With the news of the Tommy John surgery for Nick Kingham, who became the second anticipated member of the Indianapolis starting rotation to go down with the elbow ailment, Indianapolis manager Dean Treanor feels for the starter.

“It is really tough when you have someone to focus on, who is in the plans, and then to lose a year to year and a half,” Treanor said. “He probably won’t be back until next summer at least. It is a setback for him.”

Brandon Cumpton had Tommy John surgery before the regular season even started, and now he is joined by Kingham. However, Treanor is also optimistic for the starters remaining in the organizations, and points to the production for these starter to limit the sting.

“The thing about the Pirates, the younger pitching just keeps getting better,” Treanor said. “Now, we just have to wait for those guys to get back. With Brandon Cumpton at the beginning of the year, you had two guys that were going to be in this rotation [including Kingham], but the guys have filled in well and done a nice job here.”

The other pitching news from Thursday was that Jameson Taillon worked three strong innings in extended Spring Training, having him progressing closer to joining the Indianapolis rotation.

“Unless something happens up there, we are obviously anticipating Taillon getting here,” Treanor said. “Whenever he gets here, he gets here and we will make some decisions then.”

As for the time frame for Taillon, Treanor said that it is still a wait-and-see situation on the arrival and he has not heard any news on the path to Indianapolis.

“It is a matter of innings and what they want him to do pitch-wise,” Treanor said. “At least until he gets here, so he can go in there and get a good number in the pitch count. We have talked about him a little bit, and that he is on the track to get here, but when he gets here is up in the air and depends on how he reacts.”

Along with this, Deibinson Romero left the team to pursue an opportunity in Korea. Treanor said that to combat this, they will move Brent Morel back to third base and slide Hunter Morris back in at first. Romero had previously beaten Morel out at third base before leaving.

Morris has really struggled with Indianapolis so far this season, but Treanor is hopeful that having him play every day will get him going.

“With Romero gone, we have moved Morel over to third and Morris to first,” Treanor said. “It is a little bit different and hopefully with some more at bats, Morris can get going. We looked good with that yesterday and I like Morel at third base, so we are good there and it is not going to be a drop off at all.”

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18 COMMENTS

  1. Hunter Morris went 0-4 with 4 Ks last night – now hitting around .140…why do they keep allowing him to play and not move Bell up?

    • Repeating what I said on another post – I just don’t get the Josh Bell fans – he has ONE HR this year in close to 200 plate appearances. I want my corner infielders to hit 20 or so – Mark Grace was nice – but never hit 20 in his ML career – and he played in HR friendly Wrigley

        • Perfect example why NOT to bring Bell up quicker than necessary. By the time Bats figured it out he was a cast off. That’s what happens. Alvarez is a good 1B through 2016. Then if bell is ready you hand him a job going into trading camp. If he doesn’t win it outright, back to AAA for a second year if necessary.

          We are no longer a AAAA baseball academy for contenders.

      • How you hit the ball matters more at this point for Bell than pure numbers. If you are hitting the ball hard consistently, you are fine. You can easily get a guy to go up and hunt for HRs, but that isnt teaching him to be a quality hitter. If the exit velocity on a large number of your hits is high, it shows you are squaring it up and have the velo to go deep. At that point, its all about the ball leaving the bat at the right angle.

        With this team, its also rather shortsighted to have a set “number” you want players to get to for HRs. As a team, you want power. But you can get that in many ways, 2-3 30 HR guys or 5 guys in the 15-25 range. Cutch, Marte, Kang, Harrison all provide decent power. Even if you are getting “only” 15 HRs from Bell, its adding another 15 HR guy to a lineup full of that. 15-20 range is easily doable with how hard Bell is hitting the ball.

        • Let alone the OBP provided by Bell which is huge. You mean to tell me we wouldn’t welcome a guy on our team who hits for a very high average and walks more than he k’s? The HR aspect is shortsighted and nonsense…a home run is great, but statistics tell you that a guy with Bell’s bat is going to be more productive and produce more runs for the team than a guy who hits 230 and is a 3-true-outcomes player. Aren’t runs what we want? Those lead to more wins, right?

      • Well noone will care if Bell hits 20 homers if he has a lifetime batting average of .315 and wins 5 gold gloves. That being said- That’s a pretty unlikely outcome for Bell, so I would have to agree with you here

    • Bell’s development matters way more than the stats of the guy in AAA. If you can get him 1-2 more months of work on his defense in AA without him having to do that+see advance pitching its a plus. He still gets a full year of work in AAA if you promote him in a month or two. All accounts are his defense does need work, so focusing on that while hitting well in AA aint bad.

  2. I know this has been discussed alot but lets move Josh Bell up to AAA and advance his competition level. The Indians look like a surefire playoff team so he will still have that experience and extra time. That would also allow another chain reaction of moves to happen in moving guys upwards.

    Id love to see Bell and Taillon both come up to Pittsburgh next year in June/July and help for another playoff run.

    • Eric: Bell, Taillon, Hanson, and Diaz are a solid group of future Pirates and I would love to see them playing together every day at AAA right now. Hunter Morris has a slash line of .143/.181/.163/.344 – I feel sorry for Treanor having to spout the company line rather than just saying “I’d love to have Josh Bell at AAA”!

      • While his bat may be ready his defense is still no where near ready for AAA. We need a complete player not just half of one.

    • Bell is on schedule to be in Pittsburgh next June. Moving him up to AAA now or later in the year won’t change that. He won’t get there faster or slower, it’s a pretty set schedule at this point. They want him playing first base everyday and learning the position, they know he can hit, but they don’t want to make hitting more challenging while he’s still learning first base. Keeping him in Altoona isn’t hurting his progress, he will still see plenty of at-bats at AAA before reaching Pittsburgh.

      • I am always surprised that we see the toeing the company line and conspiracy theory posts. At this point, it is evident that the team follows a very specific plan developed for each player. Part of that plan included getting propects to the big league team after the Super 2 cutoff date That makes sense strategic sense financially.

      • John- I think you are a fantastic writer, my favorite on this site, but that statement was pretty horrible. It is completely disingenuous to the development process to say his arrival in Pittsburgh is set, because it’s not. Right now, he cannot help this team, and noone has a crystal ball that says the things he can’t do well now, he will surely do well enough to be on this team by next summer. He will not get here quicker, but he sure as hell has a chance of not seeing pittsburgh next year. He could go up to AAA and hit .260 and committ 8 more errors by next june with 1 homer. There is no way in hell he gets the call up if he is. It’s just a silly statement.

        • The first thing I said was “he is on schedule” which means that if things remain status quo, he will be there in June. I also said “at this point” after the second time, which means right now. If he gets hurt, that would change it too, but that would mean that he is no longer on schedule. If he struggled, he wouldn’t be on schedule anymore. Nick Kingham was on schedule for a June/July call up this year, that has changed. Taillon was June last year, that changed.

    • You can move him up to AAA in July, get him playoff experience at AAA this year and half a year of playing time next year. Allows him to stay where he is now while working on defense, move up in a few months and get his feet wet at AAA, then focus all of next year on AAA. No real reason to rush that move. His defense can use the work, and focusing on that at AA is less pressure than AAA and improved pitching.

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