In the Arizona Fall League on Monday, no Pirates were in the starting lineup, but two of their pitchers came out of the bullpen to get some work. Glendale lost 5-0 to Salt River to drop them to 8-7 on the season.
Tyler Eppler came in to pitch the fourth inning and got the first batter to line out to left field on a 2-1 pitch. The next hitter reached on an infield single. One pitch later, he got a grounder right back to the mound, recording the out at first base. The runner from second base moved up to third on a wild pitch, but after a seven-pitch battle with the hitter, Eppler got a fly out to right field for the final out of the inning. He threw 15 pitches in the inning, with 12 going for strikes.
In the fifth, Eppler started the inning with two straight ground outs. The third batter of the inning lined a single into left field, then stole second base. That was followed by an RBI single that made the score 2-0 Salt River. Eppler allowed another stolen base to put a runner in scoring position, followed by a third steal to get that runner to third base. He finished off the inning without anymore damage though, getting a third ground ball out. Eppler threw 18 pitches in the fifth inning, 12 for strikes.
Eppler has now made four appearances and allowed at least one run in each outing. He’s gone at least two innings in every game and he’s still looking for his first strikeout. He has a 10.80 ERA and has allowed 15 hits and three walks in 10.1 innings. As mentioned before, you would like to see better stats from him, but the important thing is that he is getting extra work in after missing the beginning of the year with an elbow injury. The extra work should allow him to pitch all season as a starter in 2016 without being shutdown early due to his innings. Eppler only pitched 71.2 innings during the regular season, though that doesn’t include numerous appearances in Extended Spring Training.
In the seventh inning, Cody Dickson came on to pitch with Glendale down 5-0. He allowed a ground-rule double to the first batter, then got a ground out, which advanced the lead runner to third. Dickson walked the next batter and was really having trouble throwing strikes up to this point. He battled the next hitter, getting a double play on the seventh pitch of the at-bat to end the inning. In his one inning of work, he threw 22 pitches, with just nine going for strikes.
Dickson has made five appearances, allowing five runs on four hits and five walks in 4.2 innings. The innings total looks real low, but he’s only been scheduled to throw one inning each outing.
If you missed it from earlier, Austin Meadows and Reese McGuire were named to the Fall-Stars game. That will be played this Saturday night. It will be broadcast on MLB Network and our own Tim Williams will be there covering the game. Also, Adam Frazier left the AFL to play in a tournament for Team USA. More in the link above.