Indianapolis and West Virginia each have top-15 prospects in the Pirates system pitching tonight. Rudy Owens,ranked 13th overall in the Pirates Prospects 2012 Prospect Guide, gets his first start of the season tonight. In WV, Nick Kingham (ranked 10th) tries to rebound from his poor Opening Day start. At Bradenton, Hunter Strickland will make his first appearance in 22 months. All four Pirates affiliates lost last night. A full recap of yesterday’s games can be found here.
AAA: Indianapolis (2-2) @ Columbus (4-1) 6:35pm
Probable starter: Rudy Owens (9-7 5.05 last year for Indy)
Indianapolis lost yesterday by a 4-3 score (game story here). Charlie Morton got the start and went 7.2 innings, allowing just one run on six hits and he struck out eight. This will be his final rehab start, he is eligible to be activated off the DL on April 13th. Today’s starter, Rudy Owens, makes his first start of the season. He spent all of 2011 with Indianapolis, where he made 21 starts before going on the DL. Rudy pitched a scoreless inning for the Pirates during his only major league Spring Training appearance.
AA: Altoona (2-2) VS Akron (3-1) 6:30pm
Probable starter: Aaron Poreda (4-3 5.43 for Tucson last year)
Altoona lost yesterday by a 5-1 score. Today’s starter is Aaron Poreda, who is making his debut in the Pirates farm system. He was picked up by the Pirates in the minor league portion of the 2011 rule 5 draft. Last year Poreda pitched for AAA Tucson (Padres) where he made 41 appearances, striking out 79 in 69.1 innings.
High-A: Bradenton (1-3) @ Palm Beach (2-2) 6:35pm
Probable starter: Hunter Strickland (missed all of last season-injured)
Bradenton lost last night by a 2-1 score. Top rated prospect, Gerrit Cole got his first professional start, going four innings. He allowed one run on four hits and he struck out seven batters. Hunter Strickland gets the start for Bradenton today. It is his first start since June 5,2010. He missed the rest of 2010 and all of 2011 with elbow/forearm problems.
Low-A: West Virginia (1-4) @ Asheville (2-3) 7:05pm
Probable starter: Nick Kingham ( 0-0 27.00)
West Virginia lost last night by a 13-5 score. Nick Kingham gets the start today, becoming the first pitcher in the organization to make his second start of the season. He did not fare well his first time out, lasting just 1.2 innings VS Hagerstown on 4/5. He gave up five earned runs on four hits, two walks and he recorded three strikeouts. The Power have lost three straight games.