Gustavo Nunez has played 24 games this season for Indianapolis and he has a .292 batting average. He also has a .292 slugging percentage thanks to all singles in the hit column. He has the most plate appearances with an extra-base hit, but since he has never shown power in the past, it isn’t that surprising, just unusual he hasn’t run into a double yet. Two other prospects have batted more than Nunez, they are both hitting for a decent clip and neither has hit a double, though they both have multiple triples.
When I saw the stats yesterday for our star hitters, it reminded me of Felix Fermin. He was an infielder that played briefly for the Pirates in 1987-88 and is known for getting traded to the Cleveland Indians in exchange for Jay Bell. Fermin didn’t hit his first double until his 92nd game, which was 26 games after he left the Pirates. He did hit two triples during his first two years, so for awhile, he had more career triples than doubles.
This year, both Bradenton third baseman Wyatt Mathisen, and Indianapolis second baseman Alen Hanson, are still looking for their first double. Hanson has gone to the plate 130 times and he has 31 hits, which includes three triples and a homer. Mathisen has stepped up to the plate 101 times and he has two triples. Mathisen has been on fire lately, with four straight multi-hit games, which has raised his average to .281 after a .233 month of April. Hanson started off even slower, but he picked things up at the end of April. Both are hitting well, but it would be nice to see some more power and in Hanson’s case, we know he has it. He reached double figures in doubles, triples and homers in 2012 and 2014.
As for the players that have yet to hit a homer, Willy Garcia obviously stands out above everyone else since he has hit 52 homers over his last three seasons. He is 0-for-115 in that department this year and only Reese McGuire has more plate appearances(117) without going yard. McGuire only homered three times last year and he is very young for his league, so his lack of power isn’t surprising. Garcia is surprising because he swings for the fences a lot and has shown the power each of the last three seasons.
On the pitching side, Chad Kuhl has thrown the most innings(34) without allowing a homer this year. Right behind him is his teammate Jason Creasy, who has pitched 32 innings. Last year with Bradenton, Creasy gave up a career-high 13 homers. Kuhl allowed nine homers, though he went 55.1 innings without surrendering a homer as a rookie with Jamestown in 2013. Last year’s organizational leader in homerless innings was Richard Mitchell, who threw 65 frames for the Dominican Summer League team. He is in the States this year and will pitch at one of the lower levels.
Pirates Game Graph
Today’s Starter and Notes: The Pirates defeated the Phillies by a 7-2 score on Tuesday night. That moved them over the .500 mark on the season. Today they face the Phillies in game three of a four game series with Francisco Liriano on the mound taking on Cole Hamels. Liriano has made three road starts this year and allowed just three earned runs over 21.1 innings.
In the minors, Clayton Richard makes his debut for Indianapolis. He pitched last week for Bradenton(season debut), throwing six innings without an earned run, giving up four hits and one walk, while striking out five batters. Thomas Harlan gets a start for Altoona in Tyler Glasnow’s spot. West Virginia is off today. They play a doubleheader on Thursday. All three games today have early start times. You can view last night’s prospect watch here.
MLB: Pittsburgh (17-16) @ Phillies (11-23) 7:05 PM
Probable starter: Francisco Liriano (2.79 ERA, 16:44 BB/SO, 38.2 IP)
From Monday, Alen Hanson’s third triple of the season. Two days ago, we showed his first homer of the season. As noted above, all three triples and the homer have come before his first double.
5/13: Hayden Hurst placed on Voluntarily Retired List.
5/12: Indianapolis placed John Holdzkom on disabled list.
5/11: Felipe Gonzalez added to Bradenton roster. Ryan Hafner assigned to Extended Spring Training.
5/11: Charlie Leesman added to Indianapolis roster.
5/11: Antonio Bastardo placed on Paternity List. Bobby LaFromboise recalled from Indianapolis.
5/11: Connor Joe added to WV Power roster. Trace Tam Sing transferred to WV Black Bears.
5/10: Pirates acquire Jayson Aquino from Toronto Blue Jays for cash. Aquino assigned to Bradenton.
5/9: Pirates released Justin Howard.
5/8: Charlie Morton assigned to Altoona on rehab.
5/8: Nick Kingham placed on disabled list. Adam Miller added to Indianapolis roster.
5/7: Clayton Richard assigned to Bradenton. Felipe Gonzalez assigned to Extended Spring Training.
5/7: Colten Brewer added to WV Power roster. Eric Dorsch assigned to WV Black Bears
5/7: Jeff Inman added to Altoona roster. Tyler Sample sent to WV Black Bears.
5/6: Andrew Lambo placed on 15-day disabled list. Steve Lombardozzi selected from Indianapolis.
5/6: Adam Frazier activated from Altoona disabled list. Andy Vasquez assigned to Indianapolis.
5/6: Brad Lincoln added to Indianapolis roster. Charlie Leesman assigned to WV Black Bears.
5/5: Josh Wall added to Indianapolis. Brad Lincoln assigned to WV Black Bears.
5/4: Barrett Barnes assigned to Bradenton. Junior Sosa assigned to Extended Spring Training.
5/1: Jerrick Suiter placed on disabled list. Austin Coley added to WV Power roster.
5/1: Pirates sign pitcher Robert Stock.
4/29: Jaff Decker placed on disabled list. Wilkin Castillo added to Indianapolis roster.
This Date in Pirates History
Three former Pittsburgh Pirates players born on this date, plus an intriguing pitching match-up from the early days of the franchise. The players born on this date include catcher Jack Shepard(1953-56), pitcher Frank Miller(1916-19) and catcher Jimmy Archer, who played for the Pirates in 1904, and then again 14 years later as a teammate of Miller.
On this date in 1892, pitcher Elmer Smith of the Pirates lost 6-1 to Cy Young, who made his debut two years earlier. This was one of the last starts for Smith, who became a full-time outfielder in 1893 and made up one of the best Pirates outfields ever that season. Smith won 34 games in 1887 as a teenager, but just three years later, he was in the minors and the Pirates gave him a chance to pitch two years after that before converting him to the outfield. With the Pirates, he hit .325/.415/466 and stole 174 bases in seven seasons. Cy Young went 3-2 against the Pirates in 1892.