The Florida State League named their All-Star teams on Friday, selecting three players from the Bradenton Marauders. Luis Heredia, Taylor Gushue and Kevin Newman were named to the team. The game is two weeks away, so Newman will need to be replaced on the roster. They usually replace players with someone from their own team, so if they do, there could be an interesting decision to be made with Newman’s stand-in.
Kevin Kramer is having a solid season with a .286/.345/.383 slash line in 48 games. You could also go with Pablo Reyes, who is a more versatile player, and currently has a .727 OPS. If they want to stick to an infielder, but not a middle infielder, you could go with Chase Simpson, who has a .794 OPS, though he is basically playing every other day. If you just want a position player, Michael Suchy would be the best outfield choice after a strong May, which has carried over into the first days of this month. None of them are having big seasons, so I wouldn’t call them snubs. On the pitching side though, you could make a case for a couple other players.
All-Star game rosters usually focus on the basic stats and filling each position with a couple players so no one plays the entire game. You’re not going to get into advanced stats, just coaches picking players who have performed well. Alex McRae has a 2.45 ERA, while Yeudy Garcia has a 2.76 ERA and 49 strikeouts in 42.1 innings. Those type of stats usually get players attention. Austin Coley might be considered a snub with eight wins and a solid run in May. If you lead the league in wins, that’s usually enough for All-Star game standards.
On the other hand, the FSL is a pitcher-friendly league, so there are a lot of excellent choices. They only take ten pitchers per roster, including relievers, which limits the possible choices. Brandon Waddell and Edgar Santana were the best pitchers with the Marauders this year and they were both promoted to Altoona a month ago. Heredia was a good choice because he has dominated in relief, but you would think at least one of those three starters would have made the team. It’s still possible they could as a replacement. I mentioned that players are usually replaced by teammates, but that’s not always the case.
** The DSL season begins today and you will notice they have been added to the schedule below. We will have a preview up on the site sometime tomorrow. They have some interesting names to watch this year, a few added this past July 2nd signing period, some returning for another season. There are at least 15 players who received six-figure bonuses to sign, and one who didn’t, yet he reportedly hit 100 MPH with his fastball. I’ll outline the most interesting players to watch this year and then the preview will be linked down in the schedule section for the entire season, which runs through late August.
Bradenton is 7-3 in their last ten games. They are in first place in their division, three games ahead. The first half of the FSL season ends on June 22nd.
West Virginia is 7-3 in their last ten games. They are in fourth place in their division, trailing first place by six games. The first half of the SAL season ends on June 19th.
PIRATES GAME GRAPH
Today’s Starter and Notes: The Pirates lost 9-2 to the Angels on Friday night. They will send Jeff Locke to the mound today, making his 11th start of the season. He threw his first career complete game and shutout in his last outing. Locke has picked up just one strikeout in each of his last two games. The Angels will counter with Nick Tropeano, who has a 3.25 ERA in 55.1 innings this season, with 54 strikeouts and a 1.55 WHIP. In his last start, he allowed four runs on seven hits and five walks in five innings against the Astros.
In the minors, Indianapolis has a doubleheader today with Kyle Lobstein and Justin Masterson scheduled to pitch. Masterson will be making his Triple-A debut after pitching five innings for Bradenton on Sunday. Lobstein has pitched twice for Indianapolis, making his appearances between stints with the Pirates.
Tyler Eppler looks to bounce back from two poor starts that caused his ERA to go from 2.74 through eight starts, to 4.40 through ten. Yeudy Garcia goes for Bradenton, his first start since winning the FSL Pitcher of the Week award on Tuesday. He threw ten shutout innings last week, but he struggled with command and high pitch counts each game. Tim Williams looked into his issues earlier in the week.
MLB: Pittsburgh (29-25) vs Angels (25-29) 4:05 PM
Probable starter: Jeff Locke (4.33 ERA, 24:33 BB/SO, 60.1 IP)
AAA: Indianapolis (28-25) @ Toledo (25-28) 5:05 PM DH (season preview)
Probable starter: Kyle Lobstein (1.29 ERA, 1:5 BB/SO, 7.0 IP) and Justin Masterson (NR)
AA: Altoona (31-22) vs Binghamton (21-32) 6:00 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Tyler Eppler (4.40 ERA, 13:38 BB/SO, 57.1 IP)
High-A: Bradenton (30-24) @ Lakeland (28-26) 6:00 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Yeudy Garcia (2.76 ERA, 20:49 BB/SO, 42.1 IP)
Low-A: West Virginia (29-25) @ Augusta (27-27) 6:05 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Bret Helton (4.11 ERA, 19:34 BB/SO, 46.0 IP)
DSL: Pirates (0-0) vs Rangers1 (0-0) 10:30 AM
Here is the third strikeout from Tyler Glasnow’s five no-hit inning performance this week. He currently leads the International League in strikeouts.
6/2: Gage Hinsz assigned to West Virginia. Mitch Keller assigned to Extended Spring Training.
6/2: Justin Masterson assigned to Indianapolis. Frank Duncan assigned to Altoona.
6/2: Arquimedes Caminero assigned to Indianapolis on rehab.
6/2: David Whitehead assigned to GCL Pirates.
6/1: Pirates release Michael Fransoso.
5/29: Justin Masterson assigned to Bradenton.
5/29: Jhondaniel Medina assigned to Altoona.
5/28: Tony Watson reinstated from paternity list. Kyle Lobstein optioned to Indianapolis.
5/28: Cole Tucker promoted to Bradenton. Jess Amedee added to West Virginia roster.
5/27: Trevor Williams and Jim Fuller assigned to Indianapolis.
5/27: Kevin Newman placed on disabled list. Colten Brewer added to Bradenton roster.
5/27: Logan Sendelbach added to West Virginia roster. Jess Amedee assigned to Extended Spring Training.
5/26: Jhondaniel Medina promoted to Indianapolis.
5/25: Pirates place Tony Watson on paternity list. Recall Rob Scahill.
5/25: Pirates place Arquimedes Caminero on disabled list. Recall Kyle Lobstein.
5/24: Pirates place Ryan Vogelsong on disabled list. A.J. Schugel recalled from Indianapolis.
5/23: Logan Sendelbach assigned to Extended Spring Training. Jess Amedee added to West Virginia.
5/22: Trevor Williams assigned to Bradenton. Colten Brewer sent to Extended Spring Training.
5/22: Trace Tam Sing added to Bradenton roster.
5/21: West Virginia assigns Ty Moore and Casey Hughston to Extended Spring Training. Logan Ratledge and Sean Keselica added to West Virginia roster.
5/21: Logan Hill demoted from Bradenton to West Virginia.
5/21: Pirates release Eric Karch.
5/21: Juan Diaz assigned to Extended Spring Training.
THIS DATE IN PIRATES HISTORY
Five former Pittsburgh Pirates players born on this date, plus a major trade of note. We start with the trade and it involved a Hall of Famer in his prime. On this date in 1953, the Pirates traded All-Star outfielder Ralph Kiner to the Chicago Cubs as part of a ten-player deal. They also sent three other players to Chicago, receiving six players and $150,000 back, which back then was a much more significant total. The Pirates ended up getting almost nothing from the six players they got, but didn’t lose much when Kiner hurt his back and his stats fell off quickly before retiring in 1955. What they gained was some payroll relief from Kiner’s salary, plus the ability to spend money on some young players over the next few years. While the return looked bad, it could have been much worse if Kiner remained a star.
Two of the players born on this date were significant players with the Pirates. Tony Pena caught for the Pirates from 1980 until 1986, then was traded to the Cardinals for a return that helped the Pirates to three straight NL East pennants. He was an All-Star and a Gold Glove winner for the Pirates, hitting .286 over 801 games with the team. Before the 1987 season, he was traded for Andy Van Slyke, Mike LaValliere and pitcher Mike Dunne, who had one strong season in Pittsburgh. Van Slyke and LaValliere played big roles during the 1990-92 playoff run.
Bob Klinger pitched for the Pirates from 1938 until 1943, then served in the military for two years before returning to baseball. He won 62 games with Pittsburgh and had a 3.74 ERA, splitting him time between roles, with 129 starts and 80 relief appearances.
Others born on this date include 1974-77 pitcher Larry Demery, 1914-15 pitcher Herb Kelly, and 1901 catcher George Yeager, who played for the first pennant winner in franchise history.