Pirates Set Rotation, Brault & Glasnow to Bullpen

Bucs manager Clint Hurdle says he has good idea about lineup as well.

Jeff Hathhorn
March 23, 2018 - 6:03 pm
Steven Brault

93.7 the Fan

Steven Brault said he was told at the start of camp he could be moved to the bullpen, on Friday Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said Brault and Tyler Glasnow would be long relievers.

“Every man out there works in a chain to get the ball to Rivero when we are ahead,” Hurdle said.  “When we are not, they work to keep the leverage guys out of a game.  They’re all connected, you need some length.  You need a guy that can go that time a starter is not going to give you the innings you were looking for out of the gate.  That’s an opportunity for that guy to come in and pick it up.  That’s why we always had multiple guys do it.”

Brault relieved seven times with the Pirates last year with a 4.86 ERA.  Glasnow has done it five times with a 3.75 ERA with 12 walks and 11 strikeouts in 12 innings.

Pirates set rotation

Hurdle also announced on Friday that Trevor Williams will start the second game in Detroit after Ivan Nova opens.  Chad Kuhl will start the third game.  Bucs had already announced Jameson Taillon will start the home opener against Minnesota. 

Coming over in the Gerrit Cole trade, Joe Musgrove will make the rotation, but have his first start skipped.  The righty will make his Pirates debut during the Cincinnati series.  Musgrove is behind the other starters after suffering right shoulder discomfort early in camp.

Lineup thoughts

“We’re looking for some type of consistency to the lineup,” Hurdle said.  “When Frazier is in the lineup, he provides a different dynamic than when he’s not.  Your lead-off guy could be Frazier, could be Harrison.  Dickerson is a guy who could go there if both guys are unavailable.”

Corey Dickerson hit 27 homers last year, but has hit leadoff in 89 games in his young career.  More than any other spot in the lineup for him than sixth

“Rizzo led off,” Hurdle said.  “Dickerson can lead-off.  He has usable speed.  He has more than gap power.  He’s got a good at bat in him.  He sees pitches.  So he’s got a lot of components you are looking for and he’s done it.  That’s part of the package.  He very well could end up there some days.”

Once you get beyond the leadoff spot, there likely will be adjusting based on many factors.  Hurdle said Josh Bell will hit fourth and Jordy Mercer, eighth.

“We are going to start the season with a DH which is a completely different game plan to the one we’ve mapped out,” Hurdle said.  “And then we are going back to National League rules.  So there are a lot of different parts, but I think we have a pretty good idea of what we want to do.”

Educated guess is that following Harrison or Frazier would be Starling Marte, Gregory Polanco, Bell, Dickerson, Francisco Cervelli, Colin Moran and Mercer.  If you want to play along at home, check-out the lineups during Grapefruit League games, Hurdle left a clue there for all of us.

“Actually, whether they realize it or not, everybody’s hit in the spot they are going to hit in already this spring.  They just haven’t seen all of the eight or nine names together at one time.”

Phillies beat the Pirates

Brault said he felt “out of sync”, Hurdle said he “was working uphill most of the day” as Brault gave up four earned in three and two-thirds innings in an 8-2 loss.

A couple of relievers trying to make the team had scoreless innings.  Kevin Siegrist threw a hitless seventh with a strikeout.  Jordan Milbrath, a scoreless eighth with a hit and a strikeout.  Milbrath is a Rule 5 player and a decision must be made soon on the Pirates intentions.

Bryce Brentz returned to the lineup after 4 days off due to a shoulder injury.  Brentz was the DH and drove in a run on a couple of hits and a walk.