After compiling a somewhat surprising 4-2 record to start the season, the Pirates have their home opener on Thursday afternoon at 1:35 PM (Root Sports). Paul Maholm will make the start for the Pirates against the Colorado's Esmil Rogers, who had a 6.13 ERA for the Rockies last year, pitching mostly in relief. In a Q+A yesterday over at Bucs Dugout, Rockies blogger Andrew J. Martin had this to say about Rogers:
I’m going to catch flak for this, but Rogers won’t stick long. He’s a converted shortstop with a straight mid-90s fastball, a decent slider-curve mix, and a tenuous grasp on a changeup. The fact is that pitchers in Colorado need strong control of a changeup if a sinking fastball is not available. I really see him as more of a LaTroy Hawkins type ... I don’t have high hopes for him, but at the same time, I’m still going to root for him to hold the No. 5 slot until Aaron Cook returns.
Neil Walker, a Pittsburgh product who had a number of key hits in the Pirates' first two series, looks set for a hero's welcome at the Pirates' first game.
The Post-Gazette has a list of what to expect if you're heading to PNC today. Among other things, former Pirates Dave Parker and Manny Sanguillen will take the field to honor former manager Chuck Tanner, who died in February.