The Dominican League had off on the weekend from regular games, so they could hold their All-Star game on Sunday. Mel Rojas Jr. was the only representative from the Pirates. He went 0-for-3 and played the entire game in left field. He is hitting .234/.331/.458 in 31 games.
There wasn’t much going on Sunday in winter ball, so we take a look at Luis Heredia’s winter. He pitched for the first time in two weeks on Sunday night and had a successful relief appearances, throwing an efficient two shutout innings. Heredia has been up and down this winter, looking good at times and struggling to find the strike zone in other games. On Sunday, he gave up a single, didn’t walk anyone, and struck out two batters. He needed just 24 pitches, with 19 going for strikes. I haven’t found anything explaining the layoff, and right after he pitched on November 29th, he received permission from the Pirates to continue pitching this winter. So the time off may have just been due to his command issues.
Heredia has thrown a total of 17.2 innings over 13 appearances. The low total is partially due to some poor outings, but he’s also been on a limited pitch count all winter. He has a 4.58 ERA, with 13 walks and nine strikeouts. The walk total is obviously too high, though his WHIP isn’t as bad as you would think because he’s only allowed 12 hits. Heredia has done a good job at keeping the ball on ground with a 1.35 GO/AO ratio and he hasn’t allowed a home run this winter. He also did a good job with keeping the ball on the ground and in the park during the regular season, allowing just three homers, though that came with a .309 BAA and a high walk total.
Heredia’s winter has been a lot like the summer. He’s very inconsistent and can lose the strike zone, but even when he is on his game, he doesn’t pick up many strikeouts. In relief, you would hope for more strikeouts because the pitcher can air it out more. The problem is that he doesn’t have swing-and-miss stuff and when he does try to throw harder, he tends to work up in the zone and those pitches will either be balls or flatten out and get hammered. Heredia said in an interview last month that he was sent to winter ball to work on his curve and change-up and he’s been throwing them a lot more than normal. He’s not allowing many hits, so that’s a good sign, but it also sounds like he’s having command issues with those pitches, as well as his fastball at times.
In other action on Sunday in Mexico, Carlos Munoz went 2-for-4 with two singles, before leaving for a pinch-running in the ninth inning. He is hitting .266/.365/.435 through 49 games. His .800 OPS ranks 17th in the league.
Sebastian Valle went 0-for-4 with four strikeouts, dropping him down to a .219 average.
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.
Hey leave the kid alone! Didn’t he just reach puberty?
They have figured it out. He just needs 13 days rest!
Twins sign Sano, we sign Heredia. Swing and a miss.
We also signed two guys named Polanco and Marte. Heard of ’em?
Sounds like an argument my wife will make, you know bring up something that happened years ago.
True. If you choose to focus only on the negative. They’ve made a good move or two also
Another pitcher though. I don’t have a problem with the signing so much as I do with how he was brought along.
I think heredia has dictated how he has been brought along. He really hasn’t ever came in in top shape and has t pitched 100 innings in a season because of it. He also has yet to command his fastball or master his mechanics so he is still being held back.
Heck see MLBTRs on Taillon.
“Got to work out more and get on better eating schedule”
“hasn’t ever came in in top shape”
He’s not the only one. And while I agree some of that falls on the prospect, when you sign a 16-17 year old kid and hand him 2.5 million dollars, some guidance is warranted.
It’s weird. While I trust people like Tim and John to report these guys aren’t paid well and kind of rough it during the year with change in sofa. Some of them don’t seem to be starving, rather eating a lot of crap.
Hopefully the new Pirate City weight room is being utilized and these guys are given instruction on proper nutrition.
They have been getting instruction on propr nutrition for years – including Heredia.
Crap is usually cheaper than eating a healthy diet.
FASTER, not any less or more affordable.
Cheap food is both faster and more affordable. Its possible to find relatively healthy options for cheap, but any produce is going to be expensive as compared to quick and processed food.
As a person who does his best to eat almost fully vegetarian, truly healthy options cost more.
The information is there. If a kid wants to eat well he can. But they are kids and I’m sure many of them eat burgers and pizza everyday. Young people have the metabolism usually to live off garbage though so you really have to eat poorly to be a young fat athlete.
Tito Polo is the perfect example of “it’s on the player to be healthy”. If you look at three international players, Heredia, Munoz and Ramirez. They have all had conditioning issues to different degrees. Polo got the lowest bonus and while he has made some extra money the last three off-seasons playing winter ball in Colombia, he could be in the best shape of any Pirates’ minor league player. All four players are around the same age, born months apart, and all came up through the same system. If Polo can do it with the least amount of money, then everyone can do it. The less money you make the harder it is of course, but Ramirez and Heredia have no excuse with the amount they got.
That everyone is built the same way. If I eat how my brother eats I’ll be 250lbs, he on the other hand is 6’2″ 200 and low bmi
Polo is built like he could enter a bodybuilding contest, lightweight division of course. If others put in nearly the work he did, there is no way they would have weight issues. Might not get the same results as him, but there would be results. All three players I mentioned have shown the ability to lose weight, just not keep it off.