Morning Report: Checking Up on the Prospects That Were Traded Away

When the Pirates traded Edward Salcedo to the Kansas City Royals on Friday, I mentioned that Bryton Trepagnier was struggling in AA, so the Pirates didn’t lose anything by seeing if they could get something out of Salcedo. They gave up a relief pitcher with minimal success in the minors and they were getting back someone that the Braves thought enough of at one point to give him a $1.6M bonus. I didn’t go in depth with Trepagnier, so I figured I’d take a look at some players the Pirates gave up this off-season.

Trepagnier has a 4.86 ERA in 50 innings, with 33 walks and 25 strikeouts. He is a month short of his 24th birthday, so he should be in AA now. With those control issues, which is something he dealt with while in Bradenton last year, he is going to have trouble getting any further than AA.

The Pirates gave up Shane Carle for Rob Scahill and he’s in AA right now. He’s almost the same age as Trepagnier, born less than three weeks earlier. Unlike Trepagnier, Carle has looked good this season and he even made a spot start in AAA. He has a 3.40 ERA in 132.1 innings, with 84 strikeouts and a 1.25 WHIP.

Joely Rodriguez was sent away in the Antonio Bastardo deal. He went to AAA as a starter and really pitched poorly. He was sent down to AA where he moved into the bullpen and didn’t do any better. Rodriguez was recently moved back into the starting role(in AA) and he has a 3.54 ERA in his first four games.

Buddy Borden was an All-Star this year in the Florida State League. The Pirates gave him up(and cash) to get Sean Rodriguez. Borden has a 2.89 ERA in 109 innings. He ranks eighth in the league in ERA and ninth with 84 strikeouts.

How about the players that just left, JaCoby Jones and Adrian Sampson? They haven’t had long with their new teams. Jones hit three homers in one game almost immediately after he left. He has a .955 OPS in 13 games, with five homers and 14 strikeouts. Sampson started last night for the third time and he now has a 4.95 ERA in 20 innings, with three walks and 14 strikeouts.

The Pirates also gave up Yhonathan Barrios for Aramis Ramirez. He isn’t a prospect on the level of the other two, but he could still make the majors someday and possibly be a good reliever if he can improve his control and secondary stuff. The Brewers sent him down to AA and he’s thrown 8.1 scoreless innings over seven appearances.

I was only going to mention prospects, but why not have some fun and add one more. The Pirates gave up Jose Tabata to get Michael Morse. Tabata is hitting .320 in nine games, with a .730 OPS for the Dodgers’ AAA squad. He has five hits in his last two games.

Pirates Game Graph

Source: FanGraphs

Playoff Push

The Pirates trail by six games in the division to the Cardinals. They have a 1.5 game lead for the top wild card spot.

Indianapolis is 7-3 in their last ten games. They have a 3.5 game lead in the division.

Altoona is 4-6 in their last ten games and they are in third place, 5.5 games back of Bowie.

Bradenton is 7-3 in their last ten games. They trail Palm Beach by three games in the standings.

West Virginia is 6-4 in their last ten games and they have a five game lead in the division.

Morgantown is 3-7 in their last ten games. They are 3.5 games back in the wild card chase.

The Bristol Pirates are 5-5 in their last ten games. They are three games back in the division.

GCL Pirates are 4-6 in their last ten games. They are 2.5 games back in the standings.

The DSL Pirates have been eliminated from the postseason.

Today’s Schedule

Today’s Starter and Notes: The Pirates beat the Mets by a 3-2 score in ten innings on Friday night. Charlie Morton will be on the hill today, making his 15th start of the season. In his last outing, he allowed five runs on ten hits and three walks in five innings against the Dodgers. The Pirates will face Jon Niese, who has a 3.46 ERA in 135.1 innings. He gave up four runs over 4.2 innings when the two teams met up earlier this year.

In the minors, Vance Worley gets the start for Indianapolis tonight, his first since the Pirates designated him for assignment. Stephen Tarpley starts for West Virginia. His 2.34 ERA would rank second best in the SAL, but he is about 7-8 innings short of qualifying. Clay Holmes makes his sixth start for Bradenton. He threw four shutout innings last time out. Holmes has a .200 BAA, an 0.93 WHIP and a 2.33 GO/AO ratio for the Marauders. You can view last night’s prospect watch here.

MLB: Pittsburgh (67-46) vs Mets (63-53) 7:10 PM
Probable starter: Charlie Morton (4.48 ERA, 27:54 BB/SO, 82.1 IP)

AAA: Indianapolis (71-50) vs Durham (58-63) 7:05 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Vance Worley (NR)

AA: Altoona (62-57) @ Richmond (60-58) 6:05 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Zack Dodson (4.10 ERA, 26:58 BB/SO, 131.2 IP)

High-A: Bradenton (62-55, 30-17 second half) vs Charlotte (62-53) 6:30 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Clay Holmes (1.86 ERA, 5:13 BB/SO, 19.1 IP)

Low-A: West Virginia (69-47, 32-15 second half) @ Hickory (71-44) 6:00 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Stephen Tarpley (2.34 ERA, 20:85 BB/SO, 84.2 IP)

Short-Season A: Morgantown (26-28) @ State College (29-24) 7:05 PM (season preview)
Probable Starter: Seth McGarry (4.78 ERA, 13:23 BB/SO, 26.1 IP)

Rookie: Bristol (22-25) vs Elizabethton (27-24) 7:00 PM (season preview)
Probable Starter: TBD

GCL: Pirates (26-18) vs  Astros (16-30) 12:00 PM (season preview)

DSL: Pirates (25-40) vs Tigers (28-37) 10:30 AM (season preview)


Here is video of Alen Hanson making a terrific diving stop and throw to get the out. He was recently voted best defensive second baseman in the International League by managers and coaches.

Recent Transactions

8/14: Edward Salcedo traded to Royals. Robert Stock assigned to Altoona

8/13: Angel Sanchez placed on disabled list. Andy Vasquez sent to Altoona.

8/11: Rob Scahill sent to Altoona on rehab.

8/11: Wilfredo Boscan sent outright to Indianapolis. Jeff Inman placed on disabled list.

8/11: Josh Harrison and Jordy Mercer assigned to Indianapolis on rehab.

8/9: Adam Miller promoted to Indianapolis.

8/9: Cole Tucker placed on disabled list. Erik Forgione sent to Morgantown.

8/8: Kevin Newman and Edgar Santana promoted to West Virginia.

8/8: Junior Sosa placed on disabled list. Isaac Sanchez activated from Bradenton disabled list.

8/7: Vance Worley sent outright to Indianapolis.

8/7: Deolis Guerra returned to Pirates from Indians and placed on disabled list. Wilfredo Boscan designated for assignment.

8/6: Rob Scahill assigned to GCL on rehab.

8/5: Indians claim Deolis Guerra off waivers.

8/5: Isaac Sanchez assigned to GCL Pirates on rehab. Stephan Meyer assigned to GCL from Morgantown.

8/4: Dovydas Neverauskas promoted to Bradenton. Robert Stock sent to GCL.

8/4: Jake Burnette activated from disabled list.

8/4: Jonathan Schwind activated from Altoona disabled list. Adam Miller assigned to Altoona.

8/3: Michael Morse added to active roster. Jaff Decker optioned to Indianapolis.

8/2: Shane Kemp sent from Bristol to GCL.

8/2: Josh Smith activated from Altoona disabled list.

This Date in Pirates History

Six former Pittsburgh Pirates players born on this date, plus two trades of note. On this date in 1969, the Pirates traded pitcher Jim Bunning to the Dodgers for two minor league players and cash. The Hall of Fame pitcher was near the end of his career and on the downside, so the Pirates didn’t miss him much. That was good because they all got was six games from the two players that they got in return.

On this date in 1910, the Pirates purchased the contract of Max Carey from his minor league team. That was the start of his 17-year career with the team. Carey played 2178 games for Pittsburgh, collecting 2416 hits and 918 walks, with 1414 runs scored and 688 stolen bases. He’s fourth in team history in runs, hits and games, second in walks and first all-time in steals.

Players born on this date include:

Oliver Perez, pitcher from 2003 until 2006. He was involved in two big trades that both worked out well coming over with Jason Bay and leaving for Xavier Nady. He had 239 strikeouts during the 2004 season.

Ramon Morel, relief pitcher from 1995-97. He was signed as an amateur free agent in 1991 and made it from high-A to the majors during the 1995 season.

Duffy Dyer, catcher from 1975 until 1978. He was drafted in the first round in 1966. The Pirates acquired him for Gene Clines right after the 1974 season.

Bernie Walter, pitcher for the Pirates on August 16,1930. He was actually the team’s batting practice pitcher, spending the entire 1930 season with the Pirates, but he only pitched one inning. He never even played minor league ball, so that one inning was his entire career.

Red Peery, pitcher for Pirates on September 22,1927. During the end of the 1927 season, shortly before the Pirates went on to their fourth World Series, Peery pitched at the end of a blowout loss during a doubleheader. That would be his only appearance for the Pirates.

Lew Carr, shortstop for the 1901 Pirates for two weeks. Honus Wagner was a third baseman at that time, as he didn’t play shortstop regularly when he first joined the Pirates. Carr played nine games and held his own at the plate with a .701 OPS, but regular shortstop Bones Ely took his job back and Carr was released.

  • Tabata is probably the same age as Morse.

  • BuccosFanStuckinMD
    August 15, 2015 12:21 pm

    We will long regret trading JaCoby Jones…mark my word. I hated seeing us trade Borden – he looked like a very good young pitcher.

    I see Alex Dickerson has had a very good year this year in AAA – .305, with 30 doubles, 8 triples, 10 HRs. That was a bad trade, which I said at the time it was made, especially considering our ongoing first base debacle.

    How about the second round pick pitcher we traded to the Mets for mighty Ike Davis – was his last name Taylor? Anyone know how he’s doing this year?

    • Blake Taylor just had Tommy John Surgery two weeks ago

    • You just can’t stop yourself, can you ? Alex Dickerson was a guy without a position, and never saw a pitch he wouldn’t swing at when they traded him.

      • BuccosFanStuckinMD
        August 15, 2015 9:25 pm

        History doesn’t lie…..we got the wondrous Jaff Decker for Dickerson – even though our system was and is overflowing with OF prospects. Dickerson played first base and RF when he was in Altoona. Maybe he wasn’t a gold glover, but have we been better off with the likes of Ike Davis, Ishikawa, Pedro, and Morse playing first instead? I don’t think so. It was a curious trade at best, a terrible one at worst.

        • Dickerson actually not playing 1B for Padres this year in the minors. He has been an OF again.

      • I do think Dickerson is going to be a pretty good hitter in the mlb. Fielding another thing. It was kind of a weird deal. I think they were enamored with Decker’s eye at the plate which he has not been able to translate into anything yet. I have to agree with BuccosFan for once to a degree. I was not a fan of that deal…but I can see why they did it. Decker has just had a horrendous start to his career…you have to think Decker will contribute somewhere down the line for someone though. He has valuable spare OF/PH written all over him. Gives you good AB, gap hitter, can run and field a little. He just started his MLB career 5-44. Brandon Moss was about as bad.

  • Although at the time many probably did not see
    this, but the one of the better players we traded away over the last few years was Brock Holt.
    Of course to get quality you have to give up
    quality and at the time he was probably
    blocked here (as Tim would say).

    I liked Holt as saw him as a pure hitter.
    (and it looks like he is.)

    • They liked Harrison better. Harrison was a better infielder at several positions, and Holt didn’t show much power.

  • I just enjoyed this piece. No one does this, and it’s very informative.

    I liked the Ramirez deal at the time. It just hasn’t worked out. No regrets, just wondering how Barrios does for the Crew. Anyone know does the FB have any movement? What’s the secondary stuff like?

  • How is Salcedo doing since we dealt him?

    • He has positioned himself to become the poor man’s Andy Marte. Comparing the two is an insult to Andy Marte. Marte, by the way is destroying the Korean league. I once saw Marte hit 3 HR and drive in 8 in a preseason game at Winterhaven. Wind was blowing out about 35 mph.

  • Regarding the Hanson video, great range obviously, but WTF was the runner on 1st doing? A grounder up the middle and his initial move is to return to 1B? That was worst example of base running I’ve ever seen.

  • Charlie Morton starts tonight. YAWN. Maybe this is the game he does well. Jon Niese is on the mound for the Mets. Would have liked it if the Pirates had picked him up in the spring (or even now).

    • Niese is not better than Ground Chuck. Not even close. The only thing he has going for him is he throws with his left hand. Otherwise, meh.

      • Niese vs Morton…………ERA this year is MUCH better.

      • To each his own, but….
        Morton has 1 year with 171.2 innings: Niese (3 years younger) has topped that twice already and looks to be headed towards topping it again this year plus Niese had 173.2 his first full year.

        ERA+ is 98 to 85. FIP is 3.77 to 4.11, edge to Niese. WHIP, H/9, HR/9 (slight edge to Morton for that) are nearly even and BB/9 and K/9 favor Niese.

        LH pitching at PNC, another edge to Niese.

        As I said to each his own.

        • Scott Kliesen
          August 16, 2015 7:44 am

          As last night demonstrated, Niese is not any better SP than Morton right now. Each is capable of throwing good, bad and ugly games at any point in time. To contend Pirates should deal an asset to get Niese and replace Morton in lineup with him so they can be well armed for playoff run is nothing more than wishful thinking.

      • BuccosFanStuckinMD
        August 15, 2015 9:21 pm

        Neither is Cy Young, but if career stats mean anything, I don’t understand how you contend that Morton is so much better than Niese? Based on career stats, Niese appears to be the better pitcher. Morton is 43-65 with a 4.49 ERA….Niese is 59-60 with a 3.81 ERA. One is a .500 career pitcher, the other well below .500.

        • Scott Kliesen
          August 17, 2015 5:33 am

          I never said Morton is so much better than Niese. I said they’re basically the same level pitcher. As for using W/L record to show Niese is better, that stat is a poor choice. Just look to Shelby Miller this year for proof. And ERA may say one thing, but xFIP says something different.