Fantasy baseball alert: I recently dropped the Bucco in the first photo (Barrett Barnes) in favor of the player in the second one (Josh Bell). Of course, I had to trade away a $30 Allen Craig to secure Bell, but the long-range keeper acquisition could pay handsome dividends. By the way, I told Bell about my trade and that I’m counting on him.
Jackie Bradley looks thicker than he did a spring ago. He also has braided dreadlocks — a big fantasy plus. Guys who aren’t afraid of not conforming become their own person and aren’t afraid of what others think of them. I see that attitude in Bradley. Plus, it worked for Andrew McCutchen … Brent Bretz smoked a homer. He’s had all kinds of power, but the contact hasn’t been there. He boosted his stock a bit Monday. He could turn out like Jerry Sands II, but let’s hope not for his sake.
Francisco Liriano pitched well Monday. He gets himself into trouble when he pitches from the stretch, so as long as he doesn’t let too many runners reach base he should be okay. I’m not worried about Liriano repeating his success as much as him missing time due to injury. Otherwise, he should be in line for a strong year, though facing staff No. 1’s instead of No. 2’s or No. 3’s without A.J. Burnett won’t help him in the wins column.
Pedro or should I say “DayDro” dropped a bomb on the above pitch as Pittsburgh’s DH. He also scored a run on an extra-base hit and showed off his always-surprising nimbleness on the basepaths.
Yes, Travis Snider has dropped a lot of weight since last season. This is likely his last chance in a Pirates uniform in 2014.
Andrew Lambo played the role of Casey at the Bat on Monday whiffing on the first two pitches and then letting a third pitch go for a called strike. Lambo made a pretty stab at first base and got the runner going to second, but his throw to SS Clint Barmes was a poor one. Lambo was batting against a right-handed starter Monday, a situation he would commonly see in the regular season if he impresses.
Garin Cecchini is a highly-touted third baseman/shortstop for Boston. He reminds me a lot physically of left-handed Hunter Pence and displays an effusive love of the game. I can see why Sox fans are excited about him.
Starling Marte’s left hand does not have an easy-bake mitt on it; his right hand does. Manager Clint Hurdle says his left fielder wears the unusual-looking glove as a precautionary measure. Marte impressed me in his very first at-bat Monday. His weakness comes against righties and recognizes breaking pitches. Marte was fooled against Workman, but was able to stay back and hit a soft ground to deep short for an infield single. That’s progress, in my opinion.
Lots of notable Pittsburgh management sitting behind Cutch in above shot.
McCutchen shows more displeasure at the plate than he used to. It’s easy to think he’s whining, but more likely No. 22 is working the home plate umpire for future calls. He’s grown into his leadership role in more ways than imagined.
Cutch slaps a rare double down the right-field and likely jokes with third base coach, Nick Leyva, about not legging it out for a triple during a break in play.
Moments later he steais third base. What’s interesting about Cutch stealing is that he doesn’t slide “hard” into the next base, but readies himself with a pop-up slide. I don’t know if that has anything to do with his sliding efficiency, but it doesn’t help his speed into the bag.
Here’s a nice pic of Cecchini with Red Sox management looking on.
Uehara — so good, even with his eyes closed.
Wandy Rodiguez (left) with Edinson Volquez. Would you be happy if either one of these pitchers contributes consistently to the 2014 Bucs? I would. Volquez looked out of sorts Monday. He struggled to throw strikes. He averaged 17.7 pitches thrown per inning in 2013. Fans could be in for some long games at PNC Park when he starts this summer.
A couple of cool shots of Andrew McCutchen, just because. If you like baseball and are this far into my entry, you’ve gotta love it.
In the time it took you to review the above three Gregory Polanco photos he beat the throw from shortstop at first base. The man has speed.
Polanco has long strides but is quick in addition to being fast.
AJ Pierzynski has proven to be remarkably healthy for a long time, but he got nicked up Monday.
If Pedro can hit .250 this year — and I think he can — the Pirates will be in great position to take advantage of his exploits in the standings.