I don’t really have a central theme for the night, but have a few thoughts to expand upon today’s articles, along with some thoughts on tonight’s game.
**Wandy Rodriguez going four innings tonight was big. The rotation looks much better with Rodriguez looking healthy this year. If he can return and look like he did with the Pirates before his injury, that will be a big boost to the rotation. Brandon Cumpton going 4.2 innings was also a positive sign for the depth. There would be a lot of teams that would have Cumpton in their rotation right now, especially with starters dropping like flies around the league.
**The Edinson Volquez Experiment Isn’t Looking Good Right Now. I’ve said all off-season that the Pirates have earned the chance to trust their scouts and pitching coaches to come up with another value pitcher. Volquez has been struggling with his adjustments so far, with flashes of potential. He’s open to making a change, which is always a positive step. Overall, it’s difficult to make these changes. Volquez is in a good situation, getting help from a lot of good pitching coaches the last year. There’s no guarantee this will work, but the Pirates deserve some leeway to give it a shot. All along I wanted to wait and see how the Volquez situation worked out before giving it my final judgement. I wasn’t high on the move, and didn’t think he could bounce back, but the Pirates have earned some trust here after their success the last few years.
**Chris Stewart Has Minor Knee Surgery. Because he’s only expected to miss 4-6 weeks, the Pirates shouldn’t need to trade for someone. Tony Sanchez would be fine as the backup catcher for the month of April, with Stewart taking over when he returns.
**Pirates Release Seth McClung. I saw him pitch this week, and in his final pitch he went all out, throwing as hard as he could, and letting out a grunt, but only hitting 91 MPH.
**Polanco and Taillon Make Top 20 Rookie List. Those two will be a big boost to the team once mid-June rolls around.
**The 2014 Prospect Guide is in stock on the products page of the site. The book features profiles, scouting reports, and grades on every player in the minor league system, including our top 50 prospects. The Prospect Guide has been mentioned as a resource several times on the Pirates’ broadcast, and has been purchased as a source of reference by opposing MLB front office members, opposing scouts, and media members. If it’s a good resource for them, it’s a good resource for you. You can order your Prospect Guide on the products page of the site.