Sunday afternoon action around the system saw Termarr Johnson play in the field for the first time this season. JP Massey had a terrific start. He received a lot of praise during this Spring Training. Both Henry Davis and Jase Bowen hit two homers. Each reached base four times. Luis Ortiz had a very odd start for him.
Prospect Watch: Javier Rivas Goes Deep, Indy and Greensboro Get Shelled
TRIPLE-A: INDIANAPOLIS INDIANS
INDIANAPOLIS @ MEMPHIS
Final Score: Indianapolis 6, Memphis 4
Indianapolis Starter: Luis Ortiz (0-1, 2.08)
Pitching Line: 6 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 SO
- Cal Mitchell 1-for-5
- Malcom Nunez 1-for-4
Indianapolis faced off against top 100 prospect Matthew Liberatore on Sunday. They got the best of him with one of their top pitching prospects on the mound. Luis Ortiz allowed two runs on three hits and a walk in six innings. He had an efficient night on 76 pitches, with 48 going for strikes, but he had just five swinging strikes all game. That led to an odd stat for him this month.
Ortiz struck out 13 batters over 8.2 innings in his first three starts. He has a total of three strikeouts over 11 innings in his last two starts. He’s never had three strikeouts total in back-to-back starts, even dating back to his earlier seasons with lower pitch counts and some quick exits. Despite that fact, he has given up two runs over these last two games.
Daniel Zamora and Cody Bolton threw scoreless innings. Colin Selby made things interesting in the ninth by allowing two runs. Liberatore allowed three runs in five innings, as Indianapolis won 6-4.
Grant Koch drove in the first two runs for Indianapolis, one on a sacrifice fly, and another on a solo homer. Ryan Vilade had an RBI ground out. Miguel Andujar had a two-run single. He stole two bases. Josh Bissonette tripled in a run. He had three hits.
DOUBLE-A: ALTOONA CURVE
ALTOONA VS BOWIE
Final Score: Altoona 5, Bowie 4
Altoona Starter: Aaron Shortridge (1-1, 8.00)
Pitching Line: 6 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 2 SO
- Henry Davis 3-for-3, 2 HR, 3 RBI, BB
- Liover Peguero 1-for-3, BB, SB
- Matt Gorski 0-for-4
- Matt Fraizer 1-for-4
- Connor Scott 1-for-4
Aaron Shortridge wasn’t dominating on Sunday, but he managed to put in a quality start, despite a shaky beginning. He gave up two runs over six innings, with both scoring in the first. One was unearned. He finished with four hits, three walks and two strikeouts. He threw 50 of 79 pitches for strikes.
Nick Dombkowski threw a scoreless seventh. Noe Toribio allowed two runs in the eighth to tie the score, then Tahnaj Thomas got the win with 1.1 scoreless.
Henry Davis homered twice to give him four on the season. He also singled and walked in his other two plate appearances. He didn’t catch the ninth of a close game, so that might be something to watch. He was hit in the helmet by a backswing in the eighth, but seemed okay right after and stayed in the game for one more pitch, which ended the inning.
Lolo Sanchez hit a homer and drove in two runs, including the game winning sacrifice fly in the ninth. Liover Peguero stole his fifth base.
HIGH-A: GREENSBORO GRASSHOPPERS
GREENSBORO VS GREENVILLE
Final Score: Greensboro 4, Greenville 1
Greensboro Starter: Po-Yu Chen (0-1, 7.27)
Pitching Line: 5 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 SO
- Tsung-Che Cheng 0-for-4
- Jase Bowen 3-for-4, 2B, 2 HR, 2 RBI, SB
- Hudson Head 1-for-3, BB, SB
- Maikol Escotto 1-for-4, SB
Po-Yu Chen had a 7.27 ERA through two starts. He did a great job of lowering that number on Sunday. He allowed one run on two hits over five innings, with no walks and six strikeouts. He was filling the strike zone in this game, with 45 strikeout on 58 pitches.
Mitchell Miller took over in the sixth and threw a shutout inning. Will Kobos came out for the seventh and kept them off the board. Santiago Florez and Eddy Yean handled the final two frames for the 4-1 win. The bullpen threw four no-hit innings, while facing one over the minimum. Yean picked up his third save.
Jase Bowen had himself a day. He homered twice, giving him five on the season. He also hit his third double and stole his fourth base. He now has a 1.117 OPS. The other two Greensboro runs scored on errors. The rest of the team went 4-for-28, with four singles and two walks.
LOW-A: BRADENTON MARAUDERS
BRADENTON VS DAYTONA
Final Score: Bradenton 9, Daytona 1
Bradenton Starter: JP Massey (0-1, 6.75)
Pitching Line: 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 7 SO
- Jesus Castillo 0-for-3, 2 BB
- Termarr Johnson 1-for-3, 2 RBI, BB
- Enmanuel Terrero 1-for-4, 2B, BB
- Javier Rivas 2-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI, BB
- Jauri Custodio 2-for-5, 2B, RBI
JP Massey was hurt by control issues in his first two outings this season. That wasn’t an issue on Sunday, as he tossed five shutout innings on two hits, one walk and seven strikeouts. He threw 47 of 71 pitches for strikes. He had a 6.75 ERA in his 6.2 innings prior to Sunday, though that number came with 11 strikeouts.
Carlos Lomeli took over in the sixth and allowed one run over two innings. Darvin Garcia and Elijah Birdsong each tossed a scoreless frame to finish out the 9-1 victory. The four pitchers combined for 15 strikeouts.
The Marauders got a run in the first on a Javier Rivas single. They scored single runs in the third on an Alexander Mojica single and a Jauri Custodio double.
A bases loaded walk to Deivis Nadal made it 4-0. Termarr Johnson connected on a two-run single, then Nadal stole home. Rivas doubled in a run in the eighth, then the final run scored on a balk.
Johnson played his second game since returning. He was a DH in the first game, had off yesterday, then played second base today for seven innings. That’s a typical progression back to regular work during a rehab stint. Since he’s at the lowest level of the minors, he’s doing his “rehab” work with Bradenton, where they will keep him for now.
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.
Greensboro arms held Marcello Mayer homerless across their home series, so there’s that.
Still very early, but could this be the sign of a phase transition in Ortiz’s development 🤷🏻♂️
He seems to be only one who hasn’t been put on the just-throw-sliders plan, oddly.
Velo is comfortably down to ticks from last year though…
Meaning not needing to strike everyone out or? The results are good but would love some better K numbers
Efficiency, establishing confidence without having to strike everyone out.
Wondered why Henry Davis out and Dylan Shockley in for the ninth inning. Dylan is a superlative defensive catcher but I didn’t think they would lift Davis for defensive purposes. Henry came by the first base bleachers on his way to the bullpen and I saw one of the bullpen pitchers talk to him briefly and tap him gently on his helmet. From a fan’s perspective Davis seemed alert and physically fine.
In football, a potentially concussed player can be taken out for a few plays to be tested and put back in afterward, but baseball doesn’t afford that luxury. If you leave the game, you’re gone.
With just one inning left to play, they may have just been exhibiting extra precaution.
How long until Tahnaj Thomas moves up to aaa?