Tuesday's scouting report: Pirates at Mets
Pirates beat reporter Travis Sawchik's inside look at Tuesday's game:
• Edinson Volquez's new-found command returned against the Washington Nationals in his last start, and he will try to build upon that vs. the Mets. While he has dramatically cut his walk rate, the Pirates are hoping Volquez can begin producing more swings and misses with his off-speed pitches. ... Volquez has been inconsistent throughout his career but he has been consistently solid against the Mets, holding current Mets to a .234 average and allowing just one homer in 77 at-bats.
• The Pirates hit Niese well, combining for a .312 average and five homers against the left-hander. Gaby Sanchez, Jordy Mercer, Russell Martin, Clint Barmes and Jose Tabata have all homered vs. Niese, suggesting Sanchez might get a start against a left-handed arm.
While Vin Mazzaro has posted quality ERAs in his last two seasons with the Pirates his underlying stat rates — strikeout and walk rate — do not support stellar run prevention, perhaps explaining why he was a roster-cut Monday.