Bucs Minor League Report 4/29

AAA: Indianapolis no-hits Durham 2-0.

Justin Wilson tossed seven no-hit innings, walked two, and fanned nine. Jose Diaz got the final out of the eighth, and Doug Slaten pitched a perfect ninth to complete the no-hitter. Starling Marte went 1-for-4 with a home run (second of the season). Jake Fox was 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles and a run scored. Gorkys Hernandez went 2-for-3 with a double and a stolen base (his fourth).

AA: Game 1 – Akron defeats Altoona by a score of 4-3.

Kris Johnson pitched three innings, giving up a run (unearned) on two hits, walked three, and had one strikeout in a no-decision. Adalberto Santos was 2-for-6. Tony Sanchez went 1-for-6 with a double and struckout four times. Matt Curry was 0-for-2 with a run scored and drew three walks. Robbie Grossman went 0-for-6 with a strikeout.

Game 2 – Akron takes the second game over Altoona 3-2.

Mike Colla went 5.2 innings, allowed two runs on three hits, walked three, and struckout seven in a no-decision. Charlie Cutler went 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI. Kelson Brown was 2-for-3 with a double and run scored. Ramon Cabrera went 1-for-3 with an RBI. Matt Curry was also 1-for-3 and stole his first base of the season.

High A: Bradenton over Jupiter by a final score of 4-1.

Jameson Taillon threw six scoreless on three hits, walked one, and had four strikeouts in the win. Mel Rojas was 2-for-5 with an RBI, a run scored, and stole a base (his first of the season). Carlos Paulino went 2-for-4 with a double. Stefan Welch was 1-for-4 with a pair of RBI’s. Alex Dickerson went 0-for-3 with a walk.

Low A: Greensboro defeated West Virginia by a 9-4 final.

Ryan Hafner goes 3.2 innings, gave up four runs on six hits, walked four, and didn’t strikeout a batter in the loss. Alen Hanson went 3-for-5 with a double and a run scored. Gregory Polanco was 1-for-5 with a two-run home run (fifth of the season).  Junior Sosa went 2-for-2. Willy Garcia was 1-for-3 with a walk and a run scored.






No surgery required for Karstens

Pirates GM Neal Huntington said on his radio show that Jeff Karstens will not need shoulder surgery. Karstens was placed on the DL on April 18th with inflammation in his pitching shoulder. Huntington mentioned that Karstens is down Bradenton working to get the inflammation out of his shoulder and strengthening his arm back up. Good to hear that surgery won’t have to be required.

Bucs Minor League Report 4/28

AAA: Indianapolis blanks Durham 2-0.

Rudy Owens threw seven scoreless on six hits, walked one (first walk allowed of the season), and struckout six in the win. Brandon Boggs was 1-for-3 with an RBI triple. Jordy Mercer went 1-for-3 with a walk and scored a run. Jose Morales was 1-for-2 with a double and a walk. Starling Marte went 0-for-4 with a pair of strikeouts.

AA: Altoona/Akron game was postponed due to weather.

High A: Jupiter defeated Bradenton by a score of 7-3.

Colton Cain pitched four innings, giving up seven runs on seven hits (two home runs), walked a pair, and had two strikeouts in the loss. Stefan Welch went 2-for-4 with two doubles and a run scored. Gift Ngoepe was 2-for-4 with a pair of stolen bases (third and fourth). Drew Maggi went 1-for-4 with an RBI and a walk. Evan Chambers was also 1-for-4 with an RBI. Alex Dickerson went 1-for-5.

Low A: Greensboro over West Virginia by a final of 11-9.

Matt Benedict went 5.2 innings, gave up three runs on eight hits, walked three, and struckout one in a no-decision. Carlos Mesa was 2-for-4 with a two-run home run (his first of the season). Alen Hanson went 2-for-4 with a triple, an RBI, and scored three runs. Jose Osuna was 2-for-5 with a double and a RBI. Jodaneli Carvajal went 2-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored. Willy Garcia was 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored.

Is AAA an option for Jose Tabata?

Jose Tabata has really struggled out of the gate the first few weeks of the season. The numbers as they stand right now are not good to this point. Jose is hitting an even .200, with a .241 OBP, and a .218 SLG, which comes out to a .459 OPS. Not exactly the numbers you want to see especially for a corner outfielder. There are people who want to talk about Pedro Alvarez and how his struggles should send him to AAA, but why can’t the same be said for Jose Tabata? After all Pedro has been more productive than Jose to this point. With that said, I would still give Jose a few more weeks or so to see if he can turn it around. If not, then the Pirates might have to consider sending him to Indianapolis. If that were to happen, I’m sure the vast majority would want Starling Marte to be called up. Marte hasn’t really been tearing it up for Indy so far, and the Pirates would be wise to wait until later on in the summer to call him up. Now back to Jose, I’m hoping he can turn it around since I picked him to break out this season and he’s making me look bad right now. But all kidding aside, I’m confident that Jose will start to hit again. We saw how he could handle the bat from his rookie season in 2010 and last year before he got hurt. When he’s going good, he can hit the ball to all fields and more often than not, take them the other way which is very good to see from a young hitter. I also think that once the average goes back up, so will his OBP. Because he’s struggling right now, I think he’s more focused about getting hits than drawing walks. The Pirates certainly need any offensive help they can get, and getting some of that from Jose would help out a good deal.

Bucs Minor League Report 4/27

AAA: Indianapolis dominated Durham by a final of 13-2.

Jo-Jo Reyes pitched six innings, gave up two runs on five hits, walked one, and struckout a pair in the win. Nick Evans was 4-for-6 with a home run (second of the season), and three RBI’s. Matt Hague also went 4-for-6 with a double, three RBI’s, and three runs scored. Jake Fox was 2-for-5 with a two-run homer (his first), three RBI’s, and a walk. Starling Marte went 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles, a couple walks, and three runs scored.

AA: Akron defeats Altoona in a 2-1 final.

Matt McSwain goes five innings, giving up one run on three hits, allowed five walks, and had two strikeouts in a no-decision. Adalberto Santos went 2-for-4 with the lone RBI. Robbie Grossman was 2-for-3 with a walk, a stolen base (his second), and a run scored. Matt Curry had an 0-for-4 and struckout twice. Tony Sanchez did not play (night off).

High A: Bradenton over Charlotte by a score of 9-2.

Tyler Waldron went six innings, allowed two runs on five hits, walked none, and struckout three to pick up the win. Gift Ngoepe was 2-for-4 with a pair of home runs (first and second of the season), three RBI’s, and a walk. Evan Chambers went 2-for-3 with two RBI’s and a run scored. Drew Maggi was 1-for-3 with a three-run triple, a walk, and a stolen base (his seventh). Alex Dickerson had an 0-for-4 with a pair of strikeouts.

Low A: Savannah defeated West Virginia 6-2.

Nick Kingham threw five innings, gave up three runs on six hits, walked one, and fanned four in the loss. Chris Lashmet was 1-for-4 with the only two RBI’s for the Power. Gregory Polanco went 2-for-4 with a couple runs scored, and stole his tenth base of the season. Elias Diaz was 2-for-3 with a walk. Alen Hanson went 0-for-4, which snapped a 16-game hit streak. 

Josh Bell has surgery performed on left knee

According to Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Josh Bell underwent surgery to repair a meniscus in his left knee. The Pirates second round pick from last year, left Tuesday night’s game against Savannah after tweaking the knee rounding first base. Bell will begin rehab down in Bradenton and the Pirates are hopeful he can return to game action later on in the season. He hit .274, with a .691 OPS, a home run, and 11 RBI’s before the injury. 

Breaking down the Matt Morris trade

It was four years ago today that the Pirates released Matt Morris. Morris was acquired by the Bucs from the San Francisco Giants in exchange for outfielder Rajai Davis at the 2007 trade deadline. The deal was puzzling in two ways, because not only were the Pirates completely out of contention, but Dave Littlefield decided to take on the remaining salary for that year and 2008, both of which were $10M. We all know how bad the deal turned out from the Pirates standpoint, but let’s break it down and see just how bad.

ERA (STL/SF) 4.17  (PIT) 7.04

ERA+ (STL/SF) 106  (PIT) 62

WHIP (STL/SF) 1.34  (PIT) 1.76

H/9 (STL/SF) 9.4  (PIT) 12.7

K/9 (STL/SF) 5.7  (PIT) 4.1

BB/9 (STL/SF) 2.6  (PIT) 3.1

WAR (STL/SF) 2.5  (PIT) – 2.3

The numbers as expected were all bad across the board when he joined the Pirates rotation. His ERA was nearly three runs higher, ERA+ was significantly worse, the WHIP, H/9, and BB/9 were all higher, his K/9 was lower, and he was a very replaceable pitcher going by WAR. Matt Morris was one of the better starters in the National League from the early-mid 2000’s, but the Pirates just never even got shades of that same pitcher.