New-look OF to get first test in split-squad opener

Cutch and Co. to face Orioles at home, while Lindblom starts vs. Rays on road

New-look OF to get first test in split-squad opener

BRADENTON, Fla. -- After a week of full-squad workouts, the Pirates will unveil their new-look outfield Saturday as they begin their Grapefruit League schedule.

Featuring a lineup led by Andrew McCutchen, Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco, the Bucs will host the Orioles at LECOM Park. Another split-squad will head south to face the Rays at Charlotte Sports Park. Both games are scheduled to start at 1:05 p.m. ET. Orioles-Pirates will be broadcast in an exclusive audio webcast on, while Pirates-Rays will air on Gameday Audio.

"Drills are drills. Practice is practice. Now, we have time to work through spring and some games," manager Clint Hurdle said. "Just look for the simplistic parts of the game: throwing strikes, making plays, having good at-bats."

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Left-hander Steven Brault is slated to start against the Orioles with a host of pitchers scheduled for one inning each afterward: Trevor Williams, Tony Watson, Felipe Rivero, Daniel Hudson, Antonio Bastardo, Juan Nicasio, A.J. Schugel and Pat Light.

The home opener lineup includes Marte in center, McCutchen in right and Polanco in left field, the first time they've used that alignment in a game. Marte will bat second behind shortstop Adam Frazier with McCutchen hitting third and Polanco batting cleanup.

Third baseman David Freese, first baseman Jason Rogers, second baseman Alen Hanson, catcher Elias Diaz and designated hitter Barrett Barnes round out Pittsburgh's lineup for the home opener. Shortstop prospect Kevin Newman, infielder Chris Bostick and catcher Jin-De Jhang are also scheduled to play.

Non-roster right-hander Josh Lindblom will start against the Rays. He will be followed by reliever Dovydas Neverauskas and a handful of non-roster invitees: lefties Dan Runzler, Jared Lakind and Cody Dickson and right-handers Edgar Santana and Tyler Eppler.

Second baseman Josh Harrison, shortstop Jordy Mercer and first baseman John Jaso headline the traveling squad's lineup. They will bat atop the order followed by designated hitter Eric Wood, right fielder Joey Terdoslavich, left fielder Jose Osuna, third baseman Phil Gosselin, center fielder Austin Meadows and catcher Jacob Stallings.

The first home game will give the Pirates a chance to show off the recently renamed LECOM Park, formerly known as McKechnie Field. The ballpark added one feature in addition to the new name: a high-definition scoreboard, 45 feet wide and 25 feet high, in left-center field.

"Love it," Hurdle said. "Looks great."

Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.