P2Daily: Growing Pains Continue In Pittsburgh

That was not an ideal outcome Friday night for the Pittsburgh Pirates. The bullpen really stepped up the last half of the game, allowing just two hits and holding the San Francisco Giants off the board.

Cam Vieaux made his major league debut and struck out three in 1 2/3 innings, and Yerry De Los Santos pitched a shutout seventh inning, picking up for starter Zach Thompson, who couldn’t get out of the fifth.

The offense, was not good, collecting just two hits — one a piece by Ke’Bryan Hayes and Jack Suwinski.

Not much else going on after that, and a lot of the young guys continue to struggle. After making the big leagues out of camp, Diego Castillo is under the Mendoza line, with Suwinski and Cal Mitchell floating just above it at the moment.

It’d be easy to panic — this was the year we expected the first wave of prospects to hit — and that fresh breath of air that everyone felt when they started to get called up has firmly been replaced with the hard reality of what happens when you play with so many rookies.

It’s been a rough season, all throughout the system, but the team put forward a plan, and part of it is letting these kids struggle so they can learn and adapt and be the foundation of a potential winning team once again.

We’ve seen some interesting checkpoints along the way, with Roansy Contreras breaking out and now establishing himself as a major league starting pitcher. On a smaller scale, the work they’ve done with Matt Gorski’s swing is allowing to continue to mash even now in Altoona.

At the end of the day, it’s about the destination, not the journey.

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Marcano 0.7 fWAR
Suwinski 0.5 fWAR
CSN 0.0 fWAR
Swaggerty -0.1 fWAR
Castro -0.2 fWAR
Castillo -0.3 fWAR
Mitchell -0.4 fWAR

These young guys probably just aren’t very good and part of the reason the Pirates aren’t any good. But, it’s part of the evaluation process.

FYI – VanMeter 0.3 fWAR


The last 2 weeks have been tough, especially after a thrilling 10 days against SDP, LAD and AZ.

We always knew this would happen but after the DBacks series with 2 against Detroit I had illusions of climbing back to .500

I’m just shocked at how bad the offense is. In March I said “ya they’ll lose 88-95 games but the offense will be solid and they’ll lose a ton of game 9-6”. Couldn’t have been more wrong. The pitching is surprisingly decent but this offense is vomit-inducing

It’s still light years more interesting than 2019-2021 and I am excited to go to the ballpark in a few hours


Patience is required regarding the Pirate rebuild, and watching the current rendition is simultaneously exciting and exasperating. A surplus of prospects is beginning to arrive in Pittsburgh, so the plan appears to be working but with some flaws.
As detailed here on numerous occasions, first base seems to be void of sufficient choices. None of the current first basemen in Pittsburgh seem to be long-term solutions. Michael Chavis may become a platoon-player or, more likely, an occasional fill-in as part of a ‘super- substitute’ role, and Mason Martin is the only oft mentioned potential ‘first baseman of the future’ though he has serious strike-out issues. Perhaps, like catcher, Cherington will solve this problem via trade, draft, or both. Aside: Playing catching prospects (i.e., Davis, Rodriguez, Guiterrez & Wilson) at other positions, including first base, is the right idea. Couldn’t players of other positions (Matt Gorski, Jarod Triolo, etc.?) also learn first base? Not providing Oneil Cruz time at first base may prove to be a major miscalculation.
It seems that too many Pirate prospects currently arriving in Pittsburgh are left-handed and opposing teams are starting left-handed pitchers against the Pirates. Every recent newly arriving outfielder hits left-handed. This will be a huge disadvantage. The future team needs to be more left-right balanced.
Ditto (i.e., left-handed, right-handed) for pitching, particularly starting pitchers.


“Patience is required regarding the Pirate rebuild.” I think that’s the Pirates marketing department annual slogan.


Time to DFA Heineman or Perez or both. Give Ritchie and Delay the spots for now…can’t be worse.


Heineman and Delay are pitcher’s Catchers – M Perez is terrible.


Growing pains are expected and even hoped for by the fans – they want to see a different product in Pittsburgh. To change the direction of this franchise we can either spend money on the FA Market, or play our young prospects. Personally, I would like to see even more prospects at the MLB level right now.

Thank you Anthony for the mention of Matt Gorski who continues to hit for average and power after his promotion to AA. 4 doubles, a triple, and 4 HR in his first 75 AB, slash of 293/377/533/910 OPS. At AA, he’s played 7 games in CF, 8 in RF, but only 4 games at 1B? The Pirates should be trying to get more PT for the 6’4″ Gorski as a RH power hitting super utility option who can play 1B/OF/DH.


Let all the kids play. What if the kids aren’t very good? I feel like for this strategy to work, you need 3-4 elite prospects, the way the Cubs and Astros had. What we’ e had is a bunch of good prospects. Hayes was supposed to be elite, but I’m not sure he’ll ever hit with enough power. Perhaps Peugero will change things. Cruz is so all over the place. And the Pirates are still showing an inability to develop at the mlb level.

I just don’t think this is going to work without supplementing for the likes of Russell Martin or AJ Burnett

Last edited 17 days ago by clemo83

I agree with you, but signing and keeping the throwaways of other teams is much, much worse than playing the prospects. We have Bryan Reynolds and KeBryan Hayes as our best, and we are not going to spend the money it takes to add two more leaders (leaders instead of elite).

The Pirates have about 15 prospects at the upper two levels who will be MLB players. I think there is reason to keep Quintana, Underwood, Vogelbach, and Chavis until the trade deadline. Newman, VanMeter, Allen, Tsutsugo, and Marisnick can be unloaded tomorrow. Diego Castillo and Hoy Park are not as good as kids we have developed.

I like Cruz up at SS, Castro up at 2B, Suwinski and Mitchell stay, Martin called up at 1B. Gorski did not show much coming out of college but he can play CF and he can hit – why wait? Another kid flying under the radar is Bligh Madris carrying a 900+ OPS at AAA.


It’s not as if the veteran players the young guys replaced were any better and prospects at least have the chance to improve.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x