Minor League Schedule: 5/31/12

Jeff Karstens will make a rehab start for Indianapolis tonight. He is on a limit of either five innings or eighty pitches, whichever he reaches first. In other games, Tim Alderson makes his fourth start since switching from relief and Hunter Strickland makes his fifth start since being injured by a line drive in April. A full recap of yesterday’s games can be found here.

Alderson has thrown five shutout innings against Richmond this year

Triple-A: Indianapolis (30-22) VS Durham (23-31) 7:05pm
Probable starter: Jeff Karstens (0-1 6.23)

Yesterday’s Result: Indianapolis 4 Durham 5 (game story)

Jeff Karstens will make his third rehab start since going on the disabled list on April 18th with right shoulder inflammation. He pitched for Altoona on 5/21, going three scoreless innings, with two hits allowed, no walks and one strikeout. In his last start five days ago for Indy, he went 4.1 innings, allowing five runs(three earned) on two hits and two walks. Before going on the DL, he made three starts for the Pirates. He allowed one run in six innings on 4/7 against the Phillies. Jeff then allowed three runs in five innings against the Dodgers on 4/12. In his last start, he threw just one inning before leaving the game.

Double-A: Altoona (23-28) VS Richmond (25-28) 6:30pm
Probable starterTim Alderson (2-1 2.20)

Yesterday’s Result: Altoona 4 Richmond 5

Tim Alderson will make his fourth start since switching over from relief earlier this month. He threw 4.2 innings in his last start, giving up three runs on five hits and four walks. It was his third appearance against Bowie in a 17 day span. In his prior start, Tim allowed just two hits over seven shutout innings. He pitched ten games in relief before making the switch, two coming while with Indianapolis. On the year, Tim has thrown a total of 36.2 innings, allowing 31 hits, eleven walks and he has 26 strikeouts. At home with Altoona this year, Alderson has a 1.59 ERA in 17 innings.

High-A: Bradenton (23-29) VS Fort Myers (21-31) 6:30pm
Probable starter: Hunter Strickland (2-2 3.68)

Yesterday’s Result: Bradenton 3 Ft Myers 4

Hunter Strickland will make his eighth start of the season tonight. He has pitched a total of 29.1 innings, allowing 34 hits, five walks and he has struck out 14 batters. In his last start on 5/26, Hunter went six innings, allowing three runs on seven hits with one walk and one strikeout. In his previous outing, he threw five shutout innings. Last time Strickland faced Ft. Myers, he was hit by a line drive at the end of the second inning and missed the next three weeks.

Low-A: West Virginia (18-35) @ Hickory (26-25) 7:00pm
Probable starter: Ryan Hafner (0-3 7.31)

Yesterday’s Result: West Virginia 10 Lakewood 5

Ryan Hafner will make his eighth start of the season tonight. He has pitched a total of 28.1 innings, allowing 39 hits, 22 walks and he has recorded 13 strikeouts. Hafner has allowed ten or more baserunners in each of his last three starts and only once this year has he thrown five full innings in a game. In his two road starts this season, he allowed just two earned runs over nine innings. Left-handed batters are hitting .225 against him this year.

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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.

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