For a season preview of the Pittsburgh Pirates two Dominican Summer League teams, check out our article here. Throughout the year, we will provide the recaps of both teams, as well as highlight one player each day.
Result: Pirates 2, Phillies 0
Starting Pitcher: Jose Regalado, RHP (2-0, 3.60) – 5.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 0 HR
Top Hitter: Rodney Polonia, DH (.286) – 2-for-4
Other Notable Performers:
Julio de la Cruz, 3B (.125) – 1-for-4
Jherson Esqueda, RHP (2.45) – 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 0 HR
Pablo Reyes, 2B (.368) – 1-for-3, BB
Tito Polo, LF (.300) – 1-for-3, BB, SB
Johan De Jesus, SS (.235) – 1-for-4
Game Notes: Starter Jose Regalado has a tough first outing this year, giving up four runs over five innings on Opening Day. Today, he and two other relievers were unhittable. Regalado threw five no-hit innings, followed by two frames from Jherson Esqueda and 1.2 innings from Andres Mendoza. The Pirates didn’t get a chance for a complete game, as weather got in the way before the last out could be recorded. The three pitchers combined for two walks and one hit batter. Pirates scored one run in each of the sixth and seventh innings. The first scored on a wild pitch, while the second run came home on a sacrifice fly by catcher Reggie Cerda.
Result: Pirates 9, Cardinals 8
Starting Pitcher: Julio Vivas, RHP (0-1, 5.63) – 4.0 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 0 HR
Top Hitter: Bealyn Chourio, SS (.300) – 3-for-4, 3B, 2 RBI, BB
Other Notable Performers:
Michael de la Cruz, CF (.238) – 1-for-4, BB
Carlos Munoz, DH(.471) – 1-for-2, 2B, 2 BB
Jhoan Herrera, 3B (.316) – 1-for-3, 2 BB
Richard Mitchell, RHP (1-0, 0.00) – 2.2 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, 0 HR
Game Notes: The Pirates won their second game in a row, after opening the season with four straight losses. They were down 7-3 going into the bottom of the sixth, then scored three runs in the sixth and two in the seventh to take the lead. The Cardinals tied it in the top of the ninth, before the Pirates won it in the bottom of the inning with a walk-off single from Bealyn Chourio. Despite giving up those eight runs, scored over five different innings, the Pirates pitchers did not give up an earned run all game. They committed five errors, one in each inning that the Cardinals scored. Top pitching prospect Richard Mitchell pitched 2.2 innings today, keeping his season ERA at 0.00 after throwing three shutout innings in his debut.
Player Of The Day
For three days in a row this season, the top hitter for the Pirates2 team was Carlos Munoz. He is really hitting well this year and getting on base, batting .471 with four walks in six games, one was as a pinch-hitter. Munoz made his pro debut in 2011 in the Venezuelan Summer League. He was 17-years-old, with good size at 5’11”, 225 lbs. He bats and throws lefty, playing either DH or first base. His 2011 season was limited to just nine games, but when the VSL team moved to the Dominican League last year, Munoz saw a decent amount of playing time. Despite the size, he hit just one homer, adding nine doubles and a triple in 134 AB’s. His best quality seemed to be the ability to get on base, which has carried over into this year. He hit a respectable .261 last season, but he also drew 40 walks in 47 games, while only striking out 18 times. He is still a few weeks short of his 19th birthday, so there is time for Munoz to really break out. We may already be seeing that this season.
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.