Report from Pirate City — 3/20

The Yankees were back at Pirate City today, this time with the low-level minor leaguers.  To get right to the highlight of the day, it clearly was Jameson Taillon pitching the first two innings in the low A game.  Taillon struggled a little with his command at first, falling behind and allowing a double and single to the first two hitters, but he settled down after that.  He showed the stuff that made him the second overall pick in...

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2011 Prospect Watching: Taillon, Von Rosenberg And More

Continuing to work our way up the Pirates’ minor league pitching ranks… Zacharys today…

Jameson Taillon  –   R/R,  6′ 6″,  225 lb
Everyone knows about Taillon, the Pirates’ #1 draft pick in 2010.   Taillon, who is 19 years old, has a mid-to-high 90′s fastball and a hard curve, plus a slider and changeup that both need some work.  He signed at the deadline, so did not make his pro debut in 2010, though he did report to Fall Instrux and did fine there.  Taillon got into a minor league spring training game today, and pitched 2 innings, allowing a run on 3 hits with 2 strikeouts.  Just fine for his first time out.  Taillon should be ready for A level West Virginia to begin the 2011 season, though Pirates’ Kyle Stark has suggested that Taillon might remain in Bradenton for some extended spring training if it is “too cold” in West Virginia in early April.  

Zack Von Rosenberg —  R/R,  6′ 5″,  205 lb
Zack’s full name is Zachary, and he was born and attended high school in Zachary, Louisiana.  The Pirates picked Von Rosenberg in the 6th round of the 2009 draft.  He signed in time to make just one start, one inning, for the GCL Pirates that year (no hits, no walks, one strikeout).  He made 13 starts for the State College Spikes in 2010.  He struggled in his first four starts, allowing 12 earned runs in 16 innings for a 6.75 ERA.  He had only 4 strikeouts over the first three games, but struck out 4 more in the fourth game, going into July.  His next two starts were better, as he allowed only one run in each of two 5-inning starts, and struck out 4 and 5 batters respectively in those two games.  On July 20th, he had another tough outing, as he gave up 4 runs on 8 hits in 5 innings.  Von Rosenberg pulled it together for the rest of the season.  In his remaining 6 starts, he allowed 3 earned runs over 28 innings (0.96 ERA), and struck out 20 batters in those games.  The 20-year-old should start 2011 in West Virginia, where the Pirates would like to see more velocity develop on his fast ball (usually high 80′s to 90 or so), which could boost his strikeout rate.

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Morton Looks Good, As Does Owens

Pirates  3,  Astros  1
Starter Charlie Morton continued to show the Pirates’ management that he belongs in the starting rotation with a 6-inning shutout performance today in Kissimmee, Florida.  Morton scattered 4 hits over his 6 innings and did not walk a batter.  He struck out 5 Astros.  C Humberto Quintero had two of those hits — a single in the 3rd, when he reached as far as third base before being stranded, and a two-out single in the 5th.  Astros’ starter Jordan Lyles followed that second single with a line drive into left field, and Quintero raced around the bases.  Pirates’ LF Josh Fields got the ball back into the infield quickly, and Quintero was caught in a run-down and tagged out by C Ryan Doumit.  Evan Meek and Chris Leroux each pitched a scoreless inning of relief.  Neither gave up a hit, but both worked around base runners who got on due to fielding errors.   SS Benji Gonzalez had a tough afternoon, with a fielding error in the 7th, back-to-back fielding errors in the 8th, then another fielding error in the 9th that lead to an unearned run.  With Mike Crotta on the mound in the 9th, the error, a single, and a walk loaded the bases, and a sacrifice fly drove in the Astros’ only run.  Crotta has not allowed an earned run in his previous 6 appearances (8.1 innings).  

SS Ronny Cedeno provided the Pirates with their first 2 runs, on a 2nd-inning home run that followed Josh Fields’ double.  Ryan Doumit picked up the RBI in the 3rd inning with a triple into left field, driving in 1B Andy Marte, who had singled.  Steve Pearce, who started at third base today, singled twice in the game.  CF Pedro Ciriaco, 2B Corey Wimberly, RF Cole White, 1B Garrett Atkins, and pinch-hitter Josh Rodriguez also got into the game.  

More roster moves are expected on Monday, as the Pirates head into the final full week of spring training.

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2006 DSL/VSL: What is Left?

It is well known that under the previous management the international market was largely ignored. The budget for both the VSL and DSL in 2007, was at the maximum of just $750,000, a very low figure for a team that didn’t compete in the free agent market in the majors. The budget amount has been increased four times that amount and they showed last season they were willing to go well over budget to sign a player like Luis...

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2011 Prospect Watching: Sullivan, Rodriguez, And Friends

Continuing to look at Pirates’ pitchers in the lower levels of the organization:

Jarryd Sullivan  –  R/R,  6′ 0″,  181 lb
The 21-year-old Sullivan came to the Pirates out of the new Australian Baseball Academy.  He has a fastball in the high 80′s, a curve, and a strong changeup.  Sullivan made his US debut in 2010, and after extended spring training, he began the short season at State College.  He made 3 appearances there, for 3 innings, but allowed 5 runs (3 earned) on 4 hits and 4 walks, for an 8.10 ERA.  He went down to the GCL for the rest of the season, and pitched better there, making 5 starts and 7 relief appearances.  In 35 innings, Sullivan gave up 16 earned runs on 40 hits, for a 4.11 ERA.  He walked only 3 batters, and struck out 15.  Over the winter, Sullivan returned to his native Australia and pitched for the Sydney Blue Sox in the Australian Baseball League.  He made 5 relief appearances for the Blue Sox, for a total of 7.2 innings without allowing a run.  He did give up 4 hits and 3 walks, while striking out 7 batters.  Sullivan should get another try at State College to begin 2011.

Joely Rodriguez  –  L/L,  6′ 1″,  175 lb
Rodriguez is a 19-year-old Dominican, who made his US debut in 2010 after one year in the Dominican Summer League.  He made 9 starts for the GCL Pirates, for a total of 47.1 innings.  He allowed 44 hits and 21 earned runs, including 10 homers.  He walked only 7 batters, while striking out 26 batters.  That’s a little high on the homers and a little low on the strikeouts, but the latter could improve with some more work on his off-speed pitches.  He gets a lot of ground-ball outs.  At the end of the season, Rodriguez was promoted to State College, where he appeared in 2 games.  The first was tough, as he allowed 3 runs on 4 hits and a walk, in one inning.  The second appearance went better — one unearned run on 2 hits and a walk in 3 innings.  Rodriguez should be back in State College for 2011.

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