The Pirates got some early offense and beat Tampa Bay at LECOM Park, 6-2. It’s the first time this spring they’ve won two straight.
(NOTE: I’m mostly going to be unavailable for a couple of weeks, so there may not be many more recaps, at least from me.)
What little offense the Pirates have had this spring has mostly come from the late-inning substitutes, so today was something new. Ji-Man Choi launched his first Pirate home run, Canaan Smith-Njigba hit his second of the spring, and Ji-Hwan Bae doubled in a run. The Pirates got five in the first three innings. There was nothing after that except for a massive blast by Mason Martin over the batter’s eye in center, which I don’t think I’ve ever seen before.
The job competitions seem to be down to Connor Joe, Smith-Njigba and Travis Swaggerty for one or two outfield bench spots, and Bae and Rodolfo Castro for second. Smith-Njigba, Joe and Castro each went 1-for-3 today, Bae 1-for-2. Bae also got hit by a pitch, as the Pirates managed to amass four of those without Henry Davis even playing. Swaggerty didn’t play in this one.
Nick Gonzales got a hit late and is batting .409. The fact that he hasn’t been reassigned yet may show the Pirates like what they’re seeing and want to keep an eye on things.
The surprise starter, Osvaldo Bido, put up two scoreless and hitless innings, walking one and striking out four. I don’t totally trust gameday’s pitch IDs, but Bido seems to have thrown some assortment of fastballs, sinkers and sliders/cutters, with the harder stuff around 94-95 mph. Chase De Jong had an easy inning after Bido, fanning two as the Pirates struck out 15 total.
The bullpen situation seems to get more confusing rather than less. Angel Perdomo alternates between frustrating and promising. He struck out the side in his inning, except he served up a gopher ball, so he’s fanned six of the last seven hitters he’s faced, but still allowed a run. Yerry De Los Santos, on the other hand, just hasn’t looked good. He gave up a longball for the other run and his velocity is still down.
Meanwhile, Dauri Moreta threw one inning, fanning two, and has yet to be scored upon this spring. Lefty Daniel Zamora had a perfect inning, throwing sliders on nine of 14 pitches. Cody Bolton put up two perfect innings, throwing 19 of 26 pitches for strikes. All these guys are probably in the running.
Having followed the Pirates fanatically since 1965, Wilbur Miller is one of the fast-dwindling number of fans who’ve actually seen good Pirate teams. He’s even seen Hall-of-Fame Pirates who didn’t get traded mid-career, if you can imagine such a thing. His first in-person game was a 5-4, 11-inning win at Forbes Field over Milwaukee (no, not that one). He’s been writing about the Pirates at various locations online for over 20 years. It has its frustrations, but it’s certainly more cathartic than writing legal stuff. Wilbur is retired and now lives in Bradenton with his wife and three temperamental cats.
Very impressed with Dauri Moreta – his FB approaching mid-90’s and straight change around 83 keeps batters guessing. If I had to go with a second lefty, Perdomo certainly is interesting especially with the 9 K’s in 6 IP. How far away are Dombkowski? Ogle? Samaniego? Other’s?
Thank you. Appreciated your honest, well informed, and straightforward approach to reporting about this Pirate team in 2023 ST. Look forward to your return.
In draft prospect news:
Stock Up – Paul Skenes opens SEC play by pitching 6.1 innings of scoreless ball with 11 SO and 0 BB vs Texas A& M. His Manager says he believes he could do it vs a major league lineup.
Stock Down – Chase Dollander gets rocked for 6 ER in his SEC season debut in a loss vs Missouri.
Stock Level – Dylan Crews goes 2-3 with two walks and a double vs Texas A&M to open his SEC schedule.
At this very early point in the season, it appears to be a competition between the two LSU stars to see who will be selected 1st overall by Pirates this summer.
Skenes is 6’6″ 235, and will not turn 21 until late May. His background playing at El Toro HS, and pitching 2 years for the Air Force Academy are both definite plusses. At Air Force he pitched 33 games, caught 30 games, and had a few games played at 1B, LF.
So far in 2023 at LSU, 5-0, 0.59 ERA, 17.5/1.2 K/BB/9.
I think his Catching career has come to an end!!!!!
After watching Shelton for two years, are you sure about that?
When does DS actually start playing the regulars all together and on back to back days?
What more does TSwag need to do to earn a spot on the OD roster? I suppose the same can be said for CSN. If it’s a true competition, than those two are leaving Jack in the dust.
Zamora making a good case for himself
Canaan is hitting the crap out of the ball
I am having a hard time understand how Suwinski was such a highly rated prospect that he skipped AAA and the team refuses to send him down
They’ve featured him in all the advertising, have to keep him up! Marketing department making roster decisions!
I hope everything is OK
Well, I’m going to Hawaii, so pretty much, yes.
If you’re going to Maui, the pro move is to go watch the sunrise on top of Mt. Haleakala the first morning after arriving.
And if you’re going to Honolulu, make sure and treat yourself to a malasada at Leonard’s. It’s a Portuguese breakfast pastry that is simply incredible!
Hope you have a great trip WM!
Leonard’s is like going to Primanti’s or Wholey’s when in Pittsburgh – a must. Spent a few weeks at Hale Koa on Waikiki in November. Our first trip to Leonard’s we decided to walk. Thereafter, we found that the public transportation system was very efficient, cost effective, and a much better option.
Summer of ‘19 we took a 7 day cruise to all the main islands. We started in Honolulu and took a cab to Leonard’s from our hotel near the port. The time, money, and calories were so worth it though! Yummy!
When my dad and stepmother went to Hawaii years ago they had everything so scheduled out that they didn’t end up enjoying it as much as they should have and were glad to be home after. Hopefully you planned a little bit of do-nothing time.
The way to travel is to plan 1-2 activities a day to get you place of interest within a city or a region and let serendipity do the rest.
Yep. When you’re visiting some place new, this is how you just soak it up.
Before you leave Wilbur, how about an over/under on K’s for Hunter Green on opening day for the Reds.