Morning Report: Tyler Glasnow, A Struggling Team and a Prospect on the Bench

A few quick subjects this morning, including the last one, which I’ve been meaning to get to these last few days. We start with the big game in the minors today, Tyler Glasnow making his fourth start for Indianapolis. He has some strong numbers with a 1.69 ERA and 18 strikeouts in 16 innings, yet he hasn’t looked like the same dominating pitcher that he was in Altoona. That may seem strange to say about a pitcher that has allowed one run in each start, but that speaks to how good Glasnow looks when he is dominating.

In his first AAA game, Glasnow allowed a career-high nine hits. It his second start, he walked six batters and lasted just 4.2 innings. He third start wasn’t bad, but he didn’t have good control at the beginning. He has a .262 BAA and a 1.63 WHIP, plus his 0.35 GO/AO ratio is extraordinarily low. Those aren’t Glasnow-like numbers. Since the past has told us that he won’t make his Major League debut until next June, his slow start shouldn’t get you worried. There are those that are holding out hope that he joins the Pirates in September as a bullpen arm, probably some would want him in the rotation, but he has shown in his first three games that he is far from ready.

One of my goals the other day when I talked about the hitting/pitching stats of the Pirates’ affiliates, wasn’t to jinx the GCL Pirates. I mentioned how they had one of the best records, but that nothing stood out with their hitting, pitching and defense, plus they had a small run differential, so something had to give. Well they went 1-5 since I mentioned that and dropped three games back(to 3.5) in the standings, so if you bought playoff tickets in advance, I apologize. Also, don’t buy GCL tickets, the games are free to attend.

They have two weeks to go in their season, but they actually have 15 games left due to three doubleheaders. The possible good thing if they miss the playoffs is that some of the better prospects could go up to Morgantown for the last nine days of their season. Bristol would be the expected jump, but their season ends three days after the GCL does, so it wouldn’t make sense to send players there unless the move happened earlier than August 29th. Players moving up to Morgantown could affect the next player…

I’ve been asked the same question by multiple people recently, and I don’t have a good answer. It’s actually been variations of the same question about Morgantown outfielder Alexis Bastardo. One I got twice is “why isn’t he playing more?”, and the other is “why isn’t he at Bristol instead?”. Those are both great questions and I have a tough time understanding why he is barely playing this year. It didn’t get any easier to answer after he got three hits on Friday night in a rare start.

I’m glad there are questions about him, because it shows people have been paying attention. Here is what we know about Bastardo. He had a strong season in the DSL in 2013 and we got great scouting reports from multiple sources. He was invited to the Fall Instructional League(FIL) and then returned for Spring Training in 2014, but he hurt his shoulder. That limited his playing time, but he looked real good when he was healthy, putting up an .835 OPS. We had some video highlights from the 2014 FIL season and he was doing well. He was playing all the time in Extended Spring Training and skipped over Bristol to Morgantown.

The first question is fairly easy to answer. The Pirates have Logan Hill hitting well, Ty Moore hitting well and third round pick Casey Hughston, who they gave an over-slot deal to, also playing well recently. Hughston would play full-time regardless of performance, but the other two have been out there almost everyday. They also have Ryan Nagle, who they gave an over-slot deal to, so he is going to play regularly. That wouldn’t leave time for a fifth outfielder, plus Bastardo hasn’t hit well. You could obviously say, well he barely plays, so what do you expect? I only expect him to play more because he is a talented player, but that leads to the second question about leaving him at Bristol instead.

There are players hitting well for Bristol, but there are honestly no legit prospects on the team. There are possible sleepers like Carlos Munoz, Trae Arbet, Sandy Santos and Julio de la Cruz, but they all have big flaws that limit them for now. Basically, they have no one that is better than a toolsy outfielder with strong results, who should be playing more. I think Morgantown is the proper level for Bastardo to be at, but that’s based on skill alone.

It would be much better if he had 161 at-bats for Bristol, as opposed to 55 at-bats for Morgantown. The 161 represents the at-bats from outfielder Henrry Rosario, who is a year older than Bastardo, never got scouting reports like Bastardo, and he has a .577 OPS this year. Wouldn’t it be better if he was the one sitting on the Morgantown bench while the better player saw regular action? I think it would, and it’s hard to argue against the results from each player not proving that it would have been the better decision. At least Bastardo was back in the lineup on Saturday night for the second straight game, but unless one of the regular outfielders moves up to West Virginia(which is unlikely at this point), then he will probably be right back on the bench today.

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 4.5 game lead in the division.

Altoona is 5-5 in their last ten games and they are in third place, 5.5 games back of Bowie.

Bradenton is 6-4 in their last ten games. They trail Palm Beach by three games in the standings.

West Virginia is 7-3 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 4.5 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 3-7 in their last ten games. They are 3.5 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 5-3 score in 14 innings. Jeff Locke will be on the mound for the Pirates making his 23rd start. He has given up four earned runs in each of his last two starts. The Mets will send Matt Harvey to the hill. He has a 2.61 ERA in 148 innings this year. The Pirates scored seven earned runs off him in four innings back on May 23rd.

In the minors, Yeudy Garcia makes his 17th starts of the season. His 2.37 ERA ranks him second in the South Atlantic League. He’s also second with a 1.08 WHIP and tied for ninth with 87 strikeouts. His teammate Stephen Tarpley also has 87 strikeouts. Frank Duncan starts for Bradenton today. He is sixth in the FSL in strikeouts(92) and sixth with 121 innings. The GCL and DSL Pirates are off today. You can view last night’s prospect watch here.

MLB: Pittsburgh (68-46) vs Mets (63-54) 1:10 PM
Probable starter: Jeff Locke (4.43 ERA, 48:95 BB/SO, 124.0 IP)

AAA: Indianapolis (72-50) vs Durham (58-64) 1:35 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Tyler Glasnow (1.69 ERA, 10:18 BB/SO, 16.0 IP)

AA: Altoona (63-57) @ Richmond (60-59) 1:35 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Jason Creasy (4.66 ERA, 45:54 BB/SO, 119.2 IP)

High-A: Bradenton (62-56, 30-18 second half) vs St Lucie (59-59) 5:00 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Frank Duncan (4.61 ERA, 14:92 BB/SO, 121.0 IP)

Low-A: West Virginia (70-47, 33-15 second half) @ Hickory (71-45) 5:00 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Yeudy Garcia (2.37 ERA, 31:87 BB/SO, 98.2 IP)

Short-Season A: Morgantown (26-29) @ State College (30-24) 6:05 PM (season preview)
Probable Starter: TBD

Rookie: Bristol (22-25) @ Bluefield (20-31) 6:05 PM (season preview)
Probable Starter: TBD

GCL: Pirates (26-19) vs  Yankees2 (17-28) 12:00 PM 8/17 (season preview)

DSL: Pirates (25-40) vs Brewers (30-36) 10:30 AM 8/17 (season preview)


Here is video of Barrett Barnes showing off the glove, although the throw afterwards wasn’t that good. He either didn’t have a good grip or decided too late not to throw.

Recent Transactions

8/15: Jose Salazar retired.

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.

This Date in Pirates History

Ten former Pittsburgh Pirates players born on this date, including a player included in the worst trade the Pirates ever made.

Rick Reed, pitcher from 1988 until 1991. He eventually became a good Major League pitcher, but it was well after the Pirates released him in 1992. Reed pitched just 31 games for the Pirates over his four seasons.

Al Holland, pitcher for the Pirates in 1977 and 1985. He was acquired in exchange for Kent Tekulve in 1985. He was dealt later in the season as part of a six-player deal with the Angels.

Curt Roberts, second baseman in 1954-56. First African-American player for the Pirates. Spent time in the Negro Leagues before playing in the minors. A few players born on this date met tragic endings at an early age. Roberts was hit by a car at age 40, while he was changing a tire.

Gene Woodling, 1947 outfielder. Spent 17 seasons in the majors, while also serving two years in the military during WWII.

Tiny Bonham, pitcher for the 1947-49 Pirates. He made the AL All-Star team twice while with the Yankees and won 103 career games. During the 1949 season, he went to the hospital for an appendectomy and found out he had intestinal cancer, passing away two weeks later at the age of 36.

Andy Bednar, pitcher for the 1930-31 Pirates. Pitched five Major League games, all for the Pirates. Died in a car accident in 1937 at the age of 29.

Bill Keen, first baseman for the 1911 Pirates. Got injured in his first game and was used strictly as a pinch-hitter after that. He is why I encourage people to read the link above for more information. Very interesting story about his short career, confusion with his name and his minor league stats being attributed to someone else.

Gene Steere, shortstop for the 1894 Pirates(or Braves if you want to be correct) Hit .205 in ten games and committed five errors.

Willie Clark, first baseman during the 1898-99 seasons. Hit .306 in 57 games in 1898 and led all NL first baseman in fielding the next season.

Hank Robinson, pitcher for the 1911-13 Pirates. Won 28 minor league games in 1911 before he joined the Pirates. He had a 2.26 ERA in 1912 and 2.38 in 1913, before he was dealt to the Cardinals in an inexcusable trade that also saw Chief Wilson(the single-season triples leader and 1909 right fielder) and Dots Miller go to St Louis for Ed Konetchy, who Pirates’ owner Barney Dreyfuss had a man-crush on. I’m not just saying that because I’m still mad about them dumping Miller, Dreyfuss tried often to trade for Konetchy, to the point he finally gave up way too much to get him. His reward for the trade? Konetchy played poorly in 1914, then jumped to the Federal League after one season.

  • Re: Bastardo……….in Larry Broadway I trust.

    • I can usually figure out why a player goes to a certain level based on what we know and what we’ve been told, but this one confuses me. I think he deserves to be at Morgantown, but I wouldn’t have put him there if it meant he only played twice a week. When you have a swap that makes perfect sense, you would think that would have been done in the first place. Rosario is playing full-time at 22 and struggling in Bristol. Bastardo is sitting at 21 in Morgantown.

      I’ve talked to people about both players, it’s not a surprise to me that Rosario isn’t doing well based on what I’ve been told. It wouldn’t do anything to Rosario’s future if he sat on the bench in Morgantown, especially not if it let a better player get full-time at-bats. I have no problem with Hill, Moore, Nagle or Hughston(obviously) getting at-bats, so that part isn’t the problem. They are all good players with potential.

      • John…thx…..any way for you to find out why, esp since it DOESN’T make sense? Or are they closed-lipped about this stuff for the most part?

        • I think the answer would be that they try to get him at-bats here and there and he played during EST and will play during the FIL so he will get his time in. Just guessing

  • Just watched the highlights to last night’s game. I wonder how long Greg Brown was sitting on “Aramma Lamma Ding Dong”. I love his enthusiasm but he somehow manages to be both clever and lame at the same time.

  • It is good to knpw that I am not the only puzzled by the playing time of Bastardo in WV & Rosario in Bristol. I would also like to see Munoz in WV & Nagle playing everyday in Bristol

  • The famous John Dreker Jinx. We as subscribers have been raising money for you to cover the Cardinals over the next month and a half. We already collected enough to double your salary and almost have enough money to cover a two bedroom condo near Busch. You just have to write articles about any number of Cardinals and how great they are.

    • Where do I send my check?

    • Ichiro just tied ty cobb on the all time hit list (counting the hits in Japan), and all the announcers could talk about was how awesome the st louis fans were because they gave him a round of applause…

      • The funny/strange thing about the Ichiro/Cobb thing is that they are calling it professional hits. Cobb had 166 minor league hits, so professional hits would be 4355, which includes the correction made over 25 years ago that Cobb “only” had 4189 MLB hits

        • agree, John. Stupid stat ‘record’.

        • It’s like saying Mike Hessman has 453 professional HR. 433 came in minors, 14 in majors, and 6 in Japan. Hessman is getting close to the end but would love to see him get to 500. Actually his WAR in the MLB is as good as any schlub the Pirates have ran out to 1B the last 2 years.

    • If I thought my jinx was that powerful, I would have been covering Yankees games years ago

    • while you’re at it, get him to jinx the Cubs, too.

    • I was thinking the same thing about the GCL team since John said. Don’t ever get on the cover of Dreker Illustrated.

      • See, if people listened to me about them overachieving, they could have went to Vegas and cleaned up this week!