Zack Dodson threw seven no hit innings in his second start of the week.

Zack Dodson Promoted to Altoona

Zack Dodson has been promoted to Altoona.

Zack Dodson has been promoted to Altoona.

The Pittsburgh Pirates have promoted left-handed pitcher Zack Dodson to Double-A. Dodson will make his debut with Altoona tonight. He had a 5.05 ERA in 87.1 innings in high-A, with a 39:31 K/BB ratio.

Dodson got off to a great start at the level this year, with a 3.04 ERA and a 16:6 K/BB ratio in 23.2 innings over his first four starts. He struggled during the middle of the season with a 13:20 K/BB ratio in 41.1 innings from late May to early July. In his last few outings, Dodson has pitched much better, with a 3.63 ERA and a 10:5 K/BB ratio in 22.1 innings.

When his stuff is on, Dodson features a 90-93 MPH fastball with good movement. He has also been working on a two-seam fastball this year that sits in the upper 80s. Dodson’s best pitch is his curveball, which has been inconsistent at times this year, but when it’s on it’s an out pitch. Dodson has struggled with his control in the past, but has done a better job the last two years commanding the fastball.

He didn’t have the numbers of guys like Nick Kingham or Eliecer Navarro, but Dodson does have good stuff for a lefty. He also just turned 23 about two weeks ago, so this somewhat aggressive push seems appropriate. Dodson was a member of the 2009 prep pitching group, and is currently the only pitcher from that list who could make it as a starter in the majors. He’s going to have to work on the consistency of his curveball and continue to improve with the fastball command to make that happen.

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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.

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  • CalipariFan506

    He’s the type of guy I’d eventually like to see groomed to replace a Tony Watson when he gets too expensive.

    • Lee Young

      Maybe that is in the Bucs plans?

  • CalipariFan506

    Maybe it is. I wasn’t being critical, just making an observation.

    IMO unless he really tears up as a starting pitcher in Altoona next season it would be wise to convert him to start 2015 in Indianapolis as a reliever. He has a Watsonesque profile.

    • BostonsCommon

      At this point it doesn’t matter if he makes it as a starter or a reliever. Obviously you’d like him to be a starter, but if his path is as a mid 90s lefty reliever, you have to take it, because up until this point it looked like the only value you would get from the ’09 prep pitchers was the 3rd piece that got you Wandy (Colton Cain).

      • CalipariFan506

        When we made that trade I was worried that we would eventually regret trading Grossman. And right now he would probably be our starting RF. But who knew durable Wandy gets hurt so it’s impossible to be too critical for now.

        • BostonsCommon

          Grossman has a .707 OPS with the Astros this year in 169 PA, aided heavily by a 11.8% BB rate (which is actually well below his minor league career average).

          He’s not the answer in RF and would have been nothing more than a member of the current platoon group keeping that spot warm for Polanco.

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