Morning Report: Bradenton Could be Well Represented in the FSL All-Star Game

In the minors on Thursday, the Midwest League named their All-Star rosters. That game will be played on June 23rd, but the Florida State League will hold their game three days earlier, so you would expect their rosters to be named sometime soon.

The Marauders have the highest OPS in the league and they have scored the most runs, so you would expect some of their position players to make the team. On the flip side, they are next to last in ERA, and that shouldn’t be surprising when you see the offensive numbers coming from a team with a 25-29 record. That means Bradenton likely won’t be well represented on the pitching staff.

Starting with the offense, here’s a look at the best players so far, giving you a look at who could be playing in that FSL All-Star game on June 20th.

Jin-De Jhang(pictured above) probably has a good chance to make it, since he is third in the league in batting average right now. It might be surprising to see that three of the top four hitters in the FSL are catchers. Only one of them is in the Marauders’ division, so that should help Jhang get a spot.

Erich Weiss has a .294 average and a .728 OPS, which puts him well ahead of other second baseman in the division, so he too looks like a good choice.

JaCoby Jones is having a good season, but he may have some trouble getting that shortstop spot with two other shortstops doing well in the division. I think he makes it regardless, even if it’s as a bench player because 32 RBIs(one behind the league leader) looks good on an All-Star resume.

Austin Meadows should have no problem getting a spot, as he has the highest OPS for any outfielder in his division. Michael Conforto(Mets, St Lucie) technically has a higher OPS, but he has been sent to AA already, so he isn’t getting a spot. You could also say that Jose Osuna would have had a spot if he didn’t get sent to Altoona, so a promotion hurts the team too.

That is likely all that will make it, just basing it on four being a lot of position players for one team. Barrett Barnes is putting up strong numbers, but he has only played 24 games, so he seems like a stretch.

As for pitchers, Steven Brault should get some consideration. His recent eight game stretch now has his ERA down to 3.27 through 55 innings. He’s been the best starter on the team, with a hat tip to Matt Benedict who pitched well in six starts, but he’s at Altoona now.

One choice that seems easy, though most people might not be noticing how good he is doing, is reliever Clario Perez. In 19 games, he has thrown 40.1 innings and has a 1.79 ERA, 37 strikeouts, an 0.82 WHIP and a .167 BAA. It’s easy for a reliever to get lost when most of the focus is put on starters, but Perez is nearly putting in starter-type innings in his role and pitching outstanding.

Those are my guesses, three starters on the team, one bench player(maybe Jones starts) and two pitchers. No one else in the bullpen or rotation is standing out and while the lineup is loaded with prospects, players like Reese McGuire, Edwin Espinal and Wyatt Mathisen just don’t have the stats compared to others in the league.

Today’s Schedule

Today’s Starter and Notes: The Pirates were off on Thursday. They will now take on the Braves in Atlanta for three games before returning home for eight games. Charlie Morton will be on the mound for the Pirates tonight, going up against the Braves’ Williams Perez. Morton has gone seven innings twice and won both of his starts since returning from his rehab assignment.

In the minors, Casey Sadler will try to get back on track after two poor starts. He had a 2.12 ERA through his first seven starts, but has seen that go up to 3.22 after allowing ten earned runs over 12 innings in his last two games. Sadler walked five in his last outing. Jayson Aquino has had two poor starts and two strong starts since joining the Pirates last month. Jason Creasy is 6-0 this season and ranks seventh in the Eastern League in ERA. His 20 walks this season are just two less than his total over 148.1 innings last year. You can view last night’s prospect watch here.

MLB: Pittsburgh (29-24) @ Braves (26-27) 7:35 PM
Probable starter: Charlie Morton (1.93 ERA, 1:5 BB/SO, 14.0 IP)

AAA: Indianapolis (31-23) @ Lehigh Valley (21-34) 7:05 PM  (season preview)
Probable starter: Casey Sadler (3.22 ERA, 14:37 BB/SO, 58.2 IP)

AA: Altoona (31-20) @ Erie (18-32) 7:05 PM  (season preview)
Probable starter: Jason Creasy (2.68 ERA, 20:30 BB/SO, 57.0 IP)

High-A: Bradenton (25-29) vs Ft Myers (25-29) 6:30 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Jayson Aquino (4.70 ERA, 6:13 BB/SO, 23.0 IP)

Low-A: West Virginia (33-21) @Rome (25-29) 7:00 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Alex McRae (3.83 ERA, 9:34 BB/SO, 47.0 IP)

DSL: Pirates (2-3) vs Red Sox2 (3-2) 10:30 AM (season preview)


On Wednesday, Clayton Richard threw 7.2 innings, helping Indianapolis to a win over Buffalo. Here are some highlights from that game.

Recent Transactions

6/3: Pirates outright Radhames Liz to Indianapolis.

5/29: Andy Vasquez added to Altoona roster.

5/29: Keon Broxton promoted to Indianapolis. Adam Miller placed on disabled list.

5/29: Jeff Roy activated from West Virginia disabled list. Andy Otamendi assigned to Extended Spring Training.

5/28: Jose Osuna promoted to Altoona. Jordan Steranka added to Bradenton.

5/28: Andy Otamendi added to WV Power roster. Trace Tam Sing assigned to WV Black Bears.

5/27: Kelson Brown added to Indianapolis roster.

5/26: Harold Ramirez added to Bradenton roster. Jordan Steranka and Andy Otamendi assigned to Extended Spring Training.

5/26: Josh Wall placed on disabled list. Collin Balester added to Indianapolis roster.

5/26: Dovydas Neverauskas placed on disabled list. Julio Vivas sent from Bradenton to West Virginia.

5/26: Deibinson Romero sold to Doosan Bears of the Korean Baseball Organization.

5/25: Charlie Morton activated from disabled list. Radhames Liz designated for assignment.

5/25: Stephen Tarpley added to WV Power roster.

5/25: Jerrick Suiter activated from WV Power disabled list. Miguel Rosario and Montana DuRapau promoted to Bradenton


This Date in Pirates History

Two former Pittsburgh Pirates players born on this date, plus some draft news. Outfielder Ray Rohwer from the 1921-22 Pirates, was born on this date in 1895. He is overshadowed by the other player born on this date, Hall of Fame pitcher Jack Chesbro. He is best known for winning 41 games in 1904 for the New York Highlanders, but Chesbro pitched for the Pirates from 1899 until 1902, helping the team to two NL titles. During the 1902 season, the Pirates had their best winning percentage ever and Chesbro won 28 games, which is the highest total for a Pirates’ pitcher since 1900. You can read more on Chesbro here.

The Pittsburgh Pirates have used first round picks on June 5th to select Pedro Alvarez(2008),  John Van Benschoten(2001), Sean Burnett(2000), Willie Greene(1989), Mike Bielecki(1979), Rod Scurry (1974) and Steve Nicoscia(1973).

  • Christopher B
    June 5, 2015 2:55 pm

    Is Michael Conforto out of Oregon State? Little guy, surprising power? I seem to remember him from going to Arizona games, if it’s the same guy. I really liked his swing.

    • John Dreker
      June 5, 2015 8:40 pm

      Yes, he was crushing the ball for St Lucie, so they moved him up last week

  • I like Jhang as a DH. I think Reese will get chosen as a catcher because he is hitting, but his defense is the best in the league. I think for catchers their defense is big for being selected.

    • John Dreker
      June 5, 2015 8:41 pm

      McGuire has been one of the worst hitting regulars in the league, so it would be an interesting choice if they did take him.

  • Thanks john, maybe I missed it but where is the fsl all-star game this year? (I really should know this)