First Pitch: Thoughts on a Busy News Day, Upcoming Power Features

Today was a really long day in terms of articles. We had nine articles go up since last night’s First Pitch, not counting this one, with a ton of news to discuss. There was also a rain delay in West Virginia for Connor Joe’s debut, which is the absolute worst thing you want the night before an early flight back to Florida. That combination means I didn’t get a chance to write this article earlier today, and don’t want to be up too late writing it now, since I’ve got to be up in about five hours, at the time of this writing.

Therefore, I’m going to make this a notes article, giving thoughts on all of the stories today, and let you catch up on a busy news day. I’ve got about an hour of interviews to transcribe from my time in West Virginia, and will be knocking that out tomorrow while I’m traveling. I’ve got nine more features lined up right now on this team, starting with one tomorrow afternoon. Also, for those of you who liked my article on the Assembly Line for Pitchers, I’m starting the groundwork on the hitting version of that. Hopefully it will be done in a week or two.

Here are today’s links.

**Prospect Watch: Connor Joe Looks Good in Pro Debut. My live report on Connor Joe, along with Austin Coley’s start. Those two will be the subject of two of the upcoming features from West Virginia. Sean McCool had a live report from Altoona, and Ryan Palencer had a fueled report on Indianapolis.

**John Holdzkom Shut Down With Shoulder Fatigue. You hope that this is the reason for his command issues this year, because the alternative is that last year was a fluke and a very short-lived feel good story. You also hope this is nothing serious and he gets back to where he was last year, because Mark Melancon isn’t making a lot of people comfortable as the closer right now.

**Neal Huntington on Harrison’s Struggles, Pitching Depth, Low Walk Rates. A few notes from Huntington on MLB-related topics.

**Neal Huntington on Jameson Taillon’s Rehab, Richard, Sampson, Sanchez. This one took a closer look at the minor league pitching depth, starting with Jameson Taillon’s rehab progression.

**Minor Moves: Joe Added to Power Roster, Richard to Indianapolis. Clayton Richard is a part of the depth mentioned in the article above, and Huntington talked about him and his progress. He was added to Indianapolis after that article went up.

**Draft Prospect Watch: New Mock Draft, Plus an Elite Defensive Shortstop on the Rise. A lot of interesting draft notes today, with the draft less than a month away.

**Pirates Place Bastardo on the Paternity List, Recall LaFromboise. Short-term move, although Bastardo has struggled so far this year, so this isn’t a big inconvenience to the Pirates.

**Morning Report: There Are a Lot of Storylines to Follow in Altoona. One of those is Max Moroff, who we will feature in an article tomorrow morning.

**Top Performers: Max Moroff Has Some Impressive Active Hitting Streaks. Speaking of Moroff, he was the top hitter last week, and carried over his hitting streaks today.

  • BuccosFanStuckinMD
    May 12, 2015 9:04 am

    Anyone have any recent information regarding Holmes and Ramirez, as far as when they both may be returning to real game action?

    • John Dreker
      May 12, 2015 10:06 am

      Holmes at the beginning of April still had not thrown a sim game was “a couple months away” from returning to real games, which gives him at least three more weeks before we see him. Ramirez is still working on conditioning before he can start playing games, so there isn’t a set timetable, could be a week, could be a month

  • Tim: Glad to see CJ get to the field and play – let’s hope he puts it together quickly. Charlie Morton? I think he pitched 7 innings on the 7th – any plans for him to get another start at AA or AAA?

    • John Dreker
      May 12, 2015 10:07 am

      Morton pitches for Indianapolis on Thursday

      • Do they envision him throwing a certain amount of innings in AAA or is it more of an eye test with a focus on mechanics etc.?

        • Let’s just say that it isn’t a coincidence that Morton’s rehab start in AAA lines up exactly with Vance Worley’s spot in the rotation…

          • I just checked the stats and Worley’s and Locke’s are almost identical. Again – not a Locke fan but I think it speaks volumes that they went with Locke over Worley before they knew Morton was a mess and had to use them both. So if your theory is correct, Morton replaces Worley who goes to the pen and replaces who? Who still has options – Bastardo, Scahill and Hughes? They seem to like two lefties in the pen and I’d be stunned if Hughes goes down so I guess Scahill is the odd man out.

            • Six weeks into the season, with trading set to heat up within the next month, I honestly think the best plan isn’t to put Worley in the pen at all. He’ll almost certainly not be an asset there; nothing about his profile or his history leads one to believe he’d be successful. And at this point, I’m not sure he’s really any better as a depth starter than Casey Sadler, Clayton Richard, or Adrian Sampson.

              If they do choose to hold onto Worley, Scahill seems almost certain to go.

        • John Dreker
          May 12, 2015 1:55 pm

          They said they want to see him pitch and then go from there, so nothing is set in stone

      • Thank you

  • Thanks tim, safe journey.