The Bristol Pirates are going to start their season tonight with a better roster of prospects than what we saw last year. It was a down year from 2015 when they had Mitch Keller, Trey Supak and Gage Hinsz as the main attractions. We will have the 2017 preview tomorrow, but for today I wanted to take a look at the individuals from that 2016 team and where they are right now. They used a total of 33 players last year. Here they are in alphabetical order, divided up into pitchers and hitters.
I’ll note that Morgantown is about to get a lot of draft picks, so some of the players listed as Morgantown players below, could be elsewhere within the next couple days.
Alexis Bastardo – Made the jump to West Virginia
Garrett Brown – Outfielder for Morgantown
Daniel Cucjen – Signed as a non-drafted free agent last year, retired over the off-season
Julio de la Cruz – third baseman for Morgantown
Michael de la Cruz – center fielder for Morgantown
Victor Fernandez – Recently rejoined West Virginia after an early season hamstring injury had him out for two months. About half of that missed time was spent playing Extended Spring Training games
Huascar Fuentes – First baseman for Morgantown. Played some third base as well during Extended Spring Training
Deybi Garcia – Released over the off-season
Brent Gibbs – Catching for West Virginia, after beginning the season in Extended Spring Training
Yoel Gonzalez – Catcher for Morgantown
Jhoan Herrera – First baseman for Morgantown, but hasn’t played yet in three games, so he could be one of the players going elsewhere when the roster gets too crowded
Sam Kennelly – Sent back to GCL during the 2016 season, then released in the off-season
Henrry Rosario – Slated for Bristol again, though that could change if the roster gets too full with draft picks and players sent from Morgantown
Raul Siri – Second baseman for Morgantown
Adrian Valerio – In West Virginia as the starting shortstop, but having a tough season between a broken hand and a facial injury from a thrown ball
Blake Cederlind – Pitching in long relief for West Virginia, with the occasional spot start
Robbie Coursel -Released during Spring Training
Juan Diaz – Infielder turned pitcher last year, Diaz was a free agent at the end of the season and has not signed with anyone
Matt Eckelman – Relief pitcher for West Virginia
Nicholas Economos – Reliever for Morgantown
Geoff Hartlieb – Reliever for West Virginia
Nick Hutchings – Released during Spring Training
Jordan Jess – Reliever for West Virginia
Shane Kemp – Reliever for Morgantown
Pasquale Mazzocoli – Reliever for Morgantown
Adam Oller – Reliever for Morgantown, although he might still be getting stretched out after a Spring Training shoulder injury cost him nearly two months
Nestor Oronel -Released during Spring Training
Luis Paula – Released during the off-season
Evan Piechota – Reliever for Morgantown
John Pomeroy – Had Tommy John surgery back in April, out until sometime next year around June most likely
Ike Schlabach – Starting pitcher for Morgantown
Mike Wallace – Pitching for West Virginia, now one level ahead of his brother, who was drafted this year in the 15th round by the Pirates
David Whitehead – Released, signed by Phillies, released again
As you can see from the list, nine of the 33 players are no longer around. Of the remaining 24, nine of those players have made the jump to West Virginia. One player is going back to Bristol this year (so far) and one is injured, leaving 13 players one level higher.
* If you missed the update from last night after the article was posted, the Pirates announced that Alex Manasa, Hunter Stratton, Will Reed and Ben Bengtson were all assigned to Bristol. They join 4th round pick Jason Delay and late rounder Pat Valaika, who were both assigned there the day before. Bristol traveled with just 20 players last week from Pirate City, but I’ve heard that at least one of them will be returning to the GCL this season. They can carry up to 35 active players. (UPDATE: This morning, the Pirates sent Evan Piechota and Jhoan Herrera to Bristol from the list above, plus Chris McDonald, Luis Perez and Nelson Jorge, who all started the year with Morgantown)
PIRATES GAME GRAPH
Today’s Starter and Notes: The Pittsburgh Pirates lost 4-3 to the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday night. The Pirates will send Ivan Nova to the mound this afternoon for his 15th start of the season. He has a 2.84 ERA in three starts this month and a 3.26 ERA in seven road starts. The Brewers will counter with right-hander Chase Anderson, who has a 2.92 ERA, a 1.15 WHIP and 77 strikeouts in 83.1 innings this season.
In the minors, Clay Holmes gets the start for Indianapolis, trying to rebound from two poor starts. He walked six batters in his last start and couldn’t make it through five innings. In his prior outing, he reached his single inning pitch limit in the first. Pedro Vasquez starts for Bradenton. He went two innings as the starter during the FSL All-Star game over the weekend. He ranks fifth in the league with a 2.20 ERA and eighth with a 1.07 WHIP. Luis Escobar starts the first game of the second half for West Virginia. He ranks second in the SAL with 84 strikeouts.
Bristol opens their season today with Domingo Robles scheduled to start. We don’t list probables for them because their website rarely updates, so it just ends up being TBD for every start. I had to ask to get Robles and there wasn’t a scheduled starter for game two yet.
MLB: Pittsburgh (33-39) @ Brewers (39-35) 2:10 PM
Probable starter: Ivan Nova (2.91 ERA, 9:54 BB/SO, 96.0 IP)
AAA: Indianapolis (40-31) @ Louisville (28-43) 7:05 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Clay Holmes (4.09 ERA, 31:57 BB/SO, 55.0 IP)
AA: Altoona (38-31) vs Trenton (47-24) 7:00 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Austin Coley (3.21 ERA, 16:46 BB/SO, 61.2 IP)
High-A: Bradenton (37-30) @ Lakeland (30-36) 6:30 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Pedro Vasquez (2.20 ERA, 13:49 BB/SO, 65.1 IP)
Low-A: West Virginia (30-36) vs Lexington (34-35) 7:05 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Luis Escobar (3.71 ERA, 25:84 BB/SO, 63.0 IP)
Short-Season A: Morgantown (2-1) @ Williamsport (1-2) 7:05 PM (season preview)
Probable Starter: Scooter Hightower (0.00 ERA, 0/2 BB/SO, 1.0 IP)
Rookie: Bristol (0-0) @ Johnson City (0-0) 7:00 PM
DSL: Pirates (8-8) vs Rays2 (8-7) 10:30 AM (season preview)
Here is the fifth hit from Elvis Escobar on Tuesday night. Not the best choice of video considering he had two triples and a double.
6/22: Evan Piechota, Chris McDonald, Nelson Jorge, Jhoan Herrera and Luis Perez transferred from Morgantown to Bristol.
6/22: Justin Maffei and Anderson Feliz assigned to Indianapolis.
6/21: Pirates sign eight draft picks.
6/21: Pirates release Chase Simpson
6/21: Altoona activates Michael Suchy from disabled list.
6/20 Pirates sign Conner Uselton and Calvin Mitchell.
6/20: Pirates announce nine draft signings.
6/20: Dario Agrazal promoted to Altoona. Yeudy Garcia placed on disabled list.
6/19: Tomas Morales assigned to Altoona. Zane Chavez placed on disabled list.
6/18: Chris Stewart activated from the disabled list. Jacob Stallings optioned to Indianapolis.
6/16: Pirates sign Shane Baz.
6/16: Justin Maffei assigned to Altoona.
6/15: Ronny Agustin assigned to West Virginia.
6/14: Matt Frawley sent to New York Yankees as part of earlier trade.
6/14: Francisco Cervelli activated from disabled list. A.J.Schugel optioned to Indianapolis.
6/13: Adrian Valerio and Victor Fernandez activated from disabled list. Sandy Santos and Andrew Walker assigned to Morgantown
6/13: Barrett Barnes placed on disabled list. Justin Maffei and Eury Perez assigned to Indianapolis.
6/13: Anderson Feliz assigned to Altoona.
THIS DATE IN PIRATES HISTORY
Three former Pittsburgh Pirates players born on this date, plus one high-scoring game of note from 90 years ago. The players born on this date include 1999 outfielder Brant Brown, pitcher Dave Tomlin (1983 and 1985) and pitcher Gus Thompson of the 1903 National League champs. The Pirates played in the first modern-day World Series that year and Thompson got a chance to pitch the final two innings during a game five blowout. The team was short-handed due to injuries, leaving Thompson as one of the few healthy available pitchers. The two teams agreed to only use players on the roster before September 1st and Thompson made his debut on August 31st. He had a 3.56 ERA in 43 innings with the Pirates.
On this date in 1925, the Pirates defeated the St Louis Cardinals in St Louis by a 24-6 score. It fell three runs short of the team high for runs set back in 1894. The Pirates had two big innings, leaving the score lopsided in their favor. They started off with eight runs in the first, then put a ten spot on the board in the eighth inning. The Pirates hit six homers in the game and George Grantham drove in six runs. You can view the boxscore here.