Yesterday, we looked at the team-by-team hitting in the system and figured out that the Pirates’ teams all do a good job of getting on base compared to the rest of their league, but the power isn’t there. All of the top seven affiliates of the Pirates are in a playoff race with less than a month to go, so that should mean that the pitching should be above average too, and the defense shouldn’t lead to many unearned runs. You would assume that if the hitters are average and the team records above average, then they must be doing something right elsewhere. Here are ranks of the pitching staffs compared to their league.
Indianapolis is fourth in ERA at 3.14, which is 14 points behind the leader. They are seventh in strikeouts(three away from fifth place) and tied for second with a 1.27 WHIP. The Indy defense has allowed 60 earned runs, which is one off the highest totals in the league.
Altoona is sixth out of 12 teams with a 3.61 ERA. They are last by a lot in strikeouts, but they are fifth in WHIP(1.29). The defense has allowed 63 unearned runs, which is fourth highest.
Bradenton has a 3.66 ERA, which is near the bottom in the pitcher-friendly FSL. Their record isn’t that great, but the league is split in half and they have been much better in the second half, so that’s why they have a shot at the playoffs. The offense was also near the top, as we saw yesterday. Bradenton is seventh in strikeouts and sixth with a 1.27 WHIP, which shows the top three teams in the organization are very close in that department. The Marauders have allowed 52 unearned runs, which is tied for the best in the league. The lower you go, the more unearned runs usually, but they obviously go against that trend.
West Virginia is fourth with a 3.44 ERA. They have a 1.22 WHIP, which has them tied for second in the league. The Power rank fifth in strikeouts, with three of their starters in the top ten in the league. In a league with multiple teams with over 100 unearned runs allowed and even more in the 90-99 range, West Virginia ranks at the top by a big margin with just 49 of them. Their defense was probably worth a Morning Report on it’s own because that is impressive.
Morgantown has a 3.79 ERA, which is tenth out of 14 teams. They are fifth with a 1.26 WHIP and second with 393 strikeouts. They have allowed 29 unearned runs(in 65 less games than full-season teams) which is third best in the league.
Bristol is last with a 5.10 ERA(!), next to last with a 1.45 WHIP and sixth out of ten teams in strikeouts. They have allowed 33 unearned runs(5th best), which is a little misleading, since the best team has given up 29, so the clubs are bunched at the top.
The GCL Pirates are sixth out of 16 teams, with a 3.12 ERA. They are second with a 1.10 WHIP and 12th in strikeouts. They are sixth with 32 unearned runs. Yesterday, we noted that they were a very average team on offense, so I expected the pitching/defense to be better. They have only scored 14 more runs than they have allowed, yet they have the third best record in the league, so something probably has to give there.
Turn away if you’re squeamish. The DSL Pirates are 38th out of 38 teams with a 4.71 ERA. They are 37th with a 1.56 WHIP, one point ahead of last place. They are 33rd in strikeouts. I’ve documented their injury trouble and youth pretty well this year, but that’s pretty bad even with the two asterisks. They have given up 85 unearned runs, which is 23rd best or 15th worst, whichever way you want to look at it.
I didn’t really expect none of the teams to be better than fourth in their league in ERA. I had a hunch about the two last place teams because they have had a lot of high-scoring affairs. The unearned runs speak to the defense and how well pitchers are able to pick up their team after errors. They seem to be doing fairly good in that area, though I mentioned you usually see more unearned runs the lower you go, so Bradenton and West Virginia are doing a fantastic job in that regard.
The Pirates trail by five games in the division to the Cardinals. They have a 3.5 game lead for the top wild card spot.
Indianapolis is 8-2 in their last ten games. They have a 4.5 game lead in the division.
Altoona is 4-6 in their last ten games and they are tied in second place, 4.5 games back of Bowie.
Bradenton is 6-4 in their last ten games. They trail Palm Beach by three games in the standings.
West Virginia is 6-4 in their last ten games and they have a five game lead in the division.
Morgantown is 4-6 in their last ten games. They trail by six games in the division and they are one game back in the wild card chase.
The Bristol Pirates are 6-4 in their last ten games. They are 3.5 games back in the division.
GCL Pirates are 7-3 in their last ten games. They are 1.5 games back in the standings.
The DSL Pirates have been eliminated from the postseason.
Today’s Starter and Notes: The Pirates were off on Monday. They now head to St Louis, where they match up against the Cardinals for three games. Jeff Locke will take on Carlos Martinez in the opener. Locke faced the Cardinals on July 9th, allowing four runs over five innings, though only one run was earned. Martinez has a 2.57 ERA in 129.1 innings this year.
In the minors, Tyler Glasnow gets his third start for Indianapolis. He has a strong ERA, but neither of his first two outings looked good, with a high hit total in the first game and some major command issues in his second outing. He has allowed 20 base runners in ten innings. Tyler Eppler makes his ninth start for Bradenton. He has a .271 BAA and a 1.34 WHIP. Four Morgantown players will be headed to the NYPL All-Star game on August 18th. The GCL Pirates and Bristol both have a doubleheaders scheduled for the second day in a row. You can view last night’s prospect watch here.
MLB: Pittsburgh (65-44) vs Cardinals (71-40) 8:15 PM
Probable starter: Jeff Locke (4.31 ERA, 45:92 BB/SO, 119.0 IP)
AAA: Indianapolis (67-48) vs Toledo (47-68) 7:05 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Tyler Glasnow (1.80 ERA, 7:13 BB/SO, 10.0 IP)
AA: Altoona (61-54) vs Binghamton (62-51) 7:00 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Jason Creasy (4.36 ERA, 42:53 BB/SO, 115.2 IP)
High-A: Bradenton (59-54, 27-16 second half) @ Jupiter (53-62) 6:35 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Tyler Eppler (4.31 ERA, 11:29 BB/SO, 39.2 IP)
Low-A: West Virginia (67-46, 30-14 second half) vs Delmarva (55-57) 7:05 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Alex McRae (5.07 ERA, 27:72 BB/SO, 103.0 IP)
Short-Season A: Morgantown (25-25) @ Williamsport (31-19) 7:05 PM (season preview)
Probable Starter: TBD
Rookie: Bristol (20-23) @ Johnson City (21-23) 6:00 PM DH (season preview)
Probable Starter: TBD
GCL: Pirates (25-14) vs Blue Jays (23-15) 11:00 AM DH (season preview)
DSL: Pirates (23-38) vs Rangers2 (28-33) 10:30 AM (season preview)
Here is video of Josh Bell’s first AAA homer
8/9: Adam Miller promoted to Indianapolis.
8/9: Cole Tucker placed on disabled list. Erik Forgione sent to Morgantown.
8/8: Kevin Newman and Edgar Santana promoted to West Virginia.
8/8: Junior Sosa placed on disabled list. Isaac Sanchez activated from Bradenton disabled list.
8/7: Vance Worley sent outright to Indianapolis.
8/7: Deolis Guerra returned to Pirates from Indians and placed on disabled list. Wilfredo Boscan designated for assignment.
8/6: Rob Scahill assigned to GCL on rehab.
8/5: Indians claim Deolis Guerra off waivers.
8/5: Isaac Sanchez assigned to GCL Pirates on rehab. Stephan Meyer assigned to GCL from Morgantown.
8/4: Dovydas Neverauskas promoted to Bradenton. Robert Stock sent to GCL.
8/4: Jake Burnette activated from disabled list.
8/4: Jonathan Schwind activated from Altoona disabled list. Adam Miller assigned to Altoona.
8/3: Michael Morse added to active roster. Jaff Decker optioned to Indianapolis.
8/2: Shane Kemp sent from Bristol to GCL.
8/2: Josh Smith activated from Altoona disabled list.
8/1: J.A. Happ added to active roster. Bobby LaFromboise sent to Indianapolis.
8/1: Josh Bell and Jeremy Bleich promoted to Indianapolis.
8/1: John Holdzkom placed on disabled list. Hunter Morris sent to Altoona.
7/31: Pirates trade Adrian Sampson to Mariners for J.A. Happ.
7/31: Pirates trade Jose Tabata to Dodgers for Michael Morse and cash.
7/31: A.J. Burnett placed on disabled list. Bobby LaFromboise recalled from Indianapolis.
7/31: Deolis Guerra designated for assignment.
7/31: Dan Gamache promoted to Indianapolis. Erich Weiss promoted to Altoona. Trace Tam Sing promoted to Bradenton.
7/30: Pirates trade JaCoby Jones to Detroit Tigers for Joakim Soria
7/30: Vance Worley designated for assignment.
7/30: Justin Seller traded to Chicago White Sox for a player to be named later, or cash.
7/30: Pirates sent Gorkys Hernandez outright to Indianapolis
7/30: Logan Ratledge promoted to Morgantown. Erik Forgione promoted to West Virginia
7/30: Pirates acquire Joe Blanton for cash considerations.
7/29: Pirates trade Jayson Aquino to Indians for cash considerations.
This Date in Pirates History
Four former Pittsburgh Pirates players born on this date, including a player that held a Major League record for 33 years. Starting with outfielder Woody Jensen, who spent his entire nine-year Major League career with the Pirates from 1931 until 1939. He played 738 games with the team and in 1936, he had 696 at-bats, which stood as an MLB record until the Pirates’ Matty Alou had two more at-bats during the 1969 season. Jensen had trouble cracking the outfield for the Pirates early in his career because the team had three Hall of Famers at one point, Paul and Lloyd Waner, as well as Freddie Lindstrom. Jensen hit .285 during his career and struck out just 100 times in 2869 plate appearances.
Others players born on this date include:
Al Pedrique, 1987-88 shortstop. It took him nine years to make the majors after he signed. He hit .301 for the Pirates in 1987. then struggled the next year and was released after the season.
Dorn Taylor, pitcher in 1987 and 1989. The Pirates signed him as a non-drafted free agent, one of those rare success stories from that route. He made the Opening Day roster in 1989.
Walter Barbare, 1919-20 infielder. Prior to the 1921 season, he was part of a famous trade that involved two future Hall of Famers, with the Pirates getting back shortstop Rabbit Maranville from Boston(Braves) and Billy Southworth going to other way, along with cash and another player. At the time, it was considered a blockbuster deal.