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...
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 AccuScore.com, 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.