before he has a timetable, and he's not quite ready to do that yet. "I need to throw a side, hard. After a bullpen I'll be able to tell you guys more about how I feel," Rodriguez told reporters.
Andrew McCutchen, CF7/31/2013 9:45:00 AM
Description: Pirates star center fielder Andrew McCutchen is a .429 hitter against Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright.
Insight: McCutchen hit his 15th homer of the season Tuesday, is 5-for-14 with five runs scored over his last three games and has nine hits in 21 at-bats against Wednesday's scheduled starter. He could be in for a big day.
Russell Martin, C7/31/2013 9:42:00 AM
Description: Pirates catcher Russell Martin has crushed Cy Young candidate Adam Wainwright in their previous showdowns.
Insight: Martin owns a .500 lifetime average (8-for-16) with two doubles and two walks against Wainwright. The Cardinals righty has never struck out Martin, who is hitting .247 with nine homers, nine steals and a .753 OPS this season.
Andrew McCutchen, CFCold7/30/2013 10:13:00 AM
Description: Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen is just 3-for-17 (.176) with five strikeouts versus Cardinals right-hander Lance Lynn.
Insight: McCutchen has had a tough last seven days, batting just .227 over six games, but is still over the .300 mark for the season.
Pedro Alvarez, 3B7/29/2013 10:06:00 PM
Description: Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez went 1-for-4 with a three-run homer and a walk Monday against the Cardinals.
Insight: Alvarez came in 12-for-21 (.571) with two homers and a 1.543 OPS against St. Louis starter Jake Westbrook, and he greeted Westbrook with a first-inning blast Monday night. Alvarez' production tailed off somewhat this month after his monster June, but he still has seven homers in July and 27 on the year.
Francisco Liriano, SPHot7/29/2013 10:01:00 PM
Description: Pirates ace Francisco Liriano dropped his ERA to 2.16 in a win over St. Louis Monday.
Insight: Liriano (11-4) has gone from a posting an ERA above 5.00 in three of the previous four seasons with Minnesota to a Cy Young contender with the Pirates. He's one of the major reasons why Pittsburgh leads the majors in ERA.
Pedro Alvarez, 3B7/29/2013 11:26:00 AM
Description: Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez owns a stunning .571 batting average (12-for-21) with a pair of home runs and a 1.543 OPS against Cardinals starter Jake Westbrook.
Insight: The streaky Alvarez was a huge factor in June (.309, 10 HR, 24 RBI, 1.060 OPS), but July wasn't nearly as productive. Still, this matchup should warrant must-start status.
Gerrit Cole, SP7/28/2013 7:10:00 PM
Description: Pirates starter Gerrit Cole struck out eight batters and allowed four hits and three earned runs over seven innings in a loss to the Marlins Sunday.
Insight: Cole has lived up to expectations, going 5-4 with a 3.56 ERA, a 1.13 WHIP and 37 K in 55 2/3 innings. The right-hander has walked just 12 batters (1.94 BB/9).
Russell Martin, C7/28/2013 11:21:00 AM
Description: Pirates catcher Russell Martin is back in the lineup Sunday against Miami. SOURCE: Travis Sawchik, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Insight: Martin tweaked his knee Friday night and got the day off on Saturday. He's not 100 percent, but neither is his backup Michael McKenry (knee). The Pirates have Tony Sanchez available off the bench if Martin aggravates the injury.
Michael McKenry, C7/27/2013 10:40:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh catcher Michael McKenry blew up for four hits Saturday in a win over the Marlins.
Insight: It's the first four-hit game of McKenry's career. He's only seen 115 at bats in 2013 and even after the four-hit performance he's still hitting just .217 for the season. Unless Russell Martin gets injured, you won't need to pay much attention to McKenry going forward.
Jason Grilli, RP7/26/2013 3:35:00 PM
Description: According to Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pirates closer Jason Grilli has been diagnosed with a flexor strain in his right forearm.
Insight: Grilli was examined by Dr. James Andrews in addition to team doctors. The right-hander won't have surgery, but will need to rest for 4-8 weeks. He'll be reevaluated in about two weeks and the team should be able to provide a more precise timetable then. Mark Melancon will hold onto the closer role while Grilli is out and should be added in all leagues.
Wandy Rodriguez, SP7/25/2013 5:40:00 PM
Description: Pirates left-hander Wandy Rodriguez (elbow) made about 60 throws on flat ground from 80 feet Wednesday, according to Tom Singer of MLB.com.
Insight: Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said that Rodriguez still has a "long way to go." The lefty hasn't pitched since early June due to forearm and elbow soreness.
Neil Walker, 2B7/25/2013 11:23:00 AM
Description: Pirates second baseman Neil Walker is not in Thursday afternoon's starting lineup.
Insight: Walker missed two weeks earlier this month with a right oblique strain, but this doesn't appear to be related. He is only hitting .240 this season with a .721 OPS.
Francisco Liriano, SPHot7/24/2013 10:25:00 PM
Description: Pirates ace Francisco Liriano notched his tenth win of the season Wednesday against the Nationals.
Insight: Where is this coming from? After a few brutal seasons in Minnesota, Liriano has completely reinvented himself in Pittsburgh. Tonight he allowed just two hits in 7 2/3 shutout innings, walking three with eight strikeouts. His 2.23 ERA is tied for third-best in the National League.


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