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 5, Yankees2 4
Starting Pitcher: Dan Urbina, RHP (2-0, 3.07) – 5.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 0 HR
Top Hitter: Pablo Reyes, SS (.351) – 3-for-4, RBI, BB, 5 SB
Other Notable Performers:
Julio de la Cruz, 3B (.184) – 0-for-5, RBI
Carlos Ruiz, RHP (.000) – 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 0 HR
Tito Polo, LF (.415) – 1-for-4, RBI, BB, 2 SB
Rodney Polonia, 2B (.391) – 1-for-1
Game Notes: Starter Dan Urbina threw five shutout innings and the Pirates baserunners ran wild today against the Yankees2 in a 5-4 win. Pablo Reyes stole five bases, Luis Benitez, Tito Polo and Yunelky Adames each stole two bases and Ramses Pena added a 12th stolen base when he pinch-ran for Adames in the ninth inning. Despite the great start and all that running, the Pirates were still barely able to squeeze out the victory. Reliever Christian Henriquez gave up two runs in the eighth inning after allowing just one earned run in his first 10.2 innings. Closer Carlos Ruiz followed him with 1.2 scoreless innings for his second save. He has thrown 7.1 shutout innings this year. The Pirates had just five hits in the game, all singles, three by Reyes.
Result: Pirates 9, Cubs 8
Starting Pitcher: Dario Agrazal Jr, RHP (1-0, 1.29) – 5.0 IP, 9 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 0 HR
Top Hitter: Edgar Figueroa, CF (.158) – 2-for-4, 2 RBI, 2 BB, SB
Other Notable Performers:
Michael de la Cruz, CF (.265) – DNP
Jose Salazar, 1B (.273) – 1-for-3, 2 RBI
Yoel Gonzalez, C (.087) – DNP
Jhoan Herrera, 3B (.194) – 1-for-3, 2B, 2 RBI, 3 BB
Jesus Paredes, LHP (1-1, 0.00) – 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 0 HR
Game Notes: The Pirates have now won six of their last seven games, after opening the season with four straight losses. Dario Agrazal Jr had a rough third outing after throwing nine shutout innings over his first two games. He was still able to limit the damage, despite giving up nine hits. Reliever Jose Batista had an even tougher outing, partially due to his defense. In two innings, he allowed five runs, though just one was earned. Jesus Paredes has now thrown six innings without giving up an earned run, going two innings in each of his three outings. The Pirates had 11 hits in the game and drew 14 walks, including three each by Jhoan Herrera and Gustavo Barrios. The Pirates went into the bottom of the eighth inning trailing 8-5, with the Cubs putting up five runs in the sixth innings. The Pirates scored twice in the eighth, the second run coming home on a wild pitch. After a scoreless top of the ninth, the Pirates tied it with two walks and an Edgar Figueroa single. Then after an out, Alexis Bastardo was hit by a pitch to load the bases and Jhoan Herrera drew a walk for the literal walk-off win.
Player Of The Day
In November, we heard that the Pittsburgh Pirates signed third baseman Johan Herrera for a $300,000 bonus. A couple months later, we found out that he was actually signed before the July 2nd signing period started, so his large bonus didn’t count against the Pirates bonus cap. When he finally started playing two weeks ago, he was being referred to as Jhoan, which also could change again over time. What we do know for sure about him is that is he a lefty bat with huge promise. It was also noted at the time of his signing announcement, that he didn’t have a sure glove at third base, so that might not be his future position. There is also the matter of the third baseman for the other Pirates DSL team, top prospect Julio de la Cruz, who received a $700,000 bonus.
Herrera celebrated his 18th birthday on Friday with style, drawing a walk-off walk to win the game. He reached base four times, reaching on a double and three free passes. The 6’1″, 195 pound third baseman, has started nine of his ten games at the hot corner and lived up to the advanced billing, making eight errors already. The bat really hasn’t come around yet, but maybe Friday will be a turnaround game for him. He’s hitting .205 now, with two doubles and he’s drawn six walks. The bat is the key with him and how far he will go. It is obviously too early to say he will never be good at third base, but if he hits like the scouting reports say, it doesn’t matter, they will find a spot for him.
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.