Injury Notes: Cole Tucker, Jordan Luplow, Connor Joe

I am in Charleston this weekend to watch the Low-A West Virginia Power’s three-game set, and received a few injury updates:

**Shortstop Cole Tucker missed six straight games last week with general soreness in his shoulder.

Tucker took a week off from throwing, which gave him a chance for his shoulder strength to get back to 100%. He doesn’t expect this to be a recurring issue.

**Third baseman Jordan Luplow missed four straight games last week, but his absence was not health or discipline related.

“It was just a matter of getting some work and some reps in,” according to West Virginia Manager Brian Esposito.

This is Luplow’s first time in his career playing third base, so it’s no surprise that the Pirates gave Luplow a few days to work on his fundamentals at the new position. Luplow missed some time in Spring Training due to shoulder soreness, but Esposito said that his shoulder is healthy.

**First baseman Connor Joe’s back injury has completely healed, and he is 100% healthy for the first time since he signed with the Pirates last June. Joe had a slow start to his season – batting .200 in the month of May, but has started to pick it up in June where he’s batting .273 thus far.

**I’ll have a full report on the progress of all three players early next week.

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In the past, whenever I got excited about the performance of guys like JaCoby Jones in Low A, I was always chided by someone on this site – who would say that it is expected – a college player should do well and even dominate in Low A.

Well, if that is the case, then we are in trouble in regards to Joe and Luplow and every college position player on the WV roster not named Suiter. And, even in Suiter’s case, he has a nice average but I think he has a total of only 3-4 extra base hits to date. For Luplow and Joe, both have hit a little better in the past month, but both continue to mire in the .220 to .240 range. Luplow has at least shown some power, with his doubles and HR totals, so maybe he will turn things around in the second half.


It’ll be interesting to see how long it takes Pirate staff to adjust to their new draft strategy. They largely whiffed on their first few drafts of projectable prep pitching, and it wouldn’t surprise me if the results lag behind the logic in their shift towards athletic bats.

As for the specific players, Joe has hit .268/.391/.338 with elite contact and walk rates over the last 30 days after missing more than a year of competitive baseball. That’s the kind of performance you’d much rather see out of a college bat than one striking out a third of the time, regardless of how many home runs they’re hitting.

Luplow has been disappointing, but his rate stats are exactly in line with his performance last season. Only a low BABIP has held back the slash line. He’s also making the outfield to infield transition.


Everyone slumps- regardless of competition


While Tucker is on hurt, maybe the Bucs should put Newman in WV-Charleston & Kramer in WV-Morgantown to give both reps at SS.


Thanks pete.


Good stuff, Pete. Looks like Tim knew what he was doing when he hired you. 🙂

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