Just two teams playing today as both Altoona and Bradenton take Easter Sunday off. Altoona resumes their schedule on Monday night at home against Akron, the start of a three game series. Bradenton will begin a three game series in Palm Beach on Monday night. A full recap of last night’s games can be found here.
AAA: Indianapolis (2-1) @ Toledo (1-2) 1:00pm
Probable starter: Brad Lincoln (2-3 4.72 for the Pirates last year)
Indianapolis won 8-7 last night (game story here). Jeff Locke went 4IP with eight hits and two runs allowed. Brad Lincoln gets his first start. He went 2-3 4.72 for the Pirates in 47.2 innings last year and 7-8 4.19 in 19 starts at Indy. The Indians finished the 2011 season in 2nd place with a 76-68 record. Jake Fox has been put on the DL and 3B Jeremy Farrell took his place on the roster. Prospects on the Indianapolis roster to watch this year include Jeff Locke, Starling Marte, Justin Wilson, Jordy Mercer, Rudy Owens and Kyle McPherson(DL), as well as Brad Lincoln and Chase d’Arnaud. A team preview can be viewed here.
AA: Altoona (2-1) VS Akron (2-1) 6:30pm 4/9
Probable starter: Aaron Pribanic (10-9 3.88 for Altoona last year)
Altoona is off today, they resume their schedule Monday night with Aaron Pribanic on the mound. They lost 12-1 yesterday with Brandon Cumpton allowing five runs in 4.1 innings. The Curve finished the 2011 season in 6th place with a 64-77 record. Prospects on their roster to watch this year include Tony Sanchez, Robbie Grossman, Jarek Cunningham, Ramon Cabrera, Brock Holt, Elevys Gonzalez, Nate Baker and Matt Curry. A team preview can be viewed here.
High-A: Bradenton (1-2) @ Palm Beach (1-2) 6:35pm 4/9
Probable starter: Gerrit Cole (Pro debut)
Bradenton is off today. They lost last night 4-2. Top rated prospect, Gerrit Cole gets his first professional start when they resume play on Monday night. The Marauders finished last year 74-63, winning the second half title and they went to the playoffs, where they lost to today’s opponent, St. Lucie, in a best of three game series. Prospects on their roster to watch this year include Jameson Taillon, Gerrit Cole, Alex Dickerson, Colton Cain and Mel Rojas Jr. A team preview can be viewed here.
Low-A: West Virginia (1-2) @ Hagerstown (2-1) 1:05pm
Probable starter: Zack Dodson (6-4 2.57 for WV last year)
The Power lost 4-3 last night. Today’s starter, Zack Dodson, made 13 starts for WV last year, pitching a total of 66.2 innings with 46 strikeouts. The Power finished their 2011 season with a 69-69 record by winning their last five games of the season. They finished the first half of the season in 5th place and the second half in 6th place. Prospects to watch on their roster this year include Stetson Allie, Nick Kingham, Josh Bell, Jose Osuna, Willy Garcia, Alen Hanson, Gregory Polanco, Zack Dodson, Zack Von Rosenberg. A team preview can be viewed here.
John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.
When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.