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.

  • KauaiCoffee
    March 3, 2015 9:06 pm

    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).

    • Depth guys in the minors are guys who will never make it out of A-ball. Heredia is not that.

    • Scott Kliesen
      March 4, 2015 5:31 am

      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.

    • lorrielorrie
      March 4, 2015 12:01 pm

      What is in that coffee of yours?

      • KauaiCoffee
        March 6, 2015 9:02 pm

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

  • 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.

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

    • He just turned 28 a week ago. But age doesn’t matter much for a hard throwing reliever. He’s had control problems, but if something eventually clicks, he’s got late inning upside.

      • 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?

        • Nevarez is a minor league free agent at the end of the year, so if he’s looking good, they’ll have to add him to the 40-man before the end of the season.