The Pirates Are Playing Better Than They’ve Played in Years

Thank you to everyone for hanging out in the live thread throughout yesterday’s games, and this week as I’ve tried a new format for these daily discussions. I have some further plans to develop this article throughout the year to make it something truly unique to the site and to the name of the article.

For now, P2Live serves as a nice spot to provide my additional daily thoughts throughout the system. Feel free to add your own in the comments below, and check back during game time.

Mitch Keller takes the mound tonight, hoping to extend the Pirates’ winning streak to five games. If that happens, it will be the first five-game winning streak since 2019. I can’t think of a better person to get them there than the guy who is emerging as their ace.

If you missed it today, Anthony Murphy looks at how pitching has been the strength of the system, fueled by ten consecutive quality starts. That is the best stretch the Pirates have seen since June 7-19, 2015.

Pirates Prospects Daily: Pitching Continues To Be Strength Of the System

Ryan Palencer wrote about the offseason work from Tucupita Marcano, and how that is paying off with an early promotion to Pittsburgh.

Tucupita Marcano’s offseason work led to an early promotion to Pittsburgh


Game Time: 6:35 PM EST
Pirates Starter: Mitch Keller (1-0, 3.80)
Reds Starter: Graham Ashcraft (2-0, 1.42)
Pirates Lineups:


Reds Lineups:



Game Time: 8:05 PM EST
Projected Starter: TBA

Nick Gonzales has been seeing a lot of errors while playing around the infield in Triple-A. Already this year, he’s made seven starts at third base and three starts at shortstop. He has three errors at third and two errors at short. In his six starts at second, he has yet to make an error. This is one of those cases where minor league development gets ugly when you get down to the daily work. Realistically, the Pirates don’t need Gonzales anywhere else than second. That said, there might be a benefit to having him working at other positions — either for added versatility in the future, or for a chance to work on a different mindset approach. We’ll see how this impacts him in the long-run. Also, hopefully nothing is serious with Endy Rodriguez.


Game Time: 6:00 PM EST
Projected Starter: Sean Sullivan (0-0, 0.00)

Sean Sullivan has made one appearance so far this season. He went 2.1 scoreless innings, striking out three. Cody Potanko wrote about Sullivan recently at Pittsburgh Baseball Now, after talking with him in Altoona.


Game Time: 6:30 PM EST
Projected Starter: TBA

Greensboro had a lot going on in their 16-6 victory over Greenville last night. Bubba Chandler gave up two earned runs in five innings. Tsung-Che Cheng went 2-for-4 with a walk and two stolen bases. Jase Bowen picked up six hits. Sammy Siani had three hits and two doubles. I mention the hitter-friendly home park, and that’s only to keep in perspective the inflated numbers. You still need hitters to hit. The Pirates have a few interesting guys at this level who could get a confidence boost from that home ballpark.


Game Time: 6:30 PM EST
Projected Starter: TBA

The Marauders are on a roll, winning six straight. They had two solid pitching performances last night from guys who have otherwise struggled this year. Alessandro Ercolani made his second start, giving up a hit and walking four in four shutout innings. He also struck out four. Joshua Loeschorn, who was drafted in the 20th round last year out of Long Island, went three shutout innings with four strikeouts and only one hit allowed.

Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.

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Last time the Bucs started 14-7……1992……had to be that year……salt back in the wounds….. still remember distinctly being in bed. Wife was asleep cause she was scheduled to work in the morning. Woke her up cause I could not believe Bonds threw up the 1st base line and Spanky could not get back to the plate to get Sid and his freakin brace before he lumbered to the plate……..


I had ordered my WS tickets and had them in the house when all hell broke loose. I was so upset that I was jumping around screaming curses at the top of my lungs. My not-a-sports-fan gf just started laughing at me. I asked her to leave.


My wife asked what happened. Responded with something like it figures and rolled back over. Will never ever forget that night…..
That said, to this day I have all the respect in the world for Sid. I also remember sitting up a bit from home plate when he was still a Buc. Sid was on the IL at the time and ended up sitting right behind me. He signed a ton of autographs for kids. One kid came up to him and was telling Sid how much fun he had at spring training and saw Sid there. Sid acted like the were long time friends and asked the kid how is dad was. That game was the only time that I had a real chance to snag a foul ball. Sid of course caught it and looked for a kid to give it to. Was always a class act.



When you are driving, trying to get home to see the end of the game, the pitch clock suddenly sucks! Two nights in a row, the final out happens the exact moment I pull into the driveway…….but Yay!! Five inna a row!!,


Thursday nights game ended at 8:45 ET! A far cry from those close to 10 PM in years past. Of course, the earlier start time contributes to that. It’s great for us morning people.




Just wow! Great game and I do like combining major and minor league threads. I just wish you could pin it to the top of the homepage as I couldn’t find it. Anybody know why they took Joe out for a pinch runner after he went three for three?

Last edited 1 month ago by Born4rf

Don’t wake me up! This dream is season is crazy good!


Holderman, HELL YES!!!!!


Call me optimistic but given his work ethic, I bet Jack will figure out lefties.


Ain’t this a blast?

Forgot how good it feels to have a winning team.


Oye cómo va
Mi ritmo
Bueno pa’ gozar


Is it me or is Reynolds chasing a ton the last week or so?


9-52 since his 6 RBI game.


He’s going through it right now. But team is still winning. That’s encouraging.


Ive thought the same thing.


Nice job Stephenson. Top of the order…let’s go!!!!


Sullivan, Ashcraft ( ours) and Harrington all dealing tonight for the junior Bucs. Good to see.


Thanks for the update!


Command left Keller that inning, let’s hope he finds it again. Let’s score some runs boys!


Watch the replay of Senzel’s hit and it would have been a dp right to Santana but they had him playing halfway to second base. Joe made a nice play getting to the ball because the runner on first was halfway to second with Santana and didn’t score on Senzel’s hit though he did score the second run on a sac fly.


Nice rebound inning.


34 pitches through three perfect innings.. Lookin’ good Keller!!


Mark Matthias. I was thrilled with his addition to the ball club.


Connor Joe – en fuego


Did anyone notice how Castro moved to his right with such grace before making a beautiful throw for the third out? I just love that dude.

Last edited 1 month ago by GreenWeenie
Wilbur Miller

We should give Castro some slack at SS. Last time he played there regularly was 2016, his first pro season, in the DSL.


To be clear, that was not sarcasm. I think he’s doing an excellent job.


Oviedo is on fire, but Keller is without question our best pitcher. I believe that Oviedo’s slider is better and his curve just as good, but he has poor control of his fastball and Keller is approaching above average command (might already be there) of his two fastballs.


Last edited 1 month ago by PirateRican21
b mcferren

Marlins Jazz Chisolm experiment in CF is not working – – – he stinks with .709

Time is ripe in June 15 (super two) to trade Reynolds for Eury and call up Tank to play in the outfield


Hate to criticize, but I prefer the minors and pirates treads separately.
I like that you included a link to the Sullivan piece by Cody!

Last edited 1 month ago by PirateRican21

Ashcroft throws a hard cutter or hard slider over 80% of the time, and has reverse splits, and we got 1 run in seven innings off of him on April 2nd. I am getting Jake Arrieta vibes, those are not good vibes.

This will be test of how well this team can adjust, you know what is coming, but you have to do something different than before to be successful.


Great article at Fangraphs about a new approach/results from Pirates hitters so far this year. Perhaps that will translate to some added success against better pitching.


Got a link?


Andy Haines Redemption Tour!

Wilbur Miller

Well, it worked for Marin.

Pirates Prospects Daily



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