Here is a look at today’s lineups for the minor league games. The teams will be taking on Toronto’s farm system this afternoon. The upper level teams are on the road, which means I’ll be watching the lower level guys at Pirate City. I’ve included the lineups, pitchers, and some notes on a few players below.
Lineup: Darren Ford (8), Oscar Tejeda (4), Clint Robinson (3), Matt Curry (DH), Jerry Sands (9), Matt Hague (5), Miguel Perez (2), Dan Grovatt (7), Alex Valdez (6), Jeremy Farrell (DH)
Pitchers: Luis Sanz, Hunter Strickland, Erik Cordier, Jeff Inman, Nate Baker, Tim Alderson
Notes: The Pirates just sent Robinson and Hague down. Despite the fact that they’re both first basemen, Matt Curry is in the lineup. Granted, there are two designated hitters right now, but if there’s a choice between Curry and Farrell during the season, I’d say Curry wins out. It’s not a guarantee that Curry will make the jump to Triple-A at the start of the year. The guy who could hold him back is Jared Goedert. I talked to an AL scout last week who really liked Goedert as a depth option, and said he could be a great option as a backup at third, or a platoon mate with Pedro Alvarez.
Lineup: Kirk Singer (5), Mel Rojas Jr. (8), Jarek Cunningham (4), Alex Dickerson (DH), Stefan Welch (DH), Jacob Stallings (2), Justin Howard (3), Carlos Mesa (9), Chris Lashmet (7), Kelson Brown (6)
Pitchers: Robby Rowland, Jhonathan Ramos, Kenn Kasparek, Pat Ludwig, Joan Montero
Notes: Interesting to see Rowland getting the start for the Double-A squad. As I mentioned yesterday, don’t read too much into the assignments. That said, I don’t recall too many pitchers pitching up a level. Rowland made some big strides in the last year. In fact, a year ago at this time he was in Arizona’s system, coming off a disastrous year in rookie ball. One year later he’s coming off a pretty strong season in low-A thanks to a new sinker and a 53.4% ground ball rate.
Lineup: Alen Hanson (6), Dan Gamache (4), Gregory Polanco (DH), Willy Garcia (7), Jose Osuna (3), D.J. Crumlich (5), Taylor Lewis (8), Francisco Diaz (2), Jordan Steranka (DH), Junior Sosa (9)
Pitchers: Zack Von Rosenberg, Jake Burnette, Ryan Hafner, Tom Harlan, Lance Breedlove, Kyle Haynes
Notes: Always love watching Hanson and Polanco in action. There are a few interesting pitching options here. Von Rosenberg’s struggles have been notable. He needs to learn to keep the ball down in the zone and attack hitters. Burnette suffered an injury last year which caused him to miss most of the season. Hafner really struggled with his control last year at low-A, and didn’t do so well in his demotion to State College.
Lineup: Jodaneli Carvajal (6), Dilson Herrera (4), Jin-De Jhang (2), Stetson Allie (DH), Josh Bell (9), Barrett Barnes (8), Jared LaKind (3), Jesus Vasquez (7), Maximo Rivera (5), Samuel Gonzalez (DH)
Pitchers: Jon Sandfort, Colten Brewer, Wei-Chung Wang, Hayden Hurst, Bryton Trepagnier, Clario Perez
Notes: Again, don’t read too much into lineups, but some interesting placements here. Maximo Rivera was highly thought of when he was signed. He struggled for two years in the DSL, then put it together last year, hitting for a .367/.429/.472 line in 199 at-bats. He’s got raw power, which showed up in 2011, but didn’t return in 2012. Normally players making the jump to the US are playing with the short-season teams, rather than playing in the A-ball games. A lot of interesting hitters in this group. Also, this will be the first time I’ve seen Wei-Chung Wang and Hayden Hurst pitch. It might be the first time either has pitched in an actual game for the Pirates. Wang, a left-hander from Taiwan, signed in 2011 with Jin-De Jhang, but had Tommy John surgery and missed the entire 2012 season.