So far, all we know about tonight’s roster is that Pedro Alvarez is back with the club and so someone will have to be demoted/deactivated before the first pitch to make room for him. Jayson Nix is starting at second base, so based on that above-linked Bill Brink tweet, the decision is presumably whether Walker will be able to play soon enough that it’s worth keeping him active, in which case Michael Martinez will be demoted, or whether he should go on the disabled list. Had you told me on Monday that there would be a better chance of Neil Walker landing on the disabled list by Friday than there was of Andrew McCutchen landing there, well, I don’t think I would’ve believed you.
The good news for the Pirates is that other players appear to be stepping up at the plate in the absence of the Pirates’ big boppers, and that they’re playing a really terrible Padre offense that is only on pace to score 520 runs this year. Given what we saw against the Marlins this week, the Pirates should be able to find a way to take two of three from this Padre team this weekend. Still, given the injury situation, let’s not count any eggs before they hatch. Worley has allowed a total of two earned runs in his last three starts, which have totaled 21 innings. I still think there’s some smoke-and-mirrors going on on his end of things, but I would expect this Padres’ offense to fall for a smoke-and-mirror show like that stupid bird that won’t stop flying into that window up above you because he’s exerting male dominance over his reflection.
On Wednesday, Josh Harrison and Jeff Locke stepped up. On Thursday, it was Starling Marte, Gregory Polanco, and Edinson Volquez. It’s going to have to be someone every night with Walker and McCutchen out, so who will it be tonight?
Ian Kennedy starts for the Padres, first pitch is at 7:05.