Morning Report: Five Players That Had a Disappointing Month of May

Yesterday, we named Yeudy Garcia the best pitcher and Alen Hanson the best position player for the month of May in the Pirates’ system. This article is the opposite of that, sort of. When we name the best player, we don’t eliminate non-prospects, so anyone can be named the best pitcher/player if they have a good enough month. These players below aren’t necessarily the ones that did the worst this past month, just the most disappointing players for the month. Before I start, I’ll remind you that a month doesn’t make a season, so this is just players that struggled over a specific 1/5 of the season.

Reese McGuire heads this list for two reasons, his struggles at the plate and the fact he got benched last week for not hustling. Out of the 40 hitters in the system with at least 60 plate appearances over the month of May, McGuire had the fourth worst OPS. He hit .227/.306/.239 in 100 plate appearances, collecting just one extra-base hit, a double.

Mel Rojas Jr. definitely qualifies with his third worst OPS among the 40 qualified players. He batted .242/.254/.273, walking once and hitting two doubles. After a strong showing last year in his first taste of AAA, he has put up a .578 OPS in 40 games and hasn’t shown any of the offensive tools he has in the past. He has three doubles, no homers or triples, and just one stolen base. It looked like this would be his year to breakthrough to the big leagues, but he isn’t showing anything.

West Virginia has a lot of players that could make this list, with Cole Tucker, Tito Polo and Connor Joe all having bad months, but I give the first two breaks due to their aggressive promotion to the level and Joe gets a break due to the rust from so much time off. The player that has really struggled is Taylor Gushue(pictured above), who hit .222/.278/.278 in May. He wasn’t any better in April either and he got off to an 0-for-4 start in June.

On the pitching side, the easy choice is Luis Heredia, who has made four starts and all four he has had issues with a high pitch count. He also missed part of the month due to condition, so that doesn’t help his case. He has a 6.39 ERA and a 9:7 BB/SO ratio in four games. It’s hard to believe that he is still just 20 years old, but he has pitched 62 games in his five seasons now and has never struck out more than six batters in a game, which happened twice in 2013(back-to-back starts).

The last one is a special case due to what happened to him. Tyler Glasnow’s month definitely has to be considered disappointing, especially after the way it started. He threw six shutout innings on May 1st, allowing just one hit. He then got hit around a little in his next start before injuring his ankle on a slide into second base. After a brief layoff, he pitched, got hit hard and was immediately put on the DL, leaving him with 12.2 innings and seven earned runs allowed for the month.

Pirates Game Graph

Source: FanGraphs

Today’s Schedule

Today’s Starter and Notes: The Pirates  won 4-3 over the Giants on Monday night. They will now send A.J. Burnett to the hill for the 11th time this seas0n. In his last outing, he gave up four runs over 5.2 innings against the Padres. It was the first time all season that he allowed more than two runs in a game. The Giants will send Chris Heston to the mound. He has a 3.82 ERA in 61.1 innings this season.

In the minors, Shane Carle and Chad Kuhl are matched up for the second time in a row. Carle was originally with the Pirates until he was dealt to the Rockies in the off-season. The two pitchers were taken in back-to-back rounds by the Pirates in the 2013 draft. Adrian Sampson will try to rebound from his worst outing of the season. Last time out, he gave up four earned runs over six innings. Austin Coley also had his worst game last time out, giving up five earned over 5.2 innings. You can view last night’s prospect watch here.

MLB: Pittsburgh (27-24) @ Giants (30-23) 10:15 PM
Probable starter: A.J. Burnett (1.81 ERA, 20:59 BB/SO, 64.2 IP)

AAA: Indianapolis (30-22) vs Buffalo (26-25) 7:05 PM  (season preview)
Probable starter: Adrian Sampson (3.15 ERA, 17:53 BB/SO, 60.0 IP)

AA: Altoona (28-20) vs New Britain (31-18) 7:00 PM  (season preview)
Probable starter: Chad Kuhl (2.73 ERA, 20:34 BB/SO, 52.2 IP)

High-A: Bradenton (23-28) vs St Lucie (26-25) 6:30 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Cody Dickson (3.33 ERA, 16:30 BB/SO, 38.2 IP)

Low-A: West Virginia (31-20) vs Greensboro (21-30) 7:05 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Austin Coley (3.51 ERA, 6:48 BB/SO, 48.2 IP)

DSL: Pirates (1-1) vs Met2 (1-1) 10:30 AM (season preview)


Alen Hanson was the International League player of the month and the Pirates Prospect hitter of the month for May. Here is a highlight reel from his outstanding month.

Recent Transactions

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

5/22: Jaff Decker activated from disabled list. Andy Vasquez assigned to WV Black Bears.

5/20: Tyler Glasnow placed on disabled list.

5/19:  Julio Eusebio, Cesilio Pimentel and Ryan Hafner assigned to Extended Spring Training. Bradenton adds Henry Hirsch, Felipe Gonzalez and Brett McKinney to roster.

5/19: Jose Tabata added to 40-man roster and recalled. Wilfredo Boscan optioned to Indianapolis.

5/19: Justin Seller transferred to 60-day disabled list.

5/19: Matt Benedict assigned to Altoona.

This Date in Pirates History

Six former Pittsburgh Pirates players born on this date, including one who played for the best team in franchise history. The most recent player born on this date is infielder Chance Sanford, who played for the 1998 club. He was drafted by the Pirates in the tenth round in 1991 and didn’t sign. One year later, they signed him out of the 27th round. Darnell Coles played right field for the Pirates in 1987-88. He was part of two notable trades, coming to the Pirates in exchange for third baseman Jim Morrison and going from the Pirates to the Mariners for outfielder Glenn Wilson.

Also born on this date, Jeff Schulz, who was a minor member of the 1991 NL East champs. During his only season with the Pirates, he went 0-for-3 as a pinch-hitter. Gene Michael, who is well-known for his time with the Yankees, was signed by the Pirates as an amateur in 1959 and played for the 1966 club. The Pirates traded him to the Dodgers for Maury Wills. Tom Leahy, who played 24 games for the 1897 Pirates in a utility role, would be 146 today if modern medicine didn’t fail us.

Finally, Jack O’Connor, who caught 21 years in the big leagues, was born on this date in 1866. He was a member of two of the better clubs in franchise history, joining the team in 1900 and sticking around three years. His time with Pittsburgh did not end well. While the 1902 Pirates were winning their second straight NL title and putting together the best season in team history, O’Connor was released at the end of the year when the club found out he was trying to convince teammates to make the jump with him to the American League. You can read more on each player in the link above.

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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What ever happened to Mel Rojas Jr. ???? He had the blood lines of a major league player.


He also doesn’t seem to be playing much….Indy has Decker, Hernandez, Broxton in the OF as well as Rojas…


Thanks, that helps clear things up.

Chris Hale

Hansen is so dynamic when he’s dialed in and playing hard. Love that he’s a speedy switch hitter. Can’t wait to see him in the burgh but is he blocked even after Walker is gone? I don’t think they are prepared to make Kang the long term SS. I think he is bound for either 2nd or 3rd with Harrison playing the other. Do the Pirates trade Hansen?


John: Things could change quickly. Pedro has been very impressive in his ability to defeat the shifts, and in the process, has learned how to use the whole field & protect the plate. I think it would take an overwhelming offer from another team to get the Pirates to make a move mid-season, but if somebody with a strong LHSP jumps up, who knows?

The Pirates answer to a leadoff hitter is Alen Hanson, but do they think having a leadoff hitter is that important? The rest of MLB thinks so, but the Pirates may stay with Harrison, move Kang to 2B and Walker to 1B. The Phillies need to do something – Hanson would be a solid add for them to go with the other youth they have started to bring up and the 4 or 5 strong SP’s they have in the upper minors. He would serve two purposes – his PA’s would mean less PA’s for Utley who needs 500 to have his Options qualify automatically – his age 37 and 38 seasons? Is Amaro that stupid?

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