Prospect Watch: Indy Wins Easily, Altoona Wins Late

Indianapolis got three RBIs apiece from three different players and five strong innings from Osvaldo Bido.  Altoona needed two in the ninth to break a tie.  Greensboro and Bradenton both got shut out while managing just five hits between them, and the severely struggling Termarr Johnson got ejected.


Prospect Watch: Three Hits for Nick Gonzales, Endy Rodriguez and Josh Palacios in Indianapolis Victory


Pirates 2023 Minor League Previews: Indianapolis Indians


Final Score:  Indianapolis (13-17) 9, Toledo 1
Indianapolis Starter
:  Osvaldo Bido
Pitching Line
:  5 IP, 2 H, ER, 2 BB, 6 K
Box Score

Top Performers:

  • Canaan Smith-Njigba 2-5, 2B
  • Ryan Vilade 3-5, HR (2), 3 runs, 3 RBI
  • Aaron Shackelford 2-4, 2B, BB
  • Malcom Nunez 1-4, 2B, BB, 3 RBI
  • Cal Mitchell 3-5, 2B, HR (3), 3 RBI
  • Angel Perdomo 2 IP, 2 H, BB, 5 K

Game Recap:

Indianapolis won its fourth straight, stomping Toledo, 9-1.

Osvaldo Bido has had some pretty sharp ups and downs this year, but today was an up.  He went five innings, allowing just two hits and two walks, and one run that came on a solo home run.  He fanned six, giving him 31 in 24.1 IP.

Angel Perdomo followed with two scoreless innings, fanning five.  John O’Reilly added one scoreless inning and Carmen Mlodzinski fanned three in the ninth.

Indy didn’t have either Endy Rodriguez or Nick Gonzales in the lineup, but still had plenty of offense with 13 hits, six of them for extra bases.  Cal Mitchell got them started with a two-run double in the second and Ryan Vilade hit a two-run home run in the third.  Malcom Nunez added a three-run double later.

Mitchell has had a tough year, but what success he’s had has come all at once.  He had five hits back on April 25 and a three-hit game earlier.  Today he had a single, double and home run, his third.  As of now, 11 of his 24 total hits have come in three of his 28 games.  He, Vilade and Nunez each drove in three.  Vilade had three hits.  Canaan Smith-Njigba and Aaron Shackelford each had a single and a double.  Shackelford’s OPS is up to .906.


Pirates 2023 Minor League Previews: Altoona Curve


Final Score:  Altoona (13-11) 4, Richmond 2
Altoona Starter
:  Nick Dombkowski
Pitching Line
:  2 IP, 3 H, ER, K
Box Score

Top Performers:

  • Liover Peguero 1-4, BB
  • Henry Davis 2-5, 2 2B
  • Domingo Leyba 2-4, BB, 3 RBI
  • Matt Eckelman 5 IP, 3 H, ER, 2 BB, 2 K
  • Tyler Samaniego IP, K

Game Recap:

As seen through the technical miracle of Richmond’s Smogglevision . . .

. . . Altoona scored two in the ninth to break a tie, and went on to beat Richmond, 4-2.

The Curve got off to a fast start.  Three batters into the game, they had two runs on a single by Liover Peguero, a double by Henry Davis and a two-run single by Domingo Leyba.  And for the next seven innings, that was it.

Meanwhile, Altoona went with a bullpen game, using Nick Dombkowski as the opener.  He threw two innings, giving up a solo home run in the second.  Knuckleballer Matt Eckelman was next, throwing five innings.  (Does that still qualify as a bullpen game?)  He gave up just three hits and two walks, but also gave up the tying run in the sixth.  Tahnaj Thomas kept it tied in the eighth.

In the top of the ninth, the Curve turned to the same three hitters to break the tie.  Peguero led off with a walk and Davis hit a check-swing, bloop double.  Leyba singled in one run and a second scored on a sacrifice fly by Matt Gorski.

Tyler Samaniego finished things off with a nine-pitch ninth for the save.


Pirates 2023 Minor League Previews: Greensboro Grasshoppers


Final Score:  Winston-Salem 8, Greensboro (15-10) 0
Greensboro Starter
:  Anthony Solometo
Pitching Line
:  4 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 8 K
Box Score

Top Performers:

  • Nobody

Game Recap:

Greensboro got a promising but uneven start from Anthony Solometo, some bad relief pitching and no offense, in an 8-0 rout by Winston-Salem.

Solometo fanned eight over four innings, but ran into trouble in the fourth.  After he struck out the first two, a walk, two singles and a wild pitch resulted in two runs.  He ended up throwing 85 pitches, 53 for strikes.

The bullpen wasn’t effective.  Santiago Florez gave up a run in the fifth and threw a scoreless sixth, but left with two on and nobody out in the seventh.  Eddy Yean then blew up the game, letting Florez’ runners score along with three of his own.

The Hoppers had trouble getting any offense going.  They were hitless until the fourth, when three one-out singles loaded the bases, but Brenden Dixon bounced into a double play.  After that, Greensboro’s only other hit was a single in the ninth.  They drew one walk in the game and struck out nine times.


Pirates 2023 Minor League Previews: Bradenton Marauders


Final Score:Tampa 1, Bradenton (16-10) 0
Bradenton Starter
:  J.P. Massey
Pitching Line
:  5 IP, H, 4 BB, 7 K
Box Score

Top Performers:

  • Ryan Harbin 1.1 IP, 2 H, 3 K

Game Recap:

Bradenton pitchers allowed only three hits, but their hitters managed only one in a 1-0 loss to Tampa.

J.P. Massey had some control trouble, walking four over five innings, but he fanned seven and gave up just one hit.  Luis Peralta came next and he didn’t allow any hits.  Unfortunately, in his second inning, he walked four, forcing in a run with two outs.  Ryan Harbin came on to get a strikeout, ending the inning.  Harbin gave up two hits in the bottom of the eighth — half the total hits in the entire game — but allowed no runs.  He now has an 0.87 ERA and 1.06 WHIP.

The Marauders’ hitters were having a very bad time.  They were hitless until the seventh, when Alexander Mojica hit a two-out double.  By then, Bradenton was without Termarr Johnson, who got himself ejected after striking out swinging his third time up.  (He finished 0-for-2 with a walk.)  That’s probably a sign of frustration over his abysmal struggles since returning from the hamstring injury.

In the end, Mojica’s hit was all for the Marauders.  They did draw seven walks, but went 0-for-6 with RISP.  They whiffed 13 times.

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.

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Mitchell is either O’fer or puts in a shift at the plate. Seems like he gets 5 ABs every game.


In the real world, just saw the heartache, misery, grief, and sadness caused by another mass shooting. Tried to escape reality and watch baseball. Saw another mass poor performance from the Pirates and Grasshoppers. But somehow errors, strikeouts, questionable umpire calls, and bone-headed plays don’t seem to matter as much.

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