Friday’s action in the Pittsburgh Pirates minor league system featured a great outing from 2021 third round pick Bubba Chandler, the returns of Nick Gonzales and Roansy Contreras to games in the minors, and the system debut of Estuar Suero in the FCL — after the outfielder was acquired recently at the trade deadline.
Player of the Day
BUBBA CHANDLER, RHP, GREENSBORO
Chandler is in his first year of being exclusively a pitcher. This is also his second year of being exclusively a one-sport athlete. For a former multi-sport athlete who played both sides of baseball, his focus has been drastically narrowed in two years. He’s starting to show that this narrowed focus is paying off. Chandler pitched seven shutout innings on Friday night, allowing four hits, no walks, and striking out six. Over his last four starts, Chandler has been shutting down opponents, combining for one earned run in 22.2 innings of work. He has a 24:4 K/BB ratio and hasn’t given up a walk in his last two starts. The lone run against him during this stretch has been a solo homer in Greensboro during his last start.
Ten More to Follow
JARED JONES, RHP, INDIANAPOLIS
In his last start, Jones went six innings, allowing no walks. He allowed six walks in 23.2 innings during the month of July, which was an encouraging sign. Jones made the start for Indianapolis on Friday night, going 5.2 innings. He saw the return of his control issues, allowing five walks. He also struck out seven, and limited damage with only two runs allowed.
NICK GONZALES, 2B, INDIANAPOLIS
Gonzales made his return to Triple-A, and had a big night at the plate. He went 2-for-3 with a double, two walks, and added a stolen base. I wrote on Friday about what Gonzales needs to work on in the minors. Essentially, hitting pitches other than fastballs.
BRAXTON ASHCRAFT, RHP, ALTOONA
Ashcraft is returning from Tommy John surgery, and his starts have been limited to 3-4 inning appearances this year. He pitched three shutout innings on Friday night, allowing two hits, two walks, and striking out three. He was hit around in his last start, but now has a 1.59 ERA and a 20:5 K/BB in 17 innings across seven appearances for Altoona.
CARTER BINS, C, ALTOONA
Bins has been out with an injury all year, and finally made his way back to Altoona last night. He went 1-for-3, hitting his first homer of the year. The Pirates added Bins at the deadline in 2021. He’s a strong defensive catcher who doesn’t provide a lot of offense. Last year he had a .499 OPS in 46 at-bats in Altoona, and a .705 OPS in 245 at-bats with Indianapolis.
TSUNG-CHE CHENG, SS, ALTOONA
Cheng picked up two hits and a double on Friday night, extending his hitting streak to 12 games. During this stretch, Cheng is batting .348/.362/.500 in 47 plate appearances.
MALCOM NUNEZ, 1B, GREENSBORO
Nunez has been rehabbing in the lower levels for about two weeks. He went 2-for-3 with a double and a homer for Greensboro on Friday. Nunez played four rehab games with Bradenton, and has now played three with Greensboro. He was previously in Indianapolis, until an injury shut him down in May.
TERMARR JOHNSON, 2B, GREENSBORO
Johnson was promoted to Greensboro at the start of this month. After four games, he picked up his first hit, going 1-for-2 with a walk. Johnson has reached base in every game with a walk, with six strikeouts in 13 at-bats for the 2022 first rounder.
ROANSY CONTRERAS, RHP, BRADENTON
Roansy Contreras made his first appearance since being sent down from the majors about a month ago. Contreras pitched two perfect innings with the Marauders, striking out two batters in the process.
GEOVANNY PLANCHART, C, BRADENTON
Planchart is a strong defender who doesn’t bring a lot of offense, with a .683 OPS on the year with Bradenton. On Friday, he went 2-for-3 with two doubles, and knocked in four runs in Bradenton’s 6-3 victory.
ESTUAR SUERO, CF, FCL PIRATES
The Pirates added Suero as one of three players coming back from the Padres for Rich Hill and Ji Man Choi. The 17-year-old outfielder made his debut with the Pirates in the FCL, going 1-for-2 with two walks. He had a .216/.306/.345 line with four homers in 139 at-bats in the Arizona Complex League.
Friday’s Home Runs
- Carter Bins, C, Altoona (1)
- Malcom Nunez, 1B, Greensboro (1)
- Eddy Rodriguez, RF, FCL Pirates (4)
Friday’s Minor League Results
INDIANAPOLIS (50-55) AT Gwinnett
Score: Gwinnett 5, Indianapolis 3
Indianapolis Starter: Jared Jones, RHP (4.50)
–Line: 5.2 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 5 BB, 7 K, 1 HR
Player of the Game: Nick Gonzales, 2B (2-for-3, 2 BB, 2B, SB)
- Mason Martin, 1B (1-for-3, 2B, BB)
ALTOONA (47-49) VS Richmond
Score: Altoona 4, Richmond 0
Altoona Starter: Braxton Ashcraft, RHP (1.59)
–Line: 3.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 0 HR
Player of the Game: Carter Bins, C (1-for-3, HR , 2 RBI)
- Tsung-Che Cheng, SS (2-for-4, 2B)
- Nick Dombkowski, LHP (2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K)
- Grant Ford, RHP (2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K)
- Oliver Garcia, RHP (2.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K)
GREENSBORO (52-45) VS Asheville
Score: Greensboro 7, Asheville 0
Greensboro Starter: Bubba Chandler, RHP (5.08)
–Line: 7.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K, 0 HR
Player of the Game: Chandler
- Malcom Nunez, 1B (2-for-4, HR, 2B, 4 RBI)
- Termarr Johnson, 2B (1-for-4, BB)
- Sammy Siani, LF (2-for-4, 2B)
BRADENTON (56-40) VS Tampa
Score: Bradenton 6, Asheville 3
Bradenton Starter: Roansy Contreras, RHP (0.00)
–Line: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 0 HR
Player of the Game: Geovanny Planchart, C (2-for-3, 2 2B, 4 RBI)
- Yerry De Los Santos, 3B (1-for-3, 2B)
- Darvin Garcia, RHP (2.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 0 HR)
FCL PIRATES (28-14) VS FCL Orioles
Score: Orioles 3, Pirates 2
FCL Pirates Starter: Isaias Uribe, LHP (3.27)
–Line: 4.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 0 HR
Player of the Game: Eddy Rodriguez, RF (1-for-3, HR )
- Estuar Suero, CF (1-for-2, 2 BB)
DSL PIRATES BLACK (14-24) VS DSL Tigers 2
Score: Tigers 3, Pirates 0 (Suspended – 3rd Inning)
DSL PIRATES GOLD (28-12) VS DSL Marlins
Score: Pirates 2, Marlins 0 (Suspended – 3rd Inning)
Tim is the owner, producer, editor, and lead writer of PiratesProspects.com. He has been running Pirates Prospects since 2009, becoming the first new media reporter and outlet covering the Pirates at the MLB level in 2011 and 2012. His work can also be found in Baseball America, where he has been a contributor since 2014 and the Pirates' correspondent since 2019.