Baker’s Wildness Dooms Altoona

Victor Black

The Curve faced a Bowie team loaded with major league players on Saturday, but it wasn’t the major leaguers who did them in.  Bowie’s lineup included major league veterans Endy Chavez, Mark Reynolds and Josh Barfield, and the Baysox’ starting pitcher was Zach Britton, who started 28 games for the Orioles last year.  Altoona still managed to take a 2-0 lead in the top of the 2nd, but Curve starter Nate Baker’s control deserted him in the bottom half, leading to four runs.  Baker walked four, hit one, threw a wild pitch and balked in a run in the inning.  He lasted only three innings in the game, which took him 80 pitches.  Bowie stretched the lead to five with three runs off reliever Kyle Cofield.  Quincy Latimore cut the deficit to 7-5 with a three-run HR, his team-leading fourth on the year, but Jeff Inman and Vic Black each gave up a run.  The final was 9-6.

Baker Can’t Find the Plate

Of his 80 pitches, Baker threw only 41 for strikes and often missed badly.  He has an excellent changeup, but his other pitches are marginal.  His fastball sat at 88-89, and his curve and slider weren’t effective.  His third inning meltdown consumed 39 pitches.  Cofield threw his sinker almost exclusively, with the pitch sitting at 91.  Inman was making his second appearance since his promotion.  He throws with a deliberate motion that makes him very easy to steal against, something Bowie did at every opportunity.  Inman’s fastball was 92-94 and he mixed in a few breaking balls and changeups.  Black’s fastball was mostly 93-96, but he hit 98-99 several times.  He has enough movement on it that he got a number of swings and misses.  His command is still shaky but much improved from last year.  His secondary pitches were erratic.

Notes on Other Players

– Brock Holt went 2-5 with two doubles.  Robbie Grossman also went 2-5 after fanning in his first two ABs.

— Jarek Cunningham went 0-5 with two whiffs, but showed the raw power he has in two ABs.  In one, he sent a flyball to deep right despite not getting a good swing.  He also lined out to deep center to end the game.

— Elevys Gonzalez went 2-3 with a double and hit batsman, but he also got thrown out at third with a four-run deficit in the 9th.  In fairness to Gonzalez, the ump blew the call on the play, as the third baseman clearly failed to tag him, but the throw did beat Gonzalez to the bag.

Enjoy this story? Pirates Prospects will be switching to a subscription site on 4/13, so that we can continue bringing you the best Pirates coverage there is. For a very small monthly price, you can continue getting articles like this, along with coverage from every minor league city. Get more information here, and subscribe today!

Share This Article

WTM

Wilbur Miller joined the site in July 2010. He has long been known for his excellent Player Profiles, which he brought to the site in February 2011, combining them with the existing Pirates Prospects Player Pages. Wilbur maintains the player pages section of the site, and provides regular articles to the main portion of the site, including a weekly Prospects Trend piece, featuring the best and worst prospects from the previous week.

Three Hits For Presley In Indians’ 5th Straight Win

Next Story »

Bats Beat Indians With Five Run 5th Inning

  • Lee Young

    The game I went to back in early May appears to have been Baker at his best. I went in expecting a long game, but he was efficient. I got lucky…..lol

    • wtmiller

      I’ve seen two of his last three starts and haven’t gotten lucky at all.

Latest Analysis

  • Alen Hanson f

    Pirates Talk With David Todd: Hanson, Ramirez, Taillon, Kingham, Richard, Worley

    5 hours ago

    I was on 970 ESPN in Pittsburgh this afternoon for my weekly segment with David Todd. The podcast can be heard below. Here is a summary of ...

    Read More
  • Billy Roth is the top prospect in Bristol this year.

    Another Projectable Prep Pitcher Sees An Increase in His Velocity

    11 hours ago

    When discussing the best Pittsburgh Pirates draft under Neal Huntington, the 2011 group has to be at the top of the list. It features Gerrit Cole, Tyler ...

    Read More
  • Arquimedes Caminero

    Breaking Down the Final Pirates Roster Battles After Today’s Cuts

    2 days ago

    With less than a week remaining in camp, the Pittsburgh Pirates made their latest round of cuts this morning, sending three relievers to minor league camp, including ...

    Read More
  • Keller Supak Hinsz

    Even With the New Draft Rules, the Pirates Are Still Loading Up on Projectable Pitchers

    3 days ago

    From 2008-2011, the Pittsburgh Pirates spent a lot of resources on projectable pitchers out of high school. So far, this approach has led to breakout performances from ...

    Read More
  • Josh Bell made the move to first base over the off-season. (Photo credit: David Hague)

    Why Should You Care About Prospects?

    5 days ago

    Yesterday I had a shorter day than usual. The Pirates had cuts at the MLB level, and a road game. The day was shortened at Pirate City, ...

    Read More
  • Gregory Polanco

    Q&A: Trading Prospects For Rentals, Polanco Concerns, Meadows vs Appel

    6 days ago

    I missed the Q&A last week due to a common problem in Spring Training: I forgot what day it was. It was around 6:00 that I was ...

    Read More
  • Nick Kingham f

    Improving His Two-Seam Fastball will Make Nick Kingham a More Effective Pitcher

    7 days ago

    With Jameson Taillon returning from Tommy John surgery, and unlikely to make an impact at the Major League level early in the year, the top prospect to ...

    Read More
  • Arquimedes Caminero 3

    The Roster Situations That Could Impact the Makeup of the Pirates Bullpen

    1 week ago

    There are less than two weeks remaining in Spring Training, and the one area where the Pittsburgh Pirates had actual position battles is heating up. There were ...

    Read More
  • Jordan Luplow

    How the Pirates are Trying to Stay Ahead of the Curve With the New Draft Rules

    1 week ago

    The 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement brought a lot of changes to Major League Baseball. The biggest change for the Pittsburgh Pirates came in the draft. From 2008-2011, ...

    Read More
  • Alen Hanson

    The Key For Alen Hanson to Help the Pirates in the Majors This Year

    1 week ago

    When the Pittsburgh Pirates moved Alen Hanson to second base last year, part of the plan was to get him to the majors faster by putting him at ...

    Read More
  • Browse More Articles

    More