Daily Archives: March 20, 2011
Continuing to work our way up the Pirates' minor league pitching ranks... Zacharys today...
Jameson Taillon -- R/R, 6' 6", 225 lb
Everyone knows about Taillon, the Pirates' #1 draft pick in 2010. Taillon, who is 19 years old, has a mid-to-high 90's fastball and a hard curve, plus a slider and changeup that both need some work. He signed at the deadline, so did not make his pro debut in 2010, though he did report to Fall Instrux and did fine there. Taillon got into a minor league spring training game today, and pitched 2 innings, allowing a run on 3 hits with 2 strikeouts. Just fine for his first time out. Taillon should be ready for A level West Virginia to begin the 2011 season, though Pirates' Kyle Stark has suggested that Taillon might remain in Bradenton for some extended spring training if it is "too cold" in West Virginia in early April.
Zack Von Rosenberg -- R/R, 6' 5", 205 lb
Zack's full name is Zachary, and he was born and attended high school in Zachary, Louisiana. The Pirates picked Von Rosenberg in the 6th round of the 2009 draft. He signed in time to make just one start, one inning, for the GCL Pirates that year (no hits, no walks, one strikeout). He made 13 starts for the State College Spikes in 2010. He struggled in his first four starts, allowing 12 earned runs in 16 innings for a 6.75 ERA. He had only 4 strikeouts over the first three games, but struck out 4 more in the fourth game, going into July. His next two starts were better, as he allowed only one run in each of two 5-inning starts, and struck out 4 and 5 batters respectively in those two games. On July 20th, he had another tough outing, as he gave up 4 runs on 8 hits in 5 innings. Von Rosenberg pulled it together for the rest of the season. In his remaining 6 starts, he allowed 3 earned runs over 28 innings (0.96 ERA), and struck out 20 batters in those games. The 20-year-old should start 2011 in West Virginia, where the Pirates would like to see more velocity develop on his fast ball (usually high 80's to 90 or so), which could boost his strikeout rate.
Pirates 3, Astros 1
Starter Charlie Morton continued to show the Pirates' management that he belongs in the starting rotation with a 6-inning shutout performance today in Kissimmee, Florida. Morton scattered 4 hits over his 6 innings and did not walk a batter. He struck out 5 Astros. C Humberto Quintero had two of those hits -- a single in the 3rd, when he reached as far as third base before being stranded, and a two-out single in the 5th. Astros' starter Jordan Lyles followed that second single with a line drive into left field, and Quintero raced around the bases. Pirates' LF Josh Fields got the ball back into the infield quickly, and Quintero was caught in a run-down and tagged out by C Ryan Doumit. Evan Meek and Chris Leroux each pitched a scoreless inning of relief. Neither gave up a hit, but both worked around base runners who got on due to fielding errors. SS Benji Gonzalez had a tough afternoon, with a fielding error in the 7th, back-to-back fielding errors in the 8th, then another fielding error in the 9th that lead to an unearned run. With Mike Crotta on the mound in the 9th, the error, a single, and a walk loaded the bases, and a sacrifice fly drove in the Astros' only run. Crotta has not allowed an earned run in his previous 6 appearances (8.1 innings).
SS Ronny Cedeno provided the Pirates with their first 2 runs, on a 2nd-inning home run that followed Josh Fields' double. Ryan Doumit picked up the RBI in the 3rd inning with a triple into left field, driving in 1B Andy Marte, who had singled. Steve Pearce, who started at third base today, singled twice in the game. CF Pedro Ciriaco, 2B Corey Wimberly, RF Cole White, 1B Garrett Atkins, and pinch-hitter Josh Rodriguez also got into the game.
More roster moves are expected on Monday, as the Pirates head into the final full week of spring training.
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.
Continuing to look at some of the pitchers in the Pirates' lower minor league organization. Today we consider five more of the Pirates' 2010 draft picks.
Stetson Allie -- R/R, 6' 4", 225 lb
Allie was the second round pick in the draft, coming out of high school in Cleveland. He signed at the last moment, so he did not get into any games in the regular season. He did go to Fall Instrux, where he again impressed the Pirates' management with his velocity and also with his maturity. He has a fastball that reached into the 100's several times toward the end of his high school career, but he has better control of it when it's in the mid 90's. He also throws a slider and needs work on a changeup. Control, along with the slider and the changeup, are what Allie is going to need to work on as he makes his pro debut. He has been pitching in the minor league spring training camp and has struggled a bit as he faced more experienced players. Allie seems to be slated to do more work in Extended Spring Training before beginning the 2011 season in State College.
James Archibald -- Bats L / Throws R, 6' 1", 190 lb
Archibald came to the Pirates in the 36th round of the draft. He got signed and got down to business in the GCL, at first working out of the bullpen. He did well in 3 relief appearances, allowing 5 hits and one run (a homer) in 5 relief innings, for a 1.80 ERA, with 3 strikeouts and no walks. Archibald was moved to the starting rotation, and in 8 starts, he had more trouble. His first two starts went well, as he allowed one run in 3 innings and one run in 5 innings. The next three were a little shakier, with 5 runs on 15 hits over 12.2 innings. His best game was on August 7th, when he struck out 7 batters in 5 innings. Archibald's last 3 starts were very tough. He allowed 14 runs on 19 hits in 9.1 innings, ballooning his total ERA to 5.40 for the season. Archibald will be 21 years old in May. He might spend some more time in the GCL before heading to State College in 2011.
Indianapolis Indians 7, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees 2
The Indians had both the pitching and the hitting tuned up this afternoon as they defeated the Yankees at Bradenton. SS Jordy Mercer, 2B Josh Harrison, and C Eric Fryer each drove in two runs. The scoring started when Harrison tripled in the 3rd inning, when 3 runs came in. Mercer blasted a solo homer, then Fryer's 2-run double was the gem of the 8th inning, as 3 more runs scored. Starter Justin Wilson pitched 3 scoreless innings, with 4 strikeouts, to earn the win. The Yankees scored their 2 runs in the 5th, with reliever Jared Hughes on the mound. Hughes pitched 2 innings and also struck out 3 batters. Tony Watson pitched 2 scoreless innings (3 K), and Anthony Claggett (2 K) and Ramon Aguero each pitched a scoreless frame.
Pirates 7, Red Sox 5
A 5-run 4th inning put the Pirates well on their way to a win this afternoon at Bradenton. The rally began when 2B Neil Walker reached base on a fielding error and CF Andrew McCutchen walked. 1B Lyle Overbay lifted a double into left field, which brought in both Walker and McCutchen. 3B Pedro Alvarez grounded to third, where Overbay was out, leaving Alvarez on first. RF Matt Diaz lined a single up the middle, and C Dusty Brown loaded the bases on an infield grounder that bounced off Red Sox pitcher Josh Beckett. With two outs, Pirates' starter Kevin Correia slipped a grounder into left field, driving in Alvarez and Diaz. When the throw in to the plate was not in time to get Diaz, the Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia tried to throw back to third to surprise Brown. The real surprise was when Saltalamacchia's throw sailed into left field, allowing Brown to score and Correia to move up to third. LF John Bowker gave the Pirates 2 more insurance runs with a homer in the 7th inning. Correia also singled in the 3rd inning but was out in a force play at second.
2B Pedro Ciriaco doubled after Bowker's homer in the 7th. CF Corey Wimberly, RF Josh Fields, and SS Josh Rodriguez got into the game. Steve Pearce played a few innings at third base as well.
Correia pitched 5 innings in his start. He gave up two singles in the top of the 1st and one in the 2nd, but double plays got him out of both innings. He zipped through the 3rd and 4th innings, then gave up 3 runs in the 5th. A walk, a single, and a sacrifice fly brought in the first run. Two more singles added a second run, then a throwing error by Walker at second and a sacrifice fly added an unearned run. Joel Hanrahan pitched a scoreless 6th, with 2 strikeouts. Then Justin Thomas allowed a run to score in the 7th on a run, a double, and a wild pitch. Fernando Nieve pitched the final two innings and earned the save even though he gave up a run on a double, a walk, and a single in the 9th.