There is so much to cover inside the Pittsburgh Pirates system on a daily and weekly basis that I easily lose track of former players when they leave the organization. At this point, I’ve probably seen a thousand players pass through the farm system, and few were as talented or as resilient as Jameson Taillon.
That said, I forgot he was playing for the Cubs until setting up this article today and seeing that he was on the mound for Chicago tonight. The Pirates will counter with Luis Ortiz, who has been a fixture in the rotation for a month. His last outing was in relief of Roansy Contreras, who is being moved to the bullpen.
Contreras, of course, was acquired as part of the Taillon trade in 2021, along with Canaan Smith-Njigba, Maikol Escotto, and Miguel Yajure. I wouldn’t grade that deal based on the current struggles from Contreras in his age 23 season. That said, he’s currently the best chance of getting a player from that deal who can replicate Taillon’s multiple 3+ WAR seasons. Right now, it looks like Contreras will need some work to get back to the rotation. This is where it’s important to remember that Taillon didn’t have a 3 WAR season until age 25. We’re watching Mitch Keller take a step forward at age 27. There’s plenty of time for Contreras.
Ortiz, in his age 24 season, also has plenty of time. He now has an opportunity to keep himself in the rotation for perhaps the rest of the season. Getting some momentum will be important. He pitched five innings in relief of Contreras last time out, giving up two runs. The previous outing was cut short by rain after two innings and a solo homer allowed. He hasn’t had a full, normal start since May 28th, when he gave up three runs in five innings. Prior to that, he had his best outing on May 22nd, with two runs in seven innings against Texas.
Check below for the previews of all of the game action throughout the system, with Bubba Chandler on the mound for Greensboro tonight.
PIRATES GAME PREVIEWS
PIRATES (34-30) AT CUBS
Game Time: 8:05 PM EST
Pirates Starter: Luis Ortiz, RHP (1-2, 4.23)
Cubs Starter: Jameson Taillon, RHP (1-4, 7.02)
Showtime in Chicago.
— Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) June 13, 2023
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) June 13, 2023
INDIANAPOLIS (28-33) AT IOWA
Game Time: 7:38 PM EST
Projected Starter: TBA
ALTOONA (30-25) AT SOMERSET
Game Time: 6:35 PM EST
Projected Starter: TBA
GREENSBORO (31-24) VS GREENVILLE
Game Time: 7:05 PM EST
Projected Starter: Bubba Chandler, RHP (2-2, 6.91)
6/4: Braxton Ashcraft Showing Velocity and Control in Return From Tommy John
6/2: Abrahan Gutierrez Hitting Ground Running Returning From Injury
5/26: Anthony Solometo Faces Two Top 100 Prospects In Greensboro
BRADENTON (30-27) VS FORT MYERS
Game Time: 6:30 PM EST
Projected Starter: TBA
FCL PIRATES (4-2)
Game Time: 12:00 PM EST
Projected Starter: TBA
DSL PIRATES BLACK (2-4)
Game Time: 11:00 AM EST
Projected Starter: TBA
DSL PIRATES GOLD (3-3)
Game Time: 11:00 AM EST
Projected Starter: TBA
DAILY PIRATES NEWS
Jeff Reed previewed the weekly minor league matchups in today’s Pirates Prospects daily. It’s going to be a challenging week for the pitching prospects.
Our new Prospect Watch launched yesterday, with profiles on three lower level international prospects. Check back each day at noon for a new version.
The Pirates had two pitchers win weekly awards in their respective leagues. Thomas Harrington won in Greensboro and Greiber Mendez won in the Dominican.
More Recent Pirates Features
By Jeff Reed
Check back at the end of the night for all of the daily results throughout the system, or, join the discussion in the comments if you’re following Live.
Final Score: Cubs 11, Pirates 3
Player of the Game: Jack Suwinski, LF (2 for 2, 2 HR’s, 2 RBI’s, 2 BB’s)
Jack Suwinski was back in his hometown of Chicago, and greeted a familiar friend of ours Jameson Taillon with a first inning solo home run. It was Suwinski’s 14th of the season to give the Pirates an early 1-0 lead.
Pirates starter Luis Ortiz began the bottom of the first inning with two strikes, before ultimately walking the lead-off batter. An infield single and out later, Ortiz served up a three-run homer to Ian Happ.
The offense got one of the runs back in the second inning when Ji-Hwan Bae singled in Josh Palacios who had hit a one-out double.
From there, both starters settled in for a back-and-forth match. That was until Jack decided to attack Jamo once again in the sixth, with his 15th home run to tie the game at three apiece.
After tying the game, the rained picked up and the lead once again slipped away. Ortiz had found his control after the long first inning, allowing only three hits over the next four innings. In the sixth, his velocity and control appeared to wane with the added moisture. Ortiz got the first hitter to ground out, but after the next two batters reached, he was replaced by Dauri Moreta.
Moreta got behind Cubs rookie Matt Mervis 3-1, before Mervis lined a slider into right field for a 4-3 lead. Pirates found a bit of luck on the next batter when another Cubs rookie Miles Mastrobuoni lined a pitch to right field, but it clipped the runner going from first to second for the third out of the inning.
Luis Ortiz battled after the first, but finished with four earned runs against in 5.1 IP. He threw 92 pitches, generating only seven whiffs, with six of those coming against his slider and a lone whiff against his change.
It didn’t get better from there, and began the Cubs began to pour it on. Yohan Ramirez came in for the seventh, and struggled to find the strike zone. He hit a batter with the bases loaded after beginning he at bat 0-2, then gave up a RBI single before Rob Zastryzny entered with the bases loaded.
Zastryzny struck out the first batter, and then gave up a two run single to make it 8-3. He then gave up a three-run bomb in the eight to make it 11-3.
Just to give a reference to how weird of a night it was — outside of the bullpen imploding — the Cubs had six infield singles. A couple high choppers, a ball Ke’Bryan Hayes could get a throw off quick enough, a ball that handcuffed Bae on a hop, and ball clipped of Ramirez’s glove.
PIRATES PROSPECT WATCH
By Wilbur Miller
Final Score: Indianapolis 7, Iowa 4
Player of the Game: Quinn Priester 6.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 5 K
Quinn Priester had a good start in Indianapolis’ win. His control could have been better, as he walked four and needed 100 pitches to go six and two-thirds. He gave up only four hits, though, and two runs, one unearned. Cam Alldred got the last out of the seventh with the bases loaded.
Indy won the game with a four-run fifth inning. They got runs on a bases-loaded walk to Alika Williams and a double play. Henry Davis got the last two with his first AAA home run. Jared Triolo had earlier produced Indy’s first run with his first AAA longball. Triolo also had a single and a double.
Indy eventually took a 6-2 lead. Nick Gonzales reached base four times on two singles and two walks. Ryan Vilade singled twice and walked, and Aaron Shackelford had a single and two walks.
The game got close when Yerry De Los Santos, still struggling, gave up a two-run bomb in the eighth. After Indy added an insurance run, Carmen Mlodzinski threw a scoreless ninth to pick up the save.
Final Score: Somerset 8, Altoona 4
Player of the Game: Abrahan Gutierrez 2-for-4, HR (2)
Altoona took an early 3-0 lead, but the pitching didn’t hold up. Brad Case started and went three innings. He allowed two runs, one unearned on his own wild pickoff throw. Omar Cruz followed and allowed three runs over an inning and two-thirds. Juan Minaya gave up three late runs to let the game get out of hand.
The three early runs for the Curve came on longballs. Abrahan Gutierrez hit a solo shot in the second. It was his second home run for the Curve and fourth on the season. Liover Peguero connected for his seventh with a man on base in the third. The Curve had other chances but went 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position. Gutierrez and Claudio Finol each had two hits.
Final Score: Greensboro 12, Greenville 2
Player of the Game: Bubba Chandler 5 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K
Bubba Chandler turned in a solid start as Greensboro routed Greenville. Chandler had a shaky first inning, but recovered to go five, giving up one run on six hits. He walked only one and fanned eight. Mitchell Miller, Dante Mendoza and Yunior Thibo turned in a scoreless inning each, before Santiago Florez allowed a run in the ninth.
Tsung-Che Cheng continued to tear up the level, with two singles and a double that ran his slash line up over 1.000 at 315/422/592. Brendan Dixon also had a big day, picking up his third home run along with a single and two walks. He drove in three.
The Hoppers didn’t lack for baserunners as they picked up 14 hits and five walks. Jase Bowen had two singles and a walk, and scored three times. Sammy Siani had a single and a double, Wyatt Hendrie had two hits, and Tres Gonzalez had a double and two walks. Wyatt Matthiessen launched his seventh home run and drove in three.
Final Score: Fort Myers 9, Bradenton 3
Player of the Game: Enmanuel Terrero 3-for-4, HR (3), 2 SB
Bradenton got some less-than-optimal pitching and lost big to Fort Myers. The Marauders went with a bullpen game, starting Carlos Lomeli. He gave up two runs in two innings, one unearned on his own error. Owen Kellington followed and gave up three runs and a pair of longballs over just an inning and a third. Elijah Birdsong later gave up three runs over two innings, two of them unearned.
Bradenton did get scoreless performances from Owen Sharts, Brandan Bidois and Ryan Harbin. Sharts threw an inning and two-thirds, the other two an inning each.
The Marauders got solo shots in each of the first two innings, each one tying the game before things got out of hand. Enmanuel Terrero hit his third homer in the first inning, Rodolfo Nolasco his sixth in the second. Terrero had three hits and two steals on the day, Nolasco two hits. The rest of the lineup went 3-for-25. Termarr Johnson continued doing little to justify his top prospect status, going 0-for-5 with two strikeouts.
ROOKIE: FCL PIRATES
Final Score: FCL Pirates 8, Red Sox 7
Player of the Game: Eddy Rodriguez 2-for-4, 2B, HR (1), 3 RBI
The FCL Pirates lost a 5-1 lead over the Red Sox, but won anyway, 8-7. Hung-Leng Chang had a solid start. He allowed one run through the first four innings, then left after a leadoff double in the fifth.
Chang was replaced by Geronimo Franzua, who’s rehabbing in the FCL. The Pirates signed Franzua to a minor league deal after he spent five seasons in Japan. He originally signed with the Astros, was released after three DSL seasons, then was out of organized ball for four years. This rehab stint is actually his first action in stateside organized baseball. This game didn’t go well; Franzua gave up hard contact to nearly every hitter he faced. He allowed Chang’s second run and then three of his own, two earned, to tie the game.
The Pirates had built their 5-1 lead on a run-scoring wild pitch, an RBI triple by Axiel Plaz followed by a sacrifice fly by Yordany De Los Santos, and a two-run home run by Eddy Rodriguez. It was his first homer of the season.
Once the Red Sox tied it, the Pirates took the lead back with three in the sixth. The runs came on an RBI double by Rodriguez and assorted tomfoolery by the Sox. Roelmy Garcia gave two of the runs back. He didn’t allow any hits, but he gave up two runs on a hit batsman, two walks and two wild pitches. Jorge Ramos finally got the last four outs, three on strikes, to record the save.
Miguel Sosa reached base four times on three walks and a single. Omar Alfonzo had two hits and a walk.
ROOKIE: DSL PIRATES BLACK
Final Score: Pirates Black 3, Cubs Blue 1
Player of the Game: Carlos Castillo 4 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K
Carlos Castillo wasn’t one of the Pirates’ top international signings this past January, but at $245,000 he was a significant one. In this game he made the investment look like a good one, with four perfect innings. He fanned six. In his two outings so far, Castillo has allowed one run over 6.2 IP, with just three hits. Angel Camacho, Nicolas Carreno and Yoerys Hernandez followed with an inning each in the seven-inning game. Hernandez allowed the Cubs their only hit, and Carreno walked a pair and allowed a run.
The Pirates got all their runs in the first. Cristian Jauregui started the game with a single and scored on a double by Samuel Escudero. Angel Perez eventually got another home with a sacrifice fly and Angel Aquino singled in a third. Jauregui went 3-for-4, upping his average to .316. Since starting the season 0-for-8, he’s 6-for-11.
ROOKIE: DSL PIRATES GOLD
Final Score: Pirates Gold 10, Cubs Red 1
Player of the Game: Juan Machado 1-3, 2B, 2 BB, SB, 2 R, 2 RBI
The Pirates Gold had the assistance of 11 walks and pummeled the Cubs Red, 10-1. They broke a 1-1 tie with a six-run fourth inning that featured doubles by Juan Machado, Tony Blanco, Jr., and Carlos Tirado. Then they added on three in the fifth.
Nobody had more than one hit in the seven-inning game. Machado, Blanco and Lennyn Nunez each reached base three times. Rodolfo De La Cruz added a two-run, pinch-hit triple.
Starter Alexis Torres gave up the one run over three and two-thirds innings. He allowed two hits and three walks, and fanned four. Jose Regalado faced just six batters in relief, but recorded seven outs thanks to a pickoff. He also fanned four. Pirates’ pitchers allowed just three hits in all.