All four teams play tonight, starting with Altoona at 6:30 against Akron. Both Altoona and Bradenton had off yesterday. Two big starts on the schedule for tonight. For Indianapolis, Charlie Morton takes the mound in a rehab start, while Gerrit Cole, the top ranked player in the Pirates farm system, makes his pro debut. A full recap of yesterday’s games can be found here.
AAA: Indianapolis (3-1) @ Columbus (3-1) 6:35pm
Probable starter: Charlie Morton (10-10 3.83 for the Pirates)
Indianapolis won 8-2 yesterday (game story here). Today’s starter is Charlie Morton, who is looking to make one rehab start before rejoining the Pirates late next week. Morton had off-season hip surgery and was slightly behind schedule during Spring Training but could pitch for the Pirates as early as April 15th, the first time they need a fifth starter. Jake Fox has been put on the DL and 3B Jeremy Farrell took his place on the roster.
AA: Altoona (2-1) VS Akron (2-1) 6:30pm
Probable starter: Aaron Pribanic (10-9 3.88 for Altoona last year)
Altoona was off yesterday, they resume their schedule tonight with Aaron Pribanic on the mound for his first start. Pribanic led Altoona last season in wins, games started and innings pitched. He also walked just 28 batters in 153 innings. The Curve lost their last game, 12-1 on Saturday night. After a three game set with Akron, the Curve will play their first game on the road on Thursday night against Richmond.
High-A: Bradenton (1-2) @ Palm Beach (1-2) 6:35pm
Probable starter: Gerrit Cole (Pro debut)
Bradenton was off yesterday. They lost Saturday night 4-2. Top rated prospect, Gerrit Cole gets his first professional start tonight. He was the 1st overall draft pick in last year’s amateur draft. He pitched in the Arizona Fall League last Fall, and he started the league’s all-star game. He had a 3.00 ERA in five starts in the AFL, striking out 16 batters in 15 innings.
Low-A: West Virginia (1-3) @ Asheville (1-3) 7:05pm
Probable starter: Zack Dodson (6-4 2.57 for WV last year)
The Power lost 8-6 yesterday, ending their four game series with Hagerstown (Wilbur Miller’s game story here). Today’s starter, Zack Dodson, made 13 starts for WV last year, pitching a total of 66.2 innings with 46 strikeouts. Josh Poytress and Orlando Castro have joined the West Virginia bullpen. All 13 position players for WV received at least one start in the opening series. Josh Bell, the 2nd round pick from 2011, has gone 3-17 at the plate to start the season, with one walk, three RBI’s and eight strikeouts.