The Pirates are Allowing Their Young Pitchers to Throw More Innings Than Ever Before

Mitch Keller threw eight innings last year in a Bradenton playoff game. Photo Credit: Sean McCool
The Pirates are Allowing Their Young Pitchers to Throw More Innings Than Ever Before

CHARLESTON, WV - Jameson Taillon made 23 starts during his pro debut season in West Virginia in 2011. Out of those 23 starts, only seven were for five innings, and none longer. Taillon was mostly limited to four inning appearances, with the Pirates exercising caution with their top prospect.

When I was in West Virginia last week, I saw two pitchers going into the seventh inning. Eduardo Vera -- in his first full season back from Tommy John -- went seven full innings. Luis Escobar went 6.2 innings, but ran into control problems which prevented him from escaping the inning.

It's a massive contrast from how the Pirates used to handle pitchers in the lower levels. And it's not just West Virginia.

In the GCL, Leandro Pina is making his jump to the US. He went six innings on July 22nd, ...

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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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