The Pittsburgh Pirates have promoted starting pitcher Michael Crotta from Altoona to Indianapolis today, according to Dejan Kovacevic. Crotta was scheduled to start tonight for Altoona, but was replaced by Jared Hughes.
Crotta has been excellent in his time at AA this season, with a 1.78 ERA in 25.1 innings pitched over four starts, with a 5.7 K/9, a 1.1 BB/9, and no home runs given up. Crotta made 27 starts in Altoona last year, with a 4.76 ERA in 143.2 innings, although his ratios were excellent, with a 6.1 K/9, a 2.1 BB/9, and a 0.4 HR/9. You can see him pitch in my video recap of his 4/13 start.
Crotta should make his debut with Indianapolis either Sunday or Monday. I’m wondering if this move will lead to a chain reaction. Bryan Morris and Jeff Locke are both looking good at the high-A level, and both are deserving of a call-up to Altoona, where a starter is now needed to replace Crotta (Derek Hankins will do the job in the mean time). You could also add Nathan Adcock to that list as well. In West Virginia there have been some promising pitchers struggling, although two that are having success are Phillip Irwin and Nathan Baker. Both were college pitchers, so a jump to high-A this soon wouldn’t be unheard of (look at Justin Wilson in 2009).