Josh Bell To Play First Base In the Arizona Fall League

By Jason Shetler

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According to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and MLB.com Pirates beat writer Tom Singer, the Pirates will have Josh Bell play first base in the Arizona Fall League. 

Bell has played the outfield in his first three seasons in the Pirates organization, and will get a chance to see what he can do as a first baseman in the AFL come October. The news shouldn’t really come as a surprise with the Pirates having their long term outfield set with Andrew McCutchen, Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco. This is a really good opportunity for Bell to learn first base in meaningless games, as opposed to Pedro Alvarez learning a new position right in the middle of a pennant race at the big league level. 

On a side note, Bell was named the 2014 Florida State League Player of the Year. He batted .335 with an OPS of .886 in 84 games for the Bradenton Marauders. 

 

Tyler Glasnow Named 2014 FSL Pitcher of the Year

By Jason Shetler

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It was announced earlier today that Tyler Glasnow has been named the 2014 Florida State League Pitcher of the Year.

Coming into this year, most publications had Glasnow rated as the Pirates third best prospect behind Gregory Polanco and Jameson Taillon. Glasnow has had a superb year for Bradenton, despite missing the first month of the season with a lower back injury. In 22 starts for the Marauders, Glasnow has posted a 1.67 ERA along with a 1.05 WHIP, an 11.3 K/9 and holding opponents to a .167 average. His ERA and WHIP were both tops in the FSL while his strikeouts were second most in the league.

Alen Hanson Placed On DL With Hamstring Injury

By Jason Shetler

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The Pirates have announced that Alen Hanson has been placed on the Altoona Curve disabled list with a hamstring injury.

Hanson entered 2014 as the Pirates fifth best prospect, according to MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo. The 21-year-old infielder played majority of his games at shortstop this season, but has spent most of the time at second base down the stretch, in way for the Pirates to make him a more versatile infielder. In 118 games for the Curve this year, Hanson was hitting .280 with a .768 OPS and 25 stolen bases. This hamstring injury will likely end his season.

Indianapolis should be the starting destination for Hanson next season. He should also find himself in Pittsburgh at some point during the summer.

Clint Barmes Activated From DL; Jayson Nix DFA’d

By Jason Shetler

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The Pirates have announced that Clint Barmes has been activated from the disabled list. In a corresponding move, Jayson Nix has been designated for assignment.

Barmes had been on the DL since July 6th with a groin injury. On the season, Barmes is batting .239 with a .604 OPS in 42 games played. Jordy Mercer has made a ton of starts at shortstop this year, so expect to see Barmes get some playing time at short here and there to give Mercer fresh down the stretch.

Nix signed with the Pirates back on August 3rd, two days after being released by the Tampa Bay Rays. The 32-year-old utility man hit just .111 for the Bucs in 39 plate appearances.

Designating Nix allows the Pirates to add Jose Tabata to the 40-man roster. Tabata was recalled from Indianapolis for Gregory Polanco, who was demoted to Indy earlier today.

Pirates To Recall Jose Tabata

By Jason Shetler

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The Pirates are expected to recall Jose Tabata as the corresponding move for Gregory Polanco, this according to FOX Sports Ken Rosenthal.

Tabata began the year platooning in right field with Travis Snider. When the Pirates called up Polanco in June, Neil Walker was placed on the disabled list with an emergency appendectomy. When Walker was activated off the DL, Tabata was outrighted to Indianapolis. In 39 games for the Indians, Tabata was batting .281 with a .687 OPS.

The decision to recall Tabata instead of Andrew Lambo is surprising since Lambo not only has performed better for Indy, but he’s already on the 40-man roster.

Pirates Demote Gregory Polanco To Indianapolis

By Jason Shetler

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According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, the Pirates have demoted Gregory Polanco to Indianapolis. No word yet on the corresponding move.

Polanco joined the Pirates on June 10th after hitting .347 and posting a .945 OPS prior to his call up from Indianapolis. The 22-year-old outfielder has really struggled since the All-Star break, as he’s batting just .221 while posting an OPS of .612. Meanwhile, Travis Snider has been swinging a hot bat in the second half, hitting .319 along with a .951 OPS. Snider has been the Pirates regular right fielder since Starling Marte returned from the DL.

The Polanco demotion shouldn’t be that big of a deal since there’s only a week left in the Minor League season, and would give him everyday at-bats at Indy, as opposed to just sitting on the bench until Snider’s bat cools off.

Pirates Not Bringing Back Russell Martin?

By Jason Shetler

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On his weekly radio show yesterday, Pirates GM Neal Huntington was asked by Pirates announcer Greg Brown about the re-signing of Russell Martin needing to be done, according to the fans and media, and had this to say in response:

“In a vaccum, I agree one hundred percent.  It’s no different than Tampa, Cleveland, 10 or 15 other organizations.  We can’t be a one, two or three player organization.  Others are going to be willing to pay more.  A.J. Burnett isn’t here because there is a level we cant go to.  It could be an annual event….There will be players “we have to sign”(speaking about fans and media) to be a championship caliber club, we cant be that. We are going to do everything we can do.  It may not meet our fans needs.  It may not meet the needs of the media.”

Those comments don’t sound very promising at all. Huntington may have some valid points, but why come out and plant a seed into fans minds already that he’s very likely not going to be brought back?

For those who haven’t questioned Bob Nutting’s ownership much, I think that tune might change quickly among those people, if the Pirates don’t make any kind of conscious effort to re-sign Martin.