Report from Pirate City – 3/21
This will be an abbreviated report, as I left about halfway through the games. The Pirates’ upper level minor leaguers took on the Phillies’. Once again, many of the at-bats went to major leaguers, this time Ryan Doumit, Ronny Cedeno and Chris Snyder, so my ability to watch the minor league hitters were limited. Doumit and Snyder didn’t contribute any offense, while Cedeno got on a few times.
The starters were Bryan Morris in the AAA game and 2010 draftee Brandon Cumpton in the AA game. Both got hit hard. Morris was sitting at 92 early in his start, but increased that later. Cumpton sat at 90 and the hitters had little trouble putting good wood on his fastball. He also throws a sweeping curve that should be effective against RH hitters.
After three innings, Brian Leach relieved Morris and Casey Erickson went in for Cumpton. Leach threw in the low 90s, while Erickson started off at 86-87 but later got up to 89-90. He also threw a curve that was similar to Cumpton’s, but it seemed a little flatter to me.
A few notes about the position players: Tony Sanchez hit a drive to the 410-ft sign in center and singled in the two ABs I saw. He also nailed a base stealer with a good throw. Andrew Lambo tripled to about the same spot where Sanchez’ drive was caught; Lambo runs better than I expected. The Pirates had Josh Harrison at short and Jordy Mercer at second in the AAA game, as they continue to focus on maximizing the odds of their prospects helping at the major league level. In the AA game, Calvin Anderson was playing right field, with Aaron Baker at first; everybody was still safe and sound when I left. Ramon Cabrera was catching, which continues to indicate that he’ll be the starter at Bradenton.
Victor Black was pitching in an intrasquad game involving mostly very young players. I saw Black only briefly; he was throwing 92. One of the more positive developments in camp was Black and Jeff Inman being able to pitch, as they have two of the organization’s better arms. Also pitching before the drill ended was 19-year-old Australian lefty Wilson Lee. He was throwing in the mid-80s and is probably a project. Among the hitters were Junior Sosa, Exicardo Cayones, Jorge Bishop, Ashley Ponce, and Francisco Aponte.