Pirate City Notes: Karstens, Taillon, Welker, Lineups

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Jeff Karstens will throw two innings in minor league camp today. – Image Credit: Pittsburgh Pirates

The first cuts from major league camp came today, and the first games in minor league camp start this afternoon. I’ll be covering the home games at Pirate City, which will include the Triple-A and Double-A teams, and possibly an intra-squad game with the short-season players. For now, here’s some notes.

**I talked with Duke Welker after he arrived from major league camp. Welker mentioned that he had some stiffness in his shoulder the last few days. He will start throwing today after taking four days off. The shoulder isn’t considered too serious, and the Pirates were being cautious giving him time off. He said that if it was the middle of the year, he’d be playing.

**Jameson Taillon will be throwing a bullpen today at Pirate City.

**Today is the first day of games at minor league camp. Jeff Karstens will be throwing two innings against the Philadelphia farm system. Karstens will be pitching for the Triple-A team today, going two innings. He will be followed by Brandon Cumpton, who will also be throwing two innings.

**Here are the lineups for the home games today:

Triple-A: Drew Maggi (6), Oscar Tejeda (DH), Andrew Lambo (9), Matt Curry (3), Jeremy Farrell (5), Adalberto Santos (4), Jeff Larish (7), Brett Carroll (8), Charlie Cutler (2), Justin Howard (DH)

Double-A: Gift Ngoepe (6), Mel Rojas Jr. (8), Jarek Cunningham (4), Alex Dickerson (3), Stefan Welch (5), Andy Vasquez (7), Carlos Mesa (9), Chris Lashmet (DH), Elias Diaz (2), Benji Gonzalez (DH)

**And the lineups for the road games:

High-A: Alen Hanson (6), Walker Gourley (7), Gregory Polanco (8), Willy Garcia (DH), Francisco Aponte (4), Eric Avila (5), Jordan Steranka (3), Taylor Lewis (DH), Wyatt Mathisen (2), Junior Sosa (9)

Low-A: Jimmy Rider (DH), Max Moroff (6), Barrett Barnes (8), Josh Bell (9), Stetson Allie (3), Eric Wood (5), Luis Urena (7), Dilson Herrera (DH), David Valesente (2), Jin-De Jhang (DH)

**That’s not a mis-print on those lineups. There are ten hitters in each game, with two designated hitters.

**The Pitchers for today’s game, with the innings they’re scheduled to throw:

Triple-A: Jeff Karstens (2), Brandon Cumpton (2), David Bromberg (2), Mike Colla (1), Jason Townsend (1), Philippe Valiquette (1)

Double-A: Casey Sadler (2), Eliecer Navarro (1), Quinton Miller (2), Zach Thornton (1), Porfirio Lopez (1), Zach Foster (1), Josh Poytress (1)

High-A: Adrian Sampson (2), Matt Benedict (2), Orlando Castro (1), Jordan Cooper (1), Josh Smith (1), Mike Jefferson (1), Robbie Kilcrease (1)

Low-A: Clay Holmes (2), Joely Rodriguez (2), David Jagoditsh (1), Logan Pevny (1), Alex Lukashevich (1), Cesar Lopez (1), Isaac Sanchez (1)

**I wouldn’t read too much into the lineups and pitching orders. For the most part players will be playing on their 2013 teams. Alen Hanson and Gregory Polanco, for example, will both be in Bradenton this year, so they’ll both be playing on the high-A team throughout camp. Some players might play up a level. A lot of those situations come as a result of what is happening in big league camp. As players get cut from major league camp, the rosters will start to shape up. I’d be extremely surprised if Wyatt Mathisen was playing on the high-A team this year, but he’s there today. Same with Elias Diaz in Double-A. Right now it looks like all of the catchers are playing up a level, probably because the Triple-A catchers are still in big league camp.

**The short-season teams might be playing an intra-squad game today. Luis Heredia is scheduled to throw, but I’m not sure if that’s in the game or if it’s just a bullpen.

  • Re: Heredia

    Are you expecting him to start the year in WV?

  • Tim, burst my bubble there on Mathisen – I was excited to see him there on the Bradenton lineup. Also, it would be a lot of fun to watch Bradenton play this year with a Barnes/Polanco/Garcia outfield, no? With JBell pushing in from the side?

    Good stuff.

  • Where is Jacob Stallings?

  • I’d not expect Barnes to begin the year at -A. He would have to have a brutal camp for that to happen.

    • It’d be disappointing to see him at WV. Maybe they want both him and Polanco playing center every day.

      • Josh Bell also could find himself blocked if starts fast. If Garcia, Barnes and Polanco have the three outfield spots in A+, where would Bell play. It would be a good thing if Bell were to finish the season at Bradenton.

        • Don’t forget that most minor league games have a DH, so it would always be possible to essentially cycle guys in the outfield. That would get everyone AB’s, and keep them fresh in the field.

  • Good to see Gift at AA. I’d love to see him play.

    • You might have to go to ST to see him, because he will never see Pittsburgh unless he starts hitting with power, little guys that hit for average are utility players in the Pirates pecking order, he already is one of the best gloves they have.

      • He’s their best defensive shortstop, he has great speed… ASSUMING he does hit for a good average I see no reason why he would need to hit for power to make it to the majors.

        • I agree. If he plays great D-fence and hits for avg. or better then he will more than likely be a starter. Power would be a bonus at the SS position I would think.

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