A growing sentiment among the fan base and even some baseball pundits is picking up in that the Pirates continue to play without there best 25 players and those frustrations are likely to continue as the Pirates have designated Justin Wilson and Kyle McPherson for assignment, while activating struggling reliever Chad Qualls and Daniel McCutchen. Qualls shouldn’t be on the 25-man roster and has reached the point in his career where he’s no longer a viable MLB reliever.
While McPherson was impressive last night, he deserves to be in the minors due to his lack of experience at Triple-A but Justin Wilson is one of the Pirates best 25 players and should be on the MLB roster, as he has the ability to be a big factor in the bullpen and flashed that ability with three strikeouts in one inning last night. McPherson and Wilson can now not be recalled for at least 10 days.
The Pirates send A.J. Burnett (15-4, 3.54 ERA) to the mound tonight who is looking become the Pirates first 16 game winner since John Smiley went 20-6 in 1991. Opponents are hitting .100 in Burnett’s last three road starts.
The Pirates struggling offensively, lead the Majors with 163 strikeouts in August and Andrew McCutchen (.352 – 24 HR – 76 RBI) has tailed off of late, going 3-18 with 9 strikeouts in his last three games and is hitting .206 in his career against San Diego.
The Pirates enter tonight’s game 6.5 games back of the Reds for first place and hold a half game lead for the final wild card spot over the Los Angeles Dodgers (67-56).
1. Jose Tabata, lf
2. Travis Snider, rf
3. Andrew McCutchen, cf
4. Neil Walker, 2b
5. Garrett Jones, 1b
6. Pedro Alvarez, 3b
7. Clint Barmes, ss
8. Rod Barajas, C
9. A.J. Burnett