Prospect Watch: Steven Brault Leaves Start Early With Lower Left Leg Injury

P2 Top 30

A look at how the current top 30 prospects did today.  Note that this list doesn’t include players currently in the majors. If a player is in the majors, he will be removed, everyone below him will be shifted up a spot, and a new player will be added to the bottom of the list. If a player is out for the season, he will be removed and everyone below him will move up a spot. Removing these guys doesn’t mean they have lost prospect status. It is just an attempt to get 30 active prospects on the list. Rankings are from the 2016 prospect guide, and links on each name go to their Pirates Prospects player pages.

We’re working on a solution for the PHP stat codes not working in the app.

1. Tyler Glasnow, RHP, Indianapolis -[insert_php] include_once (‘./p2-stats/stats_functions.php’);

2. Austin Meadows, CF, Altoona – [insert_php] display_top30(640457,’B’,’20160508′);

3. Josh Bell, 1B, Indianapolis – [insert_php] display_top30(605137,’B’,’20160508′);

4. Jameson Taillon, RHP, Indianapolis – [insert_php] display_top30(592791,’P’,’20160508′);

5. Alen Hanson, 2B, Indianapolis – [insert_php] display_top30(593700,’B’,’20160508′);

6. Harold Ramirez, OF, Altoona -[insert_php] display_top30(623912,’B’,’20160508′);

7. Reese McGuire, C, Altoona -[insert_php] display_top30(624512,’B’,’20160508′);

8. Elias Diaz, C, Pirates – Disabled List.

9. Nick Kingham, RHP, Indianapolis – Disabled List

10. Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B, West Virginia -[insert_php] display_top30(663647,’B’,’20160508′);

11. Kevin Newman, SS, Bradenton -[insert_php] display_top30(621028,’B’,’20160508′);

12. Yeudy Garcia, RHP, Bradenton -[insert_php] display_top30(650817,’P’,’20160508′);

13. Steven Brault, LHP, Indianapolis -[insert_php] display_top30(643230,’P’,’20160508′);

 14. Stephen Tarpley, LHP, Bradenton – Extended Spring Training

15.Cole Tucker, SS, West Virginia – [insert_php] display_top30(657061,’B’,’20160508′);

16. Chad Kuhl, RHP, Indianapolis – [insert_php] display_top30(641771,’P’,’20160508′);

17. Max Moroff, 2B, Indianapolis -[insert_php] display_top30(621559,’B’,’20160508′);

18. Mitch Keller, RHP, West Virginia -[insert_php] display_top30(656605,’P’,’20160508′);

19. Clay Holmes, RHP, Altoona – [insert_php] display_top30(605280,’P’,’20160508′);

20. Willy Garcia, OF, Indianapolis -[insert_php] display_top30(591994,’B’,’20160508′);

21. Brandon Waddell, LHP, Altoona – [insert_php] display_top30(663399,’P’,’20160508′);

22. Tyler Eppler, RHP, Altoona -[insert_php] display_top30(621169,’P’,’20160508′);

23. Barrett Barnes, OF, Altoona -[insert_php] display_top30(608627,’B’,’20160508′);

24. Trevor Williams, RHP, Indianapolis – Disabled List

25. Gage Hinsz, RHP,  – Extended Spring Training

26. Adrian Valerio, SS, – Extended Spring Training

27. Adam Frazier, INF/OF, Indianapolis -[insert_php] display_top30(624428,’B’,’20160508′);

28. Kevin Kramer, 2B, Bradenton -[insert_php] display_top30(596012,’B’,’20160508′);

29. Jordan Luplow, OF/3B, Bradenton – [insert_php] display_top30(656669,’B’,’20160508′);

30. JT Brubaker, RHP, West Virginia -[insert_php] display_top30(664141,’P’,’20160508′);

P2 Top Performers

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Steven Brault made his sixth start of the season on Sunday, coming off an outing in which he allowed four earned runs over five innings. That matched the total earned runs he allowed in his first four games combined. It looked like it could be a very short outing for Brault early, as he gave up a line drive single and a walk to the first two batters. After a strikeout on a 3-2 fastball right down the middle, Brault walked another batter to load the bases. That was followed by two straight strikeouts on off-speed pitches, getting him out of the inning without any runs being scored, but he threw 29 pitches total.

In the second inning, he started with another strikeout on his slider. That was followed by a grounder to second base for the second out. He ended the inning with his fifth strikeout, again getting a batter to go down swinging on the slider. This was an 11-pitch inning with nine going for strikes. Brault worked the inside of the plate well in this inning.

The third inning began with a double to the left-center gap. The next ball was hit to the same spot, but Danny Ortiz caught it for the first out. It moved the runner up to third base with one out. The next ball was lined to Jason Rogers at third base for the second out. Brault battled the next hitter to a 3-2 count before getting a fly ball to Alen Hanson in left field. Definitely wasn’t a pretty inning with three balls hit well, but the game remained scoreless at this point.

In the bottom of the third with two runners on, Brault grounded out to shortstop and while trying to beat out the play at first base, came up lame, favoring his left ankle. He had to be helped off the field by two people, because he couldn’t put weight on the leg. That ended his day with three scoreless innings, but now the question becomes the severity of his injury.

Indianapolis had to use four relievers in this game and three of them allowed runs in the 5-4 loss. Cory Luebke was the only reliever who held Louisville scoreless. Trey Haley continued to struggle, allowing two runs in his inning. He now has a 10.95 ERA this season.

The Indians made a nice comeback attempt in ninth with two outs, scoring three runs. The two players who have seen time with the Pirates already this season, had the big games. Cole Figueroa went 3-for-5 with two runs scored, while Jason Rogers had two hits and drove in two runs. Ed Easley had three hits and scored a run, while Danny Ortiz had a single, two walks and a run scored.

Josh Bell saw his on base streak of 25 straight games come to an end with an 0-for-5 day. Max Moroff went 0-for-5 and struck out four times, including the last out of the game with the winning run on first base. He has been having strikeout issues this season. Moroff is hitting .225, with 30 strikeouts in 80 at-bats.

Alen Hanson played left field for the third straight game and he had three chances in the field, handling all of them cleanly. In his first three games in left field (one was in mid-April) he had a total of two chances.


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Altoona had a big day with the bats and got some strong pitching from Frank Duncan on Sunday in a 6-2 victory. The Curve put together 13 hits, including back-to-back solo homers from Jose Osuna and Stetson Allie in the seventh inning. It was the team-leading fifth homer for Osuna and the third of the year for Allie. Osuna finished with three hits and two runs scored. Reese McGuire put them on the board early with a two-run single in the third inning. He would add another single later in the game.

Duncan has been pitching in relief this season and doing well. Coming into the game, he had a 1.20 ERA and 18 strikeouts, with a 2.25 GO/AO ratio in 15 innings. In his first start on Sunday, he did a great job of keeping the ball down and mixing his pitches, allowing one run over 5.2 innings. He allowed five hits, walked a batter and had two strikeouts. The most impressive part was a 15:0 GO/AO ratio, which included a lot of soft contact. He threw 72 pitches, 43 for strikes and was around the zone most of the game. He had a stretch with two batters where he threw seven balls, so that brief time skewed the ball/strike ratio. Other than that spot and two doubles late in his outing that brought home the only run, he pitched a terrific game.

Harold Ramirez played center field in place of Austin Meadows, who had the day off. Ramirez had two hits, scored once and drove in a run. Barrett Barnes went 1-for-4 with a single in this game, but he also picked up a triple. The official scorer changed the ruling of an error last night during his pinch-hit at-bat in game two of the doubleheader, crediting Barnes with a triple. Chris Diaz had two hits, a run and an RBI. Eric Wood added his fourth double of the season.


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Bradenton is off today.


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West Virginia welcomed Cole Tucker back to the lineup on Sunday, but it was Hagerstown that came away with the 4-3 victory. Tucker batted second in the order between Tito Polo and Ke’Byan Hayes, picking up a single in four trips to the plate. It was Polo who had the big hit for the Power offense. He hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning, his fourth home run of the season. Mitchell Tolman picked up a sacrifice fly RBI in the ninth to bring West Virginia within a run.

Dario Agrazal bounced back nicely from his worst career outing. Earlier this week, he gave up four runs on seven hits in one inning of work. Agrazal allowed just one earned run in this contest, giving up four hits and a walk in five innings. He picked up five strikeouts and he had a 6:3 GO/AO ratio. He has a 3.60 ERA in 25 innings over six starts this season. Agrazal has allowed one earned run or less in four of those starts.

The Power had seven hits in this game, with everyone in the lineup except Hayes and Ryan Nagle contributing one each. Danny Arribas had a single and two walks, which were the only two walks by West Virginia hitters.

Tucker was busy in his first game back, handling seven chances in the field. There were also two infield hits where he fielded the ball, but couldn’t record an out.

  • “Lower body” injury aside, the continued swing-and-miss stuff from Stephen Brault is fairly stunning. His 29.7% K-rate this year dwarfs the 22% he struck out in ’15, but sits comfortably in line with the 26.7% K-rate he put up over five starts in the hitter-friendly AFL.

    Combining AFL and ’16 performances puts him at 11 GS / 41 IP with a 28.7% strikeout rate, which isn’t exactly new-talent sample size but also enough to take notice. Certainly worth finding out if he can bring back his previous command with this new-found ability to miss bats, but if not, they’ve got a legit bullpen weapon to use as early as the second half of this season.

  • Looks like it’s time for Luebke to come back up….errr…be activated from the DL. Rock Lobstein down. Could take Brault’s place and be stretched back out as a starter.

  • Who’s scheduled to start for Altoona Wednesday morning?

  • I’m praying for Brault here. When you can’t put weight on your leg it’s never a good sign. I’ll cross my fingers that it’s not severe.

  • The Martian Man is looking like he is getting sun. The bullpen is atrocious but the offense is lights out.

  • Whenever I look at the box scores and see a DH being used in the minors, I think…”damn, these pitchers need to be taking hacks in the minors, because they’re going to have to do it in the majors”.

    …then I see a senseless injury like this and don’t know what in the heck to think about minor league pitchers batting…

  • piraterican21
    May 8, 2016 4:14 pm

    Kuhl got po from 1b. A good indicate that he’s not ready for the bigs!

  • John Dreker
    May 8, 2016 1:45 pm

    Indy is in a rain delay, no start time listed yet. Reese McGuire just hit a 2-run single. Discuss

    • He’s a full year in AA and a full year in AAA no matter what happens with Diaz you think?

      • John Dreker
        May 8, 2016 2:08 pm

        Eventually the bat will have to be given time to catch up to the defense. I definitely can’t see him being a year away from the majors right now, but maybe we see him next September for a look.

        • I like Reese a lot, but, unless he dramatically acquires the hit skill, I’d think next September is on the very optimistic side.

          With slugging %’s under .300 in A+ and AA, I wouldn’t be shocked to see him repeating the level next season and maybe getting to AAA sometime next summer. My guess would be be a June ’18 arrival…at best.

          • John Dreker
            May 8, 2016 3:39 pm

            I’m not sure there is a difference between a September look and a June arrival. We’re basically saying the same thing. If McGuire doesn’t break out with the bat, then you’re not worried about Super 2 with him, but they would leave him down long enough to get an extra year. Which means you have to cover those September days the following season so you keep him under 172 total days at the end of 2018.

            • I can agree with that 🙂

            • I don’t think we’ll have to worry about a Super 2 with Reese.


              • John Dreker
                May 9, 2016 11:14 am

                That’s not really going out on a limb, since Super 2 is saved for the best prospects and right now the Pirates only have four players who you would consider that type. Please tell me what you have seen from McGuire in the games you’ve watched. Do you like the better plate patience he is showing as one of the youngest players in AA? What about his ability to make contact? He has also added muscle in the off-season, plus he is very athletic, thoughts on that? What about the defensive side? What could he do to improve any aspects. I’ll hang up and listen…

        • Eventually the bat will have to be given time to catch up to the defense

          So, we’re not going to be calling Reese up until he is 32?????

          🙂 🙂 🙂