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Aroldis Chapman Suspended For Two Games

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Pittsburgh Pirates flame throwing reliever Aroldis Chapman was suspended for two games, after being ejected earlier this week for arguing the strike zone with an umpire.

I wrote about the ejection earlier in the week, noting how ridiculous it is that MLB doesn’t use the Automatic Balls and Strikes challenge system. This system is in place throughout the minors. It’s also highly effective.

If the batter, pitcher, or catcher don’t like the umpire’s strike zone call, they can challenge the result. Within seconds, a replay is shown, much like on MLB broadcasts, where the Statcast pitch tracking data shows where the ball did or did not cross the strike zone. Within five seconds, the correct call is made, and the game continues.

With such a system in place, Chapman could have simply tapped the top of his hat to signal he wanted a call challenged. Each team can challenge as much as they want if they are successful, but can only get three incorrect challenges. There was an argument to be made for Chapman needing a challenge, as he issued one walk on a ball four that should have been strike two.

Had the challenge system been in place, Chapman would have gotten that strike two call with a challenge. Instead, he was ejected from the game for arguing the strike zone, and whatever he said ended up getting him suspended for two games.

Once again, Major League Baseball needs this challenge system. It’s ridiculous to not only give this unchecked, error-prone judgment power to umpires, but to also make arguing with them over missed calls an instant ejection and potentially worse.

DAILY VIDEO RUNDOWN

Paul Skenes was on the mound for Indianapolis tonight, and struck out eight batters in 3.1 shutout frames. Read more about his start in the Pirates Prospect Watch.

After the game, Skenes signed autographs for a long line of fans, which is something he’s been doing lately.

Bubba Chandler also started tonight, allowing two runs in five innings, with five strikeouts. Here is the second strikeout he picked up in the first inning, ending the frame on a high heater.

Jackson Glenn homered for Altoona, extending their lead over Bowie.

Josiah Sightler homered for Greensboro tonight, giving them a lead to cap a five run third inning.

Termarr Johnson had a nice piece of opposite field hitting. I like seeing this, as Johnson already shows easy pull side power.

Antwone Kelly brought the velocity and swing and miss in Bradenton, getting his fastball up to 97 and picking up four strikeouts.

PROSPECT WATCH

Top prospects Paul Skenes and Bubba Chandler were on the mound. Skenes struck out eight in 3.1 scoreless innings. Chandler struck out five, giving up two runs in five innings. Read more about their starts in the Pirates Prospect Watch.

Pirates Prospect Watch: Paul Skenes and Bubba Chandler Impress Again

ROSTER MOVES

RHP Quinn Priester was placed on the taxi squad by the Pirates on Thursday. He is expected to be recalled to the 26-man roster for tomorrow’s game against the Red Sox. The Pirates optioned LHP Jose Hernandez to Indianapolis on Wednesday to make room.

TODAY: PIRATES (11-8) VS RED SOX (10-9)

Game Time: 6:40 PM EDT
Watch: SportsNet-PIT
Listen: KDKA-FM 93.7

Pirates Starter: Quinn Priester, RHP (0-0, 0.00)
Red Sox Starter: Brayan Bello, RHP (2-1, 3.92)

In the Minors…

  • Indianapolis plays at 7:05 PM EST, with RHP Quinn Priester as the listed starter. This will change, with Priester getting the call to Pittsburgh to replace Marco Gonzales.
  • Altoona sends RHP Sean Sullivan to the mound at 7:05 PM in Bowie. Sullivan is in his second year as a starter in Altoona.
  • Greensboro will start RHP J.P. Massey at 6:30 PM at home. Massey was a participant in the Future’s Game last season.
  • Bradenton starts RHP Carlson Reed at 6:30 PM at home. Reed was drafted in the fourth round last year.

PIRATES PROSPECTS DAILY

The Pirates are in their third season with Andy Haines as the hitting coach. In today’s column, I broke down the impact of Haines on the offense in his time with the organization.

Williams: The Impact of Pirates Hitting Coach Andy Haines

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THIS WEEK ON PIRATES PROSPECTS

The premium article drop each week features the best articles on the site. These are the ones that take the most time and work, but also the topics which occupy the most head space in my brain. In most weeks, there is a reporting aspect. This week’s articles featured more scouting, stats, and a bit of speculation.

In my premium column for Patreon subscribers, I looked at the cautious approach the Pirates are taking with Paul Skenes. I agree with the approach, but broke down how it could have limits that would call for him being up before the Super Two dates pass.

**Williams: The Pirates Should Be Taking a Cautious Approach With Paul Skenes

I wrote two articles this week looking at depth options who stand out to me in Triple-A.

Nick Gonzales was taken seventh overall in the 2020 draft. He’s dealt with swing and miss issues, which have kept him in Triple-A. In the early part of the season, he’s showing positive overall improvements with his strikeout rates, while still having some underlying concerns about swing and miss.

**Examining the Swing and Miss of Nick Gonzales

Malcom Nunez is a stocky corner infield prospect who can play third, but has the power for first base. After hitting three home runs to start the season, I looked deeper at the power bat of Nunez, and his brief history in Triple-A already as a 23-year-old prospect.

**Malcom Nunez Brings Plus Power Bat to Indianapolis

This week I also highlighted three lower level pitchers who have stood out to me in early looks as potential MLB starters.

The Pirates drafted Hunter Barco in the second round of the 2022 draft, while the lefty from Florida was out with Tommy John. Now fully recovered, Barco is pitching in Greensboro, and has thrown seven shutout frames in his first two starts of the season, with an advanced mix of pitches.

**Hunter Barco is Showing Why the Pirates Invested in Him

Alessandro Ercolani is a 19-year-old pitcher from the small country of San Marino, with a mix of six pitches that all show promise. The Pirates gave him the assignment of pitching in High-A Greensboro, which he embraced with four shutout innings in his debut.

**Alessandro Ercolani is a Big Talent From a Small Country

Patrick Reilly was drafted as a reliever out of Vanderbilt last season, but with a mid-90s fastball that gets up to 98, and a plus slider, it’s easy to see why the Pirates are giving him a shot in the rotation. He’s showing promising control results in the early games, reversing the issue that has held him back the most.

**Patrick Reilly Features An Elite Fastball, With Early Positive Results in Control

SONG OF THE DAY

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Tim Williams
Tim Williams
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.

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