Fantasy MLB
Pittsburgh Pirates Player Notes
For The Last 365 Days
 
Edinson Volquez, SP12/17/2014 6:02:00 PM
Description: Starter Edinson Volquez has agreed to a two-year, $20 million contract with the Kansas City Royals according to CBS Sports reporter Jon Heyman.
Insight: Volquez had a great bounce back year with a 3.04 ERA, 1.23 WHIP and nearly twice as many strikeouts as walks over 192 2/3 innings in 2014 with the Pirates. Volquez, however, was one of the worst pitchers in the league in 2013, and Pittsburgh has become a pitcher's heaven, where down-and-out pitchers revitalize their careers. Francisco Liriano and A.J. Burnett were the first to do that with the Pirates and now Volquez. Now let's see if Volquez can be better than Burnett was after he left Pittsburgh.
Francisco Liriano, SP12/9/2014 5:15:00 PM
Description: Francisco Liriano and the Pirates have agreed to a three-year, $39 million contract according to Robert Murray of MLB Daily Rumors and Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
Insight: It's nice to finally see the Pirates open up the wallets a bit to keep an important player to their cause. Liriano has posted a 3.20 ERA with 338 strikeouts in 323 1/3 innings over two seasons in Pittsburgh. Last season, he was just 7-10 but had a 3.38 ERA in 162 1/3 innings.
A.J. Burnett, SP11/14/2014 4:46:00 PM
Description: Right-hander A.J. Burnett will return to the scene of his last successful seasons, Pittsburgh, for 2015.
Insight: Burnett agreed to a one year deal. He was 26-21 in two seasons with the Pirates from 2012-13. He'll try an capture the magic again after an 8-18 campaign in Philadelphia.
Russell Martin, C10/10/2014 9:00:00 PM
Description: Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that catcher Russell Martin turned down a contract extension from the Pirates during the second half of the regular season.
Insight: Heyman also reported the two sides negotiated in spring training but the Pirates opted not to extend a contract offer at that point. Martin was then not interested in the middle of the season. The catcher batted .290 with 11 home runs and 67 RBI while being a leader behind the plate the last two years for Pittsburgh. He will have many suitors this winter.
Russell Martin, C10/1/2014 5:12:00 PM
Description: Pirates catcher Russell Martin (groin) is in the lineup Wednesday versus San Francisco.
Insight: There was little doubt that he would miss the Wild Card Game, however Martin is now officially active, and batting fourth for Pittsburgh. One other note is Gaby Sanchez gets the start against Giants' lefty Madison Bumgarner
Edinson Volquez, SP10/1/2014 10:34:00 AM
Description: Pirates starter Edinson Volquez is 9-1 with a 1.85 ERA in his last 17 starts going into his NL Wild Card game start on Wednesday.
Insight: Volquez has also allowed just four earned runs in his last 34 2/3 innings at home. In his last two starts, each lasting seven innings, he did not yield a single run. Experts can second guess the Pirates rotation strategy this week all they want, but Pittsburgh has a hot pitcher on the mound, in front of an electric crowd at home, and with the support of one of the hottest offenses in September.
Andrew McCutchen, CF10/1/2014 10:26:00 AM
Description: Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen is 2-for-10 in his career against Giants starter Madison Bumgarner.
Insight: McCutchen finished the regular season with a .314 average, 25 home runs, 83 RBI, 89 runs and 18 stolen bases. He will have to perform well if the Pirates hope to make a deep playoff run, but the Pittsburgh offense is much more potent and balanced this season than a year ago.
Josh Harrison, 3B10/1/2014 10:17:00 AM
Description: Although it is a small sample size, Pirates third baseman Josh Harrison is 4-for-5 with a solo home run and a walk against Giants starter Madison Bumgarner.
Insight: Harrison just behind Justin Morneau for the NL batting title with a .315 average. He also had 58 extra-base hits, 52 RBI, 77 runs and 18 stolen bases. Pittsburgh will need him to set the tone on Wednesday.
Russell Martin, C9/30/2014 8:25:00 PM
Description: Pirates catcher Russell Martin is expected to start Wednesday's Wild Card game against the Giants according to Mercury News.
Insight: Martin left Friday's game after reinjurying his left hamstring. He did not return the entire weekend, but that will not keep him out of the single elimination Wild Card affair on Wednesday. Pittsburgh still plans to carry a third catcher just in case.
Russell Martin, C9/28/2014 11:37:00 AM
Description: Pirates catcher Russell Martin (hamstring) remains out of lineup Sunday.
Insight: With Pittsburgh attempting to capture the NL Central, they will be without their starting catcher yet again. Martin should be ready for postseason play, but Chris Stewart gets the nod today.
Neil Walker, 2B9/28/2014 9:47:00 AM
Description: Pirates second baseman Neil Walker could be in line for a rough afternoon on Sunday.
Insight: He is a .171 career hitter (7-for-41) off Reds' starter Johnny Cueto, with seven strikeouts. In a game Pittsburgh needs to win, Walker is not a recommended daily play.
Francisco Liriano, SP9/27/2014 5:20:00 PM
Description: Pirates starter Francisco Liriano pitched lasts only five innings Saturday.
Insight: He was on fire of late, but did not have it today. Liriano gave up four runs (three earned) on five hits and five walks, while striking out five. His 2014 season finishes off with a 7-10 record and a 3.38 ERA and 1.30 WHIP.
Russell Martin, C9/27/2014 10:09:00 AM
Description: Pirates catcher Russell Martin left Friday's game against the Reds in the seventh reaggravated his hamstring and with a poor matchup on Saturday he's not likely to be in the starting lineup.
Insight: martin is just 1-for-11 against Alfredo Simon. He will likely not play the rest of the weekend to ensure he is healthy for the playoffs.
Gaby Sanchez, 1B9/26/2014 10:09:00 PM
Description: Pirates first baseman Gaby Sanchez hit a solo home run to help the Pirates inch closer to the Cardinals in the division race as Pittsburgh beat Cincinnati, 3-1.
Insight: Sanchez was only in the lineup against righty Mike Leake because Ike Davis is ill, but he took the Reds starter deep in the fifth to put the Pirates up 1-0. Pittsburgh scored two runs in the eighth to win. The Pirates now wait to see what St. Louis does in Arizona.
Russell Martin, C9/26/2014 9:15:00 PM
Description: Pirates catcher Russell Martin left Friday's game against the Reds in the seventh after a walk.
Insight: It was hard to tell because he left after not swinging or running, but it appears that Martin may have reaggravated his hamstring. The camera caught Martin going into the clubhouse very unhappy and grimacing. He will likely not play the rest of the weekend to ensure he is healthy for the playoffs.
Charlie Morton, SP9/26/2014 7:30:00 PM
Description: Pirates starter Charlie Morton will be out the next six-to-eight months after undergoing surgery to repair the labrum in his right hip on Friday according to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review.
Insight: Morton was hoping to stick out the hip injury until the end of the season, but he will officially miss the playoffs at this point. He did return for one start a couple weeks ago and threw five scoreless innings. Morton had the same surgery in October of 2011 and missed the first two weeks of 2012, so his Opening Day status is in doubt.
Edinson Volquez, SP9/25/2014 10:38:00 PM
Description: Pirates starter Edinson Volquez pitches gem against the Braves.
Insight: He allowed no runs on four hits, over seven innings of work, and also struck out 10. He finishes the year at 13-7 with an impressive 3.04 ERA. He will be a highly sought after free agent this offseason.
Travis Snider, LF9/25/2014 10:30:00 PM
Description: Pirates right fielder Travis Snider hits second homer in three games against Atlanta.
Insight: It was his 13th of the year, and he now has 37 RBI. SNider is not a relevant fantays player, but has produced as of late.
Russell Martin, C9/25/2014 5:18:00 PM
Description: Pirates catcher Russell Martin is back in the lineup after leaving Wednesday's game against the Braves.
Insight: He had some hamstring tightness, but it looks like Pittsburgh was just playing it safe. Martin is hitting fifth against Atlanta starter David Hale.
Jeff Locke, SP9/24/2014 10:30:00 PM
Description: Pirates left-hander Jeff Locke gets lit up by Atlanta.
Insight: He lasted only four innings, yielding six runs on eight hits and five walks. Locke is now 7-6 with a 3.91 ERA.
Andrew McCutchen, CF9/24/2014 10:23:00 PM
Description: Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen blasted his 25th homer of the season Wednesday against Atlanta.
Insight: He took Braves' starter Julio Teheran deep in the fifth, for a two-run shot. McCutchen is now firmly in the MVP race yet again, as he is slashing .314/.409/.546 with 78 RBI.
Russell Martin, C9/24/2014 9:31:00 PM
Description: Updating on a previous item: Pirates catcher Russell Martin left Wednesday's contest with left hamstring tightness, according to Bill Brink.
Insight: Hamstring injuries are never an easy injury to deal with, but hopefully Pittsburgh is just playing it safe with Martin, as they have a playoff spot already locked up.
Russell Martin, C9/24/2014 8:50:00 PM
Description: Pirates catcher Russell Martin was removed from Wednesday's game against Atlanta with a potential ankle injury, according to Bill Brink.
Insight: Martin was attemting to get back to first base, when the injury appeared to happen. Chris Stewart replaced him, in the bottom of the fifth inning. We should have a firm update shortly.
Travis Snider, LF9/23/2014 10:05:00 PM
Description: Pirates right fielder Travis Snider hits big homer versus Atlanta.
Insight: He tied the game in the fifth inning with his 12th dinger of the season, which helped Pittsburgh seal the deal in earning a playoff spot.
Tony Watson, RP9/23/2014 10:03:00 PM
Description: Pirates lefty Tony Watson earns rare save.
Insight: With Mark Melancon unavailable, Watson worked a scoreless ninth, for his second save of the season. He struck out one, and now owns a 1.44 ERA. Solid year for Tony Watson.
Gerrit Cole, SP9/23/2014 10:01:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh right-hander Gerrit Cole helps Pittsburgh clinch playoff spot.
Insight: He went seven strong innings, allowing two runs on four hits, and struck out eight. Assuming Pittsburgh plays in the wild card playoff, Cole has a solid chance of starting. He is now 11-5 with a 3.78 ERA.
Gaby Sanchez, 1B9/23/2014 5:41:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh first baseman Gaby Sanchez gets the start tonight.
Insight: With Braves' lefty Alex Wood on the mound, Sanchez gets the nod in place of Ike Davis. However, with a .235 batting average, combined with only six homeruns and 31 RBI, Sanchez is not a recommended play.
Francisco Liriano, SPHot9/22/2014 10:14:00 PM
Description: Pirates starter Francisco Liriano pitched six shutout innings as Pittsburgh inched closer to a playoff berth with a 1-0 victory over the Braves.
Insight: Liriano struggled with his control for a second straight start, walking four batters, but he allowed just three hits and struck out seven. Liriano is just 7-10 but has a 3.32 ERA and 170 strikeouts in 157 1/3 innings this year.
Andrew McCutchen, CF9/22/2014 10:08:00 PM
Description: Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen hit a solo home run to defeat the Braves, 1-0, on Monday.
Insight: The reigning National League MVP is making his case to win the award again. McCutchen took Braves starter Aaron Harang deep in the top of the sixth for the only run of the game. McCutchen's numbers, .310 average and 76 RBI, are slightly down from a season ago, .317 average and 84 RBI, but he has hit three more home runs in 2014, and it is still hard to argue any player is more important to a National League club than McCutchen. He is hitting .308 with 23 homers 81 runs, 75 RBI and 17 stolen bases. He's also 5-for-5 in stolen bases against Gallardo anytime he gets on.
Russell Martin, CHot9/22/2014 12:15:00 PM
Description: Pirates catcher Russell Martin is a career .471 hitter (8-for-17) against Braves starter Aaron Harang.
Insight: Martin has put together an excellent season batting .297 with 11 HR, 67 RBI and an .850 OPS. He's on a 12-game hitting streak. Hot hitter plus favorable matchup equals must start.
Pedro Alvarez, 1BCold9/21/2014 7:10:00 PM
Description: Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said on Sunday that first baseman Pedro Alvarez (foot) could return if the team advances to the NLDS according to the Pittsburgh Tribune Review.
Insight: This confirms that Alvarez will not be ready for the Wild Card game. Alvarez suffered a stress reaction in his left foot in late August and the injury normally takes four to six weeks to recover.
Josh Harrison, 3B9/21/2014 6:30:00 PM
Description: Pirates third baseman Josh Harrison went 2-for-4 on Sunday against the Brewers to extend his hitting streak to nine games.
Insight: With one week to go in the season, Harrison leads the batting title race by nine ten-thousanth of a point over Justin Morneau. Harrison also has a .350 on-base percentage, .500 slugging percentage, 13 home runs, 52 RBI, 72 runs and 17 steals this year.
Russell Martin, CHot9/21/2014 6:15:00 PM
Description: Pirates catcher Russell Martin had the game-winning RBI single in the, 1-0, victory over the Brewers on Sunday.
Insight: Martin accounted for four of the five runs Pittsburgh scored in the series against Milwaukee. Martin hit a 3-run homer in the bottom of the eighth to win on Friday. Pittsburgh took two of three from Milwaukee to increase its wild card lead. Martin has a 12-game hitting streak.
Vance Worley, SP9/21/2014 6:04:00 PM
Description: Pirates starter Vance Worley threw eight scoreless innings, allowing four hits, to defeat the Brewers, 1-0, on Sunday.
Insight: It was Worley's biggest start as a Pirate, and he came through, giving up just four singles and walking one Brewer. Pittsburgh now has a 4 1/2 game lead over Milwaukee for the final wild card spot with a week to go in the season. Worley has won his last three decisions and is 8-4 with a 2.93 ERA in 104 1/3 innings this season.
Jordy Mercer, SS9/21/2014 9:57:00 AM
Description: Pirates shortstop Jordy Mercer is just 1-for-10 in his lifetime against Brewers starter Wily Peralta.
Insight: Mercer missed a few games early in the week due to a tight back. Since his return, he is 1-for-9 with a double. If possible, avoid Mercer on Sunday.
Mark Melancon, RP9/20/2014 10:43:00 PM
Description: Pirates closer Mark Melancon has not been great in non save situations this season, since becoming closer.
Insight: He took the loss to the Brewers, giving a run in the ninth, dropping his record to 3-5. However, Melancon has been extremely reliable when Pittsburgh has the lead, with 31 saves a 1.96 ERA. He is an extremely dependable fantasy closer.
Edinson Volquez, SP9/20/2014 10:35:00 PM
Description: Pirates starter Edinson Volquez continued his hot pitching of late, Saturday versus Milwaukee.
Insight: He hit Ryan Braun, which casued warnings to be issued, eventually resulting in the ejection of Matt Garza. However, Volquez did not allow a run on three hits and seven innings. He did not factor into the decision, and owns a healthy 3.15 ERA.
Jeff Locke, SP9/19/2014 10:23:00 PM
Description: Pirates left-hander Jeff Locke pitched seven innings, allowed two runs on five hits, struck out three and walked none as Pittsburgh beat Milwaukee, 4-2.
Insight: Locke did not receive the win as the Pirates rallyed in the bottom of the eighth to take the lead. The outing was still very nice for Locke, who is know to have control problems, as he did not walk a batter. That is only the sixth time that has happened in 20 starts this season. Locke is 7-5 with a 3.60 ERA.
Russell Martin, CHot9/19/2014 10:15:00 PM
Description: Pirates catcher Russell Martin hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the eighth to rally the Pirates over the Brewers, 4-2, on Friday.
Insight: Brewers starter Yovani Gallardo held the Pirates scoreless for seven innings and gave way to relief pitcher Jonathan Broxton. Left fielder Starling Marte and pinch runner Chase d'Arnaud scored on Martin's homer to right center field. Pittsburgh added an insurance run later in the inning. The pending free agent is hitting .296 with 11 home runs and 66 RBI this season.
Andrew McCutchen, CF9/19/2014 12:15:00 PM
Description: Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen is a career .327 hitter with four home runs and a 1.006 OPS versus Milwaukee right-hander Yovani Gallardo.
Insight: He is hitting .308 with 23 homers 81 runs, 75 RBI and 17 stolen bases. He's also 5-for-5 in stolen bases against Gallardo anytime he gets on.
Mark Melancon, RPHot9/18/2014 11:30:00 PM
Description: Pirates closer Mark Melancon notched his 30th save of the season.
Insight: Melancon has thrived since taking over for Jason Grilli in July of last season.
Gerrit Cole, SP9/18/2014 11:23:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh right-hander Gerrit Cole was solid against Thursday night, winning for the 10th time this season.
Insight: Cole yielded just six hits in seven innings and struck out seven without a walk to raise his record to 10-5 with a 3.85 ERA. He's won his last three starts.
Jordy Mercer, SSHot9/18/2014 6:36:00 PM
Description: Pirates shortstop Jordy Mercer returns to the starting lineup on Thursday against the Red Sox.
Insight: Mercer sat out the last two games with back tightness, but he is feeling better. He will bat seventh against Boston starter Brandon Workman.
Francisco Liriano, SPHot9/18/2014 2:02:00 PM
Description: Pirates starter Francisco Liriano allowed one run in six innings as Pittsburgh defeated Boston, 9-1, on Wednesday.
Insight: Liriano struggled with his control, walking five batters but he only allowed three hits and struck out two. Liriano's scoreless inning streak did come to an end when Bryce Brentz scored on a groundout. The scoreless inning streak ended at 20.
Francisco Liriano, SPHot9/17/2014 10:14:00 AM
Description: Pirates starter Francisco Liriano looks to continue his hot play tonight against Boston.
Insight: He is a major reason why Pittsburgh is likely to make the postseason. After beginning the season in dreadful fashion, Liriano has been unreal over the past month (2-0 with 0.67 ERA and 0.96 WHIP). Look for that trend to continue the rest of the season.
Charlie Morton, SP9/16/2014 10:59:00 PM
Description: Pirates starter Charlie Morton returned to the rotation on Tuesday after missing a month with a sports hernia and threw five scoreless innings to beat the Red Sox, 4-0.
Insight: Five relief pitches combined with Morton to shutout the Red Sox. Morton allowed four hits, struck out six and walked two. He worked around lead off doubles in the fourth and fifth to keep Boston off the board. Morton has elected not to receive surgery until after the year and will gut out the rest of the season.
Russell Martin, CHot9/16/2014 10:55:00 PM
Description: Pirates catcher Russell Martin hit a two-run home run as Pittsburgh shutout Boston, 4-0.
Insight: The homer was Martin's 10th of the year and came in the second inning as the first runs of the game. The catcher finished the game 1-for-4. Martin is batting .294 with 63 RBI to go with his 10 homers.
Josh Harrison, 3B9/14/2014 7:18:00 PM
Description: Pirates third baseman Josh Harrison went 2-for-5 with a two-run double and scored against the Cubs on Sunday
Insight: Harrison's two-RBI double started a big fifth inning for the Pirates as they erased a 3-0 deficit to comeback and win, 7-3. Harrison is hitting .357 in September and now leads the National League with a .317 batting average. He also has a .351 on-base percentage and .508 slugging percentage with 51 RBI and 71 runs.
Neil Walker, 2B9/14/2014 6:22:00 PM
Description: Pirates second baseman Neil Walker went 3-for-4 with a home run, two RBI and two runs to lead the Pirates over the Cubs, 7-3, on Sunday.
Insight: Walker hit a solo home run in the fourth, which was his 20th of the season. Walker added an RBI-double and scored in the fifth as Pittsburgh erased a 3-0 deficit. Walker has been great this season, batting .279/.351/.468 with those 20 home runs and 69 RBI.
Charlie Morton, SPCold9/14/2014 12:42:00 PM
Description: Pirates starter Charlie Morton (hernia) will rejoin the Pirates rotation on Tuesday against the Red Sox according to MLB.com.
Insight: Morton will be gutting out his sports hernia the last few weeks of the season as he has elected to wait for the required surgery until after the season. Vance Worley will move to the bullpen with Morton's return. Morton is 5-12 but has a respectable 3.84 ERA.
Russell Martin, CHot9/14/2014 9:57:00 AM
Description: Pirates catcher Russell Martin went 2-for-3 with a bases clearing double in the eighth on Saturday, but the Pirates still lost to the Cubs, 6-4.
Insight: Martin drove in Josh Harrison, Jordy Mercer and Neil Walker with his double to left field. At the time, the Pirates trailed 6-0. Martin has been awesome for Pittsburgh this year, hitting .294 with nine home runs and 61 RBI in 343 at-bats. The catcher looks poised to test free agency this winter.
Starling Marte, LFCold9/13/2014 4:33:00 PM
Description: Pirates outfielder Starling Marte is not in the starting lineup again on Saturday.
Insight: Marte has been out with a sore elbow since a pitch hit him in his left elbow on Thursday. X-rays were negative, which is obviously a good thing. Marte could possibly pinch run against the Cubs Saturday.
Jordy Mercer, SSHot9/12/2014 11:11:00 PM
Description: Pirates shortstop Jordy Mercer went 3-for-5 with three RBI in Friday night's victory over the Cubs, 7-3.
Insight: Mercer hit a single in the fourth to score Travis Snider and his single in the sixth scored Chris Stewart and Josh Harrison. Mercer and Harrison, the top two hitters in Friday's lineup, combined to go 6-for-9 with two runs and three RBI.
Josh Harrison, 3B9/12/2014 11:00:00 PM
Description: Pirates third baseman Josh Harrison went 3-for-4 on Friday to move back in front of Justin Morneau for the NL batting title lead as the Pirates defeated the Cubs, 7-3.
Insight: Harrison went 0-for-5 on Thursday to drop his average to .314 but he is back to .318 after Friday. In his last two games against the Cubs, Harrison is 7-for-10 with two doubles and two RBI. He also walked on Friday.
Russell Martin, CHot9/12/2014 6:08:00 PM
Description: Pirates catcher Russell Martin is not in the lineup on Friday against the Cubs.
Insight: Martin is having a tremendous season both offensively and defensively. Friday is just a normal day of rest for the catcher. Chris Stewart will start behind the plate on Friday.
Andrew McCutchen, CF9/11/2014 12:44:00 PM
Description: Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen went 2-for-4 with a walk and an inside-the-park home run as the Pirates defeated the Phillies, 6-3, on Wednesday.
Insight: After a brief cold streak after returning from his rib injury, McCutchen is a legitimate contender for the National League batting title again. He is hitting .311, which is only behind Justin Morneau (.317) and teammate Josh Harrison (.318). The home run was the center fielder's 23rd of the season. He also has 77 runs, 75 RBI and 17 stolen bases.
Russell Martin, CHot9/9/2014 10:22:00 PM
Description: Pirates catcher Russell Martin was 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI against the Phillies on Tuesday.
Insight: Martin did get thrown out trying to extend a single into a double in the second inning and failed to throw out two base stealers, but for fantasy purposes, he had a good game. Martin would have likely scored in the second as well, and the Pirates lost by one. Martin is 5-for-13 (.385) in his last three games.
Josh Harrison, 3B9/9/2014 3:58:00 PM
Description: Pirates star utility man Josh Harrison was not in the lineup on Monday, but is in the starting lineup for Tuesday's game against Philadelphia.
Insight: Harrison rolled his left ankle making a catch on Saturday. He has not played since then. The 27-year-old has had a tremendous season, batting .315 with 13 HR, 48 RBI, 66 runs and 17 SB in 124 games.
Josh Harrison, 3B9/9/2014 10:36:00 AM
Description: Pirates star utility man Josh Harrison was not in the starting lineup on Monday and is questionable for Tuesday's game against Philadelphia.
Insight: Harrison rolled his left ankle making a catch on Saturday. He has not played since then. The 27-year-old has had a tremendous season, batting .315 with 13 HR, 48 RBI, 66 runs and 17 SB in 124 games.
Josh Harrison, 3BHot9/8/2014 4:04:00 PM
Description: Pirates third baseman Josh Harrison is not in the starting lineup on Monday against the Phillies.
Insight: Harrison rolled his left ankle making a catch on Saturday. He has not played since then. Pittsburgh has won the last two games without him. Brent Morel will play third on Monday. Harrison has had a tremendous season, so Pittsburgh hopes to get him back soon.
Andrew McCutchen, CF9/8/2014 12:12:00 PM
Description: Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen hits just .231 (3-for-13) against Phillies starter Kyle Kendrick.
Insight: That is basically irrelavant though because McCutchen is 3-for-5 in each of his last two games with two RBI and a home run. He should stay in your lineup, but fantasy owners should be aware that McCutchen has not had much success against Kendrick in the past.
Neil Walker, 2B9/8/2014 11:29:00 AM
Description: Pirates second baseman Neil Walker went 3-for-5 with a home run, two RBI and three runs as the Pirates defeated the Cubs, 10-4.
Insight: Walker hit his two-run homer in the first inning, and he also scored second and fourth innings. Walker has two three-hit games in his last four, going 8-for-15 in that span. He is hitting .279/.351/.468 with a career-high 19 home runs and 63 RBI.
Josh Harrison, 3BHot9/7/2014 7:26:00 PM
Description: Pirates third baseman Josh Harrison did not play on Sunday against the Cubs.
Insight: Harrison left after rolling his left ankle after making a catch in the first game on Saturday and did not return. He went through drills in Sunday's pre-game but apparently did not feel well enough to go. Pittsburgh did just fine, scoring 10 runs.
Andrew McCutchen, CF9/7/2014 7:20:00 PM
Description: Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen went 3-for-5 with a solo home run and two runs in Pittsburgh's victory over the Chicago Cubs, 10-4, on Sunday.
Insight: It was the second straight day McCutchen went 3-for-5 with an RBI. It looked like the center fielder was going to have to play through his rib injury down the stretch, but the way he is swinging now, it appears McCutchen is over the injury. He is hitting .308 with 22 home runs and 74 RBI this season.
Pedro Alvarez, 1BCold9/7/2014 10:00:00 AM
Description: Pirates first baseman Pedro Alvarez an ugly 1-for-18 (.056) versus Cubs left-hander Travis Wood.
Insight: Alvarez has been dealing with a foot problem and has just one at-bat since Aug 26. Sunday is not the day for him to return.
Jordy Mercer, SSHot9/6/2014 9:30:00 PM
Description: Pirates shortstop Jordy Mercer went 2-for-5 with a home run and two RBI as the Pirates defeated the Cubs, 5-0, on Saturday.
Insight: The home run was Mercer's third in six games. Over that stretch, he is hitting .260 with four RBI, three runs and a steal to go with the three bombs. Mercer is batting .254 with 10 home runs and 46 RBI this season.
Andrew McCutchen, CF9/6/2014 9:20:00 PM
Description: Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen went 3-for-5 with three singles, an RBI and run to lead Pittsburgh past the Chicago Cubs, 5-0, on Saturday.
Insight: It was one of McCutchen's best days at the plate since returning from his rib injury. McCutchen has had four other multi-hit games since returning, but the center fielder looked completely comfortable and confident at the plate as he battled in his at-bats even in the ninth inning when the Pirates aleady led by five. McCutchen should start in your lineup every day.
Francisco Liriano, SP9/6/2014 9:13:00 PM
Description: Pirates starter Francisco Liriano pitched well for a third straight start to win his fourth game of the season as the Pirates shut out the Cubs, 5-0.
Insight: Liriano allowed seven earned runs against Atlanta on Aug. 18, but has yielded just two earned runs in his last 19 innings. The story of Liriano's season, however, is his inability to receive enough run support to win games. His record is 4-10, but he has a respectable 3.74 ERA and 149 strikeouts in 137 1/3 innings this year.
Josh Harrison, 3BHot9/6/2014 5:15:00 PM
Description: Pirates third baseman Josh Harrison left Saturday afternoon's resumed suspended game with an ankle injury according to Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Insight: Harrison suffered the injury making a catch in foul ground. Chase d'Arnaud replaced Harrison at third base. Before departing, Harrison went 4-for-6 with the game-winning single in the top of the 11th. With another game on Saturday, Harrison will likely need to rest and could be out a few days. The Pirates need him though as they continue to chase after a playoff spot.
Vance Worley, SP9/5/2014 7:15:00 PM
Description: Pirates starter Vance Worley struck out six on Friday, but things got away from Worley in the fifth as the Cubs came back to tie the game. Worley left with a no-decision, and umpires suspended the game due to rain.
Insight: Worley finished with four and 2/3 innings and allowed two earned runs. The Pirates pitcher has been hot and cold lately. He pitched six and 1/3 strong innings in his last start, allowing one run, but the prior two starts he gave up nine runs in 12 and 1/3 innings of work.
Travis Snider, LF9/5/2014 10:36:00 AM
Description: Pirates right fielder Travis Snider (strained left hamstring) is probable for Friday's game against the Chicago Cubs.
Insight: Snider (.260, 10 HR, 32 RBI in 258 at-bats) missed three games, but did pinch hit Monday and should be ready to play in the field tonight.
Pedro Alvarez, 1B9/5/2014 10:32:00 AM
Description: Pirates first baseman Pedro Alvarez is questionable for Friday's game against the Chicago Cubs.
Insight: Alvarez left Tuesday's game with a sprain between two toes in his left foot and has not returned to the field since then. He is available to pinch hit, according to Paul Zeise of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but is unlikely ready to play in the field.
Ike Davis, 1BCold9/3/2014 12:10:00 PM
Description: Pirates first baseman Ike Davis is surprisingly in the starting lineup Wednesday, but fantasy owners should avoid him.
Insight: Davis is hitless in nine tries versus Cardinals right-hander Shelby Miller. He's also just 3-for-15 over the past five games without an extra-base hit.
Russell Martin, CHot9/3/2014 9:51:00 AM
Description: Pirates catcher Russell Martin is a career .258 hitter, but a .385 hitter (5-for-13) against Cardinals right-hander Shelby Miller.
Insight: Batting in the heart of the Pirates lineup, mostly fifth, has been good for Martin, who is hitting .324 over the past four weeks, including a home run Tuesday night and .292 for the season. Start him.
Andrew McCutchen, CF 9/1/2014 6:13:00 PM
Description: Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen went 2-for-5 with a double and a solo homer Monday at St. Louis.
Insight: McCutchen has gone 18-for-55 (.327) with three doubles and four home runs since he returned from a fractured rib on Aug. 19.
Travis Snider, LF9/1/2014 12:15:00 PM
Description: Pirates right fielder Travis Snider is not in the lineup for Monday's game against St. Louis due to a strained left hamstring.
Insight: Snider's spot will be taken by Andrew Lambo, who batted .328 at Triple-A Indianapolis and is 3-for-9 with the Pirates this season.
Andrew McCutchen, CFCold9/1/2014 10:10:00 AM
Description: Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen has struggled against Cardinals right-hander Lance Lynn, batting just .125 in 32 at-bats including 12 strikeouts.
Insight: McCutchen hasn't done much over the past week as he continues to deal with health issues. The reigning National League MVP is 4-for-16 over the past five games without an extra-base hit. Look elsewhere for offensive help.
Francisco Liriano, SP8/31/2014 8:46:00 PM
Description: Pirates starter Francisco Liriano pitched seven innings, allowed two runs and earned a no-decision against the Reds on Sunday.
Insight: Liriano made just one mistake to Chris Heisey, who hit a two-run home run in the fifth inning. Liriano keeps running into tough opposing pitchers as Johnny Cueto threw eight innings to earn the victory. Despite the fact Liriano's ERA is nearly a run higher than last season's, he is pitching better than his record (3-10) indicates.
Josh Harrison, 3BHot8/31/2014 6:01:00 PM
Description: Pirates third baseman Josh Harrison went 2-for-4 with a solo home run but Pittsburgh lost to Cincinnati, 3-2, on Sunday.
Insight: Harrison extended his hitting streak to six games with a homer and single on Sunday. Over that stretch, he is hitting .417 with two home runs, two doubles, a triple, three RBI, and three runs. Harrison is now in the NL batting title conversation. His average sits at .310, one point behind leader Justin Morneau, with a month left in the series.
Andrew McCutchen, CF8/31/2014 4:59:00 PM
Description: Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen went 2-for-4 on Sunday against the Reds.
Insight: McCutchen was not able to score or drive in a run as the Pirates lost 3-2. A big series looms in St. Louis starting Monday, so even though he is likely still battling a rib injury, count on the MVP to play big.
Starling Marte, LFCold8/31/2014 9:26:00 AM
Description: Pittsburgh outfielder Starling Marte is hitless in 14 at-bats against Reds ace Johnny Cueto.
Insight: Marte is batting .337 over the past four weeks even though he's just 3-for-16 this week. Avoid him Sunday.
Pedro Alvarez, 1B8/30/2014 2:16:00 PM
Description: Pirates first baseman Pedro Alvarez is not in the starting lineup for the third game in a row.
Insight: Alvarez left Tuesday's game with a sprain between two toes in his left foot and has not returned to the field since then. The Pirates have won both games with Alvarez in the lineup, but he did have three home runs in a three game span last week, so Pittsburgh would like to get him back soon.
Andrew McCutchen, CF8/30/2014 10:33:00 AM
Description: Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen is a career .250 hitter (4-for-16) with a home run against Reds starter Alfredo Simon.
Insight: McCutchen looked frustrated on Friday night, popping up a couple times with runners on base. The MVP did register a bloop single to go 1-for-4. It's pretty clear that McCutchen is still not completely healthy with his ribs, but he is in the lineup, and he should be in yours too.
Jose Tabata, RF8/29/2014 9:55:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh outfielder Jose Tabata was 2-for-4 on Friday and drove in the game-winning RBI in the eighth as the Pirates beat the Reds, 2-1.
Insight: The Pirates called up Tabata this week. On Friday, he record his first major league hit since June 18, playing for the injured Travis Snider. He will continue to fill in for Snider, who is ailing with a hamstring injury.
Josh Harrison, 3BHot8/29/2014 9:48:00 PM
Description: Pirates third baseman Josh Harrison hit a game-tying triple in the bottom of the eighth and eventually scored the winning run in the next at-bat against the Reds on Friday.
Insight: Harrison played out of his mind on Friday, going 3-for-4 with a double, triple, RBI and run. He also showcased the leather bailing the Pirates out of a few jams in the field. In the last four games, Harrison is hitting .412 with two doubles, a triple and home run. The new everyday Pirate third baseman is batting .308 with 49 extra-base hits, 45 RBI, 62 runs, and 17 steals this year.
Edinson Volquez, SPHot8/29/2014 9:41:00 PM
Description: Pirates starter Edinson Volquez pitched seven and 2/3 innings on Friday, allowing one run on three hits, striking out six and walking three. Volquez earned a no-decision.
Insight: Volquez pitched six hitless innings to start Friday. He did not get the win because Pittsburgh scored its two runs in the bottom of the eighth, but the 31-year-old continues to pitch well. Volquez is 7-1 with a 2.18 ERA in his last 12 starts.
Pedro Alvarez, 1B8/29/2014 4:50:00 PM
Description: Pirates first baseman Pedro Alvarez is again not in the lineup on Friday.
Insight: Alvarez left Tuesday's game with a sprain between two toes in his left foot and has not returned to the field since then. Alvarez is still day-to-day, but Ike Davis has been swinging a hot bat, so manager Clint Hurdle might ride out Davis' hot streak at first base anyway.
Travis Snider, LF8/29/2014 3:29:00 PM
Description: Pirates right fielder Travis Snider left Wednesday's game against the Cardinals with an apparent leg injury and is not in Friday's starting lineup.
Insight: Snider tweaked something after beating out a bunt single in the third inning. Jose Tabata will start in right field. Tabata is batting .283, but without much power as his .645 OPS will attest.
Russell Martin, CHot8/29/2014 9:48:00 AM
Description: Pirates catcher Russell Martin is a career .258 hitter, but a .370 hitter against Reds starter Mike Leake.
Insight: Batting in the heart of the Pirates lineup, mostly fifth, has been good for Martin, who is hitting .347 over the past four weeks and .295 for the season. Start him.
Jeff Locke, SP8/27/2014 4:19:00 PM
Description: Pirates left-hander Jeff Locke won his second straight game, pitching into the eighth inning, allowing just one run on six hits, striking out three and walking two as the Pirates beat the Cardinals, 3-1.
Insight: The outing (7 1/3 IP) was Locke's longest since July 6. The only run Locke allowed was a solo home run to Matt Holliday in the third inning. Over his last five starts, the 26-year-old is 4-0 with a 2.90 ERA.
Ike Davis, 1B8/27/2014 4:09:00 PM
Description: Pirates first baseman Ike Davis hit a massive home run to right-center field for the second day in a row.
Insight: With Pedro Alvarez banged up, Davis got the start at first base and hit a towering home run off a speaker in right-center field at PNC Park. Davis finished the day 1-for-3. The sudden burst of power is very encouraging for the 27-year-old that has been struggling this year. Perhaps, he will have a big September though now manager Clint Hurdle has the difficulty of find both the streaking Alvarez and Davis at-bats (when both are healthy).
Pedro Alvarez, 1B8/27/2014 11:50:00 AM
Description: Pirates first baseman Pedro Alvarez is not in the starting lineup for Wednesday's afternoon game against the Cardinals.
Insight: Alvarez sprained his left foot in Tuesday's game and was seen wearing a walking boot in the clubhouse Wednesday morning. He is listed as day-to-day. Alvarez has hit three home runs in the last four games, but Ike Davis, who slugged the game-winning home run on Tuesday, will take over in the meantime.
Andrew McCutchen, CF8/27/2014 11:31:00 AM
Description: Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen is back in the Pirates lineup on Wednesday against the Cardinals.
Insight: We are all happy to see him back in the lineup as Pirate fans collectively held their breathe on Tuesday. McCutchen left Tuesday night's game after running into the outfield wall and aggravating his rib injury. McCutchen said he exited the game as a precautionary reason. The reigning NL MVP is hitting just .250 (7-for-28) since his return from the DL, but he does have three home runs.
Andrew McCutchen, CF8/26/2014 10:37:00 PM
Description: Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen left Tuesday's game against the Cardinals with rib discomfort, but he said he expects to be in the lineup Wednesday, according to Tom Singer of mlb.com.
Insight: McCutchen missed two weeks due to an avulsion fracture of his rib before returning on Aug. 19. He said he was just "being smart" in leaving Tuesday's game after feeling some soreness.
Josh Harrison, 3BHot8/26/2014 10:19:00 PM
Description: Pirates third baseman Josh Harrison went 1-for-5 with a solo homer Tuesday against the Cardinals.
Insight: Harrison has collected 23 extra-base hits (7 HR), scored 27 runs and stolen eight bases in 152 at-bats since the All-Star break. He had 24 extra-base hits (5 HR), 34 runs and nine steals in 249 at-bats before the break.
Gerrit Cole, SP8/26/2014 10:16:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh right-hander Gerrit Cole struck out nine batters and gave up two runs on three hits in six innings Tuesday against St. Louis.
Insight: Cole had a no-hitter through 5 2/3 innings. After making just three starts from May 30 to Aug. 19 due to shoulder fatigue and a strained lat, Cole has allowed four runs on eight hits and struck out 15 in 13 innings since he came off the DL.
Pedro Alvarez, 1B8/26/2014 10:11:00 PM
Description: Pirates first baseman Pedro Alvarez left Tuesday's game due to left foot discomfort, according to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Insight: He went 0-for-3 before being replaced by Gaby Sanchez. Alvarez was 4-for-10 with three homers and five RBI in his previous three games.
Andrew McCutchen, CF8/26/2014 9:07:00 PM
Description: Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen left Tuesday's game against the Cardinals with rib discomfort, according to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Insight: McCutchen missed two weeks due to an avulsion fracture of his rib before returning on Aug. 19. He homered in three of the previous four games.
Clint Barmes, SS8/26/2014 3:57:00 PM
Description: Pirates shortstop Clint Barmes will get his first start since returning from the disabled list.
Insight: Jordy Mercer will take a seat. Barmes missed almost two months with a groin strain. He was batting .239 with 14 runs scored and four RBI in 42 games. That isn't fantasy worthy.
Andrew McCutchen, CF8/26/2014 10:43:00 AM
Description: Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen is just 4-for-29 (.138) versus Cardinals right-hander Lance Lynn.
Insight: McCutchen has been hot with three home runs in his last four games, but this matchup is not a good won for the MVP outfielder.
Neil Walker, 2B8/26/2014 10:40:00 AM
Description: Pirates second baseman Neil Walker is a career .308 hitter (8-for-26) with two home runs among five extra-base hits versus Cardinals right-hander Lance Lynn.
Insight: Walker has already set a career mark for home runs with 17 and his OPS (.805) is the highest it's been in four seasons.
Francisco Liriano, SP8/25/2014 10:37:00 PM
Description: Pirates starter Francisco Liriano bounced back from his worst start of the season with six scoreless innings Monday against St. Louis.
Insight: Liriano allowed nine runs (seven earned) on 10 hits in four innings against the Braves in his last start. Even with that start included, the left-hander has recorded a 2.81 ERA, a 1.10 WHIP and 54 strikeouts in his last 48 innings.
Andrew McCutchen, CFHot8/25/2014 10:34:00 PM
Description: Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen homered for the third time in the last three games Monday against St. Louis.
Insight: McCutchen is officially back after missing two weeks with a fractured rib and going 0-for-8 in his first two games after returning to the lineup.
Pedro Alvarez, 1B8/25/2014 10:31:00 PM
Description: Pirates first baseman Pedro Alvarez has gone 4-for-10 with three homers, five RBI and two steals in his last three games.
Insight: Perhaps now that he's at first base he'll be able to focus entirely on hitting rather than worrying about making throws across the diamond. Alvarez made 24 throwing errors at third base this season.
Charlie Morton, SPCold8/25/2014 9:33:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh placed starter Charlie Morton (hernia) will begin a rehab assignment Thursday, according to mlb.com.
Insight: Morton will throw five innings or 75 pitches for Double-A Altoona. He went on the disabled list with a sports hernia on Aug. 17.
Clint Barmes, SS8/25/2014 3:32:00 PM
Description: Pirates shortstop Clint Barmes returns from the disabled list, but Jordy Mercer will continue to get the starts.
Insight: Barmes missed almost two months with a groin strain. He was batting .239 with 14 runs scored and four RBI in 42 games and should sit while Mercer (.259, 7 HR, 42 RBI, 47 runs) gets the at-bats.
Jose Tabata, RF8/25/2014 3:18:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh outfielder Jose Tabata was promoted from Triple-A Indianapolis to take the place of struggling gregory Polanco.
Insight: Tabata doesn't figure to see much action or have any fantasy value with the team using Andrew McCutchen, Starling Marte and Travis Snider as its primary outfielders. Tabata wasn't doing much at Triple-A batting .281 with a 686 OPS.
Gregory Polanco, RFCold8/25/2014 11:54:00 AM
Description: Pirates outfielder Gregory Polanco was all the rage after he began his major league career with an 11-game hitting streak, but that was June and after a 1-for-30 slide he was sent to Triple-A Indianapolis.
Insight: He'll likely return for September call ups, but the bloom is certainly off the rose.
Andrew McCutchen, CF8/24/2014 6:24:00 PM
Description: Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen went 1-for-4 with a solo homer Sunday against the Brewers.
Insight: McCutchen has homered twice in the past three games after going 0-for-8 in his first two games back from the disabled list.
Starling Marte, LFHot8/24/2014 6:21:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh outfielder Starling Marte has gone 26-for-70 (.371) with six doubles, a triple, four homers, 10 RBI and four steals in August.
Insight: Marte went 1-for-3 with a homer and two RBI Sunday at Milwaukee. He was hitting .255 with a .713 OPS when he went on the DL with a concussion, but he's up to .276 with a .782 OPS after Sunday's game.
Andrew McCutchen, CF8/24/2014 11:08:00 AM
Description: Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen has "owned" Brewers starter Mike Fiers.
Insight: McCutchen is 6-for-11 with four home runs, nine RBI and a 2.182 OPS versus the young Fiers. It should be noted, however, Fiers has pitched great since returning to the Brewers rotation in August (3-0, 0.86 ERA, 0.52 WHIP) so it may not be quite so lopsided this time around.
Pedro Alvarez, 3B8/23/2014 10:34:00 PM
Description: Pedro Alvarez belted two opposite field home runs against the Brewers on Saturday.
Insight: Alvarez proved to everyone on Saturday why the Pirates will try and get him at-bats at third base. He hit a three-run bomb in the fourth inning to put Pittsburgh ahead for good and added insurance with a solo shot the next inning. It's a great sign for Alvarez, but seeing as he had the same amount of home runs in this game as in July, we are going to hold back our excitement for now. If Saturday says anything though, it says this guy can erupt at any time.
Neil Walker, 2B8/23/2014 10:28:00 PM
Description: Pirates second baseman Neil Walker went 3-for-4 with a double, three RBI and two runs against the Brewers on Saturday.
Insight: In the biggest series of the year so far for the Pirates, Walker is 5-for-9 with three extra-base hits and four RBI. Walker and Pittsburgh go for the sweep of first place Milwaukee on Sunday.
Jeff Locke, SP8/23/2014 9:49:00 AM
Description: Pittsburgh left-hander Jeff Locke worked around six walks to win Friday's game at Milwaukee.
Insight: Locke gave up two runs on two runs and didn't strike out anyone in six innings. Walks were a big problem for Locke in 2013, as he issued 4.55 per nine innings. While he walked just 1.44 per nine in his first 81 innings this season, Locke has issued 12 free passes in his last 16 2/3 innings.
Starling Marte, LFHot8/23/2014 9:45:00 AM
Description: Pittsburgh outfielder Starling Marte went 2-for-3 with a walk, a steal and three runs scored Friday against the Brewers.
Insight: Marte has batted .371 with 10 extra-base hits, eight RBI, 17 runs and three steals since he returned from a concussion. He's raised his average from .255 to .274 and his OPS from .713 to .775 in that span.
Andrew McCutchen, CF8/23/2014 9:43:00 AM
Description: Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen went 2-for-5 with a solo homer and two runs Friday at Milwaukee.
Insight: McCutchen went hitless in his first two games after returning from a fractured rib, but the reigning MVP came through to help the Pirates win the first game of what is their biggest series of the season so far.
Josh Harrison, 3BHot8/23/2014 9:41:00 AM
Description: Pirates third baseman Josh Harrison went 3-for-5 with a double, a homer and five RBI Friday at Milwaukee.
Insight: Harrison has been unbelievably good since the All-Star break, batting .328 with 12 doubles, two triples, six homers, 15 RBI, 25 runs, eight steals and a .946 OPS.
Gregory Polanco, RFCold8/22/2014 5:53:00 PM
Description: Pirates outfielder Gregory Polanco is out of the starting lineup for the third straight game Friday.
Insight: Andrew McCutchen returned from the disabled list on Tuesday and the Pirates opted to keep Travis Snider in the lineup rather than Polanco, who has gone 1-for-27 (.037) with eight Ks over his last seven games. Snider has gone 17-for-37 (.459) with six doubles, three homers, seven RBI and a 1.365 OPS over his last 10 games.
Pedro Alvarez, 3BCold8/22/2014 3:46:00 PM
Description: Pedro Alvarez is a career 2-for-29 (.069) hitter with a double against Brewers starter Yovani Gallardo.
Insight: Alvarez made his debut at first base on Monday and MLB.com reported he would not play third base again this season unless it was an emergency. He is now stuck in a timeshare at first base with Ike Davis and Gaby Sanchez, so there is a good chance even without the history Alvarez has against Gallardo that Alvarez will not be in the lineup on Friday. Either way, it would be wise not to put him in your lineup. Update: Alvarez is not in Friday's starting lineup.
Andrew McCutchen, CF8/22/2014 11:46:00 AM
Description: Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen is a career .306 hitter (15-for-49) with seven extra-base hits including three home runs and seven RBI against Brewers starter Yovani Gallardo. McCutchen also has five stolen bases off Gallardo.
Insight: McCutchen has gone hitless in two games since his return from the rib fracture. This is by far the biggest series of the season for the slipping Pirates. Expect the MVP to show up.
Starling Marte, LFHot8/22/2014 11:28:00 AM
Description: Pittsburgh outfielder Starling Marte is a career 3-for-19 (.158) hitter against Brewers starter Yovani Gallardo.
Insight: Marte had a six-game hitting streak before going 0-for-4 on Thursday against the Braves. He is still hitting .393 in his last seven games.
Andrew McCutchen, CF8/20/2014 10:11:00 PM
Description: Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen has gone 0-for-8 with two strikeouts in two games since he returned from the disabled list.
Insight: McCutchen sat out more than two weeks due to an avulsion fracture of his rib. The Pirates have off Thursday before beginning a three-game series Friday at Milwaukee.
Gerrit Cole, SP8/20/2014 9:59:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh right-hander Gerrit Cole (lat) allowed two runs on five hits and had a 6/4 K/BB over seven innings in his return to the rotation Wednesday against Atlanta.
Insight: From the start of June to tonight, Cole made just three starts and two trips to the disabled list, first due to shoulder fatigue and then a strained lat. He's 7-4 with a 3.69 ERA, a 1.31 WHIP and 84 Ks in 92 2/3 innings.
Gerrit Cole, SP8/20/2014 4:53:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh right-hander Gerrit Cole (lat) has been activated from the disabled list.
Insight: Since the start of June, Cole has made just three starts and two trips to the disabled list, first due to shoulder fatigue and then a strained lat. He'll start against the Braves Wednesday night after allowing six hits and one walk over 13 scoreless innings his last two rehab starts for Triple-A Indianapolis.
Charlie Morton, SPCold8/20/2014 3:47:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh placed starter Charlie Morton was initially diagnosed with hip inflammation, but he actually has a sports hernia, according to Tom Singer of mlb.com.
Insight: Morton is hoping to return in September, but a sports hernia is more serious than hip inflammation. He can be dropped in most leagues.
Francisco Liriano, SP8/19/2014 10:10:00 PM
Description: Pirates starter Francisco Liriano gave up nine runs (seven earned) on 10 hits and three walks in four innings Tuesday against Atlanta.
Insight: Liriano gave up two runs or less in each of his previous six starts and hadn't allowed more than three since May 25. The left-hander is 3-10 with a 4.18 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP, but he also has 127 Ks in 118 1/3 innings.
Pedro Alvarez, 3BCold8/19/2014 9:46:00 PM
Description: Pedro Alvarez is not expected to see any more action at third base this season, according to mlb.com.
Insight: Alvarez made his debut at first base Monday and was out of the lineup Tuesday. He can no longer play third base due to frequent defensive lapses and is now in a platoon with Ike Davis and Gaby Sanchez. "Everybody is going to have to get some at-bats," manager Clint Hurdle said. "There's a certain method I have in mind. We're not going to quit on anybody. Pedro has shown us a bat that can get white-hot. It hasn't this year." Josh Harrison is the new everyday third baseman.
Jordy Mercer, SSHot8/19/2014 6:17:00 PM
Description: Pirates shortstop Jordy Mercer said his forearm is not 100 percent, according to Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Insight: Mercer is going to try to play through his forearm strain. "I don't think it's going to be completely healed," he said. "I know that." Mercer has hit .306 over his last 68 games and .348 in August.
Pedro Alvarez, 3BCold8/19/2014 3:36:00 PM
Description: Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez is not in Tuesday's starting lineup.
Insight: He can't play third base anymore due to defensive lapses which only leaves him a shared situation at first base. Ike Davis gets the start Tuesday.
Andrew McCutchen, CF8/19/2014 3:30:00 PM
Description: Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen (rib) has been activated and is in Tuesday's starting lineup, playing his customary center field and batting third.
Insight: McCutchen has been out since Aug. 3 due to an avulsion fracture of his rib. The Pirates and fantasy owners desperately need his bat back in the lineup (.311, 17 HR, 67 RBI, 64 runs, 17 SB). Gregory Polanco is not in the lineup.
Russell Martin, C8/19/2014 10:40:00 AM
Description: Pirates catcher Russell Martin is a career .462 hitter against Braves starter Aaron Harang.
Insight: Martin has hits in 13 of his last 15 games. He is batting .282 with 18 extra-base hits, 48 RBI and a .798 OPS this season.
Neil Walker, 2B8/18/2014 10:18:00 PM
Description: Pirates second baseman Neil Walker went 2-for-3 with a solo homer and a walk Monday against the Braves.
Insight: Walker had just eight at-bats the first two weeks of August due to a lower back injury, but he's started three of the last four games.
Starling Marte, LFHot8/18/2014 10:11:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh outfielder Starling Marte went 3-for-4 with a double and two solo homers Monday against Atlanta.
Insight: Marte has been remarkably hot since he returned from a concussion. going 19-for-51 (.373) with six doubles, a triple, three homers, eight RBI, 13 runs and two steals in 14 games.
Pedro Alvarez, 3BCold8/18/2014 4:56:00 PM
Description: Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez will start Monday night's game at first base.
Insight: After his "throw" to the plate Sunday, he should be banned from playing the hot corner. At least he started to hit over the weekend, going 4-for-11, but he hasn't homered since July 11.
Andrew McCutchen, CF8/18/2014 4:40:00 PM
Description: Pirates manager Clint Hurdle is "optimistic" that center fielder Andrew McCutchen (rib) will return Tuesday, according to Tom Singer of mlb.com
Insight: McCutchen has been out since Aug. 3 due to an avulsion fracture of his rib. The Pirates and fantasy owners desperately need his bat back in the lineup (.311, 17 HR, 67 RBI, 64 runs, 17 SB).
Charlie Morton, SPCold8/18/2014 12:21:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh placed starter Charlie Morton on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to August 16, due to right hip inflammation.
Insight: Morton's hip injury could explain why the veteran has pitched poorly over his last two starts. In those outings, Morton allowed a total of 10 runs in eight innings of work. Morton should be able to return at the beginning of September. In the meantime, the Pirates will activate Gerrit Cole and replace Morton with him in the rotation.
Jordy Mercer, SSHot8/18/2014 12:09:00 PM
Description: Pirates shortstop Jordy Mercer pinch ran in the ninth inning and remained in the game for extra innings on Sunday night. He is listed as probable for Monday's game against Atlanta.
Insight: Mercer was having a great second half before his forearm injury, batting .319 in July and .348 in 13 games in August. If doesn't suffer a setback, Mercer a can be a viable fantasy option down the stretch.
Alex Presley, LF8/18/2014 10:56:00 AM
Description: Astros outfielder Alex Presley suffered a setback from his oblique injury over the weekend and will not play again for 7-10 days.
Insight: Presley has been out since July 8 with a strained right oblique. He was scratched last week from a rehab game for Class A Tri-City due to discomfort. Presley is batting .252 with five home runs and 13 RBI in 206 at-bats this season.
Gerrit Cole, SP8/17/2014 1:31:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh right-hander Gerrit Cole (right lat tightness) is expected to replace injured Charlie Morton's spot in the rotation and pitch Wednesday, according to Tom Singer of mlb.com
Insight: Cole has pitched 13 scoreless inning at Triple-A Indianapolis. He is 7-4 with a 3.78 ERA, 1.31 WHIP and 78 Ks in 85 2/3 IP for the Pirates, but he has a high upside with his 95-plus mph fastball.
Jeff Locke, SP 8/16/2014 10:19:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh left-hander Jeff Locke held the Nationals scoreless over 5 2/3 innings and left with a 3-0 lead Saturday, but the bullpen blew the game.
Insight: Locke has been a solid back-end starter this season, going 4-3 with a 3.73 ERA, a 1.22 WHIP and a 63/19 K/BB in 91 2/3 innings.
Andrew McCutchen, CF8/16/2014 6:11:00 PM
Description: Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen (rib) ran the bases and took batting practice Saturday, according to Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Insight: McCutchen has been out since Aug. 3 due to an avulsion fracture of his rib. He could be back in a week.
Neil Walker, 2B8/16/2014 2:53:00 PM
Description: Pirates second baseman Neil Walker (back) isn't in the lineup Saturday.
Insight: Walker went 1-for-4 with a double Friday at Washington after a back injury kept him out of the lineup in 11 of the previous 12 games.
Starling Marte, LFHot8/15/2014 10:22:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh outfielder Starling Marte hit his first homer since June 13 Friday against the Nationals.
Insight: Marte has gone 13-for-39 (.333) with four doubles, a homer, five RBI, two steals and nine runs since he returned from a concussion on Aug. 5.
Charlie Morton, SPCold8/15/2014 10:21:00 PM
Description: Pirates starter Charlie Morton has allowed four runs or more in four of his last five starts and five runs in two straight.
Insight: Morton lasted just three innings Friday at Washington. His ERA, which was 3.10 on July 7, has climbed to 3.84.
Jordy Mercer, SSHot8/15/2014 6:13:00 PM
Description: Pirates shortstop Jordy Mercer isn't in the lineup Friday night due to a forearm injury, according to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Insight: Mercer has batted .307 with six homers, 35 RBI, 34 runs and an .817 OPS over his last 66 games, but he is only hitting .264 with a .696 OPS on the season because he hit .190 with one homer and a .487 OPS in his first 47 games. Super-utilityman Josh Harrison is starting at shortstop for the first time this year.
Neil Walker, 2B8/15/2014 4:00:00 PM
Description: Pirates second baseman Neil Walker (back) is not only back in Friday's starting lineup, he's batting cleanup.
Insight: Walker is batting .277 with 16 HR and 50 RBI, but has just three at-bats since Aug 1. He'll face a hot pitcher in Tanner Roark, who has given up exactly one run in five of his last six starts, and it may be best to avoid this matchup.
Jayson Nix, SS8/14/2014 10:41:00 AM
Description: You weren't going to start the .149 hitting Jayson Nix anyway, but it's interesting to note that he's a career 0-for-11 with nine strikeouts against Detroit right-hander Max Scherzer.
Insight: That's not seeing the ball well. In the league seven seasons, the utility infielder has never batted above .243, and has zero fantasy value.
Russell Martin, CHot8/14/2014 12:55:00 AM
Description: Pirates catcher Russell Martin is not in Thurday's starting lineup. Chris Stewart will get the start.
Insight: Martin, on an 11-game hitting streak, is having a solid season, batting .288 with 47 RBI and a .813 OPS. The OPS is his highest since 2007.
Travis Snider, LF8/13/2014 10:19:00 PM
Description: Pirates right fielder Travis Snider went 1-for-3 with a homer, a walk and two RBI.
Insight: Snider has been getting extra playing time with Andrew McCutchen on the disabled list and he's taken advantage of it. He's gone 6-for-12 with two doubles, three home runs and seven RBI his last three games.
Neil Walker, 2B8/13/2014 6:07:00 PM
Description: Pirates second baseman Neil Walker (back) hasn't been placed on the disabled list yet, but he's out of the lineup Wednesday for the eighth straight game and the 10th time in his last 11.
Insight: The Pirates have continued to win even though Andrew McCutchen (rib) and Walker have been out of the lineup. They've gone 7-4 in August and are 1.5 games out of first place in the NL Central.
Edinson Volquez, SPHot8/12/2014 10:31:00 PM
Description: Pirates starter Edinson Volquez has gone 6-1 with a 2.30 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP over his last nine starts.
Insight: Volquez' ERA climbed to 4.67 after he allowed eight runs in 2 1/3 innings on June 18, but it dropped to 3.67, its lowest point since April 27, Tuesday when he allowed two runs on five hits in six innings against the Tigers.
Gerrit Cole, SP8/12/2014 5:18:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh right-hander Gerrit Cole (right lat tightness) will make another rehab start, according to beat writer Travis Sawchik.
Insight: Cole allowed one hit over six scoreless innings Sunday in his latest rehab start, but the Pirates want him to throw one more. He's 7-4 with a 3.78 ERA, 1.31 WHIP and 78 Ks in 85 2/3 IP, but he has a high upside with his 95-plus mph fastball.
Starling Marte, LFHot8/11/2014 10:49:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh outfielder Starling Marte has gone 9-for-25 (.360) with three doubles and a triple since he returned from a concussion.
Insight: Marte went 2-for-4 with a triple, a walk, three RBI, two runs and a steal Monday against the Tigers.
Travis Snider, LF8/11/2014 10:47:00 PM
Description: Pirates right fielder Travis Snider went 3-for-5 with a double, two homers, four RBI and three runs Monday against the Tigers.
Insight: Snider's huge game came on the same day Pittsburgh placed Andrew McCutchen on the disabled list with an avulsion fracture of his rib. He's hit .251 with nine home runs and 29 RBI in 203 at-bats this season. His home run off Phil Coke in the eighth inning was his first off a left-hander since 2012.
Andrew McCutchen, CF8/11/2014 5:22:00 PM
Description: The Pirates have placed Andrew McCutchen (rib) on the disabled list.
Insight: McCutchen has been out since Aug. 3 due to an avulsion fracture of his rib. GM Neal Huntington said Sunday that McCutchen has made "remarkable" progress in his recovery, but he apparently wasn't going to be ready to return in the next few days.
Pedro Alvarez, 3BCold8/11/2014 11:06:00 AM
Description: Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez is just 1-for-10 with six strikeouts versus Detroit starter Justin Verlander.
Insight: The Pirates aren't starting Alvarez, so this unfavorable matchup can be ignored. He's batting just .232 this season with 15 HR and 49 RBI after blasting 36 homers and knocking in 100 last year.
Gerrit Cole, SP8/11/2014 10:22:00 AM
Description: Pittsburgh right-hander Gerrit Cole (right lat tightness) pitched well in his last rehab start and could return to the Pirates this week.
Insight: Cole only threw 73 pitches for Indianapolis, but went six scoreless innings. He's 7-4 with a 3.78 ERA, 1.31 WHIP and 78 Ks in 85 2/3 IP, but has a high upside with his 95-plus mph fastball.
Gregory Polanco, RFHot8/10/2014 5:43:00 PM
Description: Pirates outfielder Gregory Polanco went 2-for-4 with a double, a homer and two RBI Sunday against the Padres.
Insight: Polanco has bounced back from the first slump of his career (12-for-74 from June 27 to July 20) by going 22-for-71 (.310) with six doubles, three homers, 14 RBI, 13 runs and four steals in his last 18 games.
Andrew McCutchen, CF8/10/2014 2:23:00 PM
Description: Pirates general manager Neal Huntington says center fielder Andrew McCutchen (rib) has made "remarkable" progress in his recovery, according to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Insight: "Is (McCutchen) game ready? No. But next steps will be to determine how quickly he can be game ready. He's getting after it." McCutchen has been out since Aug. 3 due to an avulsion fracture of his rib, but the team hasn't placed him on the disabled list yet.
Neil Walker, 2B8/10/2014 12:38:00 PM
Description: Pirates second baseman Neil Walker (back) is expected to go on the disabled list, according to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Insight: Walker has appeared in just three games in August due to a back injury. His injury comes at a terrible time for Pittsburgh, as the Pirates are without Andrew McCutchen (rib).
Josh Harrison, IF/OFHot8/9/2014 10:10:00 PM
Description: Another two hits Saturday for Pittsburgh utilityman Josh Harrison extended his current hitting streak to 13 games.
Insight: Harrison has been fantasy's No. 1 overall player in the past two weeks and has hit .464 with six doubles, two triples, five homers, 17 runs and five steals in his last 13 games.
Gregory Polanco, RFHot8/8/2014 9:57:00 PM
Description: Pirates outfielder Gregory Polanco has gone 13-for-32 (.406) with five doubles, six RBI, seven runs and three steals in his last eight games.
Insight: Polanco's average dropped to .243 on July 30, but he's back up to .268 after going 3-for-4 Friday against the Padres. Fantasy owners shouldn't give up on the super-talented prospect.
Vance Worley, SPHot8/8/2014 9:55:00 PM
Description: Pirates starter Vance Worley took advantage of San Diego's feeble offense Friday night to get his fifth win.
Insight: Worley was tossed in the scrap heap by the Twins after he had a 7.21 ERA and a 1.99 WHIP last season, but he's been resurgent with the Pirates. In 62 2/3 innings, he's gone 5-1 with a 2.30 ERA, a 1.07 WHIP and 39 Ks.
Josh Harrison, IF/OFHot8/8/2014 9:54:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh utilityman Josh Harrison went 3-for-3 with a triple and a walk Friday against San Diego.
Insight: Harrison can do no wrong at the moment. He's been fantasy's No. 1 overall player in the past two weeks and has hit .462 with six doubles, two triples, five homers, 16 runs and four steals in his last 12 games.
Neil Walker, 2B8/8/2014 4:04:00 PM
Description: Pirates second baseman Neil Walker (back) is not in the lineup Friday.
Insight: Walker has played just one game since Aug. 1. He's batting .278 with 16 HR and 50 RBI. Jayson Nix will get the start, but has not done much in limited opportunities.
Ike Davis, 1B8/8/2014 11:36:00 AM
Description: Pittsburgh first baseman Ike Davis is a career 4-for-12 (.333) with four home runs against Padres starter Ian Kennedy.
Insight: Just the medicine for a guy who hasn't hit a home run since July 26. He's batting .208 with an ugly .630 OPS over his last 11 games.
Gaby Sanchez, 1B8/7/2014 3:05:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh first baseman Gaby Sanchez will be the cleanup hitter Thursday night and play first base.
Insight: Sanchez hasn't done much this season, batting .225 with five homers and 20 RBI this season, but he should at least get some RBI chances batting in the middle of the order.
Neil Walker, 2B8/7/2014 3:00:00 PM
Description: Pirates second baseman Neil Walker (back) is not in the lineup Thursday.
Insight: Walker left Tuesday's gam with back tightness after missing the previous two games with the same issue, which he blamed on the beds he had to sleep on during the road trip. He's batting .278 with 16 HR and 50 RBI. Michael Martinez will get a start, but has no fantasy value.
Jeff Locke, SPHot8/6/2014 10:08:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh left-hander Jeff Locke bounced back from two straight shaky starts Wednesday against Miami.
Insight: Locke struck out seven, walked none and gave up three runs on six hits in a win Wednesday night. He allowed 10 earned runs on 19 hits over 12 innings his previous two starts. Locke has trimmed his BB/9 from 4.55 last season to 1.44 this year, but throwing more strikes has resulted in a spike in home runs (1.22 HR/9).
Josh Harrison, IF/OFHot8/6/2014 10:03:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh utilityman Josh Harrison has gone 20-for-44 (.455) with six doubles, a triple, five homers, seven RBI and 14 runs in his last 10 games.
Insight: He went 3-for-4 with a double, a steal and two runs Wednesday and is up to .309 with 10 homers, 38 RBI, 50 runs, 14 steals and an .849 OPS on the year. Harrison made the NL All-Star team, but this torrid stretch has really come out of nowhere. He hit .286 with five homers, 31 RBI, 36 runs and a .751 OPS in his first 87 games.
Neil Walker, 2B8/6/2014 3:11:00 PM
Description: Pirates second baseman Neil Walker (back) is not in the lineup Wednesday.
Insight: Walker left Tuesday's gam with back tightness after missing the previous two games with the same issue, which he blamed on the beds he had to sleep on during the road trip.
Neil Walker, 2B8/5/2014 10:45:00 PM
Description: Pirates second baseman Neil Walker (back) left Tuesday's game with renewed back tightness, according to Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Insight: Walker missed the previous two games with the same issue, which he blamed on the beds he had to sleep on during the road trip.
Charlie Morton, SP8/5/2014 10:12:00 PM
Description: Pirates starter Charlie Morton gave up one run on six hits over seven innings Tuesday against Miami.
Insight: Morton gave up four runs in each of his previous two starts and had a 3.89 ERA in July, but he has a 3.43 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP on the year. Morton took a no decision Tuesday and is 5-10 this year.
Gerrit Cole, SP8/5/2014 8:41:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh right-hander Gerrit Cole (right lat tightness) was rocked in his latest rehab start Tuesday night for Triple-A Indianapolis.
Insight: Cole allowed five runs on 10 hits in 4 1/3 innings against Toledo. He was initially supposed to start Saturday but was scratched in order to work on his mechanics in a bullpen session. He's likely to need another rehab start before returning to the Pirates rotation.
Neil Walker, 2B8/5/2014 8:27:00 PM
Description: Pirates second baseman Neil Walker (back) returned to the lineup Tuesday after missing two games with back tightness.
Insight: According to mlb.com, Walker blamed the issue on the beds he slept on during Pittsburgh's road trip. The team returned home Sunday night and began an eight-game homestand Tuesday.
Andrew McCutchen, CF8/5/2014 5:02:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh center fielder Andrew McCutchen has an avulsion fracture of the 11th rib, according to Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He won't go on the disabled list yet.
Insight: It was reported Monday that McCutchen had a serious oblique injury, but that's not the case. An avulsion fracture occurs when a small chunk of bone attached to a tendon or ligament gets pulled away from the main part of the bone. Manager Clint Hurdle does not think the injury was caused by McCutchen getting drilled between the numbers by a Randall Delgado fastball Friday night.
Russell Martin, C8/5/2014 4:47:00 PM
Description: Pirates catcher Russell Martin is not in Tuesday's starting lineup. Chris Stewart will get the start.
Insight: Martin is having a solid season, batting .281 with 41 RBI and a .792 OPS. The OPS is his highest since 2007.
Starling Marte, LF8/5/2014 4:45:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh left fielder Starling Marte has been activated from the concussion list and will start in center field for the injured Andrew McCutchen.
Insight: Marte was hit in the helmet with a pitch on July 18 and was placed on the DL a few days later due to a concussion.
Josh Harrison, IF/OFHot8/5/2014 4:44:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh utilityman Josh Harrison will bat in Andrew McCutchen's No. 3 spot Tuesday.
Insight: Harrison has been one of the hottest hitters in the league over the past two weeks, batting .396 with five homers and a 1.286 OPS. Still, he's no McCutchen.
Pedro Alvarez, 3B8/5/2014 3:32:00 PM
Description: Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez has been place on the bereavement leave list.
Insight: The Pirates will likely use Josh Harrison at 3B while he's out and perhaps a lot longer. Alvarez has 24 errors at third base and may be shifted to the other side of the infield at first base.
Starling Marte, LF8/5/2014 3:29:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh left fielder Starling Marte has been activated from the concussion list.
Insight: Marte was hit in the helmet with a pitch on July 18 and was placed on the DL a few days later due to a concussion. He shouls move into the lineup with Josh Harrison taking Pedro Alvarez's spot at the hot corner.
Andrew McCutchen, CF8/4/2014 6:16:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh center fielder Andrew McCutchen could be out 3-4 weeks due to a serious oblique muscle injury, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Insight: McCutchen (.310, 17 HR, 66 RBI, 64 runs, 17 SB) appeared to reach for his left side after an eighth inning at-bat on Sunday. He's expected to be placed on the 15-day disabled list.
Andrew McCutchen, CF8/4/2014 10:43:00 AM
Description: Pittsburgh center fielder Andrew McCutchen left Sunday's game and X-rays on his left side were negative, but he is questionable for Tuesday's game against Miami.
Insight: McCutchen (.310, 17 HR, 66 RBI, 64 runs, 17 SB) appeared to reach for his left side after an eighth inning at-bat. The Pirates and fantasy owners can ill-afford to be without the star outfielder.
Andrew McCutchen, CF8/3/2014 7:25:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh center fielder Andrew McCutchen left Sunday's game with an undisclosed injury.
Insight: McCutchen (.310, 17 HR, 66 RBI, 64 runs, 17 SB) appeared to reach for his left side after an eighth inning at-bat. The Pirates and fantasy owners can ill-afford to be without the star outfielder.
Neil Walker, 2B8/3/2014 2:39:00 PM
Description: Pirates second baseman Neil Walker is not in Sunday's lineup due to an ongoing stiff back.
Insight: With a rest day tomorrow, the hope is with three consecutive days of rest Walker will be ready to go Tuesday. He is batting .280 with 50 RBI, 51 runs and an .808 OPS.
Pedro Alvarez, 3B8/3/2014 2:26:00 PM
Description: The Pirates are seriously considering moving third baseman Pedro Alvarez over to first base.
Insight: The move makes a lot of sense. Alvarez has 24 errors at third base, plus the move would open up a spot for Josh Harrison when Starling Marte (concussion) returns from injury.
Neil Walker, 2B8/2/2014 7:46:00 PM
Description: Pirates second baseman Neil Walker is a late scratch from Saturday's lineup due to a stiff back, according to Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Insight: Walker is batting .280 with 50 RBI, 51 runs and an .808 OPS. Consider him day-to-day.
Gerrit Cole, SP8/1/2014 8:52:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh right-hander Gerrit Cole (right lat soreness) has been scratched from his rehab start on Saturday, according to Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Insight: Pirates GM Neal Huntington said Cole was scratched so he could throw another bullpen "to refine some things," but he didn't elaborate on Cole's health, pitching issues or timetable.
Pedro Alvarez, 3B8/1/2014 5:46:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh third baseman Pedro Alvarez is not in the lineup Friday.
Insight: Alvarez doesn't appear to be starting against any left-handers these days. He's hit .178 with a .510 OPS against them this year.
Starling Marte, LF7/31/2014 7:13:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh left fielder Starling Marte (concussion) will start a four-game rehab assignment Saturday with Triple-A Indianapolis, according to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Insight: Marte was hit in the helmet with a pitch on July 18 and was placed on the DL a few days later due to a concussion. If all goes well, he'll return on Aug. 6 against Miami.
Jordy Mercer, SSHot7/30/2014 9:18:00 PM
Description: Pirates shortstop Jordy Mercer hit his first home run since June 21 Wednesday at San Francisco.
Insight: Mercer has gone 29-for-88 (.330) in July and 58-for-193 (.301) with six home runs, 29 RBI and 28 runs over his last 52 games.
Josh Harrison, IF/OFHot7/30/2014 9:13:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh utilityman Josh Harrison homered for the fourth straight game on Wednesday at San Francisco.
Insight: Prior to July 27, Harrison hadn't homered in his past 29 games (22 starts) and he had just five home runs all season. He's now hitting .297 with nine home runs, 37 RBI, 42 runs and 13 steals, but fantasy owners shouldn't expect him to suddenly become a power hitter.
Starling Marte, LF7/29/2014 9:26:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh left fielder Starling Marte (concussion) is eligible to return from the disabled list Wednesday, but manager Clint Hurdle is not optimistic he'll be ready, according to Jenn Menendez of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Insight: Marte was hit in the helmet with a pitch on July 18 and was placed on the DL a few days later due to a concussion.
Gerrit Cole, SP7/29/2014 11:23:00 AM
Description: Pittsburgh right-hander Gerrit Cole (right lat soreness) threw five scoreless inning in his first rehab start Monday.
Insight: More importantly, he appears to have come out of it healthy. Cole has been on the disabled list twice since June 3, first with shoulder fatigue and lat strain. He should make another start or two in the minors before returning to the bigs.
Pedro Alvarez, 3B7/28/2014 6:58:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh third baseman Pedro Alvarez is out of the lineup Monday.
Insight: Alvarez wasn't in the starting lineup for three straight games due to knee discomfort before returning Sunday. He's healthy, but the Giants are starting lefty Madison Bumgarner.
Josh Harrison, IF/OF7/27/2014 8:18:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh utilityman Josh Harrison went 4-for-6 with a double and a homer Sunday at Colorado.
Insight: Harrison was a questionable choice for the NL All-Star team, but there's no denying he's been a valuable utility player for Pittsburgh this season, filling in at second, third and both corner outfield spots. He's picked up 282 at-bats and hit .294 with six home runs, 33 RBI, 38 runs and 13 steals.
Pedro Alvarez, 3B7/27/2014 1:25:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh third baseman Pedro Alvarez (knee) is back in the starting lineup Sunday.
Insight: Alvarez left with discomfort in his left knee Tuesday and hasn't started since. He's gone 12-for-54 (.222) with two home runs in July.
Pedro Alvarez, 3B7/26/2014 6:03:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh third baseman Pedro Alvarez (knee) is not in Saturday's starting lineup.
Insight: Alvarez has played sparingly since Tuesday, when he left with discomfort in his left knee. Alvarez has gone 12-for-54 (.222) with two home runs in July.
Pedro Alvarez, 3B7/25/2014 5:29:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh third baseman Pedro Alvarez (knee) is out Friday.
Insight: Alvarez hasn't played since Tuesday, when he left with discomfort in his left knee. Alvarez has gone 12-for-53 (.226) with two home runs in July and is batting .239 with 27 extra-base hits in 383 plate appearances (.070 XBH%) this season. He had a .098 XBH% last season.
Francisco Liriano, SP7/23/2014 10:00:00 PM
Description: Pirates starter Francisco Liriano has allowed two runs (one earned) on seven hits in his last 12 innings to lower his ERA from 4.72 to 4.18.
Insight: Liriano has the lowest contact rate in baseball (minimum 80 innings) this season, but he's struggled with walks (4.79 BB/9).
Pedro Alvarez, 3B7/23/2014 5:53:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh third baseman Pedro Alvarez (knee) is not in the lineup Wednesday. Josh Harrison is starting.
Insight: Alvarez left Tuesday's game with discomfort in his left knee. Alvarez has gone 12-for-53 (.226) with two home runs in July and is batting .239 with 27 extra-base hits in 383 plate appearances (.070 XBH%) this season. He had a .098 XBH% last season.
Starling Marte, LF7/23/2014 3:39:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh left fielder Starling Marte (head) will be placed on the disabled list, according to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Insight: Marte was hit in the helmet with a pitch Friday night and is out of the lineup Wednesday for the fourth time in the past five games.
Neil Walker, 2BHot7/22/2014 10:56:00 PM
Description: Pirates second baseman Neil Walker homered for the fourth time in his last 10 games Tuesday against the Dodgers.
Insight: Walker is now one home run away from tying his career high of 16. He's batting .286 with 48 RBI, 46 runs and an .831 OPS in 325 at-bats this season. Among second basemen, only Brian Dozier has more home runs.
Gregory Polanco, RF 7/22/2014 10:55:00 PM
Description: Pirates outfielder Gregory Polanco went 2-for-4 with a homer, three RBI, a walk and three runs Tuesday against the Dodgers.
Insight: Polanco entered the game in a 3-for-35 (.086) slump, but fantasy owners shouldn't give up on the talented prospect.
Pedro Alvarez, 3B7/22/2014 9:29:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh third baseman Pedro Alvarez exited Tuesday's game with discomfort in his left knee, according to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Insight: Alvarez has gone 12-for-53 (.226) with two home runs in July and is batting .239 with 27 extra-base hits in 383 plate appearances (.070 XBH%) this season. He had a .098 XBH% last season.
Starling Marte, LF7/22/2014 3:15:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh left fielder Starling Marte (head) is not in Tuesday's starting lineup.
Insight: Marte was hit in the helmet with a pitch Friday night and didn't play much over the weekend, but returned Monday. This could just be a rountine day off
Gregory Polanco, RFCold7/21/2014 3:37:00 PM
Description: Pirates outfielder Gregory Polanco went 0-for-10 this weekend and will sit on Monday in favor of Michael Martinez.
Insight: Fantasy owners shouldn't give up on the talented prospect, but the 11-game hitting streak to start his career is a distant past. His average has dropped to .246 and he'll likely share time the remainder of the way.
Starling Marte, LF7/21/2014 3:34:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh left fielder Starling Marte (head) was out Sunday and was listed as questionable for Monday's game against the LA Dodgers, but he's in the starting lineup batting second and playing in left field.
Insight: Marte was hit in the helmet with a pitch Friday night. He did get into Sunday's game as a pinch hitter (walked) and therefore we knew he was close to returning.
Pedro Alvarez, 3B7/21/2014 3:30:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh third baseman Pedro Alvarez will sit Monday night against left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu.
Insight: Very understandable as Alvarez is batting just .186 against left-=handers this season. Josh Harrisonn will get the start at the hot corner.
Starling Marte, LF7/21/2014 10:33:00 AM
Description: Pittsburgh left fielder Starling Marte (head) was out Sunday and is questionable for Monday's game against the LA Dodgers.
Insight: Marte was hit in the helmet with a pitch Friday night. He did get into Sunday's game as a pinch hitter (walked) and therefore may be close to returning.
Jordy Mercer, SSHot7/20/2014 8:36:00 PM
Description: Pirates shortstop Jordy Mercer has hit .311 with eight doubles, five home runs, 25 RBI and 25 runs over his last 43 games.
Insight: Mercer went 2-for-3 with two RBI and a walk Sunday against Colorado. He started off batting .190 with one home run and six RBI in his first 47 games, but he's turned into a competent fantasy shortstop option.
Gregory Polanco, RFCold7/20/2014 5:08:00 PM
Description: Pirates outfielder Gregory Polanco has gone 3-for-35 (.086) in his past eight games.
Insight: The skid has cut down his average from .299 to .246. Fantasy owners shouldn't give up on the talented prospect.
Neil Walker, 2B7/20/2014 5:05:00 PM
Description: Pirates second baseman Neil Walker had his second straight three-hit game and hit his 14th homer of the year Sunday against the Rockies.
Insight: Walker is just two homers away from tying his career high. He's batting .283 with 14 homers, 45 RBI, 43 runs and an .814 OPS, very good numbers for a second baseman.
Jeff Locke, SPHot7/20/2014 5:04:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh left-hander Jeff Locke threw his eighth straight quality start Sunday against the Rockies.
Insight: Locke has cut his walks down from 4.55 per nine last season to 1.16 this year. The left-hander is 2-1 with a 3.05 ERA and a 1.03 WHIP in 62 innings.
Starling Marte, LF7/20/2014 12:13:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh left fielder Starling Marte (head) is out Sunday.
Insight: Marte was hit in the helmet with a pitch Friday night. Manager Clint Hurdle said Marte will work out before Sunday's game and could be available off the bench, which is a sign he's avoided a concussion.
Starling Marte, LF7/19/2014 6:43:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh left fielder Starling Marte is not in Saturday's starting lineup. Josh Harrison will join Andrew McCutchen and Gregory Polanco in the outfield.
Insight: Marte was hit in the helmet with a pitch Friday night and the team will play it safe. He's batting a productive .258 with 40 runs scored, five homers, 34 RBI and 21 SB.
Andrew McCutchen, CFHot7/15/2014 10:24:00 AM
Description: Pittsburgh center fielder Andrew McCutchen is the hottest hitter in baseball.
Insight: McCutchen is batting .408 with a 1.363 OPS over the past dozen games, including 12 extra base hits (five homers), 13 RBI and 13 runs scored. It's no wonder he's at the top of the NL All-Star lineup - I'd want him to get as many at-bats as possible too.
Neil Walker, 2B7/13/2014 5:28:00 PM
Description: Pirates second baseman Neil Walker hit his 13th home run of the season Sunday against the Reds.
Insight: Walker's career high in home runs is 16, which he set last year. Six of those came in his last 34 at-bats last season, so he's blasted 19 home runs in his last 340 at-bats.
Starling Marte, LF7/13/2014 12:59:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh left fielder Starling Marte (bereavement) will rejoin the team Wednesday, according to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Insight: Marte has been away from the team due to the passing of his mother-in-law since July 9. The outfielder's average has dropped from .280 in 2013 to .256 due to an increase in strikeout rate from 24.4 percent to 27.7 percent.
Andrew McCutchen, CFHot7/13/2014 12:20:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh center fielder Andrew McCutchen is the only Pirates player with respectable numbers against Reds starter Johnny Cueto.
Insight: McCutchen homered twice Saturday night and has hit .396 with 11 extra-base hits this month. He's gone 13-for-49 (.265) with four doubles, four homers and six walks against Cueto while Pedro Alvarez, Starling Marte, Russell Martin, Neil Walker, Ike Davis and Travis Snider are a combined 16-for-118 (.136) against the right-hander.
Neil Walker, 2B7/13/2014 12:18:00 PM
Description: Pirates second baseman Neil Walker is hitting .171 against Cincinnati starter Johnny Cueto.
Insight: Walker has collected just six hits in 35 at-bats against Cueto, who will start Sunday against the Pirates.
Pedro Alvarez, 3B7/13/2014 12:16:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh third baseman Pedro Alvarez is 5-for-28 lifetime against Reds starter Johnny Cueto.
Insight: Alvarez is hitting just .238 with 15 home runs, 47 RBI and a .741 OPS. At the All-Star break last year, he was hitting .250 with an .827 OPS and already had 24 homers and 62 RBI. He'll face Cueto Sunday in Pittsburgh's last game before the break.
Andrew McCutchen, CFHot7/13/2014 12:16:00 AM
Description: Pittsburgh center fielder Andrew McCutchen took his hot streak to another level with two home runs and a double Saturday night.
Insight: McCutchen is up to .321 with 17 HR, 61 RBI and 15 steals. He's gotten better each month, batting .286 in April, .310 in May, .343 in June and .372 so far this month.
Pedro Alvarez, 3B7/11/2014 10:29:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh third baseman Pedro Alvarez went 1-for-3 with a homer and three RBI Friday at Cincinnati.
Insight: At the All-Star break last season, Alvarez was hitting .250 with 24 homers and 62 RBI. With just two games to go before the break this year, he's batting .241 with 15 HR and 47 RBI.
Andrew McCutchen, CFHot7/11/2014 10:26:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh center fielder Andrew McCutchen went 2-for-3 with a double, a walk and a solo homer Friday at Cincinnati.
Insight: McCutchen has batted .372 with eight extra-base hits (3 HR) and 11 RBI in 43 at-bats this month after hitting .343 with 20 extra-base hits in June. He has nine more extra-base hits and five more home runs than he had before the All-Star break last season.
Gerrit Cole, SP7/11/2014 5:27:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh right-hander Gerrit Cole (right lat soreness) will not return from the disabled list when he's first eligible on July 20, according to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Insight: Cole has been on the disabled list twice since June 3, first with shoulder fatigue and now with a right lat strain. The team won't rush the recovery process with the former No. 1 overall pick.
Russell Martin, C7/10/2014 9:48:00 AM
Description: Pirates catcher Russell Martin is 4-for-11 with a pair of home runs and a 1.462 OPS versus Cardinals right-hander Shelby Miller.
Insight: Martin is batting .323 over the past two weeks and Miller has yielded 16 earned runs in his last four starts (19 2/3 IP) so may be primed for a big game.
Starling Marte, LF7/9/2014 8:18:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh left fielder Starling Marte was placed on the bereavement list on Wednesday. SOURCE: Rob Biertempfel, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Insight: Marte will be out for at least the next three days, including Wednesday, due to the death of his mother-in-law.
Francisco Liriano, SP7/9/2014 5:52:00 PM
Description: Pirates starter Francisco Liriano (oblique) will Sunday against the Reds, according to Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Insight: Liriano strained his oblique on June 10. The left-hander has gone 1-6 with a 4.60 ERA this season after going 16-8 with a 3.02 ERA a year ago. Vance Worley will move to the bullpen.
Andrew McCutchen, CFHot7/9/2014 1:11:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh center fielder Andrew McCutchen has collected just four hits while fanning 10 times in 26 at-bats (.154) against Cardinals starter Lance Lynn.
Insight: McCutchen should be in all standard league lineups, but daily league players should spend their budget elsewhere Wednesday.
Francisco Liriano, SP7/8/2014 6:25:00 PM
Description: Pirates starter Francisco Liriano (oblique) will start one of Pittsburgh's games against the Reds from July 11-13, according to Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Insight: Liriano strained his oblique on June 10. The left-hander has gone 1-6 with a 4.60 ERA this season after going 16-8 with a 3.02 ERA a year ago.
Gerrit Cole, SP7/8/2014 12:03:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh right-hander Gerrit Cole (right lat soreness) has been placed on the 15-day disabled list.
Insight: The right-hander just returned from shoulder fatigue on June 28 after sitting out more than three weeks and pitched one time. He's a solid 7-4 with a 3.78 ERA and 78 strikeouts in 85 2/3 innings pitched. We'd like him to walk a few less batters to get him WHIP down to a reasonable level.
Gregory Polanco, RF7/7/2014 4:13:00 PM
Description: Pirates outfielder Gregory Polanco is not in Monday's starting lineup, it will be Starling Marte, Andrew McCutchen and Josh Harrison in the outfield tonight.
Insight: After an 11-game hitting streak to start his career, he's batted just .204 over the past 14 games.
Andrew McCutchen, CFHot7/7/2014 11:27:00 AM
Description: Pittsburgh center fielder Andrew McCutchen is a career .382 hitter with seven extra-base hits and a 1.082 OPS versus Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright.
Insight: Add that McCutchen is 11-for-22 with two doubles, two triples and one home run in his last five games. It's hard to imagine him much hotter as he enters this favorable matchup.
Jeff Locke, SPHot7/6/2014 4:54:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh left-hander Jeff Locke has thrown six straight quality starts since he was recalled from the minors on June 8.
Insight: He was solid again on Sunday against the Phillies, going eight innings and yielding just four hits and one earned run to lower his ERA to 3.08.
Andrew McCutchen, CFHot7/6/2014 4:45:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh center fielder Andrew McCutchen went 2-for-4 with a triple and home run against the Phillies on Sunday.
Insight: McCutchen is now 11-for-22 with two doubles, two triples and one home run in his last five games. It's hard to imagine him much hotter.
Gerrit Cole, SP7/6/2014 10:32:00 AM
Description: Pittsburgh right-hander Gerrit Cole (right lat soreness) is questionable for Wednesday's scheduled start against St. Louis
Insight: The right-hander just returned from shoulder fatigue on June 28 after sitting out more than three weeks. He'll receive treatment and the team will reevaluate him.
Andrew McCutchen, CFHot7/5/2014 7:10:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh center fielder Andrew McCutchen went 4-for-5 with two doubles, a triple, two RBI and a steal Friday against the Phillies.
Insight: McCutchen was 8-for-14 in his last three games and added a home run on Saturday, just his secong homer since June 15.
Neil Walker, 2B7/5/2014 1:08:00 PM
Description: Pirates second baseman Neil Walker will get a routine day off on Saturday.
Insight: Walker was off to a fast start before his stint on the diabled list and hasn't been able to recapture that level of production since his return (.205, 0 HR, 2 RBI, .545 OPS in 11 games).
Russell Martin, C7/5/2014 1:07:00 PM
Description: Pirates catcher Russell Martin is not in Saturday's starting lineup.
Insight: Normal day game after a night game off for Martin. Chris Stewart will be behind the plate, but has little fantasy value.
Jordy Mercer, SSHot7/4/2014 9:24:00 PM
Description: Pirates shortstop Jordy Mercer drove in four runs Friday against Philadelphia.
Insight: Mercer has batted .308 with five doubles, five homers, 20 RBI and 21 runs in his last 31 games after starting out with a .190 average, one homer and six RBI in his first 47 games of the year.
Andrew McCutchen, CFHot7/4/2014 9:22:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh center fielder Andrew McCutchen went 4-for-5 with two doubles, a triple, two RBI and a steal Friday against the Phillies.
Insight: McCutchen has hit just one homer in his last 17 games after belting seven in the first 13 games of June, but he's still contributing in other ways. The 2013 NL MVP is batting .323 with 12 homers, 51 RBI, 45 runs, 13 steals and a .961 OPS this season.
Gerrit Cole, SP7/4/2014 7:38:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh right-hander Gerrit Cole left Friday's start due to right lat soreness, according to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Insight: Cole allowed just one hit and struck out five over five scoreless innings. The right-hander just returned from shoulder fatigue on June 28 after sitting out more than three weeks. He'll receive treatment and the team will reevaluate him Saturday.
Pedro Alvarez, 3B7/4/2014 2:58:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh third baseman Pedro Alvarez is not in Friday's starting lineup against the Phillies.
Insight: Alvarez hasn't backed up last season's 36-home runs with an equivalent effort this season. He's hit 13 to date among just 23 extra base hits and his .740 OPS is the lowest in three seasons.
Vance Worley, SPHot7/3/2014 10:41:00 PM
Description: Vance Worley has gone 2-1 with a 2.28 ERA and a 0.94 WHIP in four starts with the Pirates.
Insight: Pittsburgh picked Worley up off the scrap heap after he had a 7.21 ERA and a 1.99 WHIP in 48 2/3 innings with the Twins last season. The 26-year-old had a 3.01 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP over 131 2/3 innings with the Phillies in 2011.
Jordy Mercer, SS7/2/2014 10:26:00 PM
Description: Pirates shortstop Jordy Mercer has hit .290 with five homers since the start of June.
Insight: Mercer's overall numbers (.237, 6 HR, 22 RBI, 31 R, .620 OPS) aren't impressive because he started out 29-for-146 (.199) with one homer and a .508 OPS. However, he's been good lately and could be a shortstop option in NL-only leagues.
Gregory Polanco, RF7/2/2014 10:24:00 PM
Description: Pirates highly touted outfielder Gregory Polanco has lived up to expectations so far. Through 85 at-bats, he's hitting .306 with three homers, 12 RBI, 17 runs, 12 walks and four steals.
Insight: Polanco went 2-for-4 with a double, a homer, two RBI, a walk and two runs Wednesday against the Diamondbacks.
Charlie Morton, SP7/2/2014 10:23:00 PM
Description: Pirates starter Charlie Morton held the Diamondbacks to one run on five hits over six innings Wednesday to pick up his fifth win of the year.
Insight: Morton had 39 Ks in 32 innings last month and is 5-9 with a 3.30 ERA, a 1.23 WHIP and 89 Ks in 106 1/3 innings this year.
Jeff Locke, SPHot7/1/2014 9:54:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh left-hander Jeff Locke has thrown five straight quality starts since he was recalled from the minors on June 8.
Insight: He's gone 1-1 with a 2.48 ERA in that span. Locke threw eight innings and allowed two runs Tuesday against the Diamondbacks. He was an All-Star in 2013 before fading in the second half and has cut his BB/9 down from 4.55 last year to 1.08 in 2014.
Pedro Alvarez, 3B6/29/2014 4:40:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh third baseman Pedro Alvarez had a double, a homer and three RBI Sunday against the Mets.
Insight: With just 23 extra-base hits (13 HR) in 324 plate appearances this season, Alvarez' extra-base hit rate is 7.1 percent, down from 9.8 percent last year.
Edinson Volquez, SP 6/29/2014 4:36:00 PM
Description: Pirates starter Edinson Volquez threw six shutout innings Sunday against the Mets to even his record at 6-6.
Insight: Volquez (4.07 ERA, 1.24 WHIP) has allowed one run on 13 hits in his last 14 innings and three earned runs or less in seven of his last eight starts, but he gave up eight runs in 2 1/3 three starts ago. The right-hander has cut his BB/9 down from 4.07 last year to 2.94 in 2014, but it has come at the expense of his K/9. He's no more than an NL-only arm.
Andrew McCutchen, CF6/29/2014 2:38:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh center fielder Andrew McCutchen was not in Sunday's starting lineup.
Insight: McCutchen was just getting a day off after playing 45 in a row. he's batting .314 with 12 HR, 48 RBI, 44 runs and 12 steals ... a complete fantasy player if there every was one.
Starling Marte, LF6/29/2014 11:38:00 AM
Description: Pittsburgh left fielder Starling Marte didn't start Saturday, but he did get into the game as a pinch hitter and will get the start on Sunday.
Insight: Marte (.259, 5 HR, 27 RBI) injured his head and finger in a collision at second base earlier this week.
Starling Marte, LF6/29/2014 10:08:00 AM
Description: Pittsburgh left fielder Starling Marte didn't start Saturday, but he did get into the game as a pinch hitter.
Insight: Marte (.259, 5 HR, 27 RBI) injured his head and finger in a collision at second base earlier this week. He's obviously close.
Gerrit Cole, SP6/28/2014 8:21:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh right-hander Gerrit Cole took a beating in his return from the disabled list Saturday against the Mets.
Insight: Cole, who was on the DL due to shoulder fatigue, walked three and gave up five runs on seven hits in four innings. He now has a disappointing 4.02 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP this season.
Ernesto Frieri, RP6/27/2014 8:48:00 PM
Description: The Angels have sent struggling reliever Ernesto Frieri to Pittsburgh. SOURCE: Bob Nightengale, USA Today
Insight: Meanwhile, the Pirates are giving up right-hander Jason Grilli. Frieri (0-3, 6.39 ERA) probably won't have a chance to close for the Pirates unless Mark Melancon (1-2, 2.41 ERA) gets hurt.
Starling Marte, LF6/27/2014 6:47:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh left fielder Starling Marte won't be available Friday against New York. SOURCE: Pirates.com
Insight: Marte (.260, 5 HR, 27 RBI) injured his head and finger in a collision at second base earlier this week. Travis Snider (.239, 4 HR, 14 RBI) is getting another start in left field.
Gregory Polanco, RF6/26/2014 10:14:00 PM
Description: Gregory Polanco drove in four of Pittsburgh's five runs Thursday in a win against the Mets.
Insight: He plated three of those runs with one swing in the fifth inning. Polanco has played well in his first month in the bigs, collecting a .338 average in 68 at bats.
Starling Marte, LF6/26/2014 10:13:00 AM
Description: Pirates left fielder Starling Marte (head) was not in the lineup Wednesday afternoon, but is questionable for Thursday's game against the NY Mets.
Insight: Marte took a knee to the head and jammed his right middle finger on a stolen base attempt Tuesday night. He's batting .260 with five homers, 27 RBI, 37 runs and 18 steals.
Gerrit Cole, SP6/25/2014 7:24:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh right-hander Gerrit Cole will make his return to the starting rotation Saturday against New York. SOURCE: Rob Biertempfel, Pittsburgh Tribune
Insight: He missed a few turns in the rotation because of shoulder fatigue. Jeff Locke (1-1, 3.74 ERA) is likely to lose his spot in the rotation upon Cole's return.
Wandy Rodriguez, SP6/25/2014 4:09:00 PM
Description: Free agent pitcher Wandy Rodriguez has undergone season-ending right knee surgery, according to Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes.
Insight: The Pirates designated Rodriguez for assignment last month and now it makes sense why he wasn't picked up. The left-hander had a 3.48 ERA over 997 1/3 innings from 2008-13, but he suffered an elbow injury last year and gave up 37 hits (10 HR) and 20 earned runs over 26 2/3 innings this season.
Charlie Morton, SP 6/25/2014 3:45:00 PM
Description: Pirates starter Charlie Morton had a career-high 11 strikeouts in Wednesday's loss to Tampa Bay.
Insight: Morton allowed three runs (two earned) on four hits with one walk over seven innings. The 30-year-old has a 3.41 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP but is just 4-9. He has struck out 39 batters in 32 innings this month.
Starling Marte, LF6/25/2014 12:07:00 PM
Description: Pirates left fielder Starling Marte (head) is not in the lineup Wednesday afternoon, but he's been cleared of a possible concussion, according to Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Insight: Marte took a knee to the head and jammed his right middle finger on a stolen base attempt Tuesday night. He's day-to-day.
Starling Marte, LF6/24/2014 9:20:00 PM
Description: Pirates left fielder Starling Marte is being checked for a concussion after taking a knee to the head Tuesday against Tampa Bay. SOURCE: Bill Brink, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Insight: The injury occurred on a stolen base attempt in the fifth inning. Travis Snider (.234, 4 HR, 14 RBI) has come on to take Marte's place in left field.
Jose Tabata, RF6/24/2014 6:57:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh outfielder Jose Tabata was demoted to Triple-A Indianapolis on Tuesday.
Insight: He's no longer on the Pirates' 40-man roster. Neil Walker (.280, 11 HR, 35 RBI) was activated from the disabled list in the corresponding roster move.
Neil Walker, 2B6/24/2014 2:47:00 PM
Description: Pirates second baseman Neil Walker (appendectomy) has been activated from the 15-day disabled list.
Insight: Walker missed the minimum amount of time. He'll return to a .280 average, 11 homers, 35 RBI, 29 runs and an .805 OPS. Josh Harrison (.304, 5 HR, 5 SB), who filled in for Walker at second base, has hit .368 with a homer, seven RBI and three steals over his last nine games. The Pirates will have to find a way to keep his bat in the lineup, though it won't come at the expense of Walker.
Pedro Alvarez, 3B 6/23/2014 10:47:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh third baseman Pedro Alvarez launched his first homer since June 3 Monday against the Rays.
Insight: Alvarez has failed to take a step forward after batting .233 with 36 homers, 100 RBI and a .769 OPS in 2013. This season, he has just 21 extra-base hits (12 HR) to go with a .232 average.
Andrew McCutchen, CFHot6/23/2014 10:45:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh center fielder Andrew McCutchen went 3-for-5 with two RBI, two runs and two steals Monday at Tampa Bay.
Insight: McCutchen should have had three RBI, but Starling Marte misread McCutchen's grounder up the middle in the first inning. He's now hitting .317 with 11 homers, 45 RBI, 40 runs and 12 steals on 12 attempts.
Starling Marte, LF6/23/2014 4:41:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh left fielder Starling Marte had left the team to deal with a family issue, but is back and in the lineup for Monday's game with Tampa Bay.
Insight: Marte (.258, 5 HR, 26 RBI, 34 runs, 17 steals) only missed a couple of games.
Gregory Polanco, RFHot6/23/2014 4:22:00 PM
Description: Pirates outfielder Gregory Polanco lost his 11-game hitting streak Sunday afternoon, but is still batting .345 with 11 runs scored in 12 career games.
Insight: Polanco tore up Triple-A and he's doing the same in the majors. It's interesting to note, however, his first hitless game came facing Travis Wood for the second time. Perhaps Wood learned something the first time around.
Starling Marte, LF6/21/2014 5:23:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh left fielder Starling Marte has left the team to deal with a family issue. SOURCE: Tom Singer, MLB.com
Insight: He's gone home to the Dominican Republic. The Pirates are hoping Marte (.258, 5 HR, 26 RBI) won't miss more than a game or two.
Pedro Alvarez, 3BCold6/21/2014 4:09:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh third baseman Pedro Alvarez should be avoided on Saturday in an unfavorable matchup.
Insight: Alvarez is a career .056 hitter (1-for-18) with seven strikeouts against Cubs left-hander Travis Wood. The power hitter hasn't homered in since June 3. Avoid him. Update: Alvarez is not in the starting lineup on Saturday.
Gregory Polanco, RFHot6/21/2014 4:08:00 PM
Description: Pirates outfielder Gregory Polanco brings a 10-game hitting streak to the plate Saturday night.
Insight: Polanco has only played 10 major leagues games, so you do the math. He tore up Triple-A and he's doing the same in the majors, hitting .367 with a homer, six RBI and nine runs scored. He'll face Travis Wood for a second time so it will be interesting to see how Wood pitches to him the second time around.
Pedro Alvarez, 3BCold6/21/2014 10:33:00 AM
Description: Pittsburgh third baseman Pedro Alvarez should be avoided on Saturday in an unfavorable matchup.
Insight: Alvarez is a career .056 hitter (1-for-18) with seven strikeouts against Cubs left-hander Travis Wood. The power hitter hasn't homered in since June 3. Avoid him.
Mark Melancon, RPHot6/20/2014 2:16:00 PM
Description: Fantasy owners should jump on the Mark Melancon (1-2, 1.89 ERA, 0.780 WHIP) bandwagon while Jason Grilli has been exiled from the closer's role.
Insight: Melancon thrived in the role last season after Grilli was sidelined by injury. He accumulated 16 saves in 2013.
Jason Grilli, RPCold6/20/2014 2:12:00 PM
Description: Pirates manager Clint Hurdle will temporarily take Jason Grilli out of the closer's role, according to Tom Singer of mlb.com
Insight: Grilli has allowed six hits (2 HR), walked three and given up four runs in his last 2 2/3 innings. He has a 4.34 ERA and a 17/10 K/BB in 18 2/3 innings this season. Setup man Mark Melancon will close.
Starling Marte, LFHot6/20/2014 9:43:00 AM
Description: Pirates left fielder Starling Marte is 8-for-17 (.471) with a 1.138 OPS against Cubs starter Edwin Jackson.
Insight: Marte has also stolen six bases against Jackson. Marte is in the middle of a 10-game hitting streak that has raised his average 22 points. Start him.
Andrew McCutchen, CFHot6/20/2014 9:38:00 AM
Description: Pittsburgh center fielder Andrew McCutchen is 12-for-26 (.462) with three homers and nine RBI against Cubs starter Edwin Jackson.
Insight: McCutchen is batting .317 with 11 homers, 42 RBI, 38 runs, nine steals and a .965 OPS. The only ominous number is a league-leading 51 walks which means pitchers are avoiding challenging him whenever possible.
Jason Grilli, RPCold6/19/2014 6:12:00 PM
Description: Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said he will evaluate the closer situation when asked about Jason Grilli's status, according to Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Insight: Grilli has allowed six hits (2 HR), walked three and given up four runs in his last 2 2/3 innings. He has a 4.34 ERA and a 17/10 K/BB in 18 2/3 innings this season, while Mark Melancon has a sub-two ERA for the second straight season to go with a microscopic 0.78 WHIP.
Gregory Polanco, RFHot6/19/2014 5:37:00 PM
Description: Pirates outfielder Gregory Polanco has hit safely in all nine games since he was called up.
Insight: Polanco tore up Triple-A and he's doing the same in the majors, hitting .378 with a homer, six RBI and nine runs so far. He would have been up in April if not for the Super Two classification.
Russell Martin, C6/19/2014 11:09:00 AM
Description: Pirates catcher Russell Martin is not in Thursday's starting lineup.
Insight: Normal day game after a night game off for Martin. Chris Stewart will be behind the plate, but has little fantasy value (.266, 0 HR, 3 RBI, .624 OPS).
Josh Harrison, IF/OF6/19/2014 10:20:00 AM
Description: Pittsburgh utility man Josh Harrison is just 1-for-10 versus Reds starter Homer Bailey.
Insight: Harrison (.317, 4 HR, 18 RBI, 23 runs) has been a catalyst for the Pirates offense, but isn't likely to help in this unfavorable matchup.
Josh Harrison, UTILHot6/18/2014 9:33:00 AM
Description: Pittsburgh utility man Josh Harrison cranked four hits in Tuesday night's loss to Cincinnati.
Insight: Harrison (.319, 4 HR, 18 RBI) has gone 9-for-14 with three RBI over his last three games. As long as he keeps hitting, the Pirates will continue to find ways to get him in the lineup.
Neil Walker, 2B6/17/2014 8:25:00 PM
Description: Pirates second baseman Neil Walker (appendectomy) is expected to return from the disabled list when he's first eligible on June 24, according to mlb.com.
Insight: Walker is eager to get back in the lineup but has to wait until his 15 days are up. He'll return to a .280 average, 11 homers, 35 RBI, 29 runs and an .805 OPS.
Gregory Polanco, RFHot6/17/2014 2:55:00 PM
Description: Pirates outfielder Gregory Polanco is 12-for-31(..387) in the six games since being called up and put at the top of the lineup.
Insight: Polanco tore up Triple-A and he's doing the same in the majors, having hit safely in all six games he's played. Pittsburgh is 4-2 in those six games.
Pedro Alvarez, 3B6/17/2014 10:01:00 AM
Description: Pittsburgh third baseman Pedro Alvarez has never homered against Reds right-hander Johnny Cueto.
Insight: Alvarez is a career .200 hitter (5-for-25), but they are all singles. If he's not hitting the long ball, Alvarez is mostly useless to fantasy owners.
Starling Marte, LF6/17/2014 9:58:00 AM
Description: Pirates left fielder Starling Marte should be avoided on Tuesday as he's hitless in 11 at-bats against Johnny Cueto with four strikeouts.
Insight: Marte is batting .326 with an .858 OPS in June. His fantasy prospects look much better now that he's hitting in the No. 2 hole between rookie Gregory Polanco and Andrew McCutchen. Tuesday, however is a poor matchup.
Andrew McCutchen, CF6/17/2014 9:55:00 AM
Description: Pittsburgh center fielder Andrew McCutchen is only batting .261 versus Reds ace Johnny Cueto, but he has taken him deep four times.
Insight: McCutchen powewr numbers were down in May, but he now has seven homers over 14 games in June. He's batting .325 with 11 homers, 41 RBI, 37 runs, nine steals and a .990 OPS.
Vance Worley, SP6/15/2014 4:56:00 PM
Description: Vance Worley pitched well Sunday in his Pirates debut.
Insight: The former Phillies and Twins right-hander spun seven scoreless innings, though Tony Watson's eighth inning meltdown prevented him from picking up the victory. Worley should get a few more starts while Francisco Liriano and Gerrit Cole recover from injuries.
Gerrit Cole, SP6/15/2014 12:01:00 PM
Description: Pirates starter Gerrit Cole (shoulder) could be back a few days after he's eligible to return from the disabled list, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. He's been out with shoulder fatigue.
Insight: Cole last pitched on June 3 and is first eligible to come off the DL on Thursday. "If everything stays the way it is, we could have him back a few days after that," manager Clint Hurdle said.
Starling Marte, LFHot6/14/2014 7:45:00 PM
Description: Pirates left fielder Starling Marte has gone 14-for-26 with three doubles, a homer, five RBI, four runs and two steals in his last six games.
Insight: Marte raised his average from .230 to .261 in that span. His fantasy prospects look much better now that he's hitting between Gregory Polanco and Andrew McCutchen.
Gregory Polanco, RFHot6/14/2014 7:44:00 PM
Description: Pirates outfielder Gregory Polanco is 12-for-31(..387) in the six games since being called up and put at the top of the lineup.
Insight: Polanco tore up Triple-A and he's doing the same in the majors, having hit safely in all six games he's played. Pittsburgh is 4-2 in those six games.
Andrew McCutchen, CFHot6/14/2014 7:40:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh center fielder Andrew McCutchen went 2-for-4 with a three-run homer Saturday at Miami. He's knocked in 13 runs in his last six games.
Insight: McCutchen didn't have a single home run in May, but he now has seven over 13 games in June. He's batting .323 with 11 homers, 41 RBI, 37 runs, eight steals and a .988 OPS.
Francisco Liriano, SP6/11/2014 3:18:00 PM
Description: Pirates starter Francisco Liriano (oblique) has been placed on the 15-day disabled list.
Insight: Liriano left Tuesday's start with soreness in his side. He's had a miserable year, going 1-6 with a 4.60 ERA, and it just got worse.
Andrew McCutchen, CFHot6/10/2014 10:28:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh center fielder Andrew McCutchen homered for the second straight game and the fifth time in nine games this month Tuesday against the Cubs.
Insight: McCutchen is making up for lost time after hitting zero homers in May. He went 2-for-4 Tuesday and is hitting .312 this season.
Francisco Liriano, SP6/10/2014 9:13:00 PM
Description: Pirates lefty Francisco Liriano left Tuesday's start with oblique discomfort.
Insight: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reporter Dejan Kovacevic suggested that Liriano (1-6, 4.60 ERA) could be placed on the disabled list. It's bad news for a Pittsburgh rotation already without one of its best starters (Gerrit Cole was placed on the DL Sunday with shoulder fatigue).
Francisco Liriano, SPCold6/10/2014 8:20:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh left-hander Francisco Liriano exited Tuesday's start against the Cubs prior to the fourth inning, according to Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Insight: Liriano appeared to be in some discomfort and left after stretching and throwing a few warm-up pitches. Liriano was excellent last season, going 16-8 with a 3.02 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP, but this year he's 1-6 with a 4.60 ERA and a 1.45 WHIP.
Pedro Alvarez, 3B6/10/2014 2:33:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh third baseman Pedro Alvarez won't suit up Tuesday against the Cubs.
Insight: Alvarez lost his six-game hitting streak the other day but managed two hits in Monday night's series opener. He wouldn't have been of much use today as Alvarez is just an .056 career hitter against tonight's starting pitcher, Travis Wood.
Gregory Polanco, RF6/10/2014 2:32:00 PM
Description: Pirates top prospect Gregory Polanco is in Tuesday's starting lineup, batting second and playing right field.
Insight: Polanco hit .347 with seven homers, 49 RBI, 15 steals and a .945 OPS in 62 games for Triple-A Indianapolis before his promotion. He would have been up earlier if not for the Super Two cutoff. He'll replace Neil Walker, who underwent an appendectomy Monday, on the active roster.
Pedro Alvarez, 3B6/10/2014 9:38:00 AM
Description: Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez should be avoided on Tuesday in an unfavorable matchup with Cubs left-hander Travis Wood.
Insight: Alvarez is 1-for-18 (.056) with seven strikeouts against Wood. He's batted .349 over the past two weeks with a .962 OPS. He's just not a good option on Tuesday.
Andrew McCutchen, CF6/10/2014 9:34:00 AM
Description: Pittsburgh center fielder Andrew McCutchen is just 2-for-20 (.100) against Cubs left-hander Travis Wood.
Insight: McCutchen has had a very good week, batting .400 with three home runs. One concerning note, he's leading the league in walks. He needs better protection in the lineup.
Gregory Polanco, RF6/9/2014 10:59:00 PM
Description: The Pittsburgh Pirates will call up top prospect Gregory Polanco for Tuesday's game.
Insight: Polanco has hit .347 with seven homers, 49 RBI, 15 steals and a .945 OPS in 62 games with Triple-A and would have been up earlier if not for the Super Two cutoff point. He'll replace Neil Walker, who underwent an appendectomy Monday, on the active roster and is a must own in all leagues.
Neil Walker, 2B6/9/2014 10:54:00 PM
Description: Pirates second baseman Neil Walker has been placed on the disabled list after undergoing an appendectomy.
Insight: Walker was scratched from the lineup Monday after complaining of abdominal pain and needed to undergo the procedure. Josh Harrison will take over for Walker at second base and the Pirates will call up top prospect Gregory Polanco Tuesday to man right field.
Andrew McCutchen, CFHot6/9/2014 10:13:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh center fielder Andrew McCutchen has collected 10 extra-base hits in eight games this month.
Insight: McCutchen went 2-for-4 with a double, a homer and three RBI Monday against the Cubs. He's slugged four homers in June after hitting zero in May.
Charlie Morton, SP6/9/2014 10:11:00 PM
Description: Pirates starter Charlie Morton was fantastic in seven innings of work Monday against the Cubs.
Insight: Morton struck out seven with zero walks and allowed one run on six hits to win his third game of the season. He has a 3.14 ERA, a 1.24 WHIP and a 61/29 K/BB in 80 1/3 innings this season.
Ike Davis, 1B6/9/2014 10:06:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh first baseman Ike Davis started off 0-for-19 in June but went 1-for-3 with a solo homer Monday against the Cubs.
Insight: Davis is hitting .245, but he has a .363 OBP due to 30 walks. Since he was recalled from the minors on July 5 last season, Davis has recorded a 68/68 K/BB in 360 plate appearances but hit just nine home runs in that span.
Gerrit Cole, SP6/9/2014 7:58:00 PM
Description: Pirates starter Gerrit Cole (shoulder) played catch Monday, according to Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Insight: Cole was placed on the DL on Sunday with shoulder fatigue. Monday was the first time he's thrown since his start on June 3. The Pirates hope he'll only miss two starts.
Neil Walker, 2B6/9/2014 7:30:00 PM
Description: Pirates second baseman Neil Walker was scratched from Monday's lineup, according to Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Insight: He's dealing with abdominal pain. Walker is on pace to shatter his career high of 16 homers, as he has 11 in 62 games this season.
Neil Walker, 2B6/9/2014 6:48:00 PM
Description: Pirates second baseman Neil Walker was scratched from Monday's lineup, according to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Insight: The Pirates say a reason will be given "as soon as it becomes available." Walker is on pace to shatter his career high of 16 homers, as he has 11 in 62 games this season.
Russell Martin, C6/9/2014 2:56:00 PM
Description: Pirates catcher Russell Martin is not in Monday's starting lineup.
Insight: Martin caught the entire series over the weekend, going 4-for-8 with four RBI, but its an unfavorable matchup on Monday against Edwin Jackson (3-for-19) so he'll take a seat. Chris Stewart will make the start, but has little to offer fantasy owners.
Andrew McCutchen, CFHot6/9/2014 10:36:00 AM
Description: Pittsburgh center fielder Andrew McCutchen is a career .435 hitter (10-for-23) with a pair of homers and a 1.334 OPS versus Cubs starter Edwin Jackson.
Insight: McCutchen is performing as expected after his 2013 MVP season. He's hitting .305 with seven homers, 28 RBI, 32 runs and seven steals. He should build on those numbers in Monday's favorable matchup.
Russell Martin, C6/8/2014 6:02:00 PM
Description: Pirates catcher Russell Martin was thrown out for arguing balls and strikes Sunday against Milwaukee. SOURCE: Rob Biertempfel, Pittsbugh Tribune
Insight: He was tossed after striking out to end the eighth. Chris Stewart (.250, 0 HR, 0 RBI) came in to catch the final inning. Martin has already been suspended once this year but we doubt Sunday's incident will lead to further punishment.
Jeff Locke, SP6/8/2014 4:59:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh left-hander Jeff Locke was outdueled by Milwaukee starter Yovani Gallardo Sunday at PNC Park.
Insight: Locke, who has taken over Gerrit Cole's spot in the starting rotation, pitched well, allowing just three hits and one run in seven innings of work. His next start will be Friday against the Marlins.
Gerrit Cole, SP6/8/2014 3:12:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh has placed right-hander Gerrit Cole on the 15-day DL.
Insight: He's out with shoulder fatigue. The hope is that Cole (6-3, 3.64 ERA) will only miss a couple of starts. Jeff Locke, an All-Star for the Pirates last season, was called up from Triple-A Indianapolis in the corresponding roster move.
Starling Marte, LFCold6/8/2014 10:38:00 AM
Description: Pirates left fielder Starling Marte has struck out in half of his career at-bats against Brewers starter Yovani Gallardo.
Insight: Marte is 3-for-16 (.188) with eight Ks against Gallardo. The 25-year-old is also hitting just .234 this season.
Pedro Alvarez, 3BHot6/8/2014 10:37:00 AM
Description: Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez has gone 15-for-40 (.375) with three doubles, two home runs and eight RBI in his last 11 games, but he hasn't had success against Brewers starter Yovani Gallardo.
Insight: Alvarez is 2-for-26 (.077) with 11 Ks against Gallardo. He may be in the midst of a hot streak, but he shouldn't be used Sunday against Milwaukee.
Andrew McCutchen, CF6/8/2014 10:36:00 AM
Description: Pittsburgh center fielder Andrew McCutchen's 46 career at-bats against Brewers starter Yovani Gallardo have yielded a .304 average, three doubles, a triple and three homers.
Insight: McCutchen is performing as expected after his 2013 MVP season. He's hitting .302 with seven homers, 28 RBI, 32 runs and seven steals.
Gerrit Cole, SP6/7/2014 8:20:00 PM
Description: The Pirates may place Gerrit Cole on the disabled list due to shoulder fatigue, according to Tom Singer of mlb.com.
Insight: Cole will miss his scheduled start on Monday against the Cubs. Pittsburgh will push back Charlie Morton from Sunday to Monday and call up Jeff Locke to start Sunday against the Brewers. In Cole's 17 starts in the majors last year, he averaged 91 pitches, but he's thrown 100 pitches per start in 2014 and that may be contributing to his shoulder fatigue.
Pedro Alvarez, 3BHot6/7/2014 7:43:00 PM
Description: Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez has gone 15-for-40 (.375) with three doubles, two home runs and eight RBI in his last 11 games.
Insight: Alvarez went 2-for-3 with two RBI Saturday against the Brewers and is hitting .239 with 35 RBI this season. However, he has just five doubles to go with his 11 homers so his slugging percentage is just .410. Alvarez slugged .473 in 2013.
Russell Martin, C6/6/2014 10:21:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh catcher Russell Martin had quite a game Friday versus Milwaukee.
Insight: Martin finished the night with three hits, one walk and four RBI. He raised his batting average 24 points in the process. Martin (.263, 3 HR, 17 RBI) has been in and out of the lineup recently but when he does get the nod at catcher, fantasy owners should pay attention.
Jose Tabata, RF6/6/2014 9:42:00 AM
Description: Pirates right fielder Jose Tabata is a career .424 hitter (14-for-33) with a 1.094 OPS versus Milwaukee right-hander Kyle Lohse.
Insight: Tabata doesn't provide much power or speed, but is worthy of a shot on Friday in this favorable matchup.
Francisco Liriano, SPCold6/4/2014 9:44:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh left-hander Francisco Liriano allowed just one hit in five innings Wednesday at San Diego, but he walked six and allowed three runs (two earned).
Insight: Liriano has thrown 100+ pitches in each of the last two starts without making it through the sixth inning. The left-hander walked 3.52 batters per nine innings last year but has issued 4.67 free passes per nine in 2014. He hasn't thrown more than 5 2/3 innings in a start since May 14 and now has a 4.54 ERA, a 1.47 WHIP and a 73/36 K/BB in 69 1/3 innings.
Gregory Polanco, RF6/4/2014 7:34:00 PM
Description: A "high-ranking Pirates official" told Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that top prospect Gregory Polanco is NOT coming up Friday.
Insight: That conflicts reports from Tim Williams of PiratesProspects.com and Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports. Polanco has hit .351 with 27 extra-base hits (6 HR), 14 steals and 42 runs in 57 games with Triple-A Indianapolis this season and only remained in the minors this long because of the Super Two cutoff. He should be in the majors at some point in June and must be owned in all leagues.
Gregory Polanco, RF 6/4/2014 6:51:00 PM
Description: Pirates top prospect Gregory Polanco is expected to make his MLB debut Friday, according to Tim Williams of PiratesProspects.com.
Insight: Polanco has hit .351 with 27 extra-base hits (6 HR), 14 steals and 42 runs in 57 games with Triple-A Indianapolis this season and only remained in the minors this long because of the Super Two cutoff. He should be owned in all leagues.
Russell Martin, C6/4/2014 4:10:00 PM
Description: Pirates catcher Russell Martin will take a breather Wednesday against San Diego. SOURCE: Pirates on Twitter
Insight: Martin (.242, 3 HR, 13 RBI) has been resting about once every three or four days. Chris Stewart (.264, 0 HR, 3 RBI) will take over behind the plate.
Neil Walker, 2B6/4/2014 4:05:00 PM
Description: Pirates second baseman Neil Walker will ride the pine Wednesday against San Diego. SOURCE: Pirates on Twitter
Insight: Walker (.279, 11 HR, 34 RBI) has appeared in all 58 games for Pittsbugh this season so he was due for a rest. Utility man Josh Harrison (.303, 4 HR, 12 RBI) will make a rare start at second base.
Starling Marte, LFCold6/4/2014 4:01:00 PM
Description: Pirates left fielder Starling Marte won't be in action Wednesday against the Padres. SOURCE: Pirates on Twitter
Insight: Jose Tabata (.281, 0 HR, 10 RBI) will draw the start in left. Marte (.236, 4 HR, 17 RBI) is just one for his last 23 and should be on the bench until further notice.
Pedro Alvarez, 3B6/4/2014 10:38:00 AM
Description: Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez has been brutal against Padres right-hander Ian Kennedy.
Insight: He's only managed two hits versus Kennedy in 14 career at bats (.143 AVG). Alvarez homered for the 11th time last night but he won't come close to doing that against Kennedy.
Andrew McCutchen, CF6/4/2014 10:33:00 AM
Description: Pittsburgh center fielder Andrew McCutchen is a .417 lifetime hitter against Padres starter Ian Kennedy.
Insight: Luckily for McCutchen, he gets to face Kennedy later tonight. McCutchen's numbers (.300, 5 HR, 25 RBI, 7 SB) are down across the board from last season but he's still a useful fantasy contributor and should definitely be in your lineup on Wednesday.
Andrew McCutchen, CF6/1/2014 10:44:00 AM
Description: Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen has gone 4-for-21 with five Ks against Dodgers starter Zack Greinke.
Insight: McCutchen also went 0-for-10 in his last three games of May. We don't suggest benching him in standard leagues, but daily players should consider other options rather than paying the high price to use McCutchen Sunday.
Russell Martin, C5/31/2014 3:58:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh catcher Russell Martin is getting the night off Saturday against the Dodgers.
Insight: Martin (.259, 3 HR, 13 RBI) hasn't played more than two games in a row since returning from a hamstring injury earlier this month. Another former Yankee, Chris Stewart, will get the start at catcher.
Pedro Alvarez, 3B5/31/2014 3:50:00 PM
Description: Pittsburgh third baseman Pedro Alvarez will take a seat Saturday against Los Angeles.
Insight: Alvarez (.216, 10 HR, 28 RBI) was due for a rest having suited up in all 54 games prior to Saturday. Josh Harrison (.290, 3 HR, 10 RBI) will get the nod at third base.
Andrew McCutchen, CFHot5/29/2014 11:01:00 AM
Description: Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen is 4-for-9 with a double and a pair of homers versus Dodgers starter Dan Haren.
Insight: McCutchen continues to be an excellent option batting .314 with a .898 OPS, though we are concerned with his league-leading 40 walks that they are starting to choose to pitch around him. Haren would be wise to do just that based on their previous matchups.
Pedro Alvarez, 3B5/27/2014 4:23:00 PM
Description: Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez is not in Tuesday's starting lineup versus Jonathon Niese and the Mets.
Insight: Alvarez has only hit one home run in the last 17 games and if he isn't doing that he has limited fantasy value.
Brandon Cumpton, SP5/26/2014 6:48:00 PM
Description: Pirates righty Brandon Cumpton allowed two runs (one earned) on seven hits in six innings in his return to the majors Monday against the Mets.
Insight: Cumpton spent the past three and a half weeks in Triple-A and was called up to take Wandy Rodriguez' spot in the rotation after Rodriguez was designated for assignment. He has a 3.38 ERA, a 1.07 WHIP and a 10/2 K/BB in 18 2/3 innings this season and should have some NL-only value.
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.
Travis Snider, LF3/30/2014 3:29:00 PM
Description: Pirates right fielder Travis Snider left Wednesday's game against the Cardinals with an apparent leg injury and is not in Friday's starting lineup.
Insight: Snider tweaked something after beating out a bunt single in the third inning. Jose Tabata will start in right field. Tabata is batting .283, but without much power as his .645 OPS will attest.
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.