Volquez in rotation
BRADENTON, Fla. – The Pirates have set their pitching rotation to start the season, and as long as lefty Francisco Liriano recovers from his groin injury, he will go opening day against the Cubs on Monday at PNC Park.
After Liriano, the rotation will go: Charlie Morton, Wandy Rodriguez and Gerrit Cole, then Liriano will start again because of an off day. Offseason addition Edinson Volquez will be the No. 5 starter and will make his Bucs debut April 6.
New SS on way?
One trade possibility surfaced Monday when Jon Morosi from Fox Sports reported the Pirates are interested in acquiring shortstop Didi Gregorious from the Diamondbacks. Gregorious would be expected to back up Jordy Mercer, although the Pirates already have a backup shortstop in Clint Barmes.
Arizona reportedly wants a pitcher in return for Gregorious. One name floated out in media reports as a possibility is lefty Jeff Locke, who’s coming off a season that saw him make the NL All-Star team but then struggle badly in the second half. Locke has been slowed by an oblique injury this spring but is scheduled to pitch today.
Gregorious hit .252 with seven homers and 28 RBIs in 103 games for the Diamondbacks last season.