Morning Report: A Retirement, An Injury, and Something You Won’t Want to Miss

Some news, notes and a cool piece of memorabilia on a Wednesday morning.

** Erik Lunde announced his retirement on Monday. He was an 18th round pick of the Pirates in 2014 and was the backup catcher for Bradenton up until retiring. Lunde had not played much this season, serving as the emergency catcher for any lower level teams for the first three months, spending his time with the Marauders, but not on the active roster. He played a total of 17 games this season and put up a .584 OPS. Lunde went out with a bang for his career, collecting two hits, two walks, and scoring three runs on Sunday.

Back in 2014, Lunde played for Jamestown, where he hit .206/.305/.257 in 55 games. All of his games were at second base. During Spring Training in 2015, the Pirates switched him to a catcher and he played for Bristol, where he hit .305/.393/.439 in 45 games. An interesting note is that he split the catching duties with Tomas Morales, who served as the backup for most of this season with Bradenton. Both players were old for that level, but you probably won’t see two players at the same position (non-pitchers) both jump three levels in one season again for awhile.

** Harold Ramirez was injured during his first game with the Double-A affiliate of the Blue Jays. He has been placed on the disabled list with a knee injury, which didn’t sound too serious. It is however another injury for a player who missed a lot of time over the years. They have all been lower body injuries as well. If you’re wondering about Reese McGuire right now, he is 6-for-20 in five games, with two doubles and a .733 OPS. Don’t skip the rest of this article and go right to the comments to continue talking about this deal, just giving updates because it was a popular Twitter subject. If you’re a die-hard Pirates fan, you’ll want to see something coming up just a couple hundred words away…

** The GCL Pirates were rained out of a doubleheader yesterday against the Yankees West. That’s a team they don’t play again, so both games were canceled. The GCL already has the shortest season at 60 games, so it’s tough to lose a couple games this late in the year. The other bad part is that I mentioned how stacked the GCL rotation was last week with prospects, including guys seeing time in long relief as a piggyback starter. Now they have four games this week to get in the innings for everyone. That should be enough for the better prospects to get in all of their innings, since they are all working on limited pitch counts, but you still have 13 other guys in the bullpen looking to get work. Assume that Nick Kingham, Jacob Taylor, Travis MacGregor, Braeden Ogle, Max Kranick, Miguel Hernandez, Brian Sousa and Domingo Robles will all pitch over these next four days and the rest of the bullpen will get any scrap innings available.

** If you don’t follow me on Twitter, here is what you missed last night and what I alluded to above. Pictures taken yesterday of Dots Miller’s 1909 jersey. It’s been in his family (some of them being my cousins) since then and hasn’t seen the light of day for at least 10-15 years. This jersey was out near second base when the Pirates won their first World Series title. The first jersey (mentioned in the tweet, but not shown below) is from a local team Dots player for during that same time frame.

PLAYOFF PUSH

Indianapolis is in second place in their division, trailing by eight games. They trail by 13 games for the lone wild card spot.

Altoona leads their division by 2.5 games. The top two teams in the division go to the playoffs, with the first place team getting the home field advantage in the first round.

Bradenton won the first half title. They have home field advantage in the playoffs.

West Virginia is in sixth place in their division, trailing first by 2.5 games.

Morgantown is tied for fourth place in their division, trailing first place by 12 games. They are 6.5 games back for the lone wild card spot.

Bristol is in fourth place, trailing by 6.5 games. The top two teams in each division go to the playoffs.

The GCL Pirates are one game back in their division. This is the only league where you have to win your division to make the playoffs.

The DSL Pirates have been eliminated from their division race. They trail in the wild card by 15.5 games.

PIRATES GAME GRAPH


Source: FanGraphs

TODAY’S SCHEDULE

Today’s Starter and Notes: The Pirates won 6-4 on Tuesday night. Ryan Vogelsong gets the ball tonight in his second game back from his eye injury back in May. Last Thursday against the Braves, he allowed one run on three hits over six innings. Vogelsong walked one and struck out six batters. The Padres will counter with Edwin Jackson, who has a 5.00 ERA in 36 innings, with 20 strikeouts and a 1.50 WHIP. In his last start, he allowed three runs over eight innings against the Brewers. Jackson gave up three runs over three innings in a relief appearance against the Pirates back on May 30th.

In the minors, Trevor Williams and Tyler Eppler get the starts tonight. Williams gave up three runs over 6.2 innings in his last start. Before that, he threw six shutout frames in his prior outing. Eppler allowed one run over seven innings in his last start. He has gone at least six innings in 16 of his 21 outings. He ranks sixth in the Eastern League in innings, 11th in ERA and eighth in WHIP. Bret Helton put out the best performance for any pitcher in the system last week when he got a Game Score of 78 for his seven shutout innings. He goes tonight for West Virginia and Tim Williams will have live coverage.

Second round pick Travis MacGregor and 2015 fourth round pick Jacob Taylor were scheduled for the GCL Pirates during their doubleheader yesterday, so they could both go today. As mentioned above, they need to find innings for all of their top priority pitchers with two rain outs this week. Adam Oller will start for Bristol.

MLB: Pittsburgh (56-54) vs Padres (48-64) 7:05 PM
Probable starter: Ryan Vogelsong (3.25 ERA, 11:22 BB/SO, 27.2 IP)

AAA: Indianapolis (58-60) @ Buffalo (58-59) 7:05 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Trevor Williams (2.98 ERA, 25:47 BB/SO, 81.2 IP)

AA: Altoona (63-51) vs Harrisburg (61-54) 7:00 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Tyler Eppler (3.81 ERA, 26:86 BB/SO, 127.2 IP)

High-A: Bradenton (57-56) vs Palm Beach (47-65) 6:30 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Austin Coley (4.35 ERA, 39:76 BB/SO, 118.0 IP)

Low-A: West Virginia (58-56) vs Greensboro (62-53) 5:05 PM(season preview)
Probable starter: Bret Helton (4.22 ERA, 42:74 BB/SO, 111.0 IP)

Short-Season A: Morgantown (23-28) @ State College (35-16) 7:05 PM (season preview)
Probable Starter: James Marvel (4.96 ERA, 16:33 BB/SO, 49.0 IP)

Rookie: Bristol (18-27) @ Danville (21-24) 7:00 PM (season preview)

GCL: Pirates (16-22) vs Braves (18-22) 12:00 PM (season preview)

DSL: Pirates (23-33) vs Mets1 (34-22) 10:30 AM (season preview)

HIGHLIGHTS

Here is Josh Bell’s grand slam from Monday night.

RECENT TRANSACTIONS

8/9: Erik Lunde retired.

8/9: Kyle Lobstein placed on disabled list. Kelvin Marte activated from disabled list.

8/9: Raul Hernandez assigned to Bradenton.

8/8: Delvin Hiciano assigned to GCL Pirates on rehab.

8/8: Josh Outman assigned to Indianapolis.

8/7: Austin Meadows activated from Indianapolis disabled list.

8/6: Arquimedes Caminero traded to Mariners for two players to be named later. Curtis Partch recalled from Indianapolis

8/6: Jason Creasy assigned to Morgantown on rehab.

8/6: John Kuchno assigned to Indianapolis. Josh Outman assigned to Altoona.

8/6: Chris Harvey assigned to Morgantown

8/4: Ryan Vogelsong activated from disabled list. Max Moroff optioned to Indianapolis.

8/4: Pirates release Wilfredo Boscan.

8/4: Kelvin Marte placed on disabled list.

8/4: Henrry Rosario promoted to Bristol. Sam Kennelly assigned to GCL Pirates.

8/3: Chris Harvey promoted to Indianapolis. Trey Haley sent to Altoona.

8/3: Elvis Escobar promoted to Altoona. Justin Maffei assigned to Bradenton.

8/3: Erik Lunde assigned to Bradenton. Jose Regalado activated from disabled list.

8/2: Wilfredo Boscan placed on disabled list.

8/2: Tomas Morales assigned to Altoona. Chris Diaz activated from temporary inactive list.

8/1: Pirates trade Francisco Liriano, Reese McGuire and Harold Ramirez for Drew Hutchison.

8/1: Pirates acquire Ivan Nova from New York Yankees for players to be named later.

8/1: Pirates trade Jon Niese to New York Mets for Antonio Bastardo and cash.

8/1: Blake Cederlind placed on disabled list. Evan Piechota assigned to Bristol.

8/1: Edgar Santana promoted to Indianapolis.

7/31: Pirates recall Max Moroff. Steven Brault optioned to Indianapolis.

7/31: Erik Lunde assigned to GCL Pirates.

7/30: Pirates trade Mark Melancon to Washington Nationals for Taylor Hearn and Felipe Rivero.

7/29: Pirates recall Steven Brault. A.J. Schugel optioned to Indianapolis.

7/29: Austin Meadows assigned to Morgantown on rehab

7/29: Jin-De Jhang sent to Altoona. Tomas Morales assigned to Bradenton.

THIS DATE IN PIRATES HISTORY

Four former Pittsburgh Pirates players born on this date, plus a trade of note. On this date in 1971, the Pirates made a deal to strengthen their bullpen, acquiring veteran Bob Miller from the Padres for outfielder Johnny Jeter and pitcher Ed Acosta. Miller had a 1.29 ERA in 16 appearances during the regular season for the Pirates, then threw 7.2 innings during the World Series. He remained with the Pirates through the 1972 season.

Players born on this date include:

Bob Porterfield, 1958-59 pitcher. He had a 3.27 ERA in 87.2 innings in 1958, then he was released early in the 1959 campaign.

Elmer Jacobs, 1916-18 pitcher. Won 220 games in the minors, but he finished with a 50-81 Major League record. Had a 2.81 ERA in 227.1 innings during the 1917 season.

Pat Kilhullen, catcher that played his only big league game on June 10,1914. Played the last two innings of a one-sided game and got robbed of a hit by Hall of Fame shortstop Rabbit Maranville in his only at-bat.

Truck Eagan, shortstop for the 1901 Pirates. Was a terrific power hitter, with 100+ homers in the minors during an era when very few Major League hitters reached that career mark. Played four games for Pirates.

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.

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22 Comments
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Bill W

Dots Dreker can write! To bad his readers ate wankers!

rich

Awesome to see a piece of PBC history. The hand stitching took me by surprise until I realized that Nike didn’t exist in 1909

Donald R

Way cool.

Mike G

Bucs need to get the PBC back on the sleeve.

Matthew R

The Bucs wore those ’09 throwback unis in 2009 when they played Detroit. Definitely fun.

PikeBishop65

I’ve always loved that PBC logo. I think it was 1990, one of the serial giveaways was a pin with the logo for each world series winner. (Go to five games to collect them all) and I got the 1909 one.

Bill W

Why did they call him DOTS?

PikeBishop65

Dots Miller? Remember in the 70s when the Japanese car designer and the German car designer were talking about the new Japanese brand coming out. The Japanese guy told the German it’s coming out next week and we don’t have a name for it. The German responded “Dat – Soon?”

PikeBishop65

Of course that joke got ruined when they rebranded as Nissan 🙂 Was that In your life span John? 😉

leefoo

That Dreker guy knows his stuff. I think Tim should hire him.

Bill W

Smoooochie at his best!!!!

RonHeb72

Well tell Tim, Ron said that he thinks Tim should. And Ron is a customer and isn’t the customer always right…….. Or is that only at Walmart? 🙂 Ron likes the more relaxed joking environment in the comments.

RonHeb72

I think so too. I bet he never makes and spelling errors. LOL!!!

leefoo

That Jersey is in pretty good condition for being 107 years old. Wow!

RonHeb72

What jersey????? I skipped down after I read the second paragraph….. LOL JUST KIDDING JOHN!!!!!! Yes it is pretty cool too. We should wear those as a throw back sometime soon.

leefoo

Btw, we should’ve never made that trade.

🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Brian Z

very cool piece of history there, thanks for sharing

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