Mel Rojas Promoted to Indianapolis

By Jason Shetler

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According to the Altoona Mirror’s Cory Giger, outfielder Mel Rojas has been promoted from Altoona to Indianapolis.

The son of the former Montreal Expos closer was hitting just .243 along with a .651 OPS from 2010 to last year. This season has been a breakout for Rojas, as he was batting .295 while posting an .811 OPS in 52 games for the Curve.

With injuries to both Andrew Lambo and Chris Dickerson, as well as Gregory Polanco’s call up coming soon, Indianapolis is going to need some outfield help.

 

 

 

Andrew Lambo Has Surgery Performed on Right Thumb

By Jason Shetler

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The Pirates have announced that Andrew Lambo had surgery on his injured right thumb. 

Lambo injured the thumb back on May 5th, which at the time was considered just a bruise, and was placed on the 7-day disabled list. He had the surgery performed on Wednesday to repair an ulnar collateral ligament in his thumb. Pirates Prospects Tim Williams made mention that the typical recovery time for thumb surgery is six to eight weeks. 

Before the injury, Lambo was hitting .344 along with a 1.000 OPS in 26 games this season for Indianapolis. Assuming the Pirates are still in contention at the trade deadline, the setback to Lambo would be unfortunate, as he would have been really attractive trade bait. 

 

 

Stolmy Pimentel to Begin Rehab Assignment Tomorrow

By Jason Shetler

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Stolmy Pimentel is set to begin his rehab assignment tomorrow at Pirate City, this according to Tim Williams of Pirates Prospects.

Pimentel has been on the disabled list since May 3rd with right shoulder inflammation. Prior to the injury, he made six appearances while posting a 3.18 ERA and a 1.41 WHIP. Pimentel’s fastball velocity was down significantly at 90.7 mph, which was at 94.7 mph a year ago. 

The Pirates will have to consider one of two options upon Pimentel’s return. Either designate Jeanmar Gomez for assignment, or send Jared Hughes back to Indianapolis. 

 

 

Chris Dickerson Suffers Hamstring Injury

By Jason Shetler 

Pirates Prospects Ryan Palencer reported that outfielder Chris Dickerson left today’s game for Indianapolis with a hamstring injury. 

Dickerson is having a solid season for the Indians. His .329 average is currently the fourth highest in the International League while his .920 OPS is also good for fourth best. Dickerson has reached base safely in 36 of his 38 games, and also had a 16 game hitting streak this month. 

Palencer mentioned that the extent of Dickerson’s hamstring is unknown at this time. 

Player Draftee Profile: Luis Ortiz

By Jason Shetler

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Player: Luis Ortiz

School: Sanger High School (California)

Position: Pitcher

Height: 6’3

Weight: 215

Throws: Right

Scouting Report: Ortiz throws a mid-90’s fastball, which has topped out at 97 mph. His slider is considered a plus pitch with sharp break while his changeup is a decent offering. All three of his pitches have been thrown with above average command. It’s uncertain if Ortiz will add more velocity to his fastball since some scouts think he doesn’t have much projection left.

How would he project for the Pirates?: Ortiz certainly fits the Neal Huntington preference of a power pitcher coming out of high school. His fastball and slider are both solid pitches, and his changeup could be as well. It’s possible that Ortiz would be in the back end of the rotation, and that’s only because Gerrit Cole, Jameson Taillon, Nick Kingham and Tyler Glasnow should be fixtures in the Bucs rotation by the time Ortiz were to arrive.

Player Draftee Profile: Kyle Schwarber

By Jason Shetler

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Player: Kyle Schwarber

School: Indiana University

Position: Catcher/First Base

Height: 6’0

Weight: 225

Bats: Left

Throws: Right

Scouting Report: Schwarber has plenty of power in the bat, and also does a good job of working counts and getting on base. His defense behind the plate is below average.

How would he project for the Pirates?: As mentioned, Schwarber isn’t a good defensive catcher, so there’s no question Neal Huntington would take him as a first baseman.

 

 

Pirates Designate Vin Mazzaro For Assignment

By Jason Shetler

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The Pirates have announced that Vin Mazzaro has been designated for assignment in order to make space on the 25-man roster for Brandon Cumpton.

This marks the second time this year that Mazzaro has been DFA’d. The first time came in Spring Training when the Pirates had a logjam of relievers in the bullpen with Mazzaro being the odd man out. The right-hander surprisingly cleared waivers and accepted a AAA assignment. The Pirates recalled Mazzaro earlier this month. In five appearances, he posted a 3.48 ERA along with a 1.26 WHIP.

The decision to designate Mazzaro is certainly a head scratcher when you consider that Jared Hughes has options and could have simply been sent back down to Indianapolis. It wouldn’t surprise me to see a club claim Mazzaro off waivers this time around.

Player Draftee Profile: Jacob Gatewood

By Jason Shetler

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Player: Jacob Gatewood

School: Clovis High School (California)

Position: Shortstop

Height: 6’5

Weight: 190

Bats: Right

Throws: Right

Scouting Report: Gatewood is 6’5, which is definitely out of the norm when it comes to the shortstop position. He has terrific bat speed and plus power, but scouts have said that he has a tendency to over swing, which has led to a good number of swings and misses. Gatewood’s defense has some positives with good hands and a strong arm.

How would he project for the Pirates?: More than likely, the Pirates would draft him initially as a shortstop. From there, they would have to decide whether or not Gatewood has the range to stick at short. If not, he would be moved over to the hot corner, which wouldn’t be a problem since he has the power for third base.

Brandon Cumpton to Start Monday’s Game

By Jason Shetler

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Pirates GM Neal Huntington confirmed on his radio show that Brandon Cumpton will start Monday’s game against the New York Mets.

The Pirates had an open spot in the rotation after Wandy Rodriguez was designated for assignment on Thursday. Cumpton will be recalled by the Bucs for the third time this season. His first time was in late April when he filled in as a spot starter for Rodriguez who was on the disabled list. Cumpton’s second call up came as the 26th man for the Pirates doubleheader last Sunday against the New York Yankees.

I imagine Cumpton will stay in the rotation indefinitely, unless he really struggles.

 

 

Player Draftee Profile: Erick Fedde

By Jason Shetler

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Player: Erick Fedde

School: UNLV

Position: Pitcher

Height: 6’4

Weight: 170

Throws: Right

Scouting Report: Fedde is a tall, lanky right-hander with a three-quarter delivery. He throws a low-mid 90’s fastball, and has some command problems with it. Fedde’s secondary offerings include a plus slider and a changeup, which is considered an average pitch.

How would he project for the Pirates?: Neal Huntington isn’t shy about stockpiling pitchers in the draft, but he seems to prefer projectable high school arms more. However, Fedde will obviously have a faster track to the Majors since he’s coming out of college. If Fedde can improve his fastball command and his changeup, he could have the makings of a solid #3 starter behind Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon.