Ish Smith Assists

Ish Smith Assists
Matt Stroup breaks down some late-season lineup options, including Ish Smith, Chase Budinger and Jason Terry, in the latest Roundball Stew.
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Jeff Locke pitched 5 2/3 innings of two-run ball Friday in the Pirates' 4-2 win over the Twins.

Locke pitched better today than Vance Worley did yesterday, but Worley has still had the better spring and was the favorite to serve as the Pirates' fifth starter going in. Expect Locke to open up as a middle reliever and still make a bunch of starts over the course of the year.
Mar 27 - 5:24 PM

Trevor May surrendered four runs and eight hits in 4 2/3 innings Friday versus the Pirates.

This is probably the death knell for May's rotation hopes. He gave up dingers to Gregory Polanco and Tony Sanchez, plus a triple and four doubles. Tommy Milone appears to be the favorite to break camp as the Twins' fifth starter.
Mar 27 - 5:22 PM

J.R. Graham pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings Friday to lower his spring ERA to 0.84.

The 25-year-old Graham, a Rule 5 pick from the Braves, has essentially clinched a spot in the Twins' bullpen, and judging from his performance this spring, he'll probably get some work in close games. His stuff was off last year in Double-A because of shoulder problems, but he's looked good in Twins camp.
Mar 27 - 5:20 PM

Gregory Polanco, who had just one extra-base hit in 37 at-bats this spring, homered and doubled Friday against the Twins.

That's better. The Pirates' faith in Polanco hasn't seemed to wane, and it still appears that the plan is to hit him second ahead of Andrew McCutchen. It's a great spot for his fantasy value, if he can hold on to it.
Mar 27 - 5:18 PM

Jung Ho Kang tripled and walked Friday against the Twins.

The triple got a boost from the wind, but at least it was a well-hit ball, which is something not seen much of from Kang these last two weeks. The Pirates still plan on carrying him as a reserve despite hit .133 average.
Mar 27 - 5:16 PM

Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said Friday that Roenis Elias will get another start this spring.

McClendon said it might come in a minor league game. All signs are pointing towards Taijuan Walker winning the fifth spot in the Mariners' rotation, but the skipper isn't ready to declare a winner just yet. Elias has struggled this spring with a 6.75 ERA and 8/7 K/BB ratio over 14 2/3 innings.
Mar 27 - 5:15 PM

Aaron Hicks went 0-for-3 with a strikeout Friday and misplayed a ball in center field.

Barring a very surprising reversal putting Danny Santana back in the outfield, the Twins lack a quality alternative to Hicks in center field. Still, they might opt to go to Jordan Schafer if they get frustrated enough. Hicks started off hot this spring, but he's in a 2-for-22 slump, leaving him with a .206/.300/.324 line this spring.
Mar 27 - 5:14 PM

Jacoby Ellsbury (oblique) will take batting practice on the field Saturday.

It will come after he took indoor BP on Friday. Ellsbury has been sidelined since March 15 with a right oblique strain, but he's expected to be ready for Opening Day as long as he can avoid a setback. The 31-year-old center fielder is batting .222/.222/.296 with one RBI over 27 plate appearances this spring.
Mar 27 - 5:13 PM
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