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Tuesday's scouting report: Reds at Pirates

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Monday, June 16, 2014, 9:51 p.m.
 

X-factors

Pirates beat reporter Travis Sawchik'sinside look at Tuesday's game:

• Johnny Cueto has been a different pitcher since losing to the Pirates in the wild-card play-in game last October. He's been a dominant pitcher, striking out nearly 10 per nine innings this year while walking less than two per nine innings. Cueto already has a complete-game victory over the Pirates this season, allowing one run, and he struck out 12 in six shutout innings in his last outing against the Dodgers.

• Gregory Polanco has 12 hits in his first six major league games, and has done most of his damage against pitches lower in the strike zone. All five of his hits on Friday came against pitches at knee level. It will be interesting to see if opponents begin to elevate pitches against Polanco. Polanco has shown few holes in his swing to date, but he has often been tested high in the zone.

The Buzz

With Vance Worley's impressive outing, and Gerrit Cole's impending return, Jeff Locke, Brandon Cumpton and Worley are fighting for rotation spots and perhaps building quality depth.

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