Prospect Watching: Donnie Veal and Jeff Sues

Part of Veal’s time in Altoona was spent working on a different delivery motion and rhythm. �It must have helped, because in 5 starts and 2 relief appearances with the Curve, Veal allowed only 2 runs on 5 hits in 13.1 innings, with a 1.35 ERA. �His walk rate improved — 10 walks in 13.1 innings is still a lot, but it was better. �Overall with the Pirates, Veal pitched in 19 games, all relief appearances, for 16.1 innings. �He gave up 13 runs on 18 hits and 20 walks (fewer walks toward the end of the season), for a 7.16 ERA. �He struck out 16 batters. � When the season ended, Veal was assigned to the Arizona Fall League, where he could further work on his new motion and get more innings under his belt. �Also, because the Pirates had plans for him to be a starter in 2010, they wanted Veal to start in Arizona. �His time with the Scottsdale Scorpions was a complete turn-around. �Veal made 7 starts, for 21 innings (there are a lot of pitchers, all wanting innings, so starters don’t pitch deep into games in the AFL). �He allowed 6 runs (5 earned) on 17 hits for a 2.14 ERA (second best among starters in the league) and a 3-1 record. �He walked only 7 batters, and struck out 22. �In spring training, Veal made 3 Grapefruit League appearances, for a total of 4 innings. �He allowed only one hit and no runs, and walked 2 batters (both in the middle game). �The 25-year-old southpaw was optioned to the Indianapolis Indians on March 15th. �He is slated to be in the Indians’ starting rotation for 2010.

Jeff Sues is a right-hand reliever who was picked by the Pirates in the 5th round of the 2005 draft. �Shoulder problems and surgery kept Sues out of action for the rest of 2005, all of 2006, and most of 2007. �In 2008, Sues got onto the mound and was finally able to pitch. �He made 13 relief appearances for A+ Lynchburg, where he earned a 1-1 record and a 2.11 ERA. �He was promoted to Altoona, where he had another 24 outings, posting a 2-6 record and a 3.77 ERA in 43 innings. �Sues pitched in the Arizona Fall League in 2008, throwing another 14 innings in 11 relief appearances. �His ERA was high (5.79), but he gave up few walks (4) and struck out 16. �Sues was added to the Pirates’ 40-man roster after the 2008 season. �The New Jersey native�returned to Altoona for most of the 2009 season. �His ERA remained on the high side for most of his time with the Curve, but he still had some very good outings. �He had four scoreless outings in April, and three tougher outings in which he gave up 7 earned runs, posting a 4.30 ERA for the month. �May was about half and half also, with 13 earned runs in 17.2 innings — a 6.62 ERA. �June went a little better, as his ERA dropped back to 5.17, with 9 runs in 15.2 innings. �He did even better in July, allowing 8 runs in 20.1 innings to post a 3.54 ERA. �Sues’ walk rate was about the same as it had been in Altoona in 2008, 4.2 BB/9 innings. �Overall, by the middle of August, Sues had a 2-6 record and 2 saves over 78.2 innings. �He had allowed 66 hits for 39 earned runs, and a 4.46 ERA, and 74 strikeouts. �That gave Sues a promotion to Indianapolis on August 19th. � He got in 8 relief appearances over the remainder of the season, and in 12 innings, he allowed 8 earned runs on 13 hits and 8 walks, with 12 strikeouts. � Unfortunately, Sues was removed from the Pirates’ 40-man roster at the end of the 2009 season. �He cleared waivers, though, and was assigned to AAA. �Sues was invited to the Pirates’ major league camp for spring training. �He made two Grapefruit League appearances — one scoreless inning on March 6th, and a 0.2 inning outing on March 8th in which he gave up one run on 2 hits — before being assigned to minor league camp on March 15th. �Sues should begin the 2010 season in Indianapolis. �He will need to continue to work on his control and consistency, and keep the walk rate down.

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