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Saturday, December 3, 2022

Francisco Cervelli Will Start a Rehab Assignment Tonight With Indianapolis

The Pittsburgh Pirates have announced that Francisco Cervelli will be starting a rehab assignment tonight with the Indianapolis Indians. The catcher is recovering from hamate surgery on his left hand. Position players can spend up to 20 days on rehab assignment, which means that Cervelli will return no later than August 2nd. Neal Huntington talked before the break about how they probably wouldn’t be starting Cervelli on a regular basis at first when he returned. They could use the rehab time to build him back up a bit, reducing the need for a third catcher on the roster when he first returns.

The Pirates are getting a lot of catching depth back now, with Elias Diaz also progressing in his rehab. Diaz will play his first full game on Saturday, and will go to Altoona after that game to continue his rehab work. Chris Stewart could also begin his rehab soon.

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Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.


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Glasnow to pitch for Indy Monday.


They are slotting him into position w the #4 spot. Now it’s only time.


trade Stewart, keep Fryer for backup duties since he’s athletic and can handle playing more than once per week, knowing that Diaz would be ready in a few weeks.


That would be fine until the next rash of C injuries happen.


We’d still have stallings at that point……..and we’ve demonstrated that going waiver wire hunting for defense only catchers is not really that difficult. We can’t keep Fryer and Kratz anyways since they are out of options, so either we lose Fryer and Kratz or we lose Kratz, trade Stewart, and keep Fryer. How does this change our depth foo?

Luke S

Well, if STL wasnt a total moron via dumping Fryer all fans would be bitching about how the best we could find was Kratz.

Its far from clear you can depend on a guy who hits like Fryer to be on the waiver wire 2-3 times a year.

I’d like to kep Fryer, but not if it means you just punt Stewart and hope Fryer keeps rolling his .450 BABIP.


……..and i was talking to foo. 😉


Fryer is a better thrower, a faster runner, younger, cheaper, and hits just as well and is the same type of hitter. Who gives a crap about his .450 BABIP, noone expects him to be Tony Gwynn so lets drop the BS. Based on those reasons above, please give me one reason Luke why you’d keep Stewart over Fryer given this information……..I’ll wait for a snappy retort that probably doesn’t completely address my question as only you can do based on career numbers or other irrelevant data which ultimately doesn’t dispute anything i’ve said above. 🙂

Luke S

You can be a dick and think that solves anything, but BABIP is a valid tool to use when deciding how likely a guy is to keep hitting at his current level.

You ignoring stats isnt my problem, and this isnt personal. You want to be a dick? Your issue.

Reason I like Stewart: he consistently rates as a better framer than Fryer and has one of the best pop times (time his throws take to get to 2nd base) of any backup. I like Fryer, but if his BABIP regresses to league average his offense isnt good enough.

If you dont like stats, dont argue with me. I respect everyone who has an opinion, but less so when people decide some things arent worth their time because they dont like it. Not open to some stats? Dont act better than others who use stats to back up an argument.


Luke- I don’t like when you respond to my statements for one reason and it isn’t stats- it’s the lack of a complete argument. You literally never respond to any “whole” discussion, you pick one thing that you think you can argue, and you argue it, rather than the actual point that person is makeing. You do it constantly to everyone, It’s frustrating and its useless. I like when you get involved in discussions, but man, try just occasionally to focus on the point someone is trying to make.

I don’t care about his BABIP- since I wasn’t using THAT stat to prove that Fryer was a better choice, it makes no sense to bring it up as a reason why Fryer isn’t a better option. I said simply fryer is a better hitter than Stewart, and I meant this from a “tool” perspective, not from a stats perspective. So if he isn’t, lets discuss why. Additionally, please explain to me how valuable pop time is when you lead the league in the last two years in throwing errors as a % of stolen base attempts against as a catcher? (there’s a stat for you) I can sit behind homeplate and get rid of the ball real fast too if I have no idea where it’s going. Pitchers aren’t magically all of a sudden holding runners on better with Fryer behind the plate, so why is he (and Kratz) suddenly seeing a much better rate throwing out runners at 2nd? Slow people trying to steal on him maybe….but not on Stewart?

Frame rate…..is still not a “real” recognized stat. That being said, to your point….just because I don’t buy it, doesn’t mean it doesn’t have any value and i’ll conceded that he (and Cervelli) are recognized as that skill being very good. That being said, until we see what Fryer’s frame rate is in comparison to theirs over a longer period of time specifically with the Pirates, I really don’t think it’s a stat that can be used to make your point on simply a comparison basis. ( I admit this is an area where its possible Stewart could have an edge, but it is hardly proven at this point)

In terms of tools, Fryer has more, has more youth, is cheaper, and generally healthier. Stewart can probably get something back via trade or at least get dealt and remove his salary while Fryer cannot.

The only question here Luke is: would you keep Stewart over Fryer based on all those factors, or is his pop rate and his frame rate so significantly better that you would ignore everything else and keep him instead?


We should have 5 years until that happens again. It’s Reese McGuire’s problem. If necessary we can always put Wyatt Matheseon and DiJhang behind the plate at that point.


Take your time Frankie, they say that that injury saps power, I guess you don’t have to worry about that this year!


Red Sox just acquired Pomeranz.

Luke S

No one ever called Dombrowski afraid to trade.

Good for Boston, but man did Dombrowski do a number on their stocked farm system.


Overpaid. Pomeranz no sure thing in al east.

Luke S

Thats not how value works though. He has been a find SP most of his career, and his stats right now will entice many GMs.

Boston was willing to pay to find out if he can sustain this level, and really while they did give up a non lottery ticket prospect that has huge upside, he is years away and thus not something Dombrowski tends to care about losing.


There goes my dream! Haha sike! We are gunning for a rental now(if we can get rid of that shit head Niese)!


For an A-ball lottery ticket.

Luke S

I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt for maybe just not knowing who he is, but calling Anderson Espinoza a lottery ticket just isnt on the same planet as his actual value.

The only way thats accurate is if you call all pitchers lower than AA a lottery ticket, and you think guys like Mitch Keller are shitty lottery tickets compared to tickets like Espinoza.

He was 34th preseason on the mlb top 100 list, top 15 on the recent Law list. Sits 94-96 with the FB, and has a curve and change that are more advanced than you generally see with kid his age. Any prospect can fail, but he’s got better stuff than most low level pitching prospects.

He’s an 18 year old top 30 prospect by any list.


I know exactly who he is, any prospect in the low minors is a lottery ticket IMO. Too far away from the show…Although, he does have outstanding stuff, it hasn’t dominating in the games as of yet. Maybe, I’m overvaluing Pomeranz. I just see an All-Star pitcher, with 2.5 years of control left that was traded even up for an A-Ball prospect.

Although, Espinoza is a lottery ticket, the chances of scratching off a winner are more than 50%.

Luke S

No one dominates that level at age 18, most guys are still going “wow, i got drafted yay!”

He’s looking non terrible after17 starts in a level where he’s younger than anyone else, with plus stuff.

He’s the best you can get under 20 now that the top 1-5 guys are being promoted.


I’ve never disputed anything that you just typed….What does non terrible mean to you? Average? Honest question, as I’ve never heard anyone else use that term….

As far as nobody dominates that level at age 18? Julio Urias dominated AA as an 18 year old, just last season.

Luke S

Which is a good reason why everyone loves this kid. About 2-3 kids per decade perform well at age 18 at this level.

The most recent one? The most prized pitching prospect in baseball. Thus the value this 18 year old has.


I knew we weren’t.

Mark S

Hopefully one of the first of many positive steps going into the 2nd half! Just don’t rush him back…Fryer and Kratz are doing a decent job of holding down the fort. Now as far as Niese….

Bruce Humbert

If Niese ever touches a pitching rubber in a Pirates uniform – heads need to be lopped of and folks need to be fired

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