First Pitch: The Thing the Pirates Organization Does Best

First Pitch: The Thing the Pirates Organization Does Best

The Pirates get a lot of criticism for being too conservative with their pitching prospects. The complaints range from pitch counts, to single game inning totals, to single season inning totals. But one thing rarely gets mentioned: the Pirates have an excellent injury track record.

Ryan Beckman underwent successful Tommy John surgery today after leaving his first start in Altoona with an elbow injury. Beckman was drafted in the 18th round of the 2009 draft. And to my knowledge, he's the only home grown pitcher that has had a major injury under this management group and their "conservative" pitching philosophies.

The only other players in the organization that I can recall having Tommy John surgery are Donald Veal, Tyler Yates, and Jimmy Barthmaier. None of those three can be chalked up to the Pirates' development of pitchers, as none were developed in the farm system. Kevin Hart and Jose Ascanio both dealt with major shoulder injuries after coming to the Pirates in the July 2009 trad...

This content is for Pirates Prospects subscribers only. Subscribe today to access all of our daily coverage of the Pirates' system, with rates lower than $2.25 per month. If you're already a member, you can log in below.


Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

More in Analysis

(Photo credit: David Hague)

Advanced Approach Pays Dividends for Ty Moore

Jamey ConlinJuly 4, 2015
Stephen Tarpley

Stephen Tarpley Providing the Left-Handed Pitching the Pirates’ System Needs

Pete EllisJuly 3, 2015
(Photo Credit: David Hague)

Radhames Liz Sees Early Success in a Starting Role

Ryan PalencerJuly 3, 2015
The Pirates' Dominican Academy, which opened in 2008.

Why Some International Players Can Sign, But Have Trouble Entering the U.S.

Tim WilliamsJuly 2, 2015
(Photo Credit: David Hague)

Gift Ngoepe’s Promotion Was a Long Time Coming

Sean McCoolJuly 1, 2015
Kevin Kramer June 21, 2015 Game 2

Pirates Second Round Pick Kevin Kramer is Disciplined and Evolving

Jamey ConlinJune 30, 2015

Pirates Prospects is an independent media outlet, and is in no way affiliated with the Pittsburgh Pirates, their minor league affiliates, Major League Baseball, or Minor League Baseball.

Copyright © 2015 Pirates Prospects