Minor League Schedule: 5/5/12

**Phil Irwin gets the start tonight for Bradenton, Cole will go tomorrow** Top ranked prospect Gerrit Cole, makes his sixth start of his pro career tonight. He is coming off of his best career start five days ago in which he threw a one hitter over six innings. Altoona will play a double header today consisting of two 7 inning games. A full recap of yesterday’s games can be found here.

Gerrit Cole is second in strikeouts for Bradenton behind Jameson Taillon

Triple-A: Indianapolis (14-13) VS Louisville (10-19) 7:05pm
Probable starter: Jeff Locke (2-1 2.89)

Yesterday’s Result: Indianapolis 5 Norfolk 10 (game story here)

Jeff Locke will make his sixth start of the season tonight. He has greatly improved since a rough beginning this year. In his first two starts, he allowed seven runs in nine innings. In his three outings since, he has given up just two runs in 19 total innings. In 28 innings, Locke has recorded 23 strikeouts, with a season high of eight on 4/18 in his second straight start against Columbus. Left-handed batters are hitting .163 against him.

Double-A: Altoona (11-15) VS Richmond (13-15) 5:00pm DH
Probable starter: Nate Baker (2-3 6.94) and Shairon Martis (0-0 0.00)

Yesterday’s Result: Altoona 8 Richmond 7

Nate Baker will get his sixth start tonight. After allowing one earned run in his first two starts(11 innings), Baker has allowed 17 earned runs in 12.1 innings during his last three starts. In each of those starts, he also gave up one unearned run.  While he has struggled with command, walking 14 batters against just 12 strikeouts, Nate remains tough to homer against. He has yet to allow a home run this year, following a 2011 campaign in which he allowed just six homers in 148.1 innings while with Bradenton.  Shairon Martis will be making his first start for Altoona and just his second appearance for the Curve. He pitched three innings in relief on 4/29, allowing one hit, one walk, no runs and he struck out three. He began the year with Indianapolis and in four relief appearances, he gave up seven runs in 8.1 innings.

High-A: Bradenton (12-16) @ Tampa (14-14) 6:00pm
Probable starter: Phil Irwin (2012 debut)

Yesterday’s Result: Bradenton 2 Tampa 0 (Jameson Taillon live report)

Phil Irwin gets his first start of the season tonight. He missed the beginning of the year with a forearm injury from the Arizona Fall League last season, that he re-injured during Spring Training. He went 13-4 3.14 last year in 140.2 innings, splitting the year between Altoona and Bradenton

Low-A: West Virginia (11-17) @ Greensboro (19-8) 7:00pm
Probable starter: Ryan Hafner (0-2 13.50)

Yesterday’s Result: West Virginia 8 Asheville 5

Ryan Hafner will make his third start of the season tonight after missing the beginning of the season recovering from a hamstring injury. In his opening start, he allowed seven runs(six earned) in three innings of work, striking out three while giving up five hits and two walks. He came back in his second start to go 3.2 innings, allowing four runs on six hits, four walks and he failed to strike out a batter. Ryan was the Pirates 17th round draft pick in 2010 and was ranked 30th overall in the Pirates Prospects 2012 Prospect Guide. He pitched last season for State College, where he went 2-6 3.15 in 69.2 innings. He struck out 31 batters and walked twenty.

John Dreker

Author: John Dreker

John was born in Kearny, NJ, hometown of the 2B for the Pirates 1909 World Championship team, Dots Miller. In fact they have some of the same relatives in common, so it was only natural for him to become a lifelong Pirates fan. Before joining Pirates Prospects in July 2010, John had written numerous articles on the history of baseball while also releasing his own book and co-authoring another on the history of the game. He writes a weekly article on Pirates history for the site, has already interviewed many of the current minor leaguers with many more on the way and follows the foreign minor league teams very closely for the site. John also provides in person game reports of the West Virginia Power and Altoona Curve.

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