Ryan Hafner gets a real test in Lakewood tonight. The 17th round pick in the 2010 draft has struggled this season with his command, walking more than a batter per inning. Last year for State College he walked twenty batters over 65.2 innings. He has walked at least three batters in each of his last eight games, two of them relief appearances. He will face Ryan Howard tonight, his first rehab game since getting injured on the last play of the Phillies 2011 season. A full recap of yesterday’s games can be found here.
Triple-A: Indianapolis (48-31) VS Toledo (32-47) 7:05pm
Probable starter: Rick VandenHurk (6-0 2.27)
Yesterday’s Result: Indianapolis 9 Toledo 6 (Game story here)
Rick VandenHurk will make his seventh start for Indianapolis tonight. He has also made two relief appearances and one rehab start while with Bradenton. He went five innings in his last start, giving up three runs on six hits. For Indy, VandenHurk has pitched a total of 43.2 innings, with 35 hits allowed, four homers, 13 walks and he has 36 strikeouts. Batters are hitting .216 against him.
Double-A: Altoona (35-40) @ Harrisburg (40-37) 7:00pm
Probable starter: Brandon Cumpton (7-6 3.43)
Yesterday’s Result: Altoona 2 Harrisburg 5
Brandon Cumpton will make his 15th start of the season tonight. He has pitched a total of 86.2 innings, allowing 73 hits, five homers, 23 walks and he has struck out 55 batters. Brandon has a 2.10 GO/AO ratio and a .236 BAA. In his last game, he allowed four runs over 5.2 innings, striking out a season high of eight batters. It was his second straight outing in which he allowed four runs after a stretch of six runs allowed over five starts(34.1 innings). Cumpton faced Harrisburg on 5/23, allowing three runs in six innings.
High-A: Bradenton (31-44 overall 3-3 2nd half) VS Palm Beach (33-41 overall 2-5 2nd half) 6:30pm
Probable starter: Matt Benedict (0-1 8.31)
Yesterday’s Result: Bradenton 3 Dunedin 5
Matt Benedict is the likely start for tonight for Bradenton. He has pitched one game for the Marauders, going 4.1 innings on 6/22, allowing four runs on five hits and four walks. He began the year with WV, making 14 starts with 76.1 innings pitched, 72 hits allowed, 23 walks and 44 strikeouts.
Low-A: West Virginia (27-50 overall 4-3 2nd half) @ Lakewood ( 29-47 overall 3-4 2nd half) 7:05pm
Probable starter: Ryan Hafner (0-5 6.53)
Yesterday’s Result: West Virginia 7 Lakewood 2 (game story)
Ryan Hafner will make his tenth start of the season tonight. It is his second start since returning to the rotation after pitching just twice in relief during a three week stretch to begin June. In his last start, Hafner went three innings, giving up three runs on two hits and five walks. He has pitched a total of 41.1 innings, allowing 50 hits and 42 walks with 19 strikeouts. Hafner has allowed just three homers and he has a 1.79 GO/AO ratio.
Short Season A: State College (7-3) @ Mahoning Valley (3-7) 7:05pm
Probable Starter: Jason Creasy (0-1 4.05)
Yesterday’s Result: State College 6 Batavia 2 (game story)
Jason Creasy will make his third start of the season tonight. In his first game on 6/18, he went 2.2 innings, surrendering three runs (two earned) on three hits and two walks with two strikeouts. He improved to one run over four innings in his second start, allowing three hits and striking out four batters. Creasy pitched three times for the GCL Pirates last year, allowing three runs(one earned) on seven hits in 5.1 innings. He was the eighth round draft pick of the Pirates last year.
Rookie: GCL Pirates (4-3) VS GCL Yankees (8-1) 12:00pm
Yesterday’s Result: Pirates 6 Yankees 8
DSL: Pirates1 (12-10) VS Mets2 (14-8) 10:30am
Yesterday’s Result: Pirates 2 Rangers 10
DSL: Pirates2 (10-12) VS Nationals (14-8) 10:30am
Yesterday’s Result: Pirates 5 Giants 4+ posts
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.