Day 37: Pirates (ss) @ Phillies; Pirates (ss) @ Rays

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

It’s two for the price of one today, though I have yet to figure out how to be in both Port Charlotte and Clearwater at the same time to take both in. I joined half of the Pirates’ team in Clearwater for today’s contest against the Phillies. The other half is taking on the Rays about two hours south of here.

The four Pittsburgh writers covering Spring Training are split-squading it, too, so we’ll share information throughout the afternoon so I can update you on the game I can’t see.

In the meantime….

  • Ryan Church (fractured left finger tip) is making his return to the lineup here against the Phillies. Church hasn’t played since last Saturday, but he is not expected to be hindered at all this final week. Last I heard, the Pirates were going to have him play in a couple Minor League games this week so he could get extra at-bats.
  • Vinnie Chulk (bicep soreness) is also back. He’ll pitch an inning against the Rays after not having made a Grapefruit League appearance since March 19. You’d have to think the layoff hurts his chances of breaking camp with the club. Too, Chulk has allowed five runs in his last three appearances (3 1/3 innings).
  • Octavio Dotel will make his second Grapefruit League appearance of the spring in Port Charlotte. He’s thrown in three Minor League games, and I heard he looked very good in his outing on Friday. It would be nice if he showed a bit more control today than he did in his appearance Wednesday.
  • Sunday’s start against the Phillies will be D.J. Carrasco’s first start of the spring. The right-hander has made it no secret that he would love to get an opportunity to start again, though the Pirates don’t have that long-term need right now. With the way the bullpen is looking, Carrasco is the likely long-relief option.

Pirates lineup @ Phillies:

  1. Aki Iwamura (2B)
  2. Andy LaRoche (3B)
  3. Lastings Milledge (LF)
  4. Ryan Church (RF)
  5. Steve Pearce (1B)
  6. Ronny Cedeno (SS)
  7. Erik Kratz (C)
  8. John Raynor (CF)
  9. D.J. Carrasco (RHP)

Pitchers: Carrasco (3 innings, 50 pitches), Brian Bass, Anthony Claggett, Steven Jackson, Javier Lopez, Evan Meek, Jeremy Powell, Jack Taschner

Phillies lineup:

  1. Jimmy Rollins (SS)
  2. Placido Polanco (3B)
  3. Chase Utley (2B)
  4. Ryan Howard (1B)
  5. Jayson Werth (RF)
  6. Shane Victorino (CF)
  7. Ben Francisco (LF)
  8. Carlos Ruiz (C)
  9. Joe Blanton (RHP)

Pitchers: Blanton, David Herndon, Antonio Bastardo, Ryan Madson

***

Pirates lineup @ Rays:

  1. Andrew McCutchen (CF)
  2. Delwyn Young (2B)
  3. Garrett Jones (RF)
  4. Ryan Doumit (C)
  5. Bobby Crosby (SS)
  6. Jeff Clement (1B)
  7. Brandon Moss (LF)
  8. Ramon Vazquez (3B)
  9. Ross Ohlendorf (RHP)

Pitchers: Ohlendorf, Dotel, Brendan Donnelly, Chulk, Karstens

Rays lineup:

  1. Jason Bartlett (SS)
  2. Carl Crawford (LF)
  3. Ben Zobrist (2B)
  4. Carlos Pena (1B)
  5. Pat Burrell (DH)
  6. Hank Blalock (3B)
  7. Gabe Kaplar (RF)
  8. Sean Rodriguez (CF)
  9. Alvin Colina (C)

Pitchers: Matt Garza

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

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