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The Pirates Could Use a Day Off


The Pittsburgh Pirates look like they need a day off. Fortunately for Pirates fans, Thursday’s action will feature top prospects Paul Skenes and Bubba Chandler on the mound.

That might take the sting off the series sweep to the New York Mets, capped off with a 9-1 loss on Wednesday afternoon. Bailey Falter got the start, and fell in between his normal “Ace” or “Implosion” status. Falter allowed two runs on four hits in five innings, with a walk and four strikeouts. He left with a 2-1 score, and that’s when the wheels fell off.

Hunter Stratton allowed four runs in the sixth inning, capped off by a two run homer by Harrison Bader. David Bednar came in for some work in the eighth inning, and allowed three runs on a walk and two hits. Two of those runs were scored off Josh Fleming, who entered the game with the bases loaded and allowed a hit before recording the final out.

The Pirates got two hits from Oneil Cruz, and an RBI single from Bryan Reynolds. Their offense was limited to five hits, all singles, with three walks.

With the loss, the Pirates drop to 11-8 on the season.


In the weekly Statcast Heroes, I wrote about Edward Olivares being unlucky with hard hits. He had a 105 MPH groundout today. Oneil Cruz grounded into a double play on that 111.7 MPH shot. STATS

The minor league Statcast Heroes can be found in the nightly Pirates Prospect Watch.


Carter Bins picks up the only run of the game for Indianapolis, with a walk off single up the middle.


Javier Rivas picked up a walk off winner for Bradenton.


The nightly Pirates Prospect Watch is now its own article. I’ll be doing the weekly recap every Monday, as there are no games played. The daily Prospect Watch will look at one player who stands out that day, along with the recaps you’d normally see in this article.

In Wednesday’s action, left-handed pitcher Hunter Barco looked great again for Greensboro.


The Pirates are off today, but the minor league action is led by two of the top pitching prospects.

  • Indianapolis sends top prospect RHP Paul Skenes to the mound at 6:35 PM EST.
  • Altoona will go with the other top 100 pitching prospect in the minors, with RHP Bubba Chandler getting the start at 6:35 PM.
  • At 6:30 PM, Greensboro will throw RHP Patrick Reilly, who has some of the best velocity on their roster.
  • Bradenton adds to the velocity day by throwing RHP Antwone Kelly at 6:30 PM. Kelly hit 98 MPH last start, giving the Pirates four starters tomorrow who can hit 98 or higher.


This week’s Statcast Heroes looked at the usual velocity from Paul Skenes and Jared Jones, the unusual velocity from Aroldis Chapman, and Edward Olivares hitting the ball hard with unlucky results.

Statcast Heroes: Jared Jones, Paul Skenes, Aroldis Chapman, Edward Olivares

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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


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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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