Prospect Watch: Early Win for Altoona; Doubleheader Split for Indianapolis

Altoona has a morning start time today with Carmen Mlodzinski on the mound, making his second start since returning from the injured list. Indianapolis has a doubleheader today, with the interesting 6:07 PM start time. I’ll fill in the missing starting pitchers below whenever they become available.

TRIPLE-A: INDIANAPOLIS INDIANS

P2Daily: Indianapolis Week on Pirates Prospects

Game Time: 6:07 PM DH

Box Score: LINK (game one) LINK (game two)

Starting Pitcher: Jerad Eickhoff (2-2, 4.78) and Matt Eckelman (0-3, 14.92)

  • Final Line:  Eickhoff: 4 IP, 3 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 4 SO
  • Eckelman: 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 SO

Notable Performances:

Game One

Oneil Cruz 1-for-5

Travis Swaggerty 2-for-5, 2 RBI

Ji-hwan Bae 3-for-5, 2B, RBI

Mason Martin 2-for-4, HR, 5 RBI, BB

Canaan Smith-Njigba 1-for-2, 3 BB

Game Two

Oneil Cruz 1-for-4

Travis Swaggerty 1-for-4

Canaan Smith-Njigba 3-for-4, 2B

Mason Martin 1-for-4

Game Recap:

Game One: Indianapolis won an absolute slugfest against St Paul in the first game of a doubleheader, taking a 16-10 victory in a game that was only seven innings. All 18 batters in the game reached base at least once. This game was actually 1-0 after three innings, so 25 runs crossed the plate in the final four frames. Jerad Eickhoff started and allowed four runs in the fourth, giving him four runs over four innings. Aaron Fletcher somehow managed to throw two shutout innings when everyone else was getting hit around. Shea Murray took one for the team in the seventh, giving up six runs that were all unearned due to two errors by Oneil Cruz. Murray needed 42 pitches in his only inning of work. Mason Martin and Bligh Madris had the big games. Martin drove in five runs with a two-run single and his tenth homer. Madris had three hits, including his fourth double and second homer. Ji-hwan Bae had three hits, including his ninth double, and he scored three runs. Canaan Smith-Njigba reached four times on three walks and a single. He scored two runs. Travis Swaggerty continued his recent hot streak with two more hits. He scored twice and drove in a pair.

Game Two: Matt Eckelman got the start during game two of the doubleheader and he tossed two shutout innings on two hits and a strikeout. He came into the day with a 14.92 ERA. While it is still very high, he knocked just over two runs off of that total. Nathan Kirby took over in the third and allowed one run in two innings. Cam Vieaux gave up two runs in his 1.2 innings, while Cristofer Melendez allowed two runs before he could record the final out of the sixth. Indianapolis lost the nightcap 5-3.  The Indians got their first run on a throwing error by the pitcher. In the sixth, Jason Delay and Josh Bissonette each drew bases loaded walks, so all three runs scored without the benefit of a hit. After reaching base four times in the opener, Canaan Smith-Njigba collected three hits in this game, including his tenth double.

DOUBLE-A: ALTOONA CURVE

P2Daily: It’s Altoona Curve Week on Pirates Prospects

Game Time: 11:00 AM

Box Score: LINK

Starting Pitcher: Carmen Mlodzinski (0-2, 4.56)

  • Final Line:  3.2 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 SO

Notable Performances:

Matt Fraizer 1-for-5, 2B, RBI

Nick Gonzales 1-for-5

Liover Peguero 2-for-3, 2 2B, BB

Blake Sabol 2-for-5, 2B, 2 RBI

Matt Gorski 1-for-4, BB

Jared Triolo 1-for-3, 2B, RBI, BB

Connor Scott 2-for-4, 2B

Game Recap:

Carmen Mlodzinski made his second start since returning from a short injured list trip. He went 3.2 innings, allowing a run on five hits, with no walks and five strikeouts. It was a solid outing, especially the BB/SO numbers, but he needed 77 pitches to get through 3.2 innings. The upside is that he threw 54 strikeouts. He now has a 4.30 ERA in 29.1 innings, with 32 strikeouts. Will Kobos took over in the fourth and threw 1.1 scoreless. Bear Bellomy was out next with two shutout frames. JC Flowers picked up the save with two scoreless, as Altoona won 7-1. The three relievers combined to allow one hit and one walk.

Altoona tied this game in the second inning on Jared Triolo’s sixth double of the season. The pitchers then took over until the sixth when Aaron Shackelford hit a three-run homer, his sixth homer of the year. In the ninth, Matt Fraizer drove in a run with his seventh double, and Blake Sabol drove in two runs with his seventh double. Liover Peguero doubled twice, giving him 14 on the season. Connor Scott hit his eighth double.

Altoona had two players suspended due to Sunday’s brawl. Link also includes note on Nick Mears returning on rehab.

HIGH-A: GREENSBORO GRASSHOPPERS

P2Daily: It’s Greensboro Grasshoppers and Matt Gorski Week on Pirates Prospects

Game Time: 6:35 PM

Box Score: LINK

Starting Pitcher: Jack Carey (2-3, 4.58)

  • Final Line:  3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 SO

Notable Performances:

Hudson Head 0-for-3, 2 HBP, RBI

Dariel Lopez 1-for-4, HR, 2 RBI, BB

Endy Rodriguez 0-for-4

Abrahan Gutierrez 1-for-4, SB

Sammy Siani 0-for-4

Game Recap:

Four Greensboro pitchers combined to throw a two-hit shutout on Wednesday night, as the Grasshoppers won 3-0. Jack Carey started with three shutout frames. Santiago Florez followed with two hitless innings, then Logan Hofmann handled the sixth inning on nine pitches. Sean Sullivan, who has been starting this year, pitched the final three innings on one hit, one walk and three strikeouts. Greensboro had all of the offense they would need after two batters, as Dariel Lopez hit a two-run homer, his sixth of the season. They added an insurance run in the seventh on a Hudson Head RBI ground out.

LOW-A: BRADENTON MARAUDERS

BRADENTON MARAUDERS WEEK: 5/31

Game Time: 6:30 PM

Box Score: LINK

Starting Pitcher: Valentin Linarez (0-3, 6.43)

  • Final Line: 3 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 4 SO

Notable Performances:

Sergio Campana 2-for-3

Jase Bowen 0-for-3

Rodolfo Nolasco 1-for-3, HR, 2 RBI

Alexander Mojica 0-for-3

Game Recap:

Valentin Linarez has been pitching well recently, but Wednesday wasn’t his day. He gave up four runs in three innings, as Bradenton lost 10-2 in a rain-shortened seven inning game. Linarez now has a 7.13 ERA in 24 innings, though he has racked up 32 strikeouts. Nick Mears made his first rehab appearance after surgery in February and he absolutely dominated, striking out the side in the fourth on 13 pitches. He can’t return from the 60-day IL until June 6th, so he will at least be on rehab for another 11 days, if not longer. Carlos Lomeli pitched next and allowed six earned runs in two innings. Cristian Charle threw a scoreless seventh. Bradenton scored both of their runs on Rodolfo Nolasco’s second home run. Sergio Campana had two hits and scored a run. He has hits in five straight games and four of those are multi-hit games.

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NMR

Death, taxes, and a two-strikeout game from Nick Gonzales.

TNBucs

I had been a little disappointed in CSN’s start to the season (unfairly) but he’s doing very well in May: 19 K’s is too high but that goes with 19 BB’s which has lead to a .446 OBP and an .852 OPS! Mitchell was the right choice to call up but CSN now has better stats in May than Mitchell did. It may be interesting to see how they find time for CSN, Mitchell, Suwinski, and Swggerty who may all need MLB reps this season as part of their development.

Wilbur Miller

Had a primo TOOTBLAN last night. Singled with one out and Indy down two, and Martin on deck, and he got thrown out at second.

NMR

Gotta figure out quality of contact with him. No reason this man should be hitting the ball so much on the ground!

zebug

Mlodzinski with 54 strikeouts last night…gotta be a record right lol 😂 

dbsteel

Beat me to it.

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

That was a long single by Swaggerty. Getting more and more behind it.

AdministrativeSky236

Hey all, long time lurker and finally a subscriber here 🙂 Been following the minors as close as ever this year, but haven’t found any names on Bradenton that really stand out. Who would yinz recommend as names to watch?

NMR

Welcome!

Wilbur Miller

Not the best team in the system, prospect-wise. Probably Cheng and Nolasco among the hitters, although Nolasco has struggled. The starting pitchers all have ability, although some have had extreme ups and downs. Carlos Jimenez and Joelvis Del Rosario look the best so far. Luis Peralta can be unhittable or awful, depending on whether he’s throwing strikes.

Danatural08

I’d throw Jase Bowen in the interesting hitters mix with a Jacoby Jones tool set

AdministrativeSky236

Seems like a pretty up and down start across the team. Later this summer I guess we can expect a boost from last year’s draft class

kja1970

Hopefully that will happen very soon

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

Cruz cracks the Mendoza!

zebug

Pull him from the game and call him up!!

Scrappy2499

He is at or below Mendoza and averages like 4 errors a game (not really but a bunch)…Why would you want him to move up when AAA pitchers are showing him up and he isn’t playing good defense anywhere right now. I would like to see Cruz deposit balls in the river as well, but he hasn’t shown he is ready in the least…

zebug

Because I’d rather watch Cruz struggle in the bigs than to watch VanMeter struggle in the bigs (granted VM is our hottest hitter right now, but he is not part of the future so I really don’t care if VM hits a HR every at bat)

Scrappy2499

If VM leaves this afternoon then I would not loose any sleep. I just don’t think Cruz coming up right now makes sense. Plus someone else posted somewhere else that he was sulking because he didn’t break the season with the club. I definitely wouldn’t reward him with a promotion if he is sulking and not producing to boot.

Wilbur Miller

Interesting point on the Harrisburg broadcast yesterday. The Hbg announcer mentioned that everybody on the Altoona roster is between 21 and 25, with an avg. of 23. He said there are only two players on the Hbg roster 23 or younger.

I thought Altoona and Indy would have a lot of offense this year. I’m hoping what we’re seeing now is young guys who needed a little adjustment time, and now the last few weeks they’re showing they’ve made it. Of course, that’ll probably all get disrupted by promotions, but that’s the whole point.

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

I remember last year Harrisburg had a ridiculous amount of late 28’s pitchers. I think their only young guys are all hurt it seems

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

Meant 20’s, but, meh

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

Don’t let the 6 unearned runs distract you from the fact Shea Murray isn’t very good. Almost 29 and the control hasn’t taken a step forward

Wilbur Miller

Really should move Toribio up. Not sure I’ve seen anybody doing as badly in AAA as Murray and Eckelman.

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

Don’t look at who is starting game 2 lol gonna need another 16 runs

Wilbur Miller

Haha, he got through one inning. Better get him out now.

Wilbur Miller

Noe! Noe! Noe!

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

100% on Toribio. I wanna see how his stuff plays another level higher. His stuff has been nasty. I was surprised he went 5 other day, and had 8 K’s

jedeweese

What part of move off short can’t he understand?

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

Indy still has another 7 innings to go after this game.

jedeweese

Martin pops for a 3 spot…easy swig, easy power.

Wilbur Miller

Yeah, but Yoshi is slugging .257, so there.

jedeweese

He’s hitting like Mario’s cartoon companion 🙁

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

Hahahaha Mason just making Indy mean at this point. 3-run bomb for #10 on year

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

Bligh taking advantage of the extra PT with Cal promotion. Swaggerty ticked over 250 Avg, and is JUST shy of 700 OPS. More importantly, he’s hitting now

And, *checks notes*, Cole still stinks. His single was a bad struck bloop

jon6er

Swaggerty just keeps hitting.

jon6er

and Bae…

jon6er

and Martin….

Wilbur Miller

One of these teams here at LECOM is way the hell better than the other.

agent00

at least campana seems to be hitting better lately

Wilbur Miller

He and Nolasco are the only guys in the lineup worth watching rn.

agent00

if only there were some 2021 draftees that could be added to the roster……..ah well, nevertheless

Iowasteel

So, I am guessing Cheng is hurt. Hasn’t played in this series.
In unsurprising news, Mears is clearly too good for low A hitters.

Wilbur Miller

Cheng is on the 7-day. Forget why but I don’t think it was major.

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

Mears looks healthy and extremely filthy

Wilbur Miller

Yeah, control was fine, which it’s not always. And that’s after surgery and a layoff. Curve was awesome and he was throwing a slider, which I don’t recall.

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

Curve looked amazing

Wilbur Miller

Linarez not looking good here. Throwing only 89-90.

agent00

so i guess marcano is being called up? that’s interesting. where is he going to play??

zebug

Maybe Chavis is hurt… Got hit on the elbow then later looked to be in some pain after a swing

Wilbur Miller

That’s unexpected. Probably Castillo is headed out.

roibert.kasperski

Maybe the IL if his spiked hand is bugging him

jon6er

Wow, there must have been 20 some school buses at City Island for the Curve game, lol. Mlodzinski was hitting 95 early but by his last inning he was sitting 92-93 but he threw a lot of pitches. 3 of his 5 strikeouts looked like sliders or sinkers it was hard to tell from the first base side. The curve had three baserunning mistakes for outs so for awhile I thought I was watching the Pirates, lol. they looked good overall especially with so many guys playing different positions. For a guy with his power Gorski is not a all or nothing guy at the plate. He hit the ball hard every time except for his strikeout. Liover’s doubles were both smoked Shacklefords homer didn’t take long to get out.

Last edited 1 month ago by jon6er
agent00

thanks for the info!! it’s good stuff

PirateRican21

Bear Bellomy with two shutout innings, not trying to be a smart ass, but were those his first two.

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

It was a very Rich Rod scoreless 2 as well. A lot of flyballs

Todd

Perez is god-awful…why not Blake? His overall MiLB #s are pretty good. Perez is hitting my weight (115 lbs)

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

BLAKE RAKES!!!!!!!!!!!!

agent00

seems like whiffin nicky g is back!

NMR

Two or more strikeouts in 18 of 37 games this year.

agent00

Scranton

I don’t think he ever left.

Scranton

I wonder if Sabol is someone they would consider moving right from Altoona to Pittsburgh. Let him serve as a part-time catcher, and get him some PAs at DH/OF/PH. We could use having the catcher spot not be such a sieve all the time. And he is 24

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

Eh, I think he’s probably too raw defensively at this point behind the plate.

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

The Age Brothers coming through in 6th, with a Shack Attack blast to top off Sabol single followed by Gorski single.

agent00

what happened to marcano?

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

From sliding back into 3rd

agent00

arggggg why

Wilbur Miller

Just enough time to get to Indy?

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

Best I can say is that the announcers had been discussing how Sabol and Gorski were flipped than what was posted in the lineup. That the opposing manager had spoken to the HP ump, and that’s about it. By next time Marcano’s spot came up, Shackelford was in on-deck circle.

agent00

hmmm weird.

i thought early on i saw gorski in the cleanup spot. then later on, i see him batting 5th. thought i was going crazy

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

lol no, cause that’s what the announcers were discussing for like 2 whole innings, before they noticed Shack was in on-deck circle.

I know he scored on the Triolo double, but didn’t see him running, so not sure it he tweaked something? Thought maybe they told him to get to Indy as quickly as possible? I have no idea lol

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

Been trying to figure that out for over an inning

zebug

If Gorski hits another HR today, I’ll be ready to trade Reynolds and move Gorski straight the CF in PNC Park

ps…I’m joking, just giddy over this guy smoking baseballs like they were a pack of Winstons

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

Ooooo, Triolo was a couple feet from a 3-run HR.

The Harrisburg pitcher is a rather solid test for Curve hitters. Has what looks like a quality changeup, at least today.

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