Pirates Prospects Daily: Depth May Need To Show Up Sooner Than Expected

We never want to see a player get hurt, at any point in the season.

Injuries, however, are a part of this game and something that needs to be taken into account. They best way to prepare for a player missing time with an injury is to have depth in your minor league system capable of plugging in and replacing them.

It was a point of emphasis this offseason for the Pirates to better prepare for the potential rigors of an 162-games season, and something they did quite well.

While the hope is to stay healthy as long as possible, the Pirates have taken a couple of bumps over the last few days at key positions. One doesn’t seem too serious, while the other we will have to await word on.

Andrew McCutchen was hit with a pitch (although it wasn’t called that way) and immediately left the game, being replaced by Henry Davis. McCutchen was seen walking off the field in between innings with no clear indication of anything that may be of concern.

While McCutchen is expected to play a big part in the team’s lineup this year, the Pirates were already working around a pretty crowded outfield picture, so even if he was to miss some time, there’d be plenty of options to pick from.

On the other hand, anytime a pitcher leaves a game with ‘tightness’ in his throwing arm, especially in spring, it can be worrisome. Jarlin Garcia was hit hard in his relief appearance before leaving the game, allowing four hits with an exit velocity of 100 mph+ in a row.

Garcia missing any time would be significant, as he is one of two left-handed relievers on the 40-man. The other, Jose Hernandez, is a Rule 5 pick who hasn’t pitched above Double-A. 

The Pirates have several left-handed non-roster relievers in camp right now, with a wide array of skills and experience. Making that a focus in the offseason, should lighten the blow a bit if Garcia an extended period of time.

JT Brubaker Strong In Start Two

The righty gave up a hit to the first batter he faced on Sunday, but got the next nine batters out — four by strikeout. 

One of the goals for Brubaker this season was to throw the changeup more, and while he only threw it twice on Sunday, getting a swing and miss from it should help the confidence in blending it in with the rest of his pitches.

The slider picked up seven whiffs on 11 total swings (64%), with Brubaker picked up 12 swings and misses on the day.

Pirates Prospects Daily

By Tim Williams

**In his latest Pirates Business feature, Ethan Hullihen takes a look at MLB’s Economic Reform Committee.

Spring Training Recap: Pirates 5, Twins 2

Pirates DVR: Tsung-Che Cheng And Chris Owings Home Run, More Draft Prospects

**Missed yesterday? Anthony wrote about Cody Bolton’s move to the bullpen.

Song of the Day


Pirates are on the road against the New York Yankees tonight, with a 6:35 PM start time

Anthony began writing over 10 years ago, starting a personal blog to cover the 2011 MLB draft, where the Pirates selected first overall. After bouncing around many websites covering hockey, he refocused his attention to baseball, his first love when it comes to sports. He eventually found himself here at Pirates Prospects in late 2021, where he covers the team’s four full season minor league affiliates.

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Young with a long drive and a long bat toss.


Jared Jones answering questions, first two batters looked like a stud, next two a dud. Nevertheless has a good arm. And good looking pitches. Threw 4-2 seamers hi 90s, cutter, curve and I saw a change at 92 mph that was labeled a sinker


Really good interview with Clay Holmes!


The Yankees announcers are so well prepared. Compared to our color analysts who treat their gigs like PT jobs.


I can’t listen to Brown, luckily I watch MLBTV so I have the option of switching broadcasts.


Ortiz gets lit up by Yankee starters. Oviedo got lit up last week. Priester should get a couple starts in ST, just for the experience, to see his stuff too.


Oviedo’s slider got him thru 2 IP tonite. Mediocre outing.


In one of those WTF ST moments, Diego Castillo starting in CF for AZ today……


He had no future with the Pirates, and IMO, never did. That trade was one of BC’s worst.

If I am not mistaken, he started very hot with the Pirates last year until opposing pitchers caught up with him.


I would take him over Vilade, and honestly he is probably as good if not better than Owings…..last year was a weird one for him, he was knows as a contact over power guy and somehow he was the opposite last year. I think that he will find a middle ground, and if not a weak side platoon decent fielder is useful.

Last edited 22 days ago by PirateRican21

Has anyone looked at the Pirates schedule month by month? July is brutally hard. Could see them hanging around .500 due to a weaker schedule from April – June, but the wheels could come falling off right around the all star break, then comes the trade deadline. Should be interesting.


The league is playing into our hands, just when the schedule gets hard we bring up the super-2 avoidance players! (this is not a serious comment).


Two West Coast trips in a month is rough. In scanning the schedule, what I like the least is that our one 9-game road trip comes at the end of September. I don’t have illusions that we’ll be in contention, but on the slim chance that we are, that’s a heck of scheduling quirk.


Is a tough schedule, this is why I was one of the low guys in the win total, 72.


What’s your guys take on the Bucs pushing O Cruz to bat lead off?

I’m mixed on it, on one hand i like that he’ll get the most ABs of anyone that way, but his OB% isn’t his strong suit & is less than ideal for lineup construction.


I like it in tandem with the DH. That way the extended lineup gives the Bucs a chance to have an OBP guy in the 9 spot (I like Bae, Swaggerty, or even Hayes there) for him to have RBI opportunities. Kind of has a Barry Bonds 1988 feel, but I think as his career goes on he will matriculate downwards into the middle of the lineup like Bonds did.


Don’t like him at leadoff at all. Three, four or five would be fine.


Hoping is a ST thing, but don’t hated even if it isn’t.


i think they batted him lead off at the end of 22 too.


Of the 31 spring training games, 21 are against the Yankess, Blue Jays, Rays, Orioles, Phillies, and Braves, while 10 are against the Tigers, Red Sox and Twins. That is a rather tough schedule with a lot of good pitching. Through 9 games we are hitting very poorly, but at least it is against good teams, if nothing else it will give everyone a better idea about who can really hit Major League pitching.


The song choice of Barracuda by Heart is about a Record Label Executive who told someone in the media the Wilson sisters were lesbian lovers to generate interest in the group.

This song along with “Have a Cigar” by Pink Floyd are classics both centered on the deviousness of 70’s era record label executives.

So I’ll take a poll, which one do you like better 70’s rock fans? Even though I think Pink Floyd is better than Heart, I like Barracuda better. What say you?


I love the Floyd but “Have a Cigar” is not among my favorites of theirs. I’m not much of a fan of Barracuda either. My write-in vote comes from a decade later, the Smiths “Paint a Vulgar Picture”.


I’d take the crazy good voice of Ann Wilson! Go “Crazy on You”.


Lead vocalist, David Gilmour, refused to sing Have a Cigar because of the controversial lyrics. So the lead vocalist on this track isn’t even a Pink Floyd band member.


Roy Harper isn’t it? I read that Waters ended up not liking the final version.


Roger Waters unhappy? And in other news, the sun rose in the east again today.

Clearly a brilliant mind for music, but a very troubled mind, too.


Saw Gilmore solo, 1984
Syria Mosque

Wilson sisters ambushed me with that riff at age 13

Barracuda fans need to see the live tribute
Alice and Chains with Gretchen Wilson on vocals with a sprinkle of Nancy W

Seattle crew nail it


Right. As they say about some people, they’re not happy unless they’re unhappy.
Frankly that was a reason my interest in Floyd was limited. I don’t need every song to some kind of sermon on the various evils in society.

Tim Williams

I actually had “Have a Cigar” in one of my playlists yesterday.


Chicks were a novelty act back in the days of macho rock


Disrespect at your own peril the greatness of Ann & Nancy, not to mention Stevie Nicks, Pat Benetar, and the late Christy McVie, just to name a few.


Yawn. Mediocre pop and bad rock


Hey Siri, how many records has Fleetwood Mac sold? 120 million.

You may not like them, but the people have spoken otherwise.


How many records has Steely Dan sold compared to FM? Every 19 year-old woman in ’78 had a copy of Rumours. Record sales reflect teenagers bad taste.


I always liked the Peter Green version of that band the best. But then I veer more towards the Blues Rock than pop rock anyway.
It also seems that (for many bands) if they’re almost completely dependent on one person as a songwriter, that band may not last long. The pop version of FM had multiple songwriters so shortage of material never seemed like it would be an issue.


Pitching injuries are a given. Just hope it’s not the ole UCL type requiring TJ surgery.


Ditto that sentiment.


I wondered why everyone seemed to overlook DeJong and The Holderman when discussing the pen over the winter. Glad to see them both looking good in ST. De Los Santos is another sleeper to be a plus arm. Still glad we brought in a bushel of BP depth.


A lot of us were excited about Holderman when we acquired him. The time he missed due to injury may have led to a bit of “out of sight, out of mind”, plus the caution that comes with any pitcher who misses time. But he’s our best chance of having someone to pair with Bednar to close out games in the 8th and 9th.


98% of Pirate conversation during the time when Holderman was acquired focused around various forms of self-flagellation over not having enough rookies playing on any given day. Literally nothing else was discussed for months on end.

You’ll miss stuff along the way when that’s all you care about.


Anthony, love your stuff. I think I disagree with you that García missing any time is significant. He was a low-leverage mop up type on an 81 win Giant team , mostly garbage time stats. I think the two Z’s and Perdomo are just as interesting . Here is Clemens from FG on García:

“There are plenty of relievers with a similar profile, and I’ll level with you: I can’t tell you which ones will be effective next year. But 2022 brought some worrying signs for García, whose changeup dropped less and also ran less, making it eminently more hittable. Perhaps not coincidentally, he posted his worst season against righties in years. Relievers operate on fine margins; an inch here or there can be the difference between excelling and struggling.

I don’t know if García will bounce back in 2023, but it won’t cost the Pirates much to find out. ”

I was already getting Hembree vibes – and given the financial investment you know they are going to trot him out there all the time first 3 months regardless of performance


I enjoy these ‘who is going north’ articles, but in all reality, injuries, underperformance, etc, make them moot points every year.


David Bednar……………100%
Jarlin Garcia…………….100%
Wil Crowe………………..100%
Duane Underwood Jr……90%
Chase de Jong……………90%
Robert Stephenson………80%
Jose Hernandez………….70%
Yerry de los Santox……..60%
Colin Holderman………….50%
Yohan Ramirez……………40%
Dauri Moreta………………20%
Juan Minaya……………….20%
C Selby, C Smith, R Zastryzny, A Perdomo, D Zamora – 10%
N Webb, B Ogle – 5%
These were done prior to ST. Garcia now has an injury. Holderman has been a camp darling and will see in % increase soon. Bolton was included with the SPs prior to his announcement as an RP. Underwood and de Jong are close to locks. Garcia’s injury makes it easier to keep Hernandez unless he just proves he can’t do it.


Has Stephenson pitched yet in ST? Haven’t heard his name at all, but might’ve missed it. FWIW i’m in the Moreta & Minaya camps


Holderman pitched high leverage spots for Mets during playoff contention & has been flashing upper 90’s nasty stuff this spring – if he doesn’t go north it’s outrageous


It’s early but right now that includes Hernandez, too.


Why so low on Holderman?


Holderman is an easy top 5 with this bad group. If he doesnt make the team for the likes of Crowe and deJong, they are doing it wrong.

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