The minor league regular season ends this afternoon with the final four games all starting at the same time the Pirates start their game against the Cincinnati Reds. The Altoona Curve clinched their postseason spot with a win on Sunday night. Morgantown has a chance to get their spot today, or they can lose it too. They have a one game lead, but they don’t own tiebreaker, so if they lose and State College wins, then the Black Bears will lose out in the wild card race. The Prospect Watch will be up today around 1:10pm, so you can follow along with the last game and I’ll provide updates for the State College game, which starts at the same time. It’s simple for Morgantown though, win and you’re in.
Speaking of winning, Adam Frazier should get that Eastern League batting title today. He has a four point lead over a player that is injured and a six point lead over one that isn’t, so unless something big happens, Frazier has the title. Unfortunately, Harold Ramirez was a healthy scratch in Bradenton’s last game, so he didn’t get a chance to win the batting crown.
With Bradenton already done, we can see where their players finished up among the league leaders. Starting with average, Ramirez didn’t have enough plate appearances to qualify, so he doesn’t show up on the leader board. He hit .337 in 306 at-bats. Austin Meadows finished third with a .307 average, Jin-De Jhang was seventh at .292 and Erich Weiss finished eighth with a .285 average.
Meadows’ .764 OPS ranks him fifth and Weiss was tenth with a .727 OPS.
Meadows finished sixth with a .407 slugging percentage. He was third with 72 runs and led with 156 hits.
Weiss ends up second with a .362 OBP and Meadows was fifth with a .357 OBP
Ramirez was tenth in stolen bases with 22, though he did have 15 caught stealing. He tied for fourth with six triples.
JaCoby Jones finished tied for tenth with ten homers. Speaking of Jones, remember when he hit three homers in a game right after he was traded? He has homered three times in 33 games since then and struck out 50 times, giving him 165 strikeouts on the year.
On the pitching side, Frank Duncan finished second with 152 innings and fourth with 111 strikeouts.
Bradenton led the league with a .271 average and a .696 OPS. Their 3.47 ERA was ninth in the league, just two points away from the second worst. The Marauders 955 strikeouts and 1.26 WHIP both ranked them in the middle of the league.
The postseason starts on Tuesday for some leagues and Wednesday for others. We will have the full schedule in tomorrow’s Morning Report. Indianapolis is tied for their division lead, but they don’t own the tiebreaker. That means they need a win and a Columbus loss to win the division, but they are in the playoffs regardless.
Pirates Game Graph
The Pirates trail by 5.5 games in the division to the Cardinals. They have a three game lead for the top wild card spot.
Indianapolis has clinched a playoff spot.
Altoona has clinched a playoff spot.
Bradenton was eliminated from the playoffs.
West Virginia has clinched a playoff spot.
Morgantown is 6-4 in their last ten games. They have a one game lead over two teams for the wild card with one game left.
The Bristol Pirates’ season is finished. They did not make the playoffs.
The GCL Pirates’ season is finished. They did not make the playoffs.
The DSL Pirates’ season is finished. They did not make the playoffs.
Today’s Starter and Notes: The Pirates defeated the Cardinals by a 7-1 score on Sunday night. Jeff Locke will start this afternoon against the Reds. He has faced Cincinnati three times this year, giving up 11 runs over 16 innings. Anthony DeSclafani will get the ball for the Reds. He allowed three runs over 5.2 innings in his last start, which was against the Cubs. He has given up nine runs over 17 innings in three starts against the Pirates.
In the minors, today is the last day of the regular season. All four games are 1:05 start times. Chad Kuhl has been scratched in favor of Thomas Harlan, which could be related to the playoff rotation. JT Brubaker has the fifth best ERA in the NYPL, and his 0.95 WHIP is the best in the league. Bradenton, Bristol, DSL and GCL Pirates are done. You can view last night’s prospect watch here.
MLB: Pittsburgh (81-54) @ Reds (56-79) 1:10 PM
Probable starter: Jeff Locke (4.66 ERA, 52:107 BB/SO, 145.0 IP)
AAA: Indianapolis (83-60) @ Louisville (63-80) 1:05 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Chris Volstad (3.33 ERA, 22:40 BB/SO, 148.2 IP)
AA: Altoona (74-67) @ Binghamton (76-64) 1:05 PM (season preview)
Chad Kuhl Thomas Harlan (3.72 ERA, 22:64 BB/SO, 84.2 IP)
High-A: Bradenton (74-64)
Low-A: West Virginia (86-52, 49-20 second half) @Kannapolis (64-73) 1:05 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Alex McRae (5.07 ERA, 32:88 BB/SO, 131.1 IP)
Short-Season A: Morgantown (41-34) @ Mahoning Valley (31-43) 1:05 PM (season preview)
Probable Starter: JT Brubaker (2.94 ERA, 12:45 BB/SO, 67.1 IP)
Rookie: Bristol (29-36)
GCL: Pirates (28-31) (season recap)
DSL: Pirates (30-42) (season recap)
Here is video of Austin Meadows hitting his second triple for Altoona. He added another one on Sunday.
9/5: Travis Ishikawa assigned to Indianapolis on rehab.
9/3: Hunter Morris assigned to GCL Pirates
9/2: Austin Meadows, Tyler Eppler and Montana DuRapau sent to Altoona. Matt Benedict and Mel Rojas Jr sent to Indianapolis
9/2: Oderman Rocha assigned to Bradenton
9/2: Pedro Florimon added to 40-man roster. Deolis Guerra placed on 60-day DL.
9/1: Luis Escobar promoted to Morgantown
9/1: Casey Sadler placed on 60-day DL. Elias Diaz, Bobby LaFromboise, Jaff Decker recalled
9/1: Rob Scahill activated from DL. Travis Snider and Radhames Liz added to 40-man roster
8/31: Wilkin Castillo added to Indianapolis roster. John Bowker and Adam Miller activated from disabled list.
8/29: Alen Hanson activated from Temporary Inactive List. Wilkin Castillo assigned to GCL.
8/28: Carlos Munoz promoted to Morgantown.
8/28: Edwin Espinal activated from Bradenton disabled list. Clay Holmes placed on disabled list.
8/28: Kelson Brown placed on disabled list.
8/26: Stephan Meyer and Tanner Anderson promoted to Morgantown.
8/26: Cristian Mota promoted to Bristol.
8/25: Ke’Bryan Hayes promoted to Morgantown. Raul Siri promoted to Bristol.
8/25: Kevin Kramer promoted to West Virginia. Jordan Luplow placed on disabled list.
8/25: John Bowker placed on disabled list. Kelson Brown activated from disabled list.
8/25: Pedro Florimon sent outright to Indianapolis.
8/25: Alen Hanson placed on temporary inactive list.
This Date in Pirates History
Four former Pittsburgh Pirates players born on this date, plus another current player, sort of. Starting with Gorkys Hernandez, who was a former player when I wrote the original article linked above, but now he’s with Indianapolis. He played 25 games for the Pirates in 2012 and eight more this season. All the other players were born before 1900:
Fred Blackwell, 1917-19 catcher. He was a September call-up in 1917, then served as the third string catcher in 1918. He lost that job in 1919, but came back after Jeff Sweeney struggled and Walter Schmidt got hurt. Blackwell hit .205 in 35 games over his three seasons.
John Flynn, 1910-11 first baseman. Hit .263 in 129 games. The Pirates purchased him from St Paul in late 1909 for $4,000 and they sold him back to St Paul in 1911.
Charlie Case, 1904-06 pitcher. Had just three starts in the majors in 1901, before joining the Pirates three years later. He went 10-5, 2.94 in 1904, then followed that up with a 2.57 ERA over 217 innings in 1905. He lost his job when the Pirates improved their pitching staff in 1906 and went down to the minors early in the season, never coming back to the majors. He won 122 games in the minors after being sent down.
Ed Poole, pitcher/outfielder for Pirates from 1900 until 1902. Had a 3.22 ERA over 95 innings with Pittsburgh and hit .221 in 90 at-bats.