All four teams in action today, beginning with a late morning start for West Virginia. A.J. Burnett makes his second rehab start for Bradenton. Justin Wilson, ranked 14th overall in the Pirates Prospects 2012 Prospect Guide, gets his second start of the season as well. A full recap of yesterday’s games can be found here.
Triple-A: Indianapolis (2-2) @ Columbus (4-1) 6:35pm
Probable starter: Justin Wilson (0-1 5.40)
Yesterday’s Result: Indianapolis 4 Columbus 5 (12 innings/game story here)
Justin Wilson is making his second start of the season. On 4/6 against Toledo, he went 5 innings, allowing three runs on two hits, six walks and he struck out six. Wilson spent all of last season with Indianapolis where he went 10-8 4.13 in 124.1 innings. He made 21 starts and nine relief appearances. Justin pitched four times for the Pirates during Spring Training. In 5.2 innings, he gave up two runs, walked seven and struck out six.
Double-A: Altoona (3-2) VS Akron (3-2) 6:30pm
Probable starter: Michael Colla (0-0 6.75)
Yesterday’s Result: Altoona 6 Akron 1
Michael Colla will get his second start of the season tonight. In his first outing on 4/5 against Erie, he went 4 innings, allowing three runs on five hits, two walks and he struck out three. He spent all of last season at Altoona where he went 5-11 3.70 in 133.2 innings. Colla made 23 starts last season after pitching only in relief during his first three seasons of pro ball. He struck out 109 batters and held opponents to a .229 average.
High-A: Bradenton (2-3) @ Palm Beach (2-3) 6:35pm
Probable starter: A.J. Burnett (0-1 1.93)
Yesterday’s Result: Bradenton 6 Palm Beach 2
A.J. Burnett will get his second rehab start for the Marauders tonight. In his first outing on 4/6 against St Lucie, he went 4.2 innings, allowing one run on two hits, one walk and he struck out five. Burnett pitched for the New York Yankees last season, where he went 11-11 5.15 in 190.1 innings. He was acquired in February in exchange for minor leaguers, Diego Moreno and Exicardo Cayones. If all goes well, the Pirates have said Burnett could rejoin the big league club before the end of the month.
Low-A: West Virginia (1-5) @ Asheville (3-3) 11:05am
Probable starter: Michael Jefferson (1-0 1.93)
Yesterday’s Result: WV 5 Asheville 6
West Virginia has now lost four straight games. Michael Jefferson will start today’s game. He pitched 4.2 innings of relief on 4/6 against Hagerstown. He gave up three walks and a run but did not allow a hit and he struck out four. Jefferson was 2-3 4.33 in 43.2 innings last year for State College. This was Stetson Allie’s turn in the rotation, but as reported here, he had some elbow tightness due to cold weather during his last start. He should be ready to pitch soon.
John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.
When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.