The Pirates didn’t have a Spring Training game on Sunday, but they did have a scrimmage of sorts at LECOM Park.
Maybe the most notable clip or anything to come out of was the two point of views to come out of a matchup between Mike Burrows and Nick Gonzales.
Mike Burrows vs. Nick Gonzales. Pretty sure the second pitch is that new slider. And a reminder that the curve is a weapon too. pic.twitter.com/vuRQKNPAID
— Alex Stumpf (@AlexJStumpf) February 26, 2023
Burrows has one of the best curveballs in the system, and Gonzales has struggled with breaking pitches throughout his pro career.
So, the matchup went almost exactly how you would have expected. Burrows finished off Gonzales with the curveball to get the strikeout.
The Pirates’ 2020 first round pick had two at-bats in Saturday’s Spring Training opener, striking out both times. He had two at-bats on Sunday, according to Jason Mackey, and also struck out twice.
Here’s how today’s sim game looked: Burrows, Priester, Holderman and Selby combined for four innings of no-hit ball, one walk and five strikeouts. Alvarez, Maggi and Gonzales with solid defensive plays. Triolo may have been a double or a single and second on the throw. pic.twitter.com/e5ockVpxSg
— Jason Mackey (@JMackeyPG) February 26, 2023
Not the best of starts.
Versatile Endy Rodriguez On Display Once Again
There are so many reasons to like Endy Rodriguez as a prospect. He plays great defense, has hit at every level he’s played, and is incredibly versatile in the field — something we know the Pirates look for.
Since he’s been in the Pirates system, not only has he caught, but also played in left field, second base and first base. He had very limited time at the latter in 2022.
While his path to the majors, at least this season, may be at his natural position of catcher, the Pirates are certainly going to want him to prepare to be usual versatile self, as he was taking some reps at first base again over the weekend.
Endy Rodriguez was playing first base with Carlos Santana and Ji-Man Choi during infield drills Sunday morning at LECOM Park. pic.twitter.com/13AEhtFp6i
— Kevin Gorman (@KevinGormanPGH) February 26, 2023
One of the biggest focuses for the Pirates this offseason was to address the first base position, adding Ji-Man Choi and Carlos Santana to the fold. So while it may not be an immediate need for him this year, the Pirates could use the position as almost a secondary DH spot in the lineup with so many players coming up able to play there.
Both Choi and Santana will be free agents after the season, so there’s a chance both are moved by the trade deadline, opening up a spot that Rodriguez, and others, could fill.
Yerry De Los Santos New Pitch
This past week I talked about the sinker/slider combination from Yerry De Los Santos and how the two pitches worked off of each other. He’s added another pitch to the mix, tossing in a changeup as well.
While pitching out of the bullpen he won’t need to use it too much, the threat of it may mess with hitters timing. Any advantage you can take, you take.
Pirates Prospects Daily
By Tim Williams
**If you’re wondering what is happening with the MLB Regional Sports Networks, including AT&T Sportsnet, Ethan Hullihen has an amazingly thorough breakdown of the entire situation. Take some time today to read through all of this, or just the part where Ethan looks at what it could mean for the Pirates.
**In the latest Pirates DVR, I look at the real value of Austin Hedges’ veteran presence, on display in a video with Henry Davis and Kevin Plawecki.
**Missed yesterday? Anthony broke down Mitch Keller’s debut from the Spring Training opener.
Song of the Day
The Pirates are home today against the Philadelphia Phillies. 1:05 PM start. Game is televised.
Some Bru in the Florida sunshine. pic.twitter.com/IaR3GKj2xd
— Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) February 27, 2023
The rest of the pitchers scheduled for today are: Wil Crowe, Yohan Ramirez, Kyle Nicolas, Carmen Mlodzinski, Jose Hernandez, Wei-Chieh Huang, Tyler Chatwood and Angel Perdomo.