Morning Report: Pirates are Showing an Unusual Power Display Throughout the System

Over the last two days, we looked at the team-by-team pitching and hitting for the four affiliates of the Pittsburgh Pirates. It was a comparison of how each team has fared compared to their April stats. Right after I did those two articles last month, I did the team-by-team leaders in multiple hitting and pitching categories. So a month later, we compare the April leaders in hitting to the leaders at the end of May. Tomorrow we will look at the pitchers.

Two notes on this chart below. I copied and pasted from the April article. So the chart is the April leaders by team, followed by the current leaders after the “….”. I used 40 plate appearances as the minimum back then, so I’ll use 80 now for the updates.


Avg: Chris Bostick, .304 … Bostick, .322

OBP: Jose Osuna, .341 …. Max Moroff, .385

Slugging: Max Moroff, .485 …. Moroff, .569

Homers: Moroff, 5 …. Moroff, 13

Stolen Bases: Bostick, 3 …. Meadows, 8


Avg: Kevin Kramer, .381 …. Wyatt Mathisen, .321

OBP: Kramer, .494 …. Mathisen, .417

Slugging: Kramer, .619 …. Luplow, .560

Homers: Kramer, 3 …. Luplow, 11

Stolen Bases: Kramer and four others, 1 …. Kramer, 7


Avg: Casey Hughston, .319 …. Christian Kelley, .319

OBP: Christian Kelley, .400 …. Jordan George, .436

Slugging: Kevin Krause, .730 …. Logan Hill, .585

Homers: Logan Hill, 5 …. Hill, 14

Stolen Bases: Cole Tucker, 11 …. Tucker, 27

West Virginia

Avg: Ty Moore, .368 …. Albert Baur, .319

OBP: Trae Arbet, .432 … Baur, Carlos Munoz, .395

Slugging: Arbet, .609 … Arbet .511

Homers: Arbet, 4 …. Arbet, 6

Stolen Bases: Sandy Santos and Logan Ratledge, 4 …. Alexis Bastardo, 8

You’ll notice that most of the slash line stats went down unless you play for Indianapolis. That drop should be expected because using just April (with the schedule beginning on April 6th) means it’s a small sample size and it didn’t take a long hot streak to put up big numbers. The obvious impressive numbers here are the home run totals. If you’ve been a long-time reader of the site, you know that home run hitters have been rare for the Pirates. Yet the season still has some time before the halfway point and three teams already have hitters in double digits. Last year, the Pirates had 11 players hit at least ten homers and Danny Ortiz lead the farm system with 17 home runs.


Bradenton trails in their division by a half game with 18 games remaining in the first half.

West Virginia trails their division leader by 6.5 games, with 18 games left in the first half. They are in fifth place.


Source: FanGraphs


Today’s Starter and Notes: The Pittsburgh Pirates lost 3-0 to the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday night. The Pirates will send Chad Kuhl to the mound this afternoon for his 11th start of the season. He allowed five runs over 4.1 innings in his last start. At home, Kuhl has an 8.61 ERA. The Diamondbacks will counter with 27-year-old right-hander Zack Godley, who has a 1.99 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP in five starts.

In the minors, Pedro Vasquez gets the start for Bradenton. He ranks sixth in the Florida State League in ERA, although he’s just ten points behind third place. Vasquez has give up 0-2 runs in eight of his nine starts. James Marvel starts for West Virginia this morning. He went three innings in his last start, allowing one run. He was limited due to coming off the disabled list and then getting his start pushed back four days due to four straight rain outs. That last start was made on 16 days rest.

MLB: Pittsburgh (24-29) vs Diamondbacks (32-22) 12:35 PM
Probable starter: Chad Kuhl (6.29 ERA, 17:36 BB/SO, 44.1 IP)

AAA: Indianapolis (28-22) vs Lehigh Valley (35-16) 7:05 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Cody Dickson (4.94 ERA, 19:23 BB/SO, 23.2 IP)

AA: Altoona (28-21) vs Akron (22-25) 6:00 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Tanner Anderson (4.29 ERA, 16:23 BB/SO, 42.0 IP)

High-A: Bradenton (30-21) vs Ft Myers (25-27) 6:35 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Pedro Vasquez (2.24 ERA, 9:36 BB/SO, 52.1 IP)

Low-A: West Virginia (23-25) @ Charleston (26-25) 11:05 AM (season preview)
Probable starter: James Marvel (3.89 ERA, 9:34 BB/SO, 37.0 IP)


Here is the second homer of the day from Jordan Luplow on Monday. The first one was hit further, but this is the video they went with, so…


5/30: Chris Stewart placed on disabled list. Pirates recall Elias Diaz.

5/30: Jackson Williams promoted to Indianapolis. Tomas Morales added to Altoona roster.

5/30: Trae Arbet added to West Virginia roster. Andrew Walker assigned to Morgantown.

5/28: Jameson Taillon assigned to Altoona on rehab.

5/27: Yunior Montero assigned to Bradenton. Danny Arribas assigned to Extended Spring Training.

5/27: Antonio Bastardo and Josh Lindblom assigned to Indianapolis on rehab.

5/27: Andrew Walker assigned to West Virginia. Trae Arbet assigned to Morgantown.

5/26: Kevin Krause activated from disabled list. Mitch Keller placed on disabled list.

5/26: Eury Perez assigned to Morgantown.

5/25: Chris Harvey retired.

5/25: Gregory Polanco activated from the disabled list. Danny Ortiz optioned to Indianapolis.

5/23: Yunior Montero assigned to Extended Spring Training. Sam Street added to Bradenton roster.

5/22: James Marvel activated from West Virginia disabled list. Chris Harvey assigned to Morgantown.


Two former Pittsburgh Pirates players born on this date, plus a memorable Memorial Day from 102 years ago. The players born on this date were 2003 center fielder Kenny Lofton and 1983-86 outfielder Joe Orsulak. Lofton didn’t sign with the Pirates until March in 2003. He did pretty well in his time, but didn’t last long. In July, he was part of the highly unpopular Aramis Ramirez deal, going to the Chicago Cubs.

Orsulak was a sixth round draft pick of the Pirates in 1980 and worked his way up the system, making his debut three years later. He batted .300 during the 1985 season, but by 1987, he was in the minors and then dealt away before the 1988 season. The Pirates got nothing in return for him, just two minor league players who never made the Majors. Orsulak went on to play another ten years before retiring.

On this date in 1915, the Pirates beat the Chicago Cubs twice by matching 1-0 scores. It was Decoration Day, which is now called Memorial Day. The Pirates were at Forbes Field and the first game started at 10:30 in the morning. By 12:06, it was over and Wilbur Cooper, the team’s all-time winningest pitcher, had a complete game shutout. The crowd was shuffled out and at 3:00, they started the second game, which took all of 91 minutes to complete. Al Mamaux got the win, one of 21 that season, with eight of them being shutouts. You can find the boxscores here: game one game two

  • I’m curious. Hurdle juggles the lineup daily. Regulars shifted up and down the lineup (e.g. Mercer led off yesterday, today batting 8). I get players in and out based upon lefty/right matchups but those players also appear at different spots in the line up regularly. Is that normal as compared to other teams? if not, why do the Pirates do it? Increased use of statistical data? We just aren’t that good and need every add’l percentage point or two in spots? Maybe he doesn’t juggle the line up much but it sure seems like it.

  • What’s the story with Mathisen? If I remember correctly his defense has always been pretty good but he’s never hit like this. What does the organization think of him? What kind of career do you see for him?

  • WillyMoGarcia33
    May 31, 2017 8:34 am

    Pirates game is 12:35 EST, right? Unless it got moved.

  • Logan Hill has 14 HRs? Wow.