The Pittsburgh Pirates announced earlier that Oneil Cruz had surgery last night on his fractured ankle. He could return to big league games in four months, which will have him out through August.
The Pirates recalled infielder/outfielder Mark Mathias today to replace Cruz. While he has very little shortstop experience, he can cover multiple positions. His main spot is second base, which will needed with both Rodolfo Castro and Ji-hwan Bae likely to cover the shortstop position (for now) while Cruz is out. Mathias has performed well at the plate during his big league time.
**Tim Williams took a deep look today at how the Pirates could replace Oneil Cruz. He also has some notes/thoughts on some other prospects in his daily column.
**As for other news today, Major League Baseball announced that outfielder Bryan Reynolds has been named as the National League Player of the Week.
Reynolds hit .480/.464/1.120 in 28 plate appearances last week.
That same link for Reynolds brings you to the announcement from Minor League Baseball that Tucupita Marcano has been named as the International League Player of the Week.
Marcano batted .526/.550/1.053 in 20 plate appearances last week.
**From earlier today, our P2Daily looked at the pitching performances across the minor league system during this past week.
**Our Monday recap of the top college/high school draft eligible players continues this week with Jacob Gonzalez making some noise. He’s had two nice weeks in a row after a slow start.
Updates for Dylan Crews, Paul Skenes, Chase Dollander, Wyatt Langford, Max Clark, Walker Jenkins and an injury update on Jacob Wilson can also be found in that link.
The draft is just over three months away, but most of these players are at least halfway into their regular season.
PIRATES VS ASTROS
The Pittsburgh Pirates (6-3) welcome the World Series champs to PNC Park, as they take on the Houston Astros (4-6) for three games. Tonight’s first pitch is at 6:35 PM.
Today’s starting pitchers are Roansy Contreras (1-0, 1.59) for the Pirates, and Framber Valdez (0-1, 1.50) for the Astros.
It's Roansy Day!
📺 AT&T SportsNet
📻 93.7 The Fan | The PRN#LetsGoBucs pic.twitter.com/NsAB2eGWZy
— Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) April 10, 2023
Framchise on the mound.
🕠: 5:35 PM
📻: @SportsTalk790 | Spanish: 93.3 FM pic.twitter.com/kjQy5VG4fq
— Houston Astros (@astros) April 10, 2023
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.
Nice little play by Castro to get the DP. Hernandez got some education tonight.
I think we saw that inning, the kind of defense we can expect from the keystone combination of Castro to Mathias. I haven’t seen Marcano at SS, but he came from San Diego with a reputation for a shortstop caliber glove.
Marcano is our best upper level middle infielder, it would be nice if Bae could play SS.
Bae’s arm was not impressive in CF, I haven’t seen him much at shortstop, but I would want to see how his arm plays there before I would say he can be a good fielding shortstop.
Since when do managers hang young starters out to dry like this? Give me a break. Why bring him back out for the 4th?
Down 5-1 to a very tough pitcher, every bullpen arm but Crowe threw either Sat or Sun, if Roansy is going to be a starter I don’t think it is to much to ask him to try to go 4 innings until he gets to 90 pitches. The main issue here is that Roansy didn’t bring his A game today.
Not good to let young starters get rocked inning after inning. Three times and you’re out. That’s the name of the game. Good managers know it, bums try to squeeze another inning out of their good, young pitchers for no reason at all.
When he left that lefty last year, I think it was Aldred, to throw 50 pitches in one inning, that was borderline criminal. Getting 90 pitches or more out of a struggling starter to save the pen, done by every manager.
No, you shouldn’t do that in April with a young starter. We got guys in the minors if that bullpen gets worn down. At the moment the Pirates have three starters. Don’t be cavalier with young arms. It’s a long season.
You know better than all those managers, got it!
Can’t expect the bullpen to go 7 innings every other game
Bucs look flat tonight, gut punch yesterday with Cruz going down , then Ben kicks them in the balls with his Mathias promotion.
Who would you have promoted?
Nicky sticks, swag, and Endy and Ortiz. Cut/dfa ,Hill open wide an eat 8 million, suwinski demote, pick any catcher, Cruz to 60 IL
You moron, you imbecile. Clearly Tucupito Marcana is the kind of dynamic world class talent to rally this club to emotional victory.
Lmao. Tuco is last year Madris
Hey tucupito hitting so fan graphs must like him now and have stats to prove it. Lol.
Time to bring back the fastball academy.
He surely needs better command than control than tonight, but a rework of his fastball would also be very beneficial as it is certainly not playing very well right now
Once it went from 95-97 to below 95 it has been a bad pitch. I’ve been saying reliever for a while now, but I want to be wrong.
Time to pull Roansy before he hurts himself, UGG.
According to Gameday Roansy was throwing fastballs at 94, and Valdez at 96, maybe for whatever reason the ball wasn’t flying today off the mound. Doesn’t seem unreasonable. Roansy threw 83 pitches, also doesn’t seem unreasonable. His command was terrible, for whatever reason.
This is seriously irresponsible.
Average fastball is now under 94mph for the first game in his career.
It averaged 97mph through his first two months last year.
Really not a guy you want to leave in the hands of a mind-numbingly incompetent manager like Shelton.
Half the time when somebody gets beat like this the next day, they tell you he was feeling something in his forearm, then…
Get that nonsense out of here! (Also I really hope not)
Good morning good afternoon goodnight, thata boy Mathias.
sources saying Cherrington in talks to bring Jung Ho Kang back to the pirates
Atta boy choi!
Bad Ro today.
Location, location, location. Contreras has none tonight.
His breaking pitches are not good tonight.
Swags baskets catches that ball.
A faster CF catches that ground rule double.
Roansy I think was behind in the count on every batter. Fortunate to get out with just one run.. Now he needs to settle in some.
Roansy velocity and command not terribly good that first half…
92-94 Ro is not as comfortable for me as 94-95 Ro
Mathias might be nothing, but hes interesting to me in a way that guys like vanmeter, owings, marisnick, etc. were definitely not
Happy Ro Day Y’all!
Mathias with a couple extra base hits tonight, probably drives in the go ahead runs and Pirates win
I’ll go with that!
Wonder if Dusty will have his pitchers throw a Cutch a time or two this series just for old time sake ?
ShortStop Fielding Percentages
Newman (Majors) .977
Cruz (Majors) .955
Marcano (Minors) .944
Pegeuro (Minors) .931
Castro (Minors) .917
Bae (Minors) .913
Mathias (Minors) .913
Prepare for turbulence
Fielding percentage usually improves in the majors because everything is better, plus the scorers treat them with kid gloves. Anything that is hard is a hit. Minor leagues play on worse fields, with worse lighting and worse players around them. Cruz had a .926 fielding percentage in the minors at shortstop. Mathias hasn’t played there in three years, so he’s probably not playing there for the Pirates, at least not in an important spot.
Newman’s minor league percent was .978. Cruz’s minor was higher than I thought, as per the elements you listed, as well as Cruz’s learning shortstop while 6’7″ and with an erratic arm. .917 and .913 are just not very good minor league numbers.
Cruz was mostly playing at the upper level because he switched over to third base for a time. When he played shortstop at the lower levels, he didn’t reach .920 in any season. Bae played a lot in the lower levels and not much since. Obviously the higher up you go, the better the stadiums/lights/fields/players.
Castro had a .973% at shortstop in Indianapolis last year compared to .918 for Cruz.
Mathias hasn’t played there since 2019, and even then was spot starts. If he plays for the Pirates it will be as a fill-in late in a one-sided game.
The Newman example is why I said usually. Trust me, if you look at numbers, you’ll see a pattern
If Mathias is having to play SS, there will be a catastrophic number of players placed on the IL for he Bucs.
I’m really looking forward to this pitching matchup tonight. Especially interested to see how the team looks tonight after hearing Cruz is gone for 4 months.
Lets Go Bucs!
It took 9 games, but Ben has found his new van meter, 250 ab’s for Mathias is a sure thing. So much talent in AAA and they promote a 28 yr old AAAA player. Que the trombone music.
That’s the next Justin Turner you’re disparaging, buster!
Maybe Lana turner? Huba-huba
Never disparage Lana Turner! Meow!
Why, lose second best position player and literally did nothing. The division is weak all prospect on deck. But nope same old pirates.
You deserve a downvote for labeling Mathias as a failure before he’s even had one single solitary AB with Pittsburgh AND he has a 130+ WRC+ in his limited MLB career.
Nope, Ben a failure for not learning anything from last year.
Nah probably wants marcano who has had one hot week at AAA and proved to be extremely overmatched in the majors last year
Nope I want real prospects.