The Pittsburgh Pirates have made some transactions in the minors to fill the loss of Jason Rogers, who signed to play in Japan on Thursday night. Jordan Luplow has been promoted to Indianapolis and Logan Hill will be going to the Altoona Curve. They are tied for the system lead with 16 homers each.
Luplow hit .287/.368/.535 in 73 games with 15 doubles and 16 homers. He ranks ninth in the Eastern League with his .903 OPS and was just named to the Eastern League All-Star game. Luplow has been solid in the outfield this season, showing decent range and a strong arm. He has six outfield assists and no errors. He is putting up his best offensive stats and has maintained a low strikeout rate for a slugger at 15.6%.
Hill hit .266/.351/.513 in 71 games with Bradenton, His 16 homers have him atop the Florida State League leaders, and his .864 OPS is the seventh best in the league. Hill has done a better job at the plate this season cutting down on his poor BB/SO ratio. He has 31 walks already, after 34 all of last year. Part of that could be the respect he is getting from pitchers for his power output this season. He has also cut down a little on the strikeouts, going from a 26.4% strikeout rate last year, to 23.9% this season. He needs the bat to carry him because he is a below average runner with limited range out in left field, so all of his value comes from his power.
Neither announcement has been made official yet by the teams, but expect other moves when they are announced as Altoona will need to open up two roster spots. Hill may not be available tonight, but Brandon Cumpton was promoted to Altoona yesterday. He had a 2.53 ERA in 10.2 innings over six appearances in Bradenton. We will update this post when other moves are announced.
In a move possibly related to these moves, reliever Julio Eusebio has been promoted from Morgantown to West Virginia. That puts the Power one player over the limit and they have been using 13 pitchers and 12 fielders for most of this season. So you could probably expect a position player to go to Bradenton, since they are now at 13 each spot.
The moves are all official now, including Alexis Bastardo being promoted to Bradenton to fill in for Hill. Bastardo at one time looked like a solid prospect with five-tool potential, but a 2014 shoulder injury really limited his effectiveness and he never bounced back from that. He has had a solid season for West Virginia, showing the ability to play all three outfield spots, but he isn’t considered a prospect at this point, being too far removed from the toolsy player he was coming up through the low levels of the system.
UPDATE 5:25 PM: Connor Joe has been placed on the 7-day disabled list due to a middle finger dislocation on his left hand. It happened three nights ago when he tried to slide headfirst into second base and his hand got caught up in the dirt. There is no timetable yet for his return. He is hitting .251/.352/.384 in 65 games.
The Luplow promotion and this move, open up two spots for Hill and Cumpton today, so the roster is full. Interestingly, the Curve with go with 14 pitchers and 11 position players for now.