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Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Prospect Watch: Endy Rodriguez and Tsung-Che Cheng Stay Hot; Termarr Johnson is Heating Up

We are into the final month of the minor league season, as all four clubs wrap up this month. Regular season ends on the 11th for Bradenton and Greensboro, the 18th for Altoona and the 28th for Indianapolis. Altoona had Luis Ortiz scheduled to go today, but he has been promoted to Indianapolis. Mike Burrows was placed on the injured list, so Ortiz seems to be taking his place. I wouldn’t be surprised if Burrows isn’t hurt. I have no actual knowledge of whether he is or not, but he’s already thrown 29.1 more innings than last year, including his time in the Arizona Fall League


Prospect Watch: Strong Starts from Nick Garcia and Anthony Solometo


Game Time: 6:35 PM

Box Score: LINK

Starting Pitcher: Austin Brice (3-3, 4.30)

  • Final Line:  1.1 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 SO

Notable Performances:

Diego Castillo 1-for-4

Travis Swaggerty 1-for-3, RBI, 2 BB

Bligh Madris 2-for-5, 2 2B, SB

Blake Sabol 1-for-4

Game Recap:

Indianapolis wasted a ton of scoring chances, but they still pulled out a 3-2 victory. They went 3-for-16 with runners in scoring position and ended up getting one of their runs due to an error. Drew Maggi had an RBI double for the first run and Travis Swaggerty singled in the second run. The Indians had 15 runners in the game on hits/walks/HBP, and that included four doubles. Bligh Madris hit two doubles and stole a base. The bullpen won this game. Starter Austin Brice recorded four outs and allowed two runs. Cam Alldred, Nick Mears, Cam Vieaux and Eric Hanhold combined for 7.2 no-hit innings to win the game. Mears and Vieaux each retired all six batters they faced.


Game Time: 6:00 PM

Box Score: LINK

Starting Pitcher: Jeffrey Passantino (3-2, 4.50)

  • Final Line: 3.2 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 2 SO

Notable Performances:

Liover Peguero 0-for-4, RBI, BB 2 Runs

Nick Gonzales 3-for-5, 2B, RBI

Endy Rodriguez 2-for-3, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 2 BB

Henry Davis 0-for-2, RBI, 3 BB, SB

Connor Scott 0-for-4, RBI, BB, SB

Matt Fraizer 1-for-5, SB

Game Recap:

Altoona bats were on fire on Thursday night, leading to a 13-7 win. Endy Rodriguez led the way with a pair of homers and two walks, leading to three runs and three RBIs. He has seven homers and a 1.240 OPS for Altoona. Nick Gonzales had three hits, including his 15th double. He also had a pair of runs and one RBI. The Curve had the odd stat line of zero hits from Liover Peguero, Henry Davis and Connor Scott, but they all had at least one run and one RBI. Davis walked three times and stole his first base. Scott stole his ninth base and Matt Fraizer had his 16th steal. Aaron Shackelford hit his 22nd double and he drove in three runs. The pitching side saw 2+ innings and two earned runs by Jeffrey Passantino, Matt Eckelman (Altoona debut this year) and Brad Case. Austin Roberts threw a scoreless ninth.


Game Time: 6:30 PM

Box Score: LINK

Starting Pitcher: Ricky DeVito (3-4, 4.71)

  • Final Line:  4 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 8 SO

Notable Performances:

Abrahan Gutierrez 1-for-3, BB

Hudson Head 0-for-4

Jase Bowen 1-for-3, SB

Sammy Siani 0-for-3

Game Recap:

Greensboro had a rough game I’m sure they want to forget about. The dropped an 8-0 decision and the offense had four singles, a walk and 14 strikeouts. The one highlight of the game was the total of eight strikeouts by starter Ricky DeVito, though he took the loss by allowed two runs in four innings. Jack Carey and Santiago Florez each allowed three runs. Michell Miliano struck out three in the ninth. Abrahan Gutierrez had a single and the only walk. Everyone joined in the strikeout party.


Game Time: 6:30 PM

Box Score: LINK

Starting Pitcher: Carlos Jimenez (1-7, 3.78)

  • Final Line: 0.2 IP, 2 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 1 SO

Notable Performances:

Tsung-Che Cheng 2-for-4, 2 RBI, BB

Matt Gorski 0-for-3, BB

Juan Jerez 1-for-5, HR, RBI

Jack Brannigan 1-for-5

Termarr Johnson 2-for-3, 2B, 2 BB

Sergio Campana 2-for-3, HR, RBI, BB

Game Recap:

Bradenton trailed 6-1 after four innings and ended up winning 8-7. Starter Carlos Jimenez reached his single inning pitch limit in the first and Luigi Hernandez ended up allowing three runs in 3.1 innings. Wilkin Ramos had a solid outing, giving up one run in three innings, with five strikeouts. Bradenton scored their first run on a Sergio Campana homer when they were already down 5-0. Tsung-Che Cheng continued his hot streak with an RBI single in the fifth. Cheng and Jasiah Dixon walked with the bases loaded in the sixth. Juan Jerez homered to make it 7-5. Dixon drew another bases loaded walk for the sixth run. Wyatt Hendrie hit a two-run walk-off homer in the ninth. Termarr Johnson reached base four times for the second straight day. Matt Gorski went 0-for-3 in his second rehab game.

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John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.

When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.


Pirates Prospects has been independently owned and operated since 2009, entirely due to the support of our readers. The site is now completely free, funded entirely by user support. By supporting the site, you are supporting independent writers, one of the best Pittsburgh Pirates communities online, and our mission for the most complete Pirates coverage available.

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When did Altoona starter playing their games in Greensboro?


Johnson is really playing well now and has completely eased my nerves. And Endy has been beyond incredible. What a player he is becoming. Wow!

Last edited 3 months ago by gosteelers69

Johnson has played so little it’s never a good idea to get too high or low. A couple of huge games and he looks great; a couple bad ones and he looks awesome. That comment aside, I have big hopes for his bat.

Wilbur Miller

Nick G’s OPS is edging up toward .800, which is another good development.


I should have brought that up as well. I’ve been pretty brutal of late about these prospects, but we are really getting some good news now. This helps to keep me away from the ledge … lol. And thanks for all of your coverage, Wilbur! Always appreciate your work.


Not sure we are living in “End” times, but I’m 100% sure we are most certainly living in “Endy” times!

Wilbur Miller

Looks like Akron has had enough of Endy.


termarr with another double!!

Wilbur Miller

Suddenly his OPS is .961. Feeling better now!


Which is about 300 points higher than Holliday’s in A ball 😉

Wilbur Miller

Haha. Most of the FCL games I saw Termarr play were against the O’s, with Holliday. It wasn’t comforting. Good to see Termarr getting acclimated.

I will say, he never exactly looked bad. There was some hard contact that didn’t produce anything. For instance, I’ve seen him hit three drives to the fence in left.

He’s also looked good defensively. I’m skeptical about SS, but not 2B. He turned a very nice 4-3 DP on a shot up the middle a couple days ago.


Yeah the defense sounded better than expected so far.

Wilbur Miller

I think Endy’s determined to reach Pgh this month.

Wilbur Miller

Well now he’s just showing off.


Even if they don’t announce it today, we may get some clues from guys not in Indy’s lineup tonight.


Hoping burrows isnt actually hurt! Will be interested to hear anything further info there


DeVito is gonna dominate today!

Tim Williams

Hoping to see that splitter out of the pen in Pittsburgh someday!


Shouldn’t the announcement of the two players that they’re bringing up been made by now? Hopefully 3 when they DFA JVM?


Well, then, what else do they have to do then? 🙂


I was joking, John. 🙂


Got it!

Wilbur Miller

I have no idea whether that’s correct, but it makes sense. The union agreed to give up service time by cutting the roster limit to 28, so it’d make sense for them to insist that teams actually fill the 28 spots every possible day. Whether that’s what they actually did, I don’t know.

Wilbur Miller

It’s MLB’s SOP. Take a baseball problem and use it as an excuse for cost-cutting. There were a lot of complaints about delays from teams using legions of players in one game. So, fine, use a daily active roster restricted to 20 or 22 or whatever. But, no, that wouldn’t cut the expense of having the extra players on the 40-man, both from direct salary and service time. I’m sure it was only objections from the baseball staffs that stopped them from pushing no Sept. callups at all.

There’s a legit reason for expanded rosters. The season’s too long. Everybody’s dinged up at best and a lot of guys are genuinely hurt. MLB obviously recognized that by running the AAA season to the end of Sept., to provide a sort of taxi squad . . . without getting service time, of course. Pitching staffs by this time are often in a shambles, aggravated by deadline deals in which the crappy teams unload veterans. We’ve already seen that — the Pirates traded Q, leaving them with Beede. He’s been a disaster, both in the W/L sense and in further stressing their lousy bullpen.

Plus, a lot of guys on the crappy teams, like the Pirates, are just playing out the string. We saw that clearly with Hurdle’s last team. Even if a guy like, say, Gamel or Newman is still playing hard, what’s the point of them playing every single day? Especially considering that Gamel will be a FA and Newman will be arb2, which Bobbo ain’t payin’. Do we need them to make a big run at 60.2 wins instead of just 60?

Last edited 3 months ago by Wilbur Miller

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