Pirate City Notes: Heredia in Good Shape, Surgery For Castro, Nevarez Bringing Heat

I spent today at Pirate City getting photos and watching some of the minor league workouts. I also was able to talk to several prospects for some great features that will go up on the site this week. For all of today’s photos, check out our Facebook page or the Instagram page, which also includes some short videos. Here are a few notes from the day.

**I didn’t get a chance to see Luis Heredia throw a bullpen today. However, I can say that he looks to be in good shape. That was an issue prior to the 2013 season, although he lost 40 pounds heading into the 2014 season, getting on a much better diet. So far it looks like he’s doing a good job of maintaining that weight. Here is a picture of Heredia.

Luis Heredia, after throwing a bullpen
Luis Heredia, after throwing a bullpen


**Orlando Castro had surgery in October to repair his labrum, and clean up his rotator cuff. Castro struggled in the middle of last season with dead arm and a drop in velocity. He was shut down in late July with fatigue, finishing his season early. The lefty should start throwing off the mound next week, and could be back in games in May. He had a 3.17 ERA in 93.2 innings with Bradenton, along with a 6.5 K/9 and a 1.1 BB/9.

**You know the story of John Holdzkom, who was signed out of indy ball last year, and ended up pitching in the majors by the end of the year as a seventh inning guy with the Pirates. The Pirates also signed two other pitchers out of indy ball. I got to see one of them for the first time today. There were about seven pitchers listed as throwing live BP, although none of them were wearing numbers. So I didn’t know which one was Nevarez…up until he started throwing. Once he got on the mound, his velocity made it clear who he was. There was no radar gun today, but he has been said to hit 97 MPH consistently, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he was hitting the upper 90s today. That will be an interesting story to watch, to see if the Pirates can find another Holdzkom.

Matt Nevarez, signed out of independent ball last year.
Matt Nevarez, signed out of independent ball last year.

Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.

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I suppose it’s good to hear that a professional athlete is in “good shape.” But shouldn’t that be expected as the bare minimum? Heredia might have a body that will sell blue jeans or underwear, but he doesn’t strike batters out and he walks everybody. He seems to be nothing but a “depth guy” (whatever that even means).


What is in that coffee of yours?


2 oz of Jameson Irish Whiskey. Isn’t that what everybody puts in their coffee?

Scott Kliesen

He’s a kid who moved to a new country with an undue amount of pressure on him because of what he was paid as a signing bonus. Give him a chance to mature before you chalk his life up as a failure.


I know that I’m more old school than most now, but I would listen to Clyde Sukeforth say that a pitcher doesn’t hit his prime until 28.


Old school is not always a good thing. People who claim to be old school usually want their asses kissed for their old-schoolness.


What is your point? A person makes a good comment

R Edwards


Pirates Memes

How old is Nevarez? If he is young there is some potential

Pirates Memes

From what you’ve said he looks like a second Holdzkom. If he works on control could he be an arm out of the pen or keep him stashed in the minors? We have a stuffed bullpen but would they make room if he impresses?

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