Morning Report: Two Pirates to Play in September World Baseball Classic Qualifier

Some notes about Tyler Glasnow, the World Baseball Classic and the remaining minor league schedule and possible playoffs.

**Tyler Glasnow was scheduled to start today for Indianapolis, and while the team website still says Trevor Williams as I write this, I expect Glasnow to get the start. The pitcher on rehab always stays on schedule, unless he’s the one who gets rained out. Yesterday it was Williams getting rained out. I’d imagine we will see Glasnow tonight, Williams tomorrow and Frank Duncan pushed back to Monday. I’ll try to update below if anything changes. If Glasnow pitches, I’ll have a full recap in the Prospect Watch.

** The World Baseball Classic announced the rosters for the qualifier to be held in Brooklyn at the end of next month. Two players from the Pirates will participate. Jared Lakind will pitch for Team Israel, and Kyle Simmons will play for Team Great Britain. Most of you now Lakind I’m sure, he’s been around since 2009 and he’s having a nice season in the Altoona bullpen. He becomes a minor league free agent at the end of this season unless the Pirates re-sign him first. He doesn’t have huge upside, but he’s a lefty who throws low-90s with deception in his delivery, which has led to 59 strikeouts in 59.1 innings and a .226 BAA this season. He will still technically be a member of the Pirates at the time, even if the minor league season ends before the WBC qualifiers, but it could be a good stage for him if he has some success.

Simmons was signed out of the Bahamas last year and has been in the DSL the last two season, seeing limited action shortly after he signed in July. He has seen about half of the playing time this season at second base and while he only hit .160 with one extra-base hit in 94 at-bats, he did manage to draw 30 walks. He’s a good defender with decent speed and the ability to play shortstop. While he is far from a prospect at this point, the WBC will give you a chance to see someone on the DSL Pirates long before most people would see him play. I’m sure we will have some type of update about the tournament which takes place September 22-25, probably beforehand to remind you about it and then afterwards to give you an update on how they did.

** It was not a good day for the affiliates of the Pirates yesterday. They went 0-7 on the day and at one time they held the lead in five of those games. It was really bad for the West Virginia Power, who lost a must-win game against first place Lakewood. Morgantown also didn’t help their cause, dropping a game to a team they are chasing in the wild card. Both have the slimmest of playoff hopes with ten days left in the season. Altoona has a 1.5 game lead for the division title, but they are only 2.5 games up on the third place team, so they are far from guaranteed a playoff spot. There are only 61 games left on the schedule between all eight affiliates, not including playoffs.

PLAYOFF PUSH

The Pirates trail the second wild card spot by 2.5 games.

Indianapolis has been eliminated from the playoffs. Their season ends September 5th.

Altoona leads their division by 1.5 games. The top two teams in the division go to the playoffs, with the first place team getting the home field advantage in the first round.

Bradenton won the first half title. They have home field advantage in the playoffs.

West Virginia is tied for third place in their division, trailing first by seven games.

Morgantown has been eliminated from the division race. They are 7.5 games back for the lone wild card spot.

Bristol has been eliminated from the playoffs. Their season ends September 1st.

The GCL Pirates have been eliminated from the playoffs. Their season ends September 1st.

The DSL Pirates have been eliminated from the playoffs. Their season ends today.

PIRATES GAME GRAPH


Source: FanGraphs

TODAY’S SCHEDULE

Today’s Starter and Notes: The Pirates won 5-3 on Friday night against the Brewers. Jameson Taillon gets the start tonight. He has faced the Brewers twice already, both times in July. In the first game in Pittsburgh, he gave up one run over six innings. In the second game in Milwaukee, he allowed two runs over six frames. Taillon has gone at least six innings in each of his last eight starts. The Brewers will counter with Jimmy Nelson, who has a 4.26 ERA in 148 innings, with 116 strikeouts and a 1.48 WHIP. He faced the Pirates once this season, giving up three runs over six innings back in mid-April. In his last start, Nelson allowed two runs over six innings at home against the Rockies.

In the minors, Yeudy Garcia gets the start for Bradenton. He ranks eighth in the Florida State League with a 2.74 ERA and second with 120 strikeouts, seven behind the leader. Garcia’s ERA was 2.51 before the All-Star break and it has been 2.95 since. Despite the slight increase, his WHIP was 1.60 in the first half, and it’s 1.16 in the second half.

Austin Shields is scheduled for the GCL Pirates today. He has made three relief appearances, throwing a total of 4.1 innings. Adam Oller gets the start for Bristol. The DSL season ends today.

MLB: Pittsburgh (65-61) @ Brewers (56-72) 7:10 PM
Probable starter: Jameson Taillon (2.92 ERA, 10:60 BB/SO, 74.0 IP)

AAA: Indianapolis (64-69) @ Toledo (63-71) 7:05 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Tyler Glasnow (1.94 ERA, 55:122 BB/SO, 102.0 IP)

AA: Altoona (71-60) vs Erie (57-75) 6:00 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Alex McRae (5.38 ERA, 22:58 BB/SO, 75.1 IP)

High-A: Bradenton (67-62) vs Charlotte (63-65) 6:30 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Yeudy Garcia (2.74 ERA, 52:120 BB/SO, 118.1 IP)

Low-A: West Virginia (66-64) vs Lakewood (67-63) 7:05 PM  (season preview)
Probable starter: Bret Helton (3.97 ERA, 47:89 BB/SO, 127.0 IP)

Short-Season A: Morgantown (31-35) @ Mahoning Valley (33-32) 7:05 PM (season preview)
Probable Starter: James Marvel (4.92 ERA, 18:37 BB/SO, 53.0 IP)

Rookie: Bristol (24-38) vs Princeton (33-27) 7:00 PM (season preview)

GCL: Pirates (20-33) vs Braves (27-27) 10:00 AM (season preview)

DSL: Pirates (27-42) vs Rangers1 (51-19) 10:30 AM (season preview)

HIGHLIGHTS

Here is a ground rule double from Kevin Newman. He has not hit well in August, batting .242/.304/.306 in 16 games.

RECENT TRANSACTIONS

8/25: Nick Kingham assigned to Altoona. Chase Simpson activated from disabled list.

8/22: Kyle Lobstein activated from the disabled list.

8/21: Evan Piechota promoted to Morgantown.

8/21: Yeudy Garcia activated from disabled list. Henry Hirsch placed on temporary inactive list.

8/20: Jung Ho Kang placed on disabled list. Josh Bell recalled from Indianapolis.

8/20: Stephen Alemais promoted to West Virginia. Alfredo Reyes placed on disabled list.

8/20: Ke’Bryan Hayes assigned to GCL Pirates on rehab.

8/20: Pirates release Edgardo Leon

8/18: Pirates release Josh Outman.

8/18: Juan Diaz assigned to Bristol.

8/18: Jeremias Portorreal and Gabriel Brito promoted to GCL Pirates.

8/17: Josh Smith assigned to Indianapolis.

8/15: Yeudy Garcia and Chase Simpson placed on disabled list.

8/15: Hector Garcia assigned to GCL Pirates on rehab.

8/15: Nick Kingham and Justin Topa assigned to Bradenton.

8/14: Tyler Glasnow assigned to Altoona on rehab.

8/14: Jason Creasy assigned to Altoona.

THIS DATE IN PIRATES HISTORY

Five former Pittsburgh Pirates players born on this date, plus current Pirate shortstop Jordy Mercer turns 30 today. Starting with the most recent former players first:

Mike Maddux, 1995 Pirates. He gets lost in the shadow of his HOF brother, but he actually played 15 seasons in the majors, throwing a total of 472 games. His Pirates career was short with eight relief appearances and a 9.00 ERA. He was signed in April and released in May.

Mike Edwards, 1977 second baseman. He went 0-for-6 in seven games as a September call-up, then he got traded prior to the 1978 season. He has a twin brother named Marshall that played in the majors for three seasons. The strange part about them is that his brother batted and threw lefty, while Mike hit and threw right-handed. The Pirates also had a player named Mike Edwards during the 2006 season.

Charlie Engle, 1930 infielder. The Pirates selected him in the Rule 5 draft. He hit .264 in 67 games. Only other Major League experience was 20 games for the 1925-26 Athletics.

Eddie Mulligan, 1928 infielder. Had a 25-year pro career. His .233 in 27 games, seeing very little time despite spending the entire year with the Pirates

Dave Wright, pitcher on July 22, 1895. His first two appearances in a Pirates’ uniform were actually mid-season exhibition games that he started. He only non-exhibition game appearance with the Pirates came as a reliever, throwing the last two innings of a game on July 22nd. He gave up six runs in his first inning, then threw a scoreless ninth. His only other Major League game came in 1897 and he defeated the Pirates, throwing a 15-14 complete game.

  • Agree, I’ve seen some real starting pitching quality up and down the system in person this year from Indy down through Morgantown. Lots of young pitchers (starting that is) to like and hope on for future development towards an eventual rotation position in Pittsburgh. For example, Danny Beddes at Morgantown has been impressive everytime I’ve seen him.

  • piraterican21
    August 27, 2016 1:19 pm

    Since the WBC is mentioned in this article, I’m gonna take this opportunity to hype my home team. Puerto Rico, if Arrieta agrees to play the staff will have him and Stroman, Berrios and DeLeon (Dodgers AAA) infield will be a thing of beauty, SS Lindor, 3b Arrenado, 2b Correa, 1b Moyà, C Molina, RF Springer, CF Baez, LF Beltran. I like our chances, but Ithink that Arrieta pitches for the US.

  • Flying well under the radar is WV Power and Va. Tech product Sean Keselica.
    In his last 10 relief outings, 22.1 IP, 14 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 27 K’s.
    Nice work.

    • Soft-tossing lefties out of the bullpen won’t get much mention until they start pitching well in Double-A. That’s usually when they get exposed. Before Altoona, they can get away with being a lefty and throwing strikes, but as I mentioned with Lakind, you need something else to go along with the control when you get to the upper levels.

      Keselica is doing well. I like Zamora better because of his plus slider. Both lack good velocity, but if Zamora plugs away and stays healthy in the future, I could see him being a LOOGY

      • From the perspective of Keselica and all “non-prospects”, their goal is to pitch/play well when called upon at each level and hope they improve along the way by expanding their repertoire.
        I like to point out when this occurs, for these guys are giving as much effort and have the same dream as the top prospects.

        • Of course. I don’t know anyone in the minors who is just killing time before getting a real job and doesn’t have a Major League dream. I talk to players in the DSL all the time and even at the lowest level, it’s the same goal.

          My comment was more about him flying under the radar. By my count, we have mentioned him nine times in the nightly Prospect Watch, and before that there was a Spring Training scouting report. I think that’s pretty good for a 23-year-old reliever in Low-A without strong stuff. We have had four people see him live this year as well, plus I’ve seen him on MiLB.tv a couple times. I actually saw him online before I saw him pitch live on July 9th.

          If he makes it to Altoona and starts having success, that’s when you will hear his name more often. Unless he adds some velocity while maintaining command next year, then Tim will have him covered.

  • I would like to see another angle of Newman’s “ground rule” double. It looked like he lost it when he dove. But the umpire walks down, signals double, and then picks up the ball (and a pair of shades) in clear site.

  • OMG, Dave Wright pitched a CG and gave up 14 runs!
    Lately I’ve noticed Rule 5 picks from other eras. Somehow I had pictured those times as wide open/no holds barred. Teams carrying 25-30 man rosters with no minor league affiliates.

    Taillon vs Nelson tonight. JT has exceeded most expectations I would imagine, but didn’t Nelson pretty much own the PBC last season?

    It’s time to give you kudos for your daily wraps of all teams. You and Wilbur are excellent in looking at the whole system. I look forward to what each of you writes on a daily basis. Tim and all the others do a great job of providing on going coverage.

    Kinda hate to see the MiLB seasons end.

    • Kinda hate to see the MiLB seasons end.

      Just one more reason to hate winter. 🙂

    • They had roster limits back then, but back in 1895, they would leave extra players home when they went on road trips to save on costs. I’ve read about the Pirates traveling with as few as 12 players for a game. So from the early era, you will occasionally see a player fill in on the road from the local minor league club. A few Pirates got their only MLB shot like that

  • John: Although the W-L results were not good, there were some very good pitching performances by Pirate Farmhands – JT Brubaker in Hi A, Cam Vieaux at Lo A with 6 IP, 1 ER, 1W/9K, Matt Eckelman at SS Bristol, and Travis MacGregor at the Rookie Level GCL

    Eckelman was just drafted this year but is 22 already, and his 5-3, 2.89 ERA in 50+ innings could be seen as reason to move him up – any chance of that happening this late in the season?

    • The Pirates have more than the average SP through out the system who are putting up good numbers. Just wish there were more position players doing the same.

      • The number may not be equivalent to the percentage of quality, young, SP’s in our system, but we do have a lot of quality position players. In fact, I would have no problem fielding an infield for the Pirates tomorrow of Bell 1B, Hanson 2B, Newman SS, and Hayes 3B. They might look like Atlanta at first, but they all have shown the ability to make positive adjustments on the fly, and they are all hard workers.

        • WADR Hayes is really far away and has a balky back. Would rather see Hanson eased into a job. Newman is closer than Hayes, but I don’t really think he’s very close.

          Looking like Atlanta….hhmmm…kinda goes against what the F O is trying to sell about staying competitve.

    • For Eckelman, he is due to pitch on the 31st, which would then give him a start in Morgantown if they want to move him up. The problem seems to be that Morgantown already has a six-man rotation. I guess it could happen, but he would literally be getting in one game if it did because their season ends on the 5th. I would think if anyone moves up from the Bristol rotation, it would be Schlabach

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