Today was an extremely busy day for updates on the site. Overall, we had 17 posts going up since last night’s First Pitch. There’s a good chance you missed some of that. I had an article ready for tonight, but I decided to push that back until tomorrow to recap what ended up one of the busiest news days of the year so far. I’ll just take today as a practice run for the madness next week with the draft, which is always one of my favorite days of the year in running this site.
The Injury Updates
The Pirates have had a ton of injuries this year to their minor league system. I don’t know if it’s because there have been so many injuries, but the demand for new information and updates on these players has been bigger than I ever remember. That kind of demand for prospect information is the same kind of demand that keeps this site running strong. But in most cases, if there’s no update given, that just means there’s no update to give.
Take Austin Meadows, for example. I had an update on him today, noting that he has Started Doing On-Field Work This Week. Prior to this, the only update would have been that Meadows remained on the DL, and was in rest mode. To give an extreme comparison, it would be like providing an update on Jameson Taillon next month, when all the update would say is that he’s recovering from Tommy John surgery and won’t be back until early next year.
If there’s no change in the player’s status, then there’s nothing really to update. I’m in the business of providing information that people want, and people want injury updates this year. We’ve reported every update when there was an update to report. Unfortunately, there haven’t been many updates, as the recovery times for some of these guys have been slow.
I mentioned that Meadows started doing on-field work this week. Barrett Barnes has also been doing on-field work this week. Barnes has had a slow rehab period, as this is his third hamstring injury on the same leg in two years. Also in that link: Jose Osuna and Jeff Inman are close to returning to Bradenton. They should both be there by this time next week.
I was over at Pirate City today to see Stolmy Pimentel start his rehab work. He’ll pitch two innings his next time out, and will rehab as a reliever as he makes his way back to Pittsburgh.
Also, if you’re wondering about Luis Heredia, I didn’t see him. I also didn’t see him the two other times I’ve been to Pirate City in the last week. I’m trying to get an update there, or at least see if there is any change in his situation.
The Indianapolis outfield took a hit today. Ryan Palencer reported earlier this week that Andrew Lambo visited a specialist. Today it was announced that Lambo had surgery on his right thumb. That will put him out for six to eight weeks. Also, Ryan reports that Chris Dickerson went on the DL. The pair of moves, plus the impending promotion for Gregory Polanco, led to a much deserved promotion to Indianapolis tonight…
The biggest transaction today, or at least the biggest surprise, was the promotion of Mel Rojas to Indianapolis. It might not be a surprise when you consider the previously mentioned injuries to Indianapolis outfielders. It might not be a surprise if you’ve been following the progress from Rojas this season. All I can say is that when I wrote a few days ago that Rojas was one of the guys deserving of a promotion, I didn’t expect the move to come by the weekend.
**In expected news, Wandy Rodriguez was placed on unconditional release waivers today. This pretty much ends his time with the Pirates, and also means the Pirates are on the hook for the full $7.5 M they owed him this year.
**A series of minor moves, led by Ryan Beckman to Altoona, and Brandon Mann Released.
**As the Pirates get ready for the start of the Dominican Summer League season tomorrow, they released eight players from the DSL. More on that in a link below.
Draft and International News
The DSL starts tomorrow. John Dreker will have a preview in the morning, with some of the top prospects to follow. This year there will only be one team to follow, as the Pirates have dropped one of their DSL teams. In the article, I explain how this basically means the team has moved to Bristol. The Pirates still have four short-season teams. This year they have three in the US and one in the DSL, rather than two at each location. That means the overall competition is higher. The Pirates will get more of an opportunity to challenge some guys who might have been too good for the DSL or GCL, but not good enough for Jamestown, or lacked a spot in the GCL.
The way I see it, the GCL now becomes the advanced DSL team. Bristol is where the advanced guys who normally would have been in the GCL will go. Jamestown will still be where the most advanced guys go, although I could see a few borderline prep guys getting held back at Bristol. It’s going to be interesting to follow.
The rosters for some of these teams will largely be filled by the draft, which takes place next week. Baseball America released their fourth mock draft. Meanwhile, MLB.com released their Top 200 Draft Prospects.
The Daily Stuff
Aside from all of the busy news, we had our daily coverage. I included a quick article on Gregory Polanco in this section, in part because it didn’t fit in the above sections, and in part because it seems like Polanco is a daily feature. Polanco is now considered a top three prospect in the game. I included a few links to opinions and reports on Polanco. He might be up in a little over a week.
**Prospect Watch: Adrian Sampson Leads a Great Night of Pitching; JaCoby Jones Grand Slam. Another huge night for Sampson, and a great night for the pitching overall. The four starters combined for an 0.73 ERA in 24.2 innings pitched.