Prospect Watch: Poor Rehab Starts From Morton and McDonald


A look at how the current top 20 prospects did today.  Note that this list doesn’t include players currently in the majors. If a player is in the majors, he will be removed, everyone below him will be shifted up a spot, and a new player will be added to the bottom of the list. Rankings are from the pre-season rankings, and links to each prospect writeup can be found by clicking the player names below. Players who weren’t in the original top 20 are linked to their player page on the site.

1. Gerrit Cole, RHP, Indianapolis (3-3, 3.67) – DNP

2. Jameson Taillon, RHP, Altoona (3-5, 2.91) – DNP

3. Gregory Polanco, CF, Bradenton (.310) – DNP

4. Alen Hanson, SS, Bradenton (.290) –  DNP

5. Luis Heredia, RHP, Extended Spring Training (Luis Heredia Close to Joining West Virginia)

6. Josh Bell, RF, West Virginia (.280) – 2-for-4, 2B

7. Barrett Barnes, CF, West Virginia (.220) – Low-A DL

8. Tyler Glasnow, RHP, West Virginia (3-0, 2.31) – DNP

9. Kyle McPherson, RHP, Indianapolis (0-1, 19.29) – Triple-A DL

10. Nick Kingham, RHP, Bradenton (6-2, 3.21) – DNP

11. Clay Holmes, RHP, West Virginia (1-4, 5.60) – 5.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 0 HR

12. Dilson Herrera, 2B, West Virginia (.302) – 0-for-4

13. Tony Sanchez, C, Indianapolis (.290) – 0-for-3, 3 K

14. Wyatt Mathisen, C, West Virginia (.185) – Low-A DL

15. Adrian Sampson, RHP, Bradenton (2-1, 6.10) – DNP

16. Vic Black, RHP, Indianapolis (0-2, 2.63) – Triple-A DL

17. Andy Oliver, LHP, Indianapolis (3-2, 2.87) – DNP

18. Jin-De Jhang, C, Extended Spring Training

19. Stolmy Pimentel, RHP, Altoona (2-3, 3.70) – DNP

20. Jordy Mercer, SS, Indianapolis (.333) – In Majors



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Top Pitcher: Clay Holmes, RHP (1-4, 5.60) – 5.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Mel Rojas, CF (.247) – 3-for-5, RBI

Home Runs: None



Box Score

Result: Pawtucket 9, Indianapolis 1

Starting Pitcher: Charlie Morton, RHP (0-1, 4.50) – 5.0 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Jerry Sands, RF (.190) – 1-for-3

Other Notable Performers:

Duke Welker, RHP (3.80) – 1.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 0 K, 0 HR

Game Notes: Indianapolis only had four hits on the day, going up against top Red Sox prospect Rubby De La Rosa. One of the two hits off De La Rosa came from Jerry Sands, who is 11-for-33 in his last ten games. Charlie Morton made a rehab start, throwing 88 pitches and 56 strikes over five innings. Morton should have one more rehab start after this, throwing 100 pitches the next time out. Duke Welker has given up ten earned runs in 6.2 innings over his last five appearances.



Box Score

Result: Richmond 13, Altoona 2

Starting Pitcher: James McDonald, RHP (0-1, 40.50) – 0.2 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 0 K, 1 HR

Top Hitter: Mel Rojas, CF (.247) – 3-for-5, RBI

Other Notable Performers:

Andrew Lambo, LF (.287) – 1-for-4, 3B

Game Notes: James McDonald made his first rehab start, but it didn’t go so well. He threw 33 pitches with 14 strikes in the first inning and was removed from the game. According to Cory Giger, McDonald chalked the outing up to a blister on his right-middle finger.

Mel Rojas picked up three hits, and is now hitting for a .316/.386/.526 line in 38 at-bats over his last ten games. Adalberto Santos walked twice and stole his fifth base of the year. Andrew Lambo hit his fourth triple of the season.



Bradenton was off today.


Clay Holmes has done better with his K/BB ratio the last three starts.

Clay Holmes has done better with his K/BB ratio the last three starts.


Box Score

Result: Greensboro 3, West Virginia 0

Starting Pitcher: Clay Holmes, RHP (1-4, 5.60) – 5.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Josh Bell, RF (.280) – 2-for-4, 2B

Other Notable Performers:

Jason Creasy, RHP (3.63) – 3.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 0 HR

Max Moroff, SS (.231) – 1-for-4

Stetson Allie, 1B (.340) – 0-for-3, 2 K

Game Notes: For the second time in his last three starts, Clay Holmes gave up on earned run in five innings of work. He looks to be making some positive strides lately in the K/BB ratio department, with a 14:7 K/BB ratio in his last 14 innings. That has all come since the Pirates gave him a few extra days of rest, throwing him on nine days rest after walking 25 in his first 31 innings. Jason Creasy has been pitching well this month, with a 2.41 ERA in 18.2 innings, along with a 23:5 K/BB ratio and a 1.75 GO/AO ratio. He switched to a slider over the off-season, aimed at getting more ground balls and more strikeouts. It looks like it’s starting to work.

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Tim Williams

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.

Prospect Watch: West Virginia Wins Seventh Straight, Four For Fortunato

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Prospect Watch: Oliver and Glasnow Have Big Control Problems; Lots of Power in Indy

  • BuccosFanStuckinMD

    I hate to say this, but it appears that for whatever reason, James McDonald has totally lost it. It is really baffling how a pitcher can be so effective, and then have the wheels just totally fall off. He is worse now than when he was with the Dodgers.

    As for Morton, I was never a big fan…he seemed to be the ultimate under-achieving pitcher – sort of like Kip Wells – his “stuff” seems to be better than what the final results are. With Morton, one start he looks like a CY Young candidate, and then he will go 2-3 starts when he struggles to get through 3 innings.

    Other than maybe the spot currently being filled by Gomez, I don’t see how he is improvement over anyone currently in the rotation. I just hope they do not bring up either of these guys, until they can produce at least reasonable results at the AAA level. If they can’t, I would just let them both loose – I doubt there would be a long line of teams wanting either in their starting rotation – at least not for more than a couple of starts and they see what they get.

    • eric gaumann

      JMac the next Ollie Perez? A whif of awesome followed by ‘what the heck happened?’
      And agreed with you about Morton; he just doesn’t have the numbers, anywhere. I don’t get man-crush for this guy. Krap Wells is a good analogy though hopefully not quite that awful.

    • Lee Young

      I’m with you on Morton….

      I see you’re ‘stuck in Md’…my last job with the Navy entailed me driving to Annapolis from near Harrisburg and back for four years. I absolutely enjoyed Maryland! Other than that cost of living part….


      • BuccosFanStuckinMD

        Maryland is a nice enough place to live – we’ve been her now for 15 years – moved here from Pittsburgh area. But, the cost of living is high and the state government is EXTREMELY liberal and increases taxes and fees endlessly.

  • Lee Young

    What has happened to Welker since he went back down? And what his Santo’s problem? I just saw he is only hitting near .250!

    Addled Berto Foo

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