Morning Report: Could Taillon Be the Only Pirate Who Loses His Prospect Status This Year?

When we put out our Prospect Guide last December, I thought there was a chance that five of our top eight players could lose their prospect status by the end of the season. They were the five prospects on the cover. Tyler Glasnow and Josh Bell seemed like sure bets. Jameson Taillon seemed like it could happen, but back then there was no way to tell for certain how he would do in his return and how they would handle his innings.

Elias Diaz got a tiny head start last season in September and as the third catcher, there was always a possibility he saw a lot of time. I also assumed that if he was called up if Francisco Cervelli was out for an extended amount of time, Diaz would see a lot more action than if he was replacing Chris Stewart. Alen Hanson was the other and with the added positions last year, that would give him a better shot at finding a spot. I didn’t think he would easily surpass the total, but I thought there was a good shot it could happen.

Now more than halfway into the season (88 games played to be exact) there is a possibility that only Taillon loses that prospect status. Our standard for a prospect is 130 at-bats, 50 innings for a pitcher and 30 appearances for a reliever. If a reliever went over 50 innings in under 30 appearances, he would be eliminated from the book. Taillon is easily the closest with 28 innings pitched and he could be four starts away from losing his prospect status.

As for the other four players, there is a chance they don’t lose their prospect eligibility. Starting at the top, I wouldn’t say it’s definite that Tyler Glasnow returns right after the All-Star break. Here is where his control issues come into play. He only had one start and pitched 5.1 innings, so assuming he isn’t right back up, he could still make 8-9 more starts and it wouldn’t be a given that he reaches that 50 inning point. High pitch counts could force him out of a couple starts early. I definitely wouldn’t say he has a great chance to lose his prospect status, but I think he has the second best chance behind Taillon.

Josh Bell would be next on the prospect list and he would need to start some games down the stretch to go from two at-bats to 130 by the end of the year, especially if he isn’t up for good, which it doesn’t sound like he is at this point. His odds of losing his prospect status are based more on what the Pirates decide to do with him, rather than his performance like with Glasnow. If Glasnow pitches well, he will surpass 50 innings by a wide margin, but Bell could keep hitting in Triple-A and they just won’t get him enough at-bats by the end of the year. I think he ends up very close to that 130 mark.

Elias Diaz won’t make it this year. Part of the reason I say that with confidence is that he has been picking up service time since Opening Day, and while he isn’t the type of player you worry about Super Two status with, you probably don’t want to have him over a full season in the majors at the end of this year. If they need him, he will be up of course, but I don’t think we see him just activated from the disabled list and kept in the majors. I think he spends some time in Indianapolis before we see him in Pittsburgh.

Alen Hanson doesn’t have a spot at this moment unless they use him in place of Adam Frazier. It would give them more speed on the bench, a little more power in the bat and a better defensive second baseman, but Frazier seems more suited for a pinch-hitting role and his speed is still above average. Frazier also isn’t a bad second baseman and he has more experience in the outfield. Even if that switch happened, Frazier has 24 at-bats over 16 games (14 games played), so he isn’t seeing a huge amount of playing time. You switch to Hanson and he is probably going to see games where he is only used as a pinch-runner, plus he only had two at-bats when he was called up earlier. For that reason, I don’t see Hanson losing his prospect status, even if he joined the team right after the All-Star break. That wouldn’t be out of the question with the way he has played on offense, defense and ran the bases the last three weeks.

Back to Frazier and he’s another where I don’t see it happening. He is on pace for it right now if he remained with the team all year. He would actually finish with 135 at-bats at the current pace. Once they do September call-ups though, then he will be losing some time with a deeper bench. I don’t think he stays the whole time either and it wouldn’t be a bad idea to get him more at-bats and more time in the outfield in Triple-A before you decide to limit him to a bench role. There is also talk they may keep three catchers when Cervelli first comes back, so that would probably mean Frazier leaves if he’s still around then.

Chad Kuhl has made three starts and put in 13.1 innings, but his last start didn’t go well and you could see him go back to Indianapolis after the break. He’s not the same as Glasnow, where if he performs well, they will find a spot for him. Kuhl would need a spot to be open, otherwise he might just see September innings from here on out and that would be a lot of long middle relief appearances to get him to 50 innings. I think he falls short too, though if he’s in the rotation after the break then he might have an outside chance.

The only other prospect who has played for the Pirates this year is Steven Brault and he put in just four innings. I think we see him in September out of the bullpen, but he falls well short of losing his prospect status. He’s definitely the lowest chance out of this group.

At least with Brault, Kuhl and Frazier, I didn’t expect any of them to see the majors before September, so I figured they would be in the 2017 Prospect Guide. The system would clearly look a lot deeper if Glasnow, Bell, Hanson and Diaz all joined them. For Hanson and Diaz, I expect them to be in the next guide. I didn’t think it was possible going into the year that Glasnow or Bell would be there too, but you can see how it could happen with each of them. Neither has been given that full vote of confidence yet that makes you think they are a sure thing to be around for a majority of the remaining games this season.

PIRATES GAME GRAPH

The Pirates are on their All-Star break until Friday.

TODAY’S SCHEDULE

Today’s Starter and Notes: The Pirates are on their All-Star break. They are off until Friday when they begin a three-game series in Washington.

In the minors, both Indianapolis and Altoona are on their All-Star break now. Both Bradenton and Bristol have off today as well, so it’s a light day on the schedule. There is a pitcher of interest though, as Gage Hinsz goes for West Virginia. He has improved his control a lot over last season when he walked 23 batters in 38 innings. This season, he has seven walks in 37.1 innings. His strikeouts have also gone up slightly, with 24 last year, compared to 28 this season. Hinsz has gone at least five innings in all seven starts. Tenth round pick Matt Anderson makes his third start/fourth appearance for Morgantown. He has 14 strikeouts in his first 7.2 innings.

MLB: Pittsburgh (46-42) @ Nationals (54-36) 7:05 PM 7/15
Probable starter: TBD

AAA: Indianapolis (48-44) @ Louisville (44-47) 7:05 PM 7/14 (season preview)
Probable starter: TBD

AA: Altoona (50-38) vs Harrisburg (47-41) 7:00 PM 7/14 (season preview)
Probable starter: Alex McRae (10.25 ERA, 10:19 BB/SO, 26.1 IP)

High-A: Bradenton (46-41) @ Dunedin (47-41) 6:30 PM 7/13 (season preview)
Probable starter: Austin Coley (3.65 ERA, 28:55 BB/SO, 91.1 IP)

Low-A: West Virginia (43-44) vs Augusta (48-40) 7:05 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Gage Hinsz (4.10 ERA, 7:28 BB/SO, 37.1 IP)

Short-Season A: Morgantown (10-14) @ Hudson Valley (12-12) 7:05 PM (season preview)
Probable Starter: Matt Anderson (4.70 ERA, 3:14 BB/SO, 7.2 IP)

Rookie: Bristol (8-10) @ Kingsport (7-11) 7:00 PM 7/13 (season preview)

GCL: Pirates (6-9) vs Tigers East (7-8) 12:00 PM (season preview)

DSL: Pirates (11-21) vs Yankees1 (16-15) 10:30 AM (season preview)

HIGHLIGHTS

Here is a home run from Willy Garcia, who has just three on the season after collecting 15 last year.

RECENT TRANSACTIONS

7/10: Ryan Vogelsong assigned to Altoona on rehab.

7/9: Jonathan Schwind promoted to Indianapolis.

7/8: Pirates sign Josh Outman.

7/8: Josh Bell promoted to Pittsburgh. Tyler Glasnow optioned to Indianapolis.

7/8: Nick Kingham assigned to GCL Pirates on rehab.

7/7: Juan Paula promoted to Morgantown.

7/7: Tyler Glasnow recalled. Kyle Lobstein optioned to Indianapolis.

7/6: Steven Brault optioned to Indianapolis. Kyle Lobstein promoted to Pirates.

7/6: Jacob Stallings sent outright to Indianapolis.

7/6: Pirates released Clario Perez.

7/5: Gerrit Cole assigned to Indianapolis on rehab.

7/5: Steven Brault promoted to Pirates. Jacob Stallings designated for assignment.

7/5: Austin Meadows placed on disabled list.

7/5: Tomas Morales promoted to Indianapolis (sent back to Altoona on 7/6)

7/4: Jameson Taillon placed on 15-day disabled list.

7/4: Jin-De Jhang promoted to Indianapolis. Tomas Morales assigned to Altoona.

7/4: Erik Lunde activated from disabled list. Assigned to Bradenton. Raul Hernandez assigned to GCL.

7/4: Elias Diaz assigned to Bradenton on rehab.

7/4: Chris Stewart placed on disabled list.

7/4: Pirates claim Eric Fryer off waivers. Rob Scahill placed on waivers.

7/3: Pirates sign Chris McDonald and Evan Piechota. Both assigned to GCL.

7/3: Pirates sign six international free agents.

7/3: Yunior Montero promoted to West Virginia.

7/3: Curtis Partch sent outright to Indianapolis.

7/2: Pablo Reyes activated from temporary inactive list. Trace Tam Sing placed on temporary inactive list.

7/1: Julio Vivas promoted to West Virginia.

7/1: Rinku Singh assigned to GCL Pirates on rehab

7/1: Pirates sign Andrew Walker. Assigned to GCL.

6/30: Jorge Rondon sent outright to Indianapolis.

6/30: Erik Lunde assigned to GCL Pirates on rehab.

6/30: Raul Hernandez assigned to Bradenton.

6/30: Jose Regalado placed on disabled list. Tanner Anderson promoted to Bradenton.

6/30: Tomas Morales assigned to Indianapolis. Ed Easley released.

6/30: Jose Osuna promoted to Indianapolis. Jhondaniel Medina assigned to Altoona.

6/29: Pirates sign Nick King and Daniel Cucjen.

THIS DATE IN PIRATES HISTORY

Six former Pittsburgh Pirates players born on this date, included a pitcher that helped the team get to two World Series. Starting with the best first, we have Lee Meadows, who pitched for the Pirates from 1923 until 1929. He was a very good pitcher on some very bad teams before coming to the Pirates. His 100-128 record in his first 8 1/2 seasons does not tell the whole story. When he was put on a Pittsburgh team in 1923 that was in contention over the rest of his career, his record turned around. Meadows ended up going 88-52 with the Pirates, including 19-10 seasons in both 1925 and 1927, helping the Pirates to the World Series each year. In between those two seasons, he led the NL with 20 wins. You can read a full bio here.

As for the five other players born on this date, we have pitcher Tom Gorzelanny (2005-09), his teammate from the 2008-09 season, pitcher Phil Dumatrait. Another teammate of Gorzelanny, 2005-07 first baseman Brad Eldred. We also have 1970 catcher Dave Ricketts and utility fielder Johnny Wyrostek, who played for the Pirates during the 1942-43 seasons.

On this date in 1997, Francisco Cordova and Ricardo Rincon combined on a 10-inning no-hitter over the Houston Astros at Three Rivers Stadium. It was only the second time in team history a no-hitter went into extra innings, with the Pirates and Harvey Haddix losing in the 13th inning in the previous game. This was the eighth no-hitter in franchise history and first since 1976 and stands as the most recent one as well. You can view the boxscore here.

  • BuccosFanStuckinMD
    July 12, 2016 5:31 pm

    If the answer to this article’s question is yes, then that is likely a very bad sign. It means the rotation the rest of the year includes Locke, Niese – and that the Pirates made the ridiculous decision to keep Jaso at first base full-time, instead of bringing up Bell, who obviously could be a real difference maker as opposed to a journeyman….

  • Nick Kingham, Mitch Keller, Harold Ramirez, and Alen Hanson for Julio Teheran. Who hangs up first?

    • That’s interesting but I think the Braves hang up. He’s the same age and just as good as Cole – and he is locked up (at a team friendly option) for one more year (2020) than Cole will be.
      If I am the Braves and being critical, I would look at Ramirez as Tabata part II and Hanson as maybe no more than a speedy utility guy. Kingham is not ‘healthy’ yet and Keller is a long way away.
      The Braves should counter with Glasnow, Keller, Meadows, and Hanson.
      And the Pirates should try to substitute Kingham or Kuhl or Brault for Keller – and Polo for Meadows
      And the result would be Glasnow, Meadows, and Hanson for Teheran.

      • BuccosFanStuckinMD
        July 12, 2016 5:32 pm

        No way I make that trade, I think Glasnow will end up being better than Teheran….and Meadows may be a future all star in CF

        • I’m not disagreeing with you but Teheran is who he is and we would have control for 4.5 years. Glasnow and Meadows as good as they look are still prospects and are no guarantees (Glasnow’s control/change up and Meadows ‘injury’ history) to reach their potential

      • I think you’re overvaluing Teheran. He’s good but he’s not one of the 20 best starters in baseball and that’s more than what the Tigers paid for David Price or what the A’s paid for Jon Lester. Now, granted Lester was a rental but he’s also in a different class than Teheran and has rings.

  • MLBTR about Lodolo

    Pirates Comp Round A pick Nick Lodolo looks likeliest to be the highest unsigned pick in this year’s draft, MLB.com’s Jim Callis tweets. Lodolo, a lanky high school lefty from California, has a commitment to TCU.

    Via MLB.com’s draft signing and bonus tracker, three picks above Lodolo remain unsigned — seventh overall pick Braxton Garrett (Marlins), 12th overall pick Jason Groome (Red Sox) and No. 31 pick Anthony Kay (Mets).

    As Hawk Harrelson might say “He Gone”. 🙂

  • John … A slew of questions if you have the time:
    – assuming Frazier doesn’t hit 130 ABs, does he move up the rankings based on his MLB play?
    – you mentioned PP cut offs ate they different than MLB’s cut offs?
    – you also mentioned Bell’s 2 ABs. Do you not count plate appearances (walks)?
    – when rosters expand in September, does that still count as service time? I am assuming it does just not as “call up”

  • It blows my mind that Josh Bell could still have prospect status at the end of the year because of John Jaso. Can you imagine if the Dodgers went out and signed a 32 year platoon shortstop to a multi year contract last year and block Cory Seager this year. And Dodgers fans where having discussions on his prospect status. As much as people complain about the pitching acquisitions in the off season, none of them have obligations beyond this year. Any one of those players could be DFA without effecting next years payroll or moved to the bullpen. Freese, Joyce and Rodriguez also have no obligations beyond this year and can play multi positions. I dont understand the multi-year signing of a player who can only play 1B and blocks one of baseballs top hitting prospects.

  • Is it time to start the Super Two discussion for 2017?

  • Sorry David Freese is a good option at 1b but if Josh Bell doesn’t get another 127 at bats because John Jaso is rolling 87 mph grounders over for another month or 6 weeks… just ridiculous.

  • Confused here: You said Diaz “has” been picking up service time this year? How is that since he has not been brought up to the big club and is on the DL?

    • There is a date in spring training where if you are still on the major league roster and get injured, you stay on the 25-man roster. He got “injured” after that cut off in Spring Training. So he has been accruing MLB service, ever since.
      Side note, since he was already accruing the service time, they were able to put him on the 60-day DL which also accrues service time. They couldn’t put either Tailon or Kingham on the 60-day DL and free up a spot the past year for that reason.

      • Interesting, so I guess for Diaz it’s lucky he got injured when he did. So he collects service time at Major League minimum for not playing. Wow, good for him. Much better than collecting his normal AAA salary. Thanks for the info.

  • Scott Kliesen
    July 12, 2016 10:26 am

    I may be in minority, but I think it would’ve a crime to send Glasnow back down for more seasoning with the way the staff has been languishing. Give him the ball every 5th day and watch him grow into the dominant SP he is projected to be. Just as they did with Cole!

    • Cole was a lot more polished when we did that with him.

      • Scott Kliesen
        July 12, 2016 4:34 pm

        True, but Cole never had the dominant fastball/curve combo Glasnow possesses in MiLB either. He proved his stuff is good enough to compete. Experience is what he needs now.

  • I have to ask. Does anyone think Kuhl is hurt? The reality is his 3 starts pretty horrendous when you look at his DIPs. And it wasn’t just his last start vs Cubs. He has not looked good. I know he wasn’t pitching great before the call up. And almost no ground balls at MLB level.

    • I don’t think so. I think his call-up to the majors at that time was ill-advised. He wasn’t pitching well and only showed mild improvements in his last Triple-A start, then they called him up to the majors with less than a half season of Triple-A experience. It basically went against common sense to think an inexperienced pitcher in the middle of struggling would do well in the majors. I would say under the circumstances, his first start went fine and his second was good as well, but there was no reason to believe he could continue that. You’re basically seeing what happens when you call up someone before they are Major League ready.

      • John I’d say his first 2 starts went fine in terms of results but he wasn’t pitching well at all imo. Even if you take his last start out he had a 5.75xFIP in his first 2 starts and only 30% of stuff was being hit on ground. He had some very, very good BABIP fortune. Not just the wall in Oakland. Were some great plays in that start vs Dodgers.

        • “Under the circumstances” is the key part there. He was struggling at the time in Triple-A and then his Major League debut is Sunday night nationally broadcast game with Clayton Kershaw as the opposing pitcher? Let me know how that works out for most players at his age/experience. That start had a chance to be a disaster

          • Yes it did. I hope we’ve seen Kuhl make his last start for us this year unless something really changes at Triple A moving forward.

            • If he gets back to where he was in late April and all of May, then you won’t be saying that same thing. They would have probably been better off letting him work his way back in Triple-A first before using him, even though they did win all three of his starts. That’s short-term success for the team, but for him personally, he needed to get back on track first and you don’t move someone up to work on things. That’s just common sense.

              • I don’t know John. I’m cognizant he wasn’t pitching as well as he was earlier in the year before his call up. I just don’t even if he returns to that level of April/May if that is really anything more than hoping he could be #5 starter.

                Through May 26 a lot of that success was fueled by insane BABIP of 208 and a 91% strand percentage.

                • Well, look at the Pirates pitching staff and tell me why a #5 starter wouldn’t have a place in it right now?

                  • Sure that would be a welcome addition. 2013/14 Brandon Cumpton would have been a welcome addition as a #5 on this staff. I hope I’m wrong but I’m not sure Kuhl ends up being much more than that though. Maybe changeup gets much better, but that’s much easier said than done. I think Brault is much better clay to work with as far as molding a #4 starter or better given what he has in his arsenal and what he needs to improve vs what Kuhl needs to improve.

                    • I guess you have to be specific when you say you don’t want to see someone again. A true back-end rotation pitcher like Kuhl would clearly be help right now, but if you mean you don’t want to see him because you want everyone else to do better, then that’s a different thing. I was talking more about here and now and Kuhl in late May was pitching better than anyone down there.

                    • Yes, sorry for amibiguity. If Kuhl could pitch like a legitimate #5 MLB starter I would gladly welcome him back to the rotation this year.

                • His BABIP was low despite the Pirates playing a ridiculous shift that hurt him quite a few times. It was low because it was all soft contact, but it could have been better if they didn’t put three infielders on the one side for right-handed batters all the time. Every pitcher has been hurt by their ridiculous shifting down in Indy. Unless you watch every game, you don’t understand how many routine grounders to second base went untouched because the second baseman was over playing shortstop, while the shortstop was ten feet away from the third baseman and the third baseman is almost standing on the line

                  • I’ve watched a lot of Indy and Altoona via MILB tv

                    • Then you should know that he gets a lot of soft contact and he’s been hurt by the defense, so that .208 BABIP doesn’t sound insane . It could have been better

                    • I can’t recall specifically. I watched a lot of his starts although not every single one of them so I’ll defer to you.

                    • It’s probably different for me because I did watch every start and made notes on every play, so it’s double committed to memory. Everyone has been hurt by those shifts and what is even worse about them is they players are so close, yet hard hit balls still get though and on soft hit balls, I’ve seen players right on top of each other.

                      I believe it was the last Triple-A start from Kuhl where it was driving me insane, wondering why it was still going on. He went after two starts in which these soft grounders to second base just rolled into the outfield for the 50th and 51st time all season. Then Kuhl makes his start and two of those grounders were 4-6-3 DP’s waiting to happen, but no one was anywhere near them. Then a guy bloops one just over second base and it lands softly for a hit. It makes you wonder what the heck they are looking at all these games with the positioning.

                      The worst part about bunching the players up is they do it with Gift Ngoepe and Alen Hanson down there. You probably can’t find a better DP combo in the minors, both with great range and they are 15 feet away from each other with just Josh Bell on the right side

                    • Yes, kind of crazy

                    • Darkstone42
                      July 12, 2016 2:54 pm

                      In other words, contact management is an actual skill pitchers can have.

                    • John Dreker
                      July 12, 2016 4:22 pm

                      Well I think BABIP can be deceiving at times. Tyler Eppler was the perfect example this year compared to Clay Holmes. I watch Eppler and he’s getting these highlight reel plays on defense daily, plus long fly balls that the ballpark just barely held. Then watch Holmes and 45 foot grounders and rollers up the middle are going for hits. On paper, it looked like Eppler was dominant compared to Holmes, but if you watched the games, it told a totally different story.

                      In a smaller sample size, the back-to-back no-hitters from Glasnow were great examples. One game nothing was hit hard, the other had two great plays and couple loud outs to the outfield. Both obviously had the same BABIP, but in no way were they similar games.

                    • Darkstone42
                      July 12, 2016 6:25 pm

                      The point, though, is generating soft contact is a skill, and pitchers have shown, statistically, that they can suppress both BABIP and Slug% if they have that skill. Felix Hernandez at his best was an elite example of the same. But it’s also how lesser K/BB pitchers get by in the Majors, managing contact, being hard to center up.

  • Why should we have to wait until September to see Steven Brault again? OK only about 40 innings but same K% as Glasnow. Better control. In his one start he looked better than Kuhl did in any of his 3 opportunities. FFS, he would have been a better option Sunday than Jon Niese even if he isn’t fully stretched out. I would taken a chance on Brault giving us 4 competent innings.

    • You watched his start and you thought he looked better? He was throwing chuck and duck pitches. Brault has ALOT of work to do. The same crowd that thinks Brault pitched great is the same crowd that thought Kohl was pitching great. Really the only pitcher other then Tallion that can truly help the Bucs down the stretch is Glasnow. His stuff is night and day better then Kohls and Brault. He could improve his control and his change up but that doesn’t change the fact that he is just a tougher pitcher to hit and that has been proven time and time again all the way through the minors. I think Kohl and Brault have what it takes to be decent major league pitchers but lets not confuse 4 innings of average to below average pitching in their debuts to being ready to pitch every 5 days in the majors.

      • Brault struck out five batters in his four innings of work. How is that chuck and duck stuff? He was missing bats. And if you’re going to insult people’s abilities to assess a starting pitcher’s performance, you could at least spell his name right. Kuhl is a pitcher, not a store.

        • LOL I thought same thing Darkstone. I’m not arguing Brault will be better than Glasnow. But if FO is hesitant to bring Glasnow up after the break and we need a rotation spot filled I’d rather take a look at Brault than Niese or Vogelsong. That’s all I’m saying. I did chuckle on the chuck and duck reference. By no means was Brault perfect but not allowing 26 percent of batters to put ball in play is not chuck and duck in my book.

          Kuhl…? yes I could see the chuck and duck reference being applicable maybe.

          • Brault gets more swing and misses than anyone who pitched at Indianapolis this year.

            • Thank you. I know his stuff isn’t on same level as Glasnow but there’s something to be said about K%. Even in AFL his K% was around 26%. The deception in his delivery must really make him difficult to pick up. On St Lous broadcast they were talking about Holliday being right on a fastball he could do nothing with. I was thinking maybe it’s the delivery.

              • Yes, he has deception and hides the ball well. He’s throwing 92-93 at times, and with batters picking it up late, he’s basically adding MPH to the fastball without physically throwing it harder. He also has a lot of late movement. His start in which he had 11 strikeouts was the best pitched game I’ve seen this season from anyone. The swing and misses, the soft contact, the command of all of his pitches. Everything was perfect that day.

                • IIRC last time I checked his splits(at least this year) he has fared better vs righties than lefties. Obviously SSS and I know Clint doesn’t use LOOGY but the bullpen really needs a mid inning reliever who doesn’t struggle vs lefties.

                • John thanx for the debate. Lots of good details here. I am also high on Brault, loved the “stuff” in his game up, especially since it was basically a rehab start. He clearly has a swing and miss fastball, that it’s 91-93 doesn’t really matter to me, clearly he is going to be a good pitcher for us.

        • My reason for the reference is he split the plate about a 1/2 dozen times with flat FBs and really only paid the price once. I really though he got away with a few pitches to Holiday. My reference to chuck and duck is certainly a little strong but I didn’t see the movement on his fastball that I see with Glasnows. Additionally if you look at that game he got a number of calls for strikes that were outside the box. More so then I have seen in any game this year. If the ump had called that game the way they usually call them i am not sure he makes it through 4.

          • Darkstone42
            July 12, 2016 2:49 pm

            Two points:

            1) Stuff is a good way to get away with mistakes in the center of the plate. Brault may not be flashy, but the movement and deception are “stuff” enough to mitigate damage on mistakes. That’s why I’m so high on him.

            2) While it does make it easier to pitch when the zone is wide, it’s also on the pitcher to take advantage. Brault saw the wide zone, and he took advantage. That shouldn’t be a knock against him.

    • I could see Brault joining the rotation shortly, as well. He easily looked the sharpest of any of the starters we called up not named Taillon. I think the only thing he needs is to be stretched out.

    • Brault wasn’t even fully stretched out yet from his injury, so his debut was based on timing, not on him being ready. Then he pitched behind Cole on Sunday and his pitch count went down. He’s not coming back up anytime soon coming off 52 pitches in his last outing. They need to get him up to 100 a couple times like they did with everyone else and that won’t happen overnight.

      • Should it be more than 2 or 3 starts max for that to happen? I know he couldn’t go long Sunday because Cole needed work but I thought he was built up to near 70-75 pitches prior to that.

        One thing is certain. We shouldn’t have to sit through another Jon Niese starts. It’s ludicrous at this point in time to continue running him out there.

        • With the All-Star break, it isn’t going to be sped up. He will need to probably go 5/75 next time, then to 90, then you can do 100 back-to-back which pushes his fifth start into August and if he’s ready, then maybe you see him back, but I can’t imagine he comes back unless injuries occur first….I could have said up top that if John Jaso gets hurt, Bell will easily surpass 130 at-bats, but I think everyone knows that. If there are two rotation spots open, you’re going to need Glasnow/Kuhl/Brault sooner than you think

          • Well if Brault can’t be ready until early August I don’t think they have any choice but to bring Glasnow back up(I had been in camp that he needs more work). But even with off days I doubt CH is going to want to run with a 4 man rotation.

            Cole/Frankie/Taillon/Locke

            If they run Niese or Vogelsong out for a couple more starts…

  • No Pirate baseball until Friday?

    I’m not gonna make it!

  • I want to see more of Adam Frazier. I know he won’t get a lot of playing time and he has no power at all. I also won’t argue with Glasnow being sent back to Indy. There were too many fastballs sprayed all over the place.

    • He should get some starts at 2b, IMHO.

      • Lee, some don’t realize that 2nd is probably his best position.

        He’s not really an outfielder.

    • I thought the fastball played. They were tagging his hanging curves though for sure. He should have leaned more on the fastball in that game, could have done that just by not shaking off his catcher every other pitch…

  • Glasnow is not ready for the majors at this time, I just wish he was. The same applies to the other young pitchers brought up except Taillon, he is ready and should stay right in the rotation this year. It is too bad Glasnow is not ready as the two of them pitching this year sets them up for next year. The same could be said for Bell but that is not going to happen this year. That is a waste of a year in Bell’s case because he need ABs for the remainder of this year to set him up for next year. Poor Bell next year he will platoon with j a s o.

    • The thing that really makes me wish they would keep Bell up is what happened with Polanco a couple years ago. Polanco was tearing it up in Indy, got off to a nice start with the Pirates, but then pitchers figured him out and he struggled for awhile. That seems to happen to a lot of prospects. Of course, it would have been a lot easier to keep him up if they hadn’t won 12 of 15 or whatever to close the first half there.

      • Regardless of our best intentions, there is a learning curve at each level, and adapting to MLB pitching in MLB Stadiums cannot be replicated at the AAA level. It’s one of them “ya gotta be there” type things and the struggle is all a part of the learning process. Polanco is having a very strong year, building on the growth that his struggling in 2014 and 2015 provided – some learn (Polanco) and some don’t (Alvarez).

      • As a hitter, Bell is obviously a much more developed prospect than Polanco IMO. Bell is ready, except for the defense. I believe the Pedro Experience is having a direct impact on Bell’s use. They want to see more at 1st before a permanent call up.

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