Wandy Rodriguez will make his Pirates debut Saturday and adding to the drama is that he’ll be facing his former Astros teammates, in Houston.
Rodriguez’s arrival caused the Pirates to bump someone from the rotation and Michael Sanserino of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports that Kevin Correia has been demoted to the bullpen despite being a pretty decent starter since joining the team last year.
He has a 4.56 ERA in 45 total starts during that time, including a 4.24 mark this year, although
with offense being down across MLB that’s actually quite a bit worse than it initially appears. In fact, the NL average ERA for starters this year is 3.99.
There’s also been some speculation that the Pirates are looking to trade Correia to a team that could use him as a fourth or fifth starter, so he may not be long for the bullpen anyway.
There were a few exhibitions against college teams yesterday but today the Grapefruit League and Cactus League schedules begin in earnest, with big league teams, more or less, facing big league team, more or less.
The baseball will look like baseball, but the teams will be wearing different caps today: black caps with the maroon “SD” of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 people were killed in a mass shooting on February 14.
All teams and umpire crews will wear the caps pre-game, and they have the option to wear the caps during the games. The only two teams not playing today — the Royals and Rangers — will wear them tomorrow.
After the games players will sign the caps and they will be auctioned off to raise money for the Broward Education Foundation, which benefits the official Stoneman Douglas Victims’ Fund.
Here’s today’s schedule: