DSL Prospect Watch: Pirates Lose Series Openers To Cardinals and Phillies
For a season preview of the Pittsburgh Pirates two Dominican Summer League teams, check out our article here. Throughout the year, we will provide the recaps of both teams, as well as highlight one player each day.
Result: Phillies 3, Pirates 1
Starting Pitcher: Miguel Ferreras, RHP (0-3, 4.15) – 5.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, 0 HR
Top Hitter: Yunelky Adames, 1B (.232) – 1-for-3, 2B, BB
Other Notable Performers:
Julio de la Cruz, 3B (.184) – DNP
Andres Mendoza, RHP (6.14) – 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 0 HR
Tito Polo, CF (.328) – 0-for-4
Yomifer Polanco, RF (.303) – 2-for-4
Johan De Jesus, SS (.178) – 0-for-3
Game Notes: Starter Miguel Ferreras picked up his third loss of the season, giving up three runs over five innings, though just one run was earned. The Pirates bullpen of Andres Mendoza, Christian Henriquez and Carlos Ruiz combined for four shutout innings, but the offense could only come up with one ninth inning run. Phillies starter, Gregario Santos threw a complete game, the third time he has gone at least seven innings this season. Deybi Garcia had the only RBI by the Pirates and the double by Yunelky Adames was their only extra base hit. Shortstop prospect Johan De Jesus returned to the lineup after sitting out the last three games. He is currently in an 0-for-16 slump, with nine strikeouts. He also made his tenth error of the year. Top prospect Julio de la Cruz has missed three straight games since leaving Wednesday’s game after being hit by a pitch. Dennis Hurtarte has been out the last week with a wrist injury that occurred during a swing. He should return to the lineup soon. Both Pirates teams have off today.
Result: Cardinals 5, Pirates 4
Starting Pitcher: Francis Rodriguez, RHP (0-1, 6.48) – 4.0 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 HR
Top Hitter: Michael de la Cruz, CF (.288) – 1-for-2, 2 BB
Other Notable Performers:
Steven De La Mota, LF (.325) – 2-for-4
Jhoan Herrera, 3B (.254) – 0-for-4
Yoel Gonzalez, C (.105) – 0-for-3
Carlos Munoz, 1B (.414) – 1-for-3, RBI, BB
Richard Mitchell, RHP (1-1, 1.50) – 2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 0 HR
Game Notes: The Pirates dropped the opener of a two game series against the Cardinals, pushing their record down to 9-9 on the season. Richard Mitchell has pitched well this year and he gave up only one run today, but he still took the loss, the first one of his two year career. Michael de la Cruz continued the impressive start to his career, reaching base three times today. In 17 games, he has 17 hits and 18 walks. Steven De La Mota had his fourth straight multi-hit game after starting the year with just four hits in his first nine games. Jhoan Herrera committed his ninth error of the season.
Player Of The Day
A few years ago, it wasn’t uncommon to see numerous guys on the Dominican pitching staff that were under 6’0″ tall. Looking at the pitching staffs the Pirates have put together recently, they have been leaning heavily towards bigger players. The Pirates1 team for example, doesn’t have a single player now that is less than 6’0″ tall. The biggest among them is Brayan Almonte, a fourth year player, who actually played in the Gulf Coast League two years ago.
At 6’7″, the 21-year-old is an imposing figure on the mound, but like a lot of young players that tall, he has trouble with his mechanics, leading to a high walk rate. In all four seasons he has played, he has walked more than a batter per inning. Despite control problems his first season, he looked like a potentially promising player. The reason was, as a 6’7″ 18-year-old, he held batters to a .165 BAA. That is what earned him a trip to the GCL, but his time there did not go well. He had a 12.46 ERA in 15 appearances covering 17.1 innings. He also had a .319 BAA and walked 22 batters, so he returned to the DSL.
This season will be his last in the Dominican. Due to the four year rule, he either has to be promoted to the States, or be released. Almonte is pitching strictly in relief this year and while he has seven strikeouts in 5.2 innings, he has given up eight walks, seven hits and six runs. It seems unlikely that he will become anything now, but how quickly do you give up on a pitcher with that kind of size is a question the Pirates will be faced with this Fall.