The International League named their All-Star roster on Thursday afternoon and the Indianapolis Indians have three players who were selected to the team. Pitchers Steven Brault and Drew Hutchison, were joined on the roster by infielder/outfielder Christopher Bostick.

Unlike the Eastern League game we mentioned in yesterday’s Morning Report, the Triple-A All-Star game is between the International League and the Pacific Coast League. So while it seems like five Altoona players making it is better than three from Indianapolis, it’s actually three players from a 14-team International League, as opposed to five players from a six-team division in the Eastern League.

Brault seems like the easiest choice for this team, although it’s just a matter of him actually staying in Indianapolis long enough to play in the July 12th contest. We said at the end of May that he looked Major League ready and he basically put up the same numbers in June as he did the month before. Those May numbers got him named as our our Pitcher of the Month. He now leads the IL with a 2.04 ERA and he’s third with 88.1 innings pitched. He’s also fifth with 83 strikeouts and fourth with a 1.12 WHIP.

Drew Hutchison has one more start left in the month of June. Going into tonight’s game, he has a 1.67 ERA this month. That has pushed him up to fourth in the IL with a 3.31 ERA. He’s also ninth with a 1.27 WHIP and he should break into the top ten in strikeouts tonight. Those are numbers solid enough to earn you a place on an All-Star roster.

Bostick has been among the best hitters in the league all season. He has a .287/.339/.447 slash line in 70 games. He has almost been in the lineup everyday for Indianapolis. He has only missed nine games total and he had that brief stint in the majors that caused him to miss five of those games. His value comes from the bat and his ability to play five different positions. He leads the IL with 21 doubles.

So you have three deserving players on the team, but how about any possible snubs?

Max Moroff would be considered a snub if he was in Triple-A right now, but he is in Pittsburgh. I noticed that he even played a game the other day. Jason Rogers has put up solid stats, but he’s going to Japan. Eric Wood has an .805 OPS, which is well above league average. That’s about it on the offensive side.

On the pitching side, the only player you could make a strong case for is Edgar Santana and he’s in Pittsburgh. So it looks like they did a good job of getting all of the deserving players on the roster, with the lone exception possibly being Wood. The fact that he played three positions this year, should have helped his All-Star case.

* Andrew McCutchen had it out for an all-time Pirate on Thursday night, first baseman Gus Suhr . In the first inning,  McCutchen’s single put him into 17th place for the franchise in hits, breaking a tie with Suhr. McCutchen doubled later in the game, putting him into a tie for tenth all-time in team history with Al Oliver and Gus Suhr. That first hit was his 1,380th. Next up on the list is Jason Kendall with 1,409 hits. After he passes Oliver and Suhr on the doubles list, next up at 291 doubles is the second greatest shortstop ever, Arky Vaughan. If you don’t know who Gus Suhr is, do some reading here.

* Expect some July 2nd news later on today and an injury update from Pirate City sometime this afternoon. That is all.

PIRATES GAME GRAPH


Source: FanGraphs

TODAY’S SCHEDULE

Today’s Starter and Notes: The Pittsburgh Pirates won 4-0 over the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday night. The Pirates will now take on the San Francisco Giants for three games and send Gerrit Cole to the mound to make his 17th start of the season. He has allowed one earned run in each of his last three starts, throwing a total of 20 innings. Cole has a 3.50 ERA in seven home starts. The Giants will counter with Johnny Cueto, who has a 4.20 ERA in 100.2 innings, with 93 strikeouts and a 1.29 WHIP.

In the minors, Drew Hutchison has a 1.67 ERA in 27 innings this month. Altoona’s JT Brubaker has had two tough outings in a row after throwing 13 shutout innings in his previous two starts combined. Cam Vieaux makes his second start for Bradenton, trying to follow up six shutout innings in his debut. In his first two starts for Morgantown, Ike Schlabach has nine strikeouts and no walks in nine innings. Jacob Taylor makes his second start for Bristol. He gave up one run over five innings in his debut.

MLB: Pittsburgh (37-42) vs Giants (30-51) 7:05 PM
Probable starter: Gerrit Cole (4.11 ERA, 24:79 BB/SO, 96.1 IP)

AAA: Indianapolis (44-35) vs Louisville (32-47) 7:15 PM  (season preview)
Probable starter: Drew Hutchison (3.31 ERA, 32:67 BB/SO, 81.2 IP)

AA: Altoona (40-36) @ Erie (37-41) 7:05 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: JT Brubaker (4.36 ERA, 19:59 BB/SO, 66.0 IP)

High-A: Bradenton (41-33) vs Florida (29-44) 6:30 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Cam Vieaux (0.00 ERA, 2:2 BB/SO, 6.0 IP)

Low-A: West Virginia (34-40) vs Hickory (32-46) 7:05 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: James Marvel (3.84 ERA, 15:47 BB/SO, 58.2 IP)

Short-Season A: Morgantown (6-4) vs Mahoning Valley (6-4) 7:05 PM (season preview)
Probable Starter: Ike Schlabach (3.00 ERA, 0:9 BB/SO, 9.0 IP)

Rookie: Bristol (3-5) @ Princeton (1-7) 7:00 PM

GCL: Pirates (2-2) vs Tigers West (2-2) 12:00 PM

DSL: Pirates (13-10) vs Indians/Brewers (9-13) 10:30 AM  (season preview)

HIGHLIGHTS

Here are back-to-back homers from Eric Wood and Erich Weiss from Wednesday afternoon.

RECENT TRANSACTIONS

6/29: Yeudy Garcia assigned to GCL Pirates on rehab.

6/29: Brandon Cumpton promoted to Altoona.

6/29: Mitch Keller activated from the disabled list.

6/28: Nelson Jorge and Raul Hernandez promoted to Bristol. Eumir Sepulveda and Adonis Pichardo assigned to GCL  Pirates from Bristol.

6/28: Daniel Arribas released. John Bormann assigned to Bradenton.

6/28: Angel Vasquez promoted from DSL Pirates to GCL Pirates.

6/27: Antonio Bastardo activated from disabled list. Jacob Stallings optioned to Indianapolis.

6/26: Ty Moore promoted to Bradenton. Garrett Brown promoted to West Virginia

6/25: Logan Ratledge promoted to Altoona.

6/25: Ryan Nagle promoted to West Virginia.

6/25: Matt Diorio and Huascar Fuentes assigned to Bristol from Morgantown.

6/25: Victor Ngoepe, Felix Vinicio, Jose Delgado, Nelson Jorge and Brian Sousa assigned from Bristol to GCL Pirates

6/24: Cole Tucker activated from disabled list.

6/24: Dario Agrazal placed on disabled list. Cody Dickson assigned to Indianapolis.

6/24: Geoff Hartlieb promoted to Bradenton. Andrew Potter promoted to West Virginia.

6/23: Jake Brentz promoted to Altoona.

6/23: Samuel Reyes promoted to GCL Pirates.

6/22: Francisco Cervelli placed on the disabled list. Jacob Stallings Recalled

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. Austin Meadows and Gift Ngoepe placed on disabled list.

6/22: John Bormann assigned to Indianapolis.

6/22: Pirates sign five draft picks.

6/21: Pirates sign eight draft picks.

6/21: Pirates release Chase Simpson

6/21: Altoona activates Michael Suchy from disabled list.

THIS DATE IN PIRATES HISTORY

Six former Pittsburgh Pirates players born on this date, plus three trades of note. Starting with the players, we have INF/OF Delwyn Young (2009-10), pitcher Chan Ho Park (2010), first baseman Dave Roberts (1966), lefty pitcher Don Gross, who was a member of the 1960 World Series champs, and pitcher Johnny Miljus, who played for the 1927 team that went to the World Series. Also born on this date, pitcher Hal Smith, who played for the Pirates from 1932 until 1935. There have been three players in Major League history named Hal Smith and all three played for the Pirates. The other two were catchers in the 1960’s.

Starting with the most recent trade first, and it was actually two on the same day. On this date in 2009, the Pirates dealt away Eric Hinske and cash to the Yankees in exchange for Eric Fryer and Casey Erickson. Fryer played very little for the Pirates, while Erickson never made the majors. It was addition by subtraction though, as Hinske wasn’t playing well for the Pirates and wasn’t happy in Pittsburgh. Fryer came back to the Pirates last year for a short time while they were suffering through catching injuries.

On that same day, the Pirates sent Sean Burnett and Nyjer Morgan to the Nationals for Joel Hanrahan and Lastings Milledge. This deal worked out better for the Pirates, as Hanrahan became the closer, then was traded to get Mark Melancon. Morgan and Milledge were a wash, as neither played very well (both were a 1.0 WAR over two seasons with their new team). Burnett did well in his limited role, which was mostly him being used to face lefties. In 245 games, he threw 201.2 innings.

On this date in 1982, the Pirates traded Pascual Perez and a player to be named later to the Atlanta Braves in exchange for pitcher Larry McWilliams. While the PTBNL turned out to be a career minor leaguer, the deal was basically even as both teams got decent production out of their new pitchers. Both were good pitchers in 1983-84, then fell off in 1985. McWilliams finished fifth in the Cy Young voting in 1983.

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33 COMMENTS

  1. So if it made sense to bring Williams, a starter, north to be in the bullpen, why wouldn’t it make sense to promote Brault to the same position and just let this dude eat some innings, give the bullpen a blow and get people out?

  2. Yuedy Garcia 1 ip 3k’s in relief at gcl pirates, maybe put him in the back end of bullpen at indy?

    • Considering he’s averaging less than 5 innings per start and has a 5.61 ERA, that trade doesn’t hurt as much.

    • This is a slippery slope but whatever. It’s a Friday. You could sure as hell make the argument that Ramirez and McGuire could’ve brought back more. But looking back on it now those two are stuck in AA, Liriano was never going to get better here and he’s having a rough year in Toronto. And they used that money to sign Nova so it worked out. But I did very much hate this trade at the time.

            • That’s the part that got me. When it was Liriano and Ramirez for Hutch, I thought it was a solid trade. The Reese addition made me not very happy.

            • That was it for me too. I remember hearing Ramirez and thinking – ok, he’s got no real future here because Polanco who is locked up for a while is a future allstar (not yet), Meadows is going to replace Cutch (hammy) and Marte is locked in for a while too (soon to get off PED’s). But I always saw McGuire as the catcher of the future. It would’ve been great to have a Diaz/McGure combo but I’m not real sure McGuire is going to hit his way out of AA. Maybe they really did know their prospects better than anyone else and including them wasn’t that hard after all. You have to include the ability to take the savings and get Nova below market value as part of the trade or else it really doesn’t work. But that did happen.

              • McGuire had knee surgery last month after trying rehab, so he was playing hurt at first and will end up missing most of this season. He was also on the DL last year after the trade. Ramirez had a major knee injury last year the day after the trade, so it is a bit of hindsight to say they knew what they were trading. They certainly didn’t know both players would have major knee injuries, which could be really bad for a catcher’s future.

                • I had actually forgotten about McGuire’s knee surgery. Ramirez I remembered. My point is more towards what they were before the surgeries. McGuire wasn’t showing any real signs of life at the plate and Ramirez’s OPS was down about 100 points and was starting to profile as a corner OF without much power. So maybe NH thought their value was as high as it was going to get. I thought the value they got back was bad at the time but even as a salary dump, it’s worked out. Have you heard anything about McGuire not being able to hold up behind the plate because of his knee surgery?

                  • ” McGuire wasn’t showing any real signs of life at the plate…”

                    Maybe Huntington didn’t believe his own development staff is good enough to get anything more out of him, but McGuire was a 21 yo plus deffender walking more than he was striking out in AA. If we actually believe a shred of what we say about power developing later, and catcher’s bats developing later, then that’s a prospect you dream on.

                    • So in your opinion, since you follow these guys pretty closely, you think McGuire’s bat will one day make him more than a backup. Or are you just saying that 3 years into the system is way too early to throw in the towel on McGuire’s hitting given a catcher’s bat develops later?

                    • Oh it’s absolutely way too early but to your first point, I don’t know, man. McGuire’s mechanics had regressed so far by the time he was traded that it’s going to take some really good coaching to repair what was done to him.

                      At the time of the move, every shred of leverage and torque had been removed from his swing. He was completely linear, just throwing his hands at the ball. His bat speed was noticeably slower than in high school, and practically all of his contact was pounded into the ground.
                      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AJbwaC-g9oE

                      He looked much better this spring with the Blue Jays, who clearly had done a lot of work on him, but blew out his knee before anything had a chance to stabilize.
                      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=onetEoDCP2g

                      The body already had started showing some poor signs and I can’t expect the knee injury to help things, so I don’t know where he goes from here, but I absolutely do believe he was every bit of a starting MLB catcher in the right system at the time he was traded.

                    • It’s funny you mention that phrase “in the right system.” Maybe this is just a credit to Tim and John but I feel like there’s a very clear blue print on the plan to draft a pitcher and then turn him into a major leaguer. Or at least it’s well documented on this site how they preach fastball command at the start etc.. That was probably a problem before NH took over. I seem to remember a disconnect from level to level on the progression of a pitcher and what was next. And fair or not I have a lot more faith in their ability to develop pitchers more than I do hitters.
                      Do the Pirates have a blue print for hitters? I know their preference is draft athletic players with gap power which they hope or believe will translate into power. But is there a specific path for hitters too or do they just try and refine the mechanics of a swing?

                  • McGuire is still out with the surgery. Hasn’t played since May 2nd, but he didn’t have the surgery until late in the month because they tried rehab first. I don’t know why he went on the DL last year. It was never announced, but he seemed fine this spring because some Blue Jays fans were calling for him to be on the Opening Day roster (or shortly after). One of their catchers was much worse on defense. Assuming he’s fine after the surgery, he will be in the majors for awhile, even if he never hits. His defense is that good. We will see though because you never want to hear knee surgery for a young catcher

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