Prospect Watch: Radhames Liz and Trey Supak Lead Great Day of Pitching

TOP OF THE SYSTEM

A look at how the current top 30 prospects did today.  Note that this list doesn’t include players currently in the majors. If a player is in the majors, he will be removed, everyone below him will be shifted up a spot, and a new player will be added to the bottom of the list. If a player is out for the season, he will be removed and everyone below him will move up a spot. Removing these guys doesn’t mean they have lost prospect status. It is just an attempt to get 30 active prospects on the list. Rankings are from early season update, and links on each name go to their Pirates Prospects player pages.

1. Tyler Glasnow, RHP, Altoona – DNP

2. Jameson Taillon, RHP, Indianapolis – Disabled List

3. Austin Meadows, CF, Bradenton – 1-for-4

4. Josh Bell, 1B, Altoona – 1-for-4, 2B

5. Reese McGuire, C, Bradenton – DNP

6. Nick Kingham, RHP, Indianapolis – Disabled List

7. Alen Hanson, 2B, Indianapolis – 2-for-4, 2B, BB, SB

8. Cole Tucker, SS, West Virginia – 2-for-4, 3B

9. Elias Diaz, C, Indianapolis – 1-for-1, 2B, 2 RBI

10. Mitch Keller, RHP, Bristol – DNP

11. Harold Ramirez, OF, Bradenton – 3-for-4, 2B, SB

12. Stephen Tarpley, LHP, West Virginia – DNP

13. JaCoby Jones, SS, Bradenton – 2-for-4, 3B, RBI

14. Adrian Sampson, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP

15. Trey Supak, RHP, Bristol – 5.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 0 HR

16. Gage Hinsz, RHP, Bristol – DNP

17. Barrett Barnes, OF, Bradenton – 1-for-4

18. Clay Holmes, RHP, Bradenton – DNP

19. Cody Dickson, LHP, Bradenton – DNP

20. Willy Garcia, OF, Indianapolis – DNP

21. John Holdzkom, RHP, Indianapolis – Disabled List

22. Jordan Luplow, 3B, West Virginia – 2-for-3, 2B, BB

23. Connor Joe, 1B, West Virginia – 2-for-3, 2B, BB

24. Wyatt Mathisen, 3B, Bradenton – 0-for-4

25. Casey Sadler, RHP, Indianapolis – Disabled List

26. Steven Brault, LHP, Altoona  – 5.2 IP, 10 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 10 K, 0 HR

27. Tito Polo, OF, West Virginia – 2-for-3, 2B, RBI, BB, SB, 2 R

28. Tyler Eppler, RHP, Bradenton – DNP

29Luis Heredia, RHP, Bradenton – DNP

30. Taylor Gushue, C, West Virginia – 0-for-3

DAILY SUMMARY

Top Pitcher: Frank Duncan, RHP – 7.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Francisco Diaz, C – 3-for-4, HR, 2 RBI

Home Runs: Erich Weiss (3), Francisco Diaz (2), Jhoan Herrera (1)

AAA: INDIANAPOLIS INDIANS    

Box Score

Result: Indianapolis 3, Louisville 0

Starting Pitcher: Radhames Liz, RHP – 6.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Alen Hanson, 2B – 2-for-4, 2B, BB, SB

Other Notable Performers:

Elias Diaz, C – 1-for-1, 2B, 2 RBI

Jaff Decker, CF – 1-for-3, RBI, BB

Game Notes: Radhames Liz possessed a combination of an electric fastball and a nasty breaking ball, to put together his third dominant start in a row. In getting stretched out as a starter, Liz worked his way up to 84 pitches, of which 58 crossed the plate for a strike. At one point, Liz was completely unhittable with the fastball in the mid to upper 90s and struck out four hitters in a row. After losing Clayton Richard last week, Liz has the appearance of some added starting depth with his recent outings.

Josh Wall worked a scoreless innings, hitting one batter. Wall has allowed only seven hits and three runs for the season, and none in his last three appearances. Jeff Inman worked a pair of scoreless innings for the save.

Alen Hanson picked up his ninth double of the season and his 22nd stolen base. Elias Diaz added a two-run, pinch hit double for his 12th two-bagger of the campaign. Corey Hart played first base and went 1-for-3 with a single – Ryan Palencer

 

AA: ALTOONA CURVE

Box Score

Result: Harrisburg 3, Altoona 0

Starting Pitcher: Steven Brault, LHP – 5.2 IP, 10 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 10 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Josh Bell, 1B – 1-for-4, 2B

Other Notable Performers:

Max Moroff, SS – 1-for-4

Jose Osuna, LF – 1-for-3

Adam Frazier, CF – 1-for-4

Game Notes: The line on Steven Brault doesn’t look as good as his night really was, going 5.2 IP and giving up three earned runs on essentially all infield hits. Brault was on a 19.1 scoreless inning streak, going back to his Double-A debut on June 20th, before trying to field a ground ball up the middle that would’ve been a double play if he didn’t deflect the ball. Instead of ending the inning, two runs scored on the play. Brault struck out ten guys in his outing, including the side in the second inning after giving up a double.

On the night, I would say that Brault may have given up two or three hard hit balls at most. He mostly got strikeouts, lightly hit grounders, or easy pop ups. He threw mostly fastball, averaging between 88-90mph, and he mixed in his slider and changeup sparingly. Against right-handed batters (Brault is a lefty), he was able to work across his body and keep the ball low and inside for strikeouts and grounders. He did a fantastic job locating all of his pitches.

Brault’s game was one of the best I’ve seen by an Altoona pitcher this year, minus a high pitch count due to the number of strikeouts. The three earned runs should have never scored, and they were scored all because of infield hits. Since his debut appearance at Double-A, Brault has been nothing short of spectacular for the Curve.

The bats were asleep for the Curve tonight, as no player was able to get more than one hit, and Josh Bell added the only extra base hit (a double in the first). Moroff had an infield single but struggled otherwise, striking out twice in the game.

Clario Perez relieved Brault, throwing 2.1 innings and only allowing one hit. He has yet to allow a run in his three appearances since being called up to Double-A Altoona. Adam Frazier now has a nine-game hitting streak as well as a 12-game on base streak. As a leadoff hitter this season, Frazier is batting .414 with a 1.024 OPS in 99 at bats. – Sean McCool

 

A+: BRADENTON MARAUDERS   

Box Score

Result: Bradenton 3, Jupiter 0

Starting Pitcher: Frank Duncan, RHP – 7.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Erich Weiss, 2B – 1-for-3, HR, 2 RBI, BB

Other Notable Performers:

Harold Ramirez, RF – 3-for-4, 2B, SB

Jin-De Jhang, C – 1-for-4

Game Notes: Frank Duncan had an outstanding outing on Monday, facing one over the minimum in seven shutout innings. He gave up two singles and one was erased on a double play. Duncan had five strikeouts and he induced 11 ground ball outs. It was a surprising game, as he has allowed 107 hits on the season and he had a 5.26 ERA coming into the day.

Erich Weiss had the big hit, a two-run homer in the sixth inning. He now has three homers this year. Harold Ramirez had three hits, including his seventh double. He stole his 11th base of the year, though he has attempted 21 steals. JaCoby Jones hit his third triple of the year and drove in his 46th run. Everyone in the lineup had at least one hit except Wyatt Mathisen.

A: WEST VIRGINIA POWER

Game One Box Score

Result:  West Virginia 5, Delmarva 2

Starting Pitcher: Colten Brewer, RHP – 4.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Francisco Diaz, C – 3-for-4, HR, 2 RBI

Other Notable Performers:

Tito Polo, CF – 2-for-3, 2B, RBI, BB, SB, 2 R

Jordan Luplow, 3B – 2-for-3, 2B, BB

Game Notes: The game was started on Sunday, but came to a halt in the middle of the fourth inning due to rain, so they picked it back up on Monday with the Power leader 3-1. That rain storm ruined the makings of a great start by Colten Brewer, who allowed one run on one hit and a walk in four innings, while striking out seven batters. He also had four ground ball outs, so even the balls that were put in play were kept on the ground. Brewer has a 5.21 ERA this year, but his other stats don’t line up with that high ERA. In 57 innings, he has a 16:55 BB/SO ratio and his 1.21 WHIP would rank him .01 behind the tenth best WHIP if he had enough innings to qualify for the league leaders.

John Sever followed Brewer and allowed one unearned run over three innings. Jake Burnett closed it out with two scoreless innings, retiring all six batters he faced.

On offense, Tito Polo has had a few strong games recently, including a contest with four walks. In this game, he had a single, double, walk and stole his 26th base, which leads all Pirates’ minor league players. Jordan Luplow had two hits, including his 18th double of the year. Francisco Diaz had the big hit, a two-run homer in the second inning.

Game Two Box Score

Result: Delmarva 4, West Virginia 3

Starting Pitcher: Austin Coley, RHP – 4.0 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 2 HR

Top Hitter: Elvis Escobar, CF – 1-for-2, 2B, 2 RBI, BB

Other Notable Performers:

Cole Tucker, SS – 2-for-4, 3B

Connor Joe, 1B – 2-for-3, 2B, BB

Game Notes: Austin Coley had a rough outing, allowing four runs on eight hits in four innings. He allowed a two-run homer in the second and a solo shot in the third frame. Coley has seen his ERA rise to 4.05 and over his last ten outings, he has a 5.10 ERA in 54.2 innings. Sam Street followed him with three scoreless innings to keep the game close.

Cole Tucker had two hits, including his second triple of the season. Connor Joe had two hits and a walk. He connected on his ninth double. Jerrick Suiter also hit his ninth double and Elvis Escobar doubled for the 16th time this year. Escobar drove in two of the three Power runs.

A: WEST VIRGINIA BLACK BEARS

Box Score

Result: West Virginia 8, Batavia 1

Starting Pitcher: Dario Agrazal Jr, RHP – 5.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Logan Hill, RF – 1-for-1, 2 RBI, 3 BB

Other Notable Performers:

Casey Hughston, CF – 2-for-3, RBI, SB

Kevin Kramer, SS – 2-for-4, RBI, 3 R

Ulises Montilla, 2B – 1-for-4, 2 RBI

Game Notes:  The West Virginia Black Bears got strong starting pitching and took advantage of Batavia’s miscues to roll to an 8-1 victory.  The win raised the Bears record to 7-10 on the young season and allowed them to avoid the sweep.

The Bears opened the scoring in the bottom of the first. Kevin Kramer went the other way with a hard ground ball through the third baseman’s legs. He was running hard out of the box and went to second on the play.  Kramer hustled to third when the throw skipped away.  He then scored on Ulises Montilla’s ground out.

The Muckdogs responded in the top of the second.  After a hard hit double down the left field line to lead off the inning, Batavia tied the game at one with an RBI ground out.

The home-standing Bears answered in the bottom half of the inning. After a lead off walk to Logan Hill, catcher Daniel Arribas, hit a hard shot off the second baseman’s glove that was scored an error. Hill hustled to third on the play. David Andriese sliced an opposite field double into the left field corner scoring Hill and moving Arribas to third. Casey Hughston followed with a hard shot past the second baseman for a single. Hughston’s single knocked in Arribas, but Andriese was thrown out at the plate for the first out. Hughston moved to second on the throw and then promptly stole third. Mitchell Tolman followed with a high bouncer to second.  Hughston, who was moving on contact, was thrown out at home on a strong throw.  Tolman then ended the inning by being thrown out, attempting to steal second, with West Virginia holding a 3-1 lead.

The bottom of the second was highly unusual with all three outs being recorded on the bases. Manager Wyatt Toregas is trying to instill an aggressive approach within his players.  He has spoken directly about this.  However, there have been some situations where the Bears are hustling, being aggressive, but they are not smart baseball plays.

In Sunday night’s game, with the Bears down by five in the bottom of the ninth, Toregas, who also coaches third, waved a runner home from second on a single to center.  It was a close play, but the runner was safe.  However, this was not a good baseball play as that run was still meaningless at that point.  Tonight, with nobody out, Andriese, who is not fast by any means, was thrown out at the plate trying to score from second. Again, this is a situation where Coach Toregas is attempting to foster the aggressive mentality. He is trying to create a spark.  However, several of the plays have not necessarily been smart baseball plays.

Coach Toregas explained, “We want to force mistakes.”

This is a prime example of a minor league manager trying to develop a culture, while not focusing on the results.

West Virginia scratched out two more runs in the bottom of the third.  After Kramer was hit by a pitch leading off the inning, a sacrifice, a walk to Ty Moore, and a double steal on a strike out, had the Bears in business with runners on second and third with two outs. Hill came through with a flair to center, scoring both Kramer and Moore, staking the Bears to a 5-1 lead, despite only three hits at that point.

Starting pitcher, Dario Agrazal was very effective along with showing excellent control. The right-handed Agrazal, from Panama, is just 20 years old. He located his fastball well and threw it in the 91-92 range.  His slider was also a strong pitch for him as it kept the visitors off his fastball. His slider showed good bite as he threw that pitch in the 85-87 neighborhood. He allowed only one walk and one run in five innings of work.  He threw only 75 pitches.  Agrazal has been the Bears most consistent starter thus far.  He lowered his ERA to 2.57.

After the game, catcher Daniel Arribas talked about Agrazal’s outing.

“Dario made the hitters feel uncomfortable. It’s a philosophy of the Pirates. He established his fastball on the inner half and this opened up the outer half.”

Agrazal, with Arribas translating said, “I came out aggressive. We had an excellent game plan (establishing the fastball in). I have always been a location guy.  I am always focused. I want to put up a zero every inning, no matter the score.”

Nick Hibbing relieved Agrazal to begin the sixth.  Hibbing is a tall right-hander (6′ 5″) the Pirates just drafted in the 16th round out of Iowa.  It is interesting to note that the Pirates drafted Hibbing in the 42nd round coming out of high school, though he opted to become a Hawkeye.  He immediately got into trouble giving up a hard double and a single to put runners on second and third with nobody out. However, he settled down to retire the next three batters on a pop up and two strike outs, without allowing a run. He threw a scoreless seventh as well. Hibbing was not over-powering, hitting 91 mph with his fastball, but he was able to work out of trouble in both innings.

“I am not throwing as hard as I would like,” Hibbing explained.

He believes his time off from his college season has had somewhat of an effect, but he expects to gain back a few ticks as the season progresses. Coach Toregas was very pleased with his performance.

Sean Keselica and Andy Otamendi put up zeros in the eighth and ninth to close out the win.

The Bears added on two more in the fourth courtesy of two walks, a sacrifice, a balk and a bloop single to left off the bat of Montilla. They tallied a lone run in the sixth on three straight singles by Hughston, Tolman and Kramer to close out the scoring.

First round pick, Kevin Newman did not start again.  Kramer, went 2-for-4 with three runs scored.  He is another player who is hard-nosed and goes all out on every play.  He has been very solid in the infield.  Logan Hill, had a hit to go with three walks, while Casey Hughston had his first multiple hit game as a pro.  It was a positive to see Hughston put good wood on the ball.  Twice, he ripped balls between second and first for singles. He also had a successful sacrifice bunt. – Jamey Conlin

 

RK: BRISTOL PIRATES

Game One Box Score

Result: Bristol 2 Johnson City 0

Starting Pitcher: Trey Supak, RHP – 5.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Julio de la Cruz, DH – 1-for-3, RBI

Other Notable Performers:

Carlos Munoz, 1B – 2-for-3

Trae Arbet, 2B – 1-for-3, BB

Game Notes: Trey Supak hasn’t pitched since June 29th because Bristol has had four straight rain outs. In his last start, he gave up five runs over three innings, so maybe the extra rest helped. He threw five shutout innings, giving up two hits and no walks. The stat line is deceiving though, because there wasn’t a single ground ball during his five innings. Almost every out was either a fly ball or a line drive, with the lone exception being a runner thrown out at home on a line drive single. So while two base runners over five shutout innings looks great, there were some hard hit balls right at fielders.

Game Two Box Score

Result: Johnson City 8, Bristol 2

Starting Pitcher: Logan Sendelbach, RHP – 2.0 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HR

Top Hitter: Jordan George, DH – 1-for-3, 2B, RBI

Other Notable Performers:

Carlos Munoz, 1B – 2-for-3, 2B

Game Notes: In game two, tenth round pick Logan Sendelbach made his second pro start and ran into trouble quick, giving up five earned runs over two innings. In his first start, he gave two runs in 2.2 innings, but put seven runners on base with five hits, a walk and a hit batter. Hard to believe things got worse from there, but they did on Monday, as nine runners got on base in a shorter outing. Neil Kozikowski pitched the final inning and allowed two hits and struck out two batters. He was originally supposed to start five days ago and has been scheduled every day since then, but the rainouts threw off his schedule.

Carlos Munoz went 2-for-3, with his fifth double. He is hitting .405 in his first ten games. Jordan George his his first pro double and drove in his second run.

 

RK: GCL PIRATES

Box Score

Result: Pirates 2, Yankees1 1

Starting Pitcher: Nestor Oronel, LHP – 5.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Jhoan Herrera, DH – 2-for-4, 2B, HR, RBI

Other Notable Performers:

Raul Siri, 2B – 0-for-2, 2 BB, 2 SB, R

Victor Fernandez, RF – 1-for-3, SB

Game Notes: The Pirates preach pitching to contact and quick outs to their minor league pitchers, stressing three pitches or less. The GCL Pirates pitchers bought in to that today, with almost every inning featuring 15 or fewer pitches, and most innings being completed in ten pitches or less. Nestor Oronel led the way, throwing five innings with two hits and a walk allowed. In four of his innings today, he threw ten pitches or less. The one extended inning came in the fourth, when he gave up a walk and a triple for his lone run, and threw 28 pitches.

Oronel looks like the typical international left-hander that the Pirates have been churning through the lower levels of their system the last few years. He has good command of his fastball, and has good off-speed stuff, but lacks velocity, sitting 86-88 MPH today. That usually plays well in the lower levels, but not many of these lefties have made it to Double-A, and those who have made it have struggled at the level.

Nicholas Economos, who was taken in the 21st round this year, continued the efficient pitching with two shutout innings. There were reports that he hit as high as 94 MPH in the past, although today he was in the 88-90 MPH range, with a good mid-70s curve. He’s dealt with command issues in the past, so it’s possible the Pirates are having him slow things down in order to focus on his location.

Today was a big day for rehab appearances. Jared Lakind made another appearance in relief, a few days after he went two innings as a reliever. Justin Sellers made his first rehab appearance as he tries to return from his latest setback. Sellers went five innings, which is always the first step in about a week-long process for hitters. Edison Lantigua, one of the top international signings for the Pirates in 2013, also made his debut, going 0-for-3. He was out with a minor injury to start the year. His defense was a bit of an adventure in left field, with one very bad route on a line drive that he ended up catching by his feet.

Jhoan Herrera was the highlight on offense, showing off some nice power, including a walk-off homer over the high right field fence to win it in the bottom of the ninth. Raul Siri and Victor Fernandez showed off their speed, with Siri stealing two bases and Fernandez stealing one. Ke’Bryan Hayes has been off to a good start this year, and while he was limited to just a walk today, he looked impressive. He had one hard hit ball to the left-center gap that was only caught due to the center fielder getting a good jump on the ball. The walk was a good battle at the plate, with Hayes laying off a lot of close pitches. He was being pitched inside a lot today. Defensively he looked very smooth at third base. Justin Sellers was replaced in the sixth inning by Adrian Valerio, who is a strong defender at shortstop. With Hayes and Valerio playing most of the games on the left side of the infield, the GCL Pirates pitchers should be in line for a nice season. – Tim Williams

 

RK: DSL PIRATES

Box Score

Result: Pirates 3, Brewers 1

Starting Pitcher: Domingo Robles, LHP – 5.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Felix Vinicio, LF – 2-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI

Other Notable Performers:

Melvin Jimenez, 2B/SS – 0-for-1, 2 BB, 2 R

Eddy Vizcaino, RF – 1-for-3, BB

Game Notes: The Pirates broke a nine-game losing streak with a 3-1 win over the Brewers. Starter Domingo Robles threw five shutout inning, while giving up just two singles and no walks. The 17-year-old lefty came into the game with a 5.88 ERA, though he did throw five shutout innings in one of his previous starts. Reliever Ronny Agustin followed Robles with three scoreless innings, picking up four strikeouts.

The Pirates had 12 base runners, but four of them got erased on the bases. They were 0-for-3 in stolen bases and had a runner picked-off. They also went 2-for-9 with runners in scoring positions, so with some timely hitting and better base running, they could have won this game by more than two runs. Felix Vinicio drove in two runs on two hits, including his sixth double. Melvin Jimenez had two walks and scored two runs. He has scored 26 runs in 32 games and has a 17:13 BB/SO ratio.

  • Darkstone42
    July 7, 2015 5:56 pm

    Liz has been pretty Rad as a starter so far. Good to see. And honestly, we could use the rotation depth a bit more right now than the bullpen depth. We have more decent options for the latter, I feel.

  • Last 25 games, Connor Joe has hit .287/.413/.391 and has walked/taken a pitch 9(!) more times than he’s struck out.

    Hell of a quick adjustment after missing well over a year of game action.

  • I like Jamey Conlin’s summary, if you can call a 1000 word (I counted) article a summary. It’s refreshing to see an account of a game with quotes and insite on how the minor league managers think. When you just see a box score, you see a bunch of po’s on the bases and think bad base running. Winning is important, but teaching how the Pirates want to play is more important. Thanks for the insite Jamey.

  • As a leadoff hitter this season, Frazier is batting .414 with a 1.024 OPS in 99 at bats.

    AWESOME!

  • scrappy2499
    July 7, 2015 7:50 am

    Is Kramer’s shoulder back to where he may be able to handle SS everyday? I know he was able to handle SS prior to his injury while in college. I think I remember reading he has the range but the arm may not hold up now…

    • Jamey Conlin
      July 7, 2015 8:07 am

      Scrappy-

      He started every game at SS for UCLA this past year.

      He said that it is fine now, though he felt he still has ” a little left in the tank” when it comes to zip on his throws. He also said the shoulder feels fine and it does not bother him at all.

      His throws have looked plenty strong from the games I have seen.

      I think the move to 2b has as much to do with range as opposed to anything else.

      Hope this helps.

      • scrappy2499
        July 7, 2015 9:07 am

        Thanks Jamey, I thought he was healed and playing at UCLA @ SS. I was thinking that some of the reports on him where he had a very good bat and had the range for SS (possibly even a little more range than his counterpart and double play partner drafted in the 1st round). If he is back to his prior injury self then he could be interesting to watch those two.

  • BuccosFanStuckinMD
    July 7, 2015 7:48 am

    Has Keller pitched this year yet?

  • BuccosFanStuckinMD
    July 7, 2015 7:48 am

    So, what is the Pirates’ plan with Liz? Since he is now starting in Indy, is he now just starting rotation depth?

    • probably

      • BuccosFanStuckinMD
        July 7, 2015 10:00 am

        So, he is now just part of a group that also includes Sampson and Sadler. He likely has little trade value, and barring injuries to 1 or more starters, he now represents little value to the Pirates as well.

        • This is exactly why I find his handling odd. The club has admitted that he struggled making the transition from starter to reliever and that they believed that was what ultimately led to his failure. That’s an implicit admission that they handled him poorly by stretching him out as a starter before sending him to the pen.

          Now they’re doing the same exact thing when it would appear that the only way he’ll help the big league club during the last few months he’s in the organization is the bullpen.

          I suppose their starter depth taking a hit changes that math a bit, but I’ll still say that if they do actually need to replace a starter for any appreciable length of time it sure as heck better be coming from outside, given the internal options.

  • BuccosFanStuckinMD
    July 7, 2015 7:47 am

    Nice to see Hughston get 2 hits – hopefully, the pressure will now be off and he will relax and let his God given talent play out.

  • Liz blowing away the competition in AAA sure is a welcome site with loss of much of Pirates SP depth.

    • I preferred him over Richard any way. Bucs FO probably did, too.

      • Doesn’t matter Lee. For as long as I live I will never get over Richard leaving. He could’ve put us over the top as a long reliever……..which now that every starting pitcher goes 6-8 innings it seems we don’t need.

        • So you’ll never get over giving up a long reliever that it seems we won’t need for as long as you live? I’d hate to see your response to someone else eating the last slice of pizza!

      • BuccosFanStuckinMD
        July 7, 2015 9:59 am

        I would have gladly given Richard a shot at replacing Bastardo however, as the second LH in the bullpen.

    • Still firmly believe if he was able to throw as many strikes in relief as he does as a starter he’d be at least as productive as Caminero.

  • Sean, anything news on Bell’s narrow stance and leg kick that I saw in today’s game? Kind of a big deal I would think

    • John Dreker
      July 7, 2015 2:36 am

      I did not see it, but I’ve seen Bell go through at least six changes to his stance from the left side over the years. I went to three series during the 2013 season, each time WV came to Lakewood and he had three different stances. When I saw Spring Training video in 2014, he was totally different and then when I saw him in the AFL Fall-Stars game, he had changed it again, and then the last time was in video this year. He changes his stance a lot, so I can’t even imagine a new stance being news at this point, more something to be expected.

      I won’t even get into his stance from the right side. He looks like a cross between a pitcher and someone who just learned what baseball is that day. It works though, so more power to him. His swing will never be described as conventional, that’s for sure.

      • Has he previously had any power stances (

        • He still maintains a personal swing coach, from what I understand. John’s right, always tinkering (if you can even call a change that big “tinkering”).

      • I assume there was no pun intended with the “more power to him” stance

      • That was excellent, John.

        • His eye-hand coordination must be excellent for him to keep his average as high as it is with all these batting stance changes.
          If the power never develops, I still think there is value in a first baseman who hits .300 with a lot of doubles. Mark Grace and Sean Casey come to mind. I’m sure there were others who had nice careers without hitting a lot of homers. You put someone like that in the 4 or 5 hole and let him drive in runs.

          • You’re correct, he does have excellent hand eye coordination. Kid just has that innate ability to get barrel to ball.

            I’ll have to disagree a bit on the player comps, though. Sean Casey actually slugged well over .500 during the years he was actually good, and Mark Grace might be best non-power hitting 1B in modern history. That’s a heck of a big ask for Josh Bell to achieve, not to mention the fact that Grace could also pick it with the best of them, something Bell won’t.

            The more realistic comparison for a guy with the skill set Bell displays right now is James Loney, and while Loney certainly isn’t a bust he’s also not a First Division starter.

            • Sean McCool
              July 7, 2015 3:41 pm

              You are all very correct on the hand-eye coordination. Every time I talk to someone about Bell’s hitting, that is the first thing they bring up.

    • Sean McCool
      July 7, 2015 3:39 pm

      I saw it during the game. It was the first time I saw his stance look like this during the season. (I actually busted out the camera to take a photo of it so I can compare to what it was before, too.) I was waiting to talk to him about it this weekend, as I didn’t get the opportunity to talk to him last night. I will be sure to have an update on that this weekend.

  • When is the rest of the baseball world going to discover Harold Ramirez?

    • John Dreker
      July 7, 2015 2:29 am

      Ramirez is well known, but he has had injury problems and there are some flaws with him. Prior to Monday, he hit .190 with no walks in his last ten games and as noted above, he might want to think about not running so much with that success rate. He’s missed a lot of time over the years, so he just really needs to play everyday and keep plugging away…plus come to camp in better shape next year.

      • John….not coming to camp in good shape is one of the reasons I am not high on him. He can hit, no doubt, but he is destined to be a corner OF and will not hit for power enough to be a viable option there.

        If we can ply some good major league talent for him to help the Bucs, I’d move him in a heart beat.

    • BuccosFanStuckinMD
      July 7, 2015 9:57 am

      We just better not trade him…he looks like he could be a high impact player when he arrives (2-3 years from now) – which will be about the same time that Cutch will begin slowing down…

  • Lots of solid performances, but I’m tipping the hat to Casey Hughston for finally getting the monkey off his back.

    • Blaine: I agree, maybe this will be just the inspiration he needs.

      Radhames Liz wants back into MLB, and has earned it. Watching Worley’s last outing was painful. Brault’s game looked poor in the box score until explained further by Sean. Brewer, Sever, and Burnette – that’s a nice threesome. Liked to see Supak do well, but have yet to see anything from Mitch Keller and Gage Hinsz – no problems I hope?

Menu