With April drawing to a close, I thought I’d take a look at who’s hot and who’s not from each team. Just a quick glance at one pitcher and one hitter from each team that fit the hot/not category.
The best hitter on Indianapolis lately has been Steve Lombardozzi. He has a .949 OPS in 19 games and he’s hitting over .400 in his last nine games.
Elias Diaz definitely isn’t hot at the plate. He had one big game this month and has been fairly quiet the rest of the time. He is hitting .203/.254/.305 in 17 games
Wilfredo Boscan has been a surprise on the mound, posting a 1.50 ERA in four starts. He has gone six innings in each game. Boscan was starting for Altoona in Spring Training, so just the fact he is doing this a level higher is impressive.
John Holdzkom has a strong out on Wednesday, retiring the side in order and throwing strikes. Prior to that though, he was having a lot of trouble hitting the strike zone, barely throwing 50% of his pitches for strikes. He has a 5.40 ERA and ten walks in 8.1 innings.
Josh Bell is on a recent hot streak, but his average is below catcher Sebastian Valle’s .361 mark. More on him below in the highlights.
Dan Gamache went to the Arizona Fall League in October and really struggled, but he looked like Honus Wagner compared to the .303 OPS he has in 11 games this year.
The Altoona starting staff, which allowed 12 earned runs total in the entire month gets the hot award
The not hot award goes to reliever Josh Smith, who gave up 12 earned runs in eight innings.
Catcher Jin-De Jhang had a great month, hitting .431/.474/.490 in 14 games, while striking out just two times.
The other catcher is the one you would expect to be hitting well, but Reese McGuire has a .571 OPS in 15 games, and a .150 batting average in the last nine contests.
Cody Dickson gets the who’s hot for his last three performances after a shaky Opening Day start. In 17 innings since then, he has allowed two runs on nine hits.
Ryan Hafner has a 2.36 WHIP and 9.00 ERA in 11 innings. Not a good start for someone that was once a starter, and is now repeating High-A ball.
Chase Simpson has a .987 OPS in 20 games and leads the team with three homers.
Taylor Gushue is batting .218/.306/.309 in 16 games. Tough start for a fourth round draft pick, who went to a major college.
Today’s starter Austin Coley(pictured above) has a 1.80 ERA, 0.73 WHIP and a .173 BAA in three starts.
Alex McRae has a 6.53 ERA and a 1.53 WHIP in 17 innings. The 2014 tenth round draft pick put up similar stats last year for Jamestown in 15 starts.
Pirates Game Graph
Today’s Starter and Notes: The Pirates defeated the Cubs by an 8-1 score on Wednesday night, avoiding a sweep. They are 4-2 so far on their current road trip. The Pirates are off today, as they travel to St Louis for a three-game weekend series with the Cardinals.
In the minors, Nick Kingham makes his fifth start of the season for Indianapolis this morning. He gave up three earned runs over six innings in his last game. It was an improvement over his previous two starts when he ran up his pitch count early in each game. Austin Coley has won his first three games by holding batters to a .173 BAA, while posting an 0.73 WHIP and a 2.00 GO/AO ratio. Cody Dickson will make the start for Bradenton today. Altoona has off today. You can view last night’s prospect watch here.
MLB: Pittsburgh (12-10) @ Cardinals (14-6) 8:05 PM 5/1
Probable starter: A.J. Burnett (1.80 ERA, 7:20 BB/SO, 25.0 IP)
AAA: Indianapolis (12-9) vs Louisville (7-13) 11:05 AM (season preview)
Probable starter: Nick Kingham (3.86 ERA, 5:22 BB/SO, 21.0 IP)
AA: Altoona (11-6) vs Erie (6-13) 6:00 PM 5/1(season preview)
Probable starter: Tyler Glasnow (1.08 ERA, 6:17 BB/SO, 16.2 IP)
High-A: Bradenton (10-10) vs St Lucie (10-10) 6:30 PM(season preview)
Probable starter: Cody Dickson (2.25 ERA, 5:11 BB/SO, 20.0 IP
Low-A: West Virginia (13-7) @ Hagerstown (9-11) 7:05 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Austin Coley (1.80 ERA, 2:11 BB/SO, 15.0 IP)
From Monday, Sebastian Valle drives in two runs with his first double of the season. Valle was signed as a minor league free agent over the off-season and he’s hitting .361/.425/.472 in 11 games this year. He had a strong winter in Mexico this year, and at age 24, he could be fulfilling the potential he had earlier in his career. He is blocked by both Tony Sanchez and Elias Diaz in Indianapolis, so he will need a trade or long-term injury before he gets a chance at a higher level.
4/29: Jaff Decker placed on disabled list. Wilkin Castillo added to Indianapolis roster.
4/27: Jeremy Bleich promoted to Altoona
4/26: John Sever added to WV Power roster. Austin Coley transferred to WV Black Bears roster.
4/25: Jonathan Schwind placed on disabled list.
4/25: Justin Sellers transferred from Bradenton to Indianapolis on rehab.
4/25: Jeremy Bleich added to Bradenton roster.
4/22: Francisco Diaz assigned to WV Black Bears roster. Kawika Emsley-Pai added to WV Power roster.
4/21: John Sever assigned to WV Black Bears roster. Jose Regalado added to West Virginia Power roster.
4/20: Justin Sellers assigned to Bradenton on rehab.
4/19: Wilkin Castillo assigned to West Virginia Black Bears
4/19: Pat Ludwig retires.
4/18: Jaff Decker activated from disabled list and optioned to Indianapolis. Adam Miller assigned to WV Black Bears.
4/18: Junior Sosa sent to Bradenton. Barrett Barnes assigned to Extended Spring Training.
4/17: Brad Lincoln assigned to Indianapolis. Andy Vasquez assigned to Altoona.
4/17: Chris Stewart activated from disabled list. Tony Sanchez optioned to Indianapolis.
4/16: Jordan Luplow added to West Virginia Power. Jose Regalado transferred to West Virginia Black Bears.
4/16: Kelson Brown transferred to West Virginia Black Bears.
This Date in Pirates History
Three former Pittsburgh Pirates players born on this date, including second baseman Phil Garner. He spent five seasons in Pittsburgh, with the highlight being his role during the World Series winning season in 1979, when he played 150 regular season games. Garner went on to hit .417 during the NLCS and .500 in the World Series. He had 12 hits and drove in five runs against the Baltimore Orioles. Garner helped the Pirates when he was traded to the Houston Astros, bringing back Johnny Ray in the deal. With Pittsburgh, Scrap Iron played in two All-Star games and hit .267 over 664 games.
Other Pirates players born on this date include 2003 infielder Jeff Reboulet and 1921 catcher Tony Brottem.
On this date in 1887, the Pirates(then known as the Alleghenys) played their first National League game. For five seasons, the franchise played in the American Association, which was a rival Major League to the NL at the time. The Alleghenys switched leagues for the 1887 season and opened up against the Chicago White Stockings(now the Cubs). The Alleghenys played at Recreation Park and 10,000 fans showed up for that first NL game to see Pittsburgh take a 6-2 victory. This link here has the highlights from the game, along with pictures of all nine players in the Alleghenys’ lineup that day.
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.
Thanks john, also is hafner any relation to the hafner who played for the indians?
If Tony continues his throwing problems, perhaps Valle will get to co-catch with Diaz?
I don’t consider Altoona to be a demotion for Valle, rather a chance to catch regularly. I don’t think Sanchez is going anywhere anytime soon, especially not the way Diaz is hitting early. Sanchez is still the 3rd string MLB catcher and with Cervelli’s history, you need to keep him there.