Continuing to look at Pirates’ pitchers in the lower levels of the organization:
Jarryd Sullivan — R/R, 6′ 0″, 181 lb
The 21-year-old Sullivan came to the Pirates out of the new Australian Baseball Academy. He has a fastball in the high 80’s, a curve, and a strong changeup. Sullivan made his US debut in 2010, and after extended spring training, he began the short season at State College. He made 3 appearances there, for 3 innings, but allowed 5 runs (3 earned) on 4 hits and 4 walks, for an 8.10 ERA. He went down to the GCL for the rest of the season, and pitched better there, making 5 starts and 7 relief appearances. In 35 innings, Sullivan gave up 16 earned runs on 40 hits, for a 4.11 ERA. He walked only 3 batters, and struck out 15. Over the winter, Sullivan returned to his native Australia and pitched for the Sydney Blue Sox in the Australian Baseball League. He made 5 relief appearances for the Blue Sox, for a total of 7.2 innings without allowing a run. He did give up 4 hits and 3 walks, while striking out 7 batters. Sullivan should get another try at State College to begin 2011.
Joely Rodriguez — L/L, 6′ 1″, 175 lb
Rodriguez is a 19-year-old Dominican, who made his US debut in 2010 after one year in the Dominican Summer League. He made 9 starts for the GCL Pirates, for a total of 47.1 innings. He allowed 44 hits and 21 earned runs, including 10 homers. He walked only 7 batters, while striking out 26 batters. That’s a little high on the homers and a little low on the strikeouts, but the latter could improve with some more work on his off-speed pitches. He gets a lot of ground-ball outs. At the end of the season, Rodriguez was promoted to State College, where he appeared in 2 games. The first was tough, as he allowed 3 runs on 4 hits and a walk, in one inning. The second appearance went better — one unearned run on 2 hits and a walk in 3 innings. Rodriguez should be back in State College for 2011.