With reshuffling in the Pirates rotation, they have also done some shuffling in the minors the last two days. Yesterday, it was Vance Worley getting pushed back a day, making room for the AAA debut of A.J. Morris. Bradenton had their game suspended due to rain. They may or may not finish it, depending on whether the game matters are far as the first half playoff picture. Bradenton trails in their division by 4.5 games with ten to go. The DSL Pirates are off today. Check out the Prospect Watch from last night. For a look at possible starters down the line, check out our Probable Starter Chart. All minor league transactions over the last month can be found at the bottom of the page. Click the link on each pitcher’s name for more information.
AAA: Indianapolis (35-27) @ Lehigh Valley (32-31) 1:35pm
Probable starter: Vance Worley (2-2, 4.74)
Yesterday’s Result: Lehigh Valley 3, Indianapolis 1
Vance Worley will make his seventh start of the season today. His last outing was the first time he didn’t go at least six innings in his start. He allowed six runs on ten hits and a walk in five innings. Worley has a 3/36 BB/K ratio in 38 innings and he has struck out 19 batters over his last two starts. He has a 5.00 ERA over 18 innings in his three road starts this season.
AA: Altoona (23-38) @ Trenton (33-30) 1:05pm
Probable starter: Zack Dodson (1-3, 3.38)
Yesterday’s Result: Altoona 11, Trenton 2
Zack Dodson will make eighth start of the season today. He has also pitched once in relief. Dodson has thrown a total of 32 innings, allowing 42 hits, two homers and 12 walks. He has 22 strikeouts, a 1.64 GO/AO ratio and a .328 BAA. His last start looked like it would be a strong outing until he ran into trouble in the fifth inning. Dodson finished with seven runs allowed(four earned) over 4.1 innings. He has a 1.53 ERA in four road starts.
High-A: Bradenton (31-30) vs Charlotte (30-30) 5:00pm
Probable starter: Chad Kuhl (6-4, 3.38)
Yesterday’s Result: Bradenton was suspended due to rain
Chad Kuhl will make his 13th start of the season tonight. He has thrown 65 innings, allowing 67 hits, five homers and 11 walks. Kuhl has 42 strikeouts, a 2.04 GO/AO ratio and a .268 BAA. In his last start, he went six innings, allowing one run on four hits. In his previous outing, Kuhl threw six shutout innings. He has a 4.82 home ERA in seven starts and 2.60 on the road.
Low-A: West Virginia (20-41) @ Hickory (34-27) 5:00pm
Probable starter: Justin Topa (3-3, 5.01)
Yesterday’s Result: Hickory 8, West Virginia 7
Justin Topa will make his ninth start of the season tonight. He has also pitched four times in relief. As a starter, he has a 5.21 ERA over 38 innings. In 50.1 total innings, he has an 8/39 K/BB ratio. In his last start, Topa gave up three runs on six hits in 4.2 innings. He has a 1.53 GO/AO ratio.
DSL: Pirates (1-6) vs Tigers (5-2) 10:30am 6/9
Result: Tigers 10, Pirates 7
Check out the DSL Pirates season preview.
6/6: Stolmy Pimentel assigned to Altoona on rehab.
6/6: A.J. Morris promoted to Indianapolis.
6/6: Chris Dickerson activated from disabled list. Jake Brigham placed on disabled list.
6/5: Vin Mazzaro assigned to Indianapolis.
6/5: Yao-Hsun Yang added to Altoona roster. Tyler Sample placed on disabled list.
6/5: Robby Rowland placed on disabled list. Jeff Inman assigned to Bradenton roster.
6/4: Luis Heredia activated from disabled list. Miguel Rosario assigned to Jamestown roster.
6/3: Jose Osuna and Jordan Steranka activated from Bradenton disabled list. D.J. Crumlich and Ashley Ponce placed on disabled list.
6/3: Wirfin Obispo assigned to Indianapolis.
6/2: Stolmy Pimentel assigned to Bradenton on rehab.
5/31: Brent Morel placed on disabled list.
5/31: Junior Sosa added to Altoona roster.
5/30: Eight players released from DSL roster.
5/30: Mel Rojas Jr. promoted to Indianapolis. Chris Dickerson placed on disabled list.
5/30: Brandon Mann released. Ryan Beckman added to Altoona roster.
5/30: Kenn Kasparek added to Indianapolis roster.
5/29: Francisco Diaz assigned to Jamestown roster.
5/28: Candon Myles activated from the disabled list. Adam Landecker assigned to Jamestown roster.
5/27: Kawika Emsley-Pai assigned from Altoona to West Virginia.
5/26: Ralph Henriquez sent from Indianapolis to Altoona. Cody Eppley assigned to Indianapolis.
5/24: Andy Otamendi assigned to Extended Spring Training. Orlando Castro assigned to Bradenton.
5/23 Tony Sanchez assigned to Indianapolis.
5/23: Josh Wall assigned to Indianapolis roster.
5/22: Edwin Espinal activated from disabled list. Candon Myles placed on disabled list.
5/21: Andy Otamendi added to Bradenton roster. Orlando Castro assigned to Jamestown.
5/20: Omir Santos placed on disabled list. Ralph Henriquez assigned to Indianapolis.
5/19: Jared LaKind added to West Virginia roster. Will Kendall placed on disabled list.
5/19: Brandon Cumpton reassigned to Indianapolis. Ralph Henriquez sent from Indianapolis to Altoona
5/18: West Virginia sends Kawika Emsley-Pai to Altoona. Francisco Diaz added off Jamestown roster.
5/18: Ralph Henriquez sent from Altoona to Indianapolis.
5/16: Edwin Espinal placed on disabled list. Adam Landecker added to West Virginia roster.
5/16: Jaff Decker sent from Pittsburgh to Indianapolis. Cody Eppley transferred to Jamestown roster.
5/13: Activated Zack Dodson from disabled list. Ryan Beckman transferred to Jamestown roster.
5/12: Signed Nathan Sopena.
5/12: Released Christian Santiago, Arquimedes Lorenzo, Ramon Rodriguez and Marcus Beltrez.
5/9: Miguel Rosario added to West Virginia roster. Jerry Mulderig assigned to Jamestown roster.
5/9: Kenn Kasparek assigned to Jamestown roster.
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.
Vance Worley has a higher K-BB% than any starter in the Pirates entire organization right now. Given his 2.55 FIP, his 59 % GB% according to MLBfarm.com, his age (26), and his previous MLB success, I think the Pirates might have snagged a pretty good back of the rotation starter.
I find it hard to believe he’d be worse than Edinson Volquez.
I find it difficult to believe I’m saying this, but Volquez is actually pretty close to being a good pitcher right now. His control is very good. He’s running into issues with his breaking stuff breaking down after a couple of innings.
Given the back end of the pen has been pretty reliable lately, I’m thinking that in Cole’s absence, the Bucs might want to start thinking of tandem starters for a bit. Add one more long man in the pen. Maybe that guy is Mazzaro. Or maybe one of Snider/Tabata and some cash can get them a temporary swingman.
I’m really happy that his walk rate has dropped to about league average, and his last four starts have indeed been respectable, as was his April. His four starts between those two were a nightmare, though.
My problem with Volquez is that he isn’t consistent, he gives up way too many homeruns, and he isn’t missing bats. He’s a 30 year old pitcher who hasn’t been good since 2008, the only time he was ever good. I was hoping for a turnaround, but -0.3 fWAR does not constitute a turnaround.
Volquez is throwing very well, has as much stuff as anyone on the staff, except for maybe Morton. Possibility we could look at reality, he is getting the worst defense this team can play behind him and I am not talking about just physical errors, bad defense is hard to overcome in the long run. If Volquez had Searage as his pitching coach and a good defensive team behind him, I think Volquez would have a much better record. Volquez has also been up against other teams better pitchers more than most on this team.