Detroit Tigers Opposition Research: Three Pirates Questions


The Detroit Tigers will try to stay red hot and spoil another home opener on Monday as they take on their National League rival, Pittsburgh Pirates.

Major League Baseball has tried to make these two teams interleague rivals over the last few years, and again both franchises have postseason aspirations in 2015.

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But before the two teams face each other once more, Motor City Bengals talked with Jason Rollison, co-editor of Rum Bunter, in order to find out a little bit more about this year’s Pittsburgh Pirates.

What is going on with Andrew McCutchen’s knee issue? He missed Saturday’s game but went 2-for-4 with a homer on Sunday, so is he fine or is this going to be an ongoing thing?

JR: McCutchen’s knee was an issue in spring training, which only came to light Sunday when he admitted his current issue was the same issue he dealt with then.  Simply put, it will be an ongoing thing for the Pirates, and one hopes that Clint Hurdle and staff give Cutch the right days off at the right time to minimize any impact it may have on his season.

How is Pedro Alvarez transitioning to first base? Will we see him in the lineup for all three games since the Tigers will start three right-handed pitchers?

JR: It’s obvious to everyone that Alvarez is still learning the position.  It’s rather interesting to watch, as one inning he may make a spectacular pick on a questionable throw and the next inning he will airmail a throw to second into centerfield.  All in all, one could say he’s handling it pretty well, considering.  At the plate, Hurdle is giving Pedro the chance to stay in vs left and right handed batters, so expect to see him throughout the entire series.

What can we expect from the Pirates starting rotation?

JR: The first two series of the year showed the rotation to be somewhat top-heavy, with Gerrit Cole, Francisco Liriano, and AJ Burnett proving that they can be the workhorses of the rotation for the entire season, barring injury.  Jeff Locke turned in a reasonably good start, while Vance Worley got shellacked in his lone start of the year.  It will be interesting to see how the rotation finishes at the end of the year, but for now, each of them give the Pirates a very good chance to win, albeit some more than others.

Next: Detroit Tigers at Pittsburgh Pirates Preview Game 7, TV, Lineup