Morning Report: Three West Virginia Power Named to All-Star Game

On Tuesday afternoon, the South Atlantic League named the players selected for their June 20th All-Star game in Columbia, SC. The West Virginia Power will have three participants in the game. Players chosen for the team include pitcher Cam Vieaux, second baseman Trae Arbet and outfielder Ty Moore.

Vieaux seems like an obvious choice due to his terrific start to the season. In his first seven appearances, he allowed a total of six runs. That included one shutout and six games in which he allowed one run each. He’s had a couple shaky outings, but he still has a 2.26 ERA, which ranks seventh in the league, and a 1.06 WHIP, which ranks eighth.

Arbet ranks 12th in the league with a .851 OPS and his .510 slugging percentage ranks ninth in the league. His seven homers this season are four more than he hit in his first four seasons combined, although that’s a little misleading. He has only played in short-season ball and missed almost all of last year with a hand injury. It’s still a terrific improvement and his first true signs of power, it’s just that he had only played 139 games total during those first four seasons.

Moore started the season in Extended Spring Training, but joined the Power when both Albert Baur and Victor Fernandez got injured during the first week of the season. He started off on a hot streak before really cooling down lately. He had a .961 OPS in 18 April games. Since then, he has a .539 OPS in 26 games (before going 0-for-4 on Tuesday), so the timing of the announcement two weeks ahead of the game helps him out, since his overall numbers are still decent and he deserves a spot.

The Bradenton Marauders had nine All-Star selections. There were a couple questionable ones, but there were still a couple players in Daniel Zamora and Pedro Vasquez, who should have been included. It’s possible one or both could make it as a substitute.

As for the Power, the best hitter who didn’t make the team is Hunter Owen with his .291/.400/.448 slash line. Carlos Munoz has an .853 OPS and a similar slash line. It looks like Owen plays a spot with a couple third baseman hitting better, plus his defense probably didn’t do him any favors during the voting. Munoz at first base isn’t strong defensively, plus he’s been a DH more often recently, so that’s possibly why he didn’t make it. The South Atlantic League has two more teams than the Florida State League, so it’s also slightly tougher to make the roster.

On the pitching side, Eduardo Vera, Matt Frawley and Geoff Hartlieb all have stats that probably got them some All-Star consideration. Vera’s 0.95 WHIP would place him fourth in the league if he wasn’t a few innings short of qualifying. Frawley has a 1.84 ERA, an 0.78 WHIP and 30 strikeouts in 29.1 innings. Hartlieb has a 1.05 ERA in 25.2 innings.

The All-Star games for Indianapolis and Altoona are held a couple weeks later than the two lower level teams, so those rosters won’t come out for at least ten days.

* As I mentioned in yesterday’s Morning Report, the Bradenton Marauders had a game canceled on Monday due to a rain out. Well on Tuesday, they ended up having both games of a doubleheader canceled. Going into this series they had just 14 games remaining in the first half to catch first place Palm Beach, without any head-to-head games left. Palm Beach had a 1.5 game lead going into action on Tuesday and they had a doubleheader canceled as well. So while Bradenton didn’t lose any ground, they have three fewer games left to try to win the first half title.


Bradenton trails in their division by 1.5 games with 11 games remaining in the first half. They do not play first place Palm Beach again during the first half.

West Virginia trails their division leader by six games, with 12 games left in the first half. They are in fifth place.


Source: FanGraphs


Today’s Starter and Notes: The Pittsburgh Pirates lost 6-5 to the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday night. The Pirates will go with Chad Kuhl today, who is making his 12th start of the season. He allowed two runs over five innings in his last outing. Each of his last four starts have come at home. He has a 3.80 ERA on the road this season. The Orioles will counter with lefty Wade Miley, who has a 2.82 ERA and a 1.43 WHIP in 60.2 innings.

In the minors, Jameson Taillon makes his third rehab start. He pitched three shutout innings for Altoona on May 28th. He then threw five scoreless innings for Indianapolis on June 2nd. Taillon had six strikeouts in each game. He threw 47 pitches in his debut and 68 in his start with Indianapolis. He is expected to increase that to 85+ pitches this time out. West Virginia starter Oddy Nunez has a .231 BAA, a 1.07 WHIP and a 2.16 GO/AO ratio. Bradenton has off today.

MLB: Pittsburgh (26-32) @ Orioles (30-26) 7:05 PM
Probable starter: Chad Kuhl (6.02 ERA, 20:40 BB/SO, 49.1 IP)

AAA: Indianapolis (32-25) @ Toledo (25-31) 7:05 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Jameson Taillon (0.00 ERA, 0:6 BB/SO, 5.0 IP)

AA: Altoona (31-24) @ Harrisburg (23-33) 6:30 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: JT Brubaker (4.53 ERA, 14:33 BB/SO, 43.2 IP)

High-A: Bradenton (33-23) @ Dunedin (29-29) 6:30 PM 6/8 (season preview)
Probable starter: Gage Hinsz (7.59 ERA, 14:21 BB/SO, 42.2 IP)

Low-A: West Virginia (26-28) vs Delmarva (24-32) 7:05 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Oddy Nunez (3.99 ERA, 7:35 BB/SO, 38.1 IP)

DSL: Pirates (2-1) vs Rays2 (3-0) 10:30 AM (season preview)


Here is the second double from Sunday by Austin Meadows. It was his 14th double, which put him one behind Chris Bostick for the Indianapolis lead.


6/5: Casey Sadler promoted to Indianapolis. Dan Runzler placed on disabled list.

6/4: Cole  Tucker placed on disabled list. Daniel Arribas added to Bradenton roster.

6/2: Pirates designate Alen Hanson for assignment. Recall Max Moroff and Phil Gosselin.

6/2: Adrian Valerio placed on disabled list. Andrew Walker added to West Virginia.

6/2: Jameson Taillon assigned to Indianapolis on rehab.

6/1: Gift Ngoepe optioned to Indianapolis

6/1: Brett McKinney assigned to Indianapolis

5/31: Anderson Feliz added to Indianapolis roster. Brett McKinney assigned to Morgantown.

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.


Three former Pittsburgh Pirates players born on this date, plus one very interesting day for transactions back in 1939. Starting with the players, we have 2009 pitcher Virgil Vasquez, catcher Roy Jarvis (1946-47) and shortstop Bones Ely, who played for the team from 1896 and 1901 and held the shortstop position for the first two seasons that Honus Wagner spent in a Pirates’ uniform. A few years back, we posted an article on Ely and his time with the Pirates. That can be found here.

On this date in 1939, the Pirates decided to release outfielder Heinie Manush and sign outfielder Chuck Klein, who was just released by the Phillies the day before. Manush wasn’t doing well in a pinch-hitting role, going 0-for-12 with a walk and an RBI. The release actually ended his big league career. Klein came in and did well for the Pirates, hitting .300 with 11 homers the rest of the way. By the end of next Spring Training however, he was released and re-signed with the Phillies. These two players were both elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Manush made it in 1964 and Klein 16 years later.

Here is the boxscore from the day Klein signed and Manush was released. The Pirates won 2-0 behind a complete game shutout from Bill Swift. Every player in the Pirates lineup that day had at least one hit, including two by Lloyd Waner. Klein scored the first run of the game, which ended up being the game-winner.

  • Little Poison, hitting machine.

  • Any word if Jacob Stallings making his way to Baltimore? Wondering about the health of Cervelli.

  • BallHeadWonder
    June 7, 2017 8:53 am

    John, as the Super 2 date comes on Saturday, u got to believe Santana is the call?? Right?? Then Kingham?? We both know Santana is WAYYYYY better right now than Marinez (I know I’m way off with his name) and Barbato!!

    • What does Super 2 have to do with either of them? No reliever has ever been held back due to Super 2, and Kingham is on the road back from Tommy John surgery.

      The only prospect with Super 2 applicability is Austin Meadows.

      • BallHeadWonder
        June 7, 2017 9:48 am

        No telling why they would hold this dude back!! He is clearly way better than then the bottom 2 in the Pen!! I know he may not have a lot of innings in AAA, but if we want to be competitive every year like NH says, then this dude needs a call!! I was trying to fish for a reason to keep him down.

        • Scott Kliesen
          June 7, 2017 10:55 am

          I understand your sentiment after last night’s bullpen failings. I think Pirates are a bit slow to promote from within compared to other Clubs, and reluctant to trust youngsters.

          • BallHeadWonder
            June 7, 2017 2:31 pm

            Disappointing, when we are trying to create a “Win Every Year” mentality that NH is always preaching!!

            • Scott Kliesen
              June 7, 2017 4:55 pm

              I don’t know, I can understand why Pirates operate in this manner. Veterans who have had success will go through tough stretches and rebound. And usually young players will struggle adjusting to MLB quality play.

      • I don’t know. I feel like they are definitely considering super two with Santana. He could be special and bullpen can be a crapshoot so I feel like they are keeping him back for that reason. On paper, you’d think he would have been the call over Neverauskas. I think when they give Santana the call they want it to be for good.

        • Scott Kliesen
          June 7, 2017 4:34 pm

          In order for Super 2 to have applicability for Santana, he would have to be thrust into Closer role in first couple seasons. Set up guys just don’t get paid enough for it to matter.

          As for keeping him up when called on, isn’t that the hope for almost every prospect?

          • It’s the hope it

          • I think it’s the hope but most teams would prefer to not jerk their absolute best guys around. Maybe not a reliever but definitely a top guy like Meadows or Glasnow…although it doesn’t always work out. I do think the Pirates have thought about Santana getting good fast and saving money with him in the future. Even if it was 1-3 mil on the back end of his time there. Maybe I’m wrong but I think they consider all of this. I know I would.

            • Scott Kliesen
              June 8, 2017 10:38 am

              I think it’s more about IP at AAA than money. But you’re right, money is always a consideration.

              • No doubt. It could be argued that Santana needs a little more seasoning. He doesn’t have a lot of innings on his arm for a 25 year old. No rush. This clustermuck in Pittsburgh can wait for him to be a finished product.

    • John Dreker
      June 7, 2017 9:37 am

      Santana has allowed runs in four of his last five outings, so I think that has more to do with him not being up than Super 2

      • That’s good, get the bad stretch out of the way before he comes up 😉

      • Then what’s the excuse for why he wasn’t brought up a week and a half ago, when he was on a streak of 15 consecutive scoreless outings?

        • John Dreker
          June 7, 2017 12:35 pm
          • “Still, that’s not an alarming issue, and may not be a big problem. He looks like he’s ready now.”

            Convincing stuff.

            • John Dreker
              June 7, 2017 1:23 pm

              That article answered your question, and his performance since then reinforced what Neal Huntington said. No sure what the issue is with it. If his last five outings were the same, but in the majors, people would be calling for him to be sent down.

              • Four of the six runs Santana has given up in those five outing have come during extended work, which absolutely is not a role that he’s given to take as a Pirate.

                Remove his 3 inning outing at the start of this arbitrary streak and he has a 5-to-1 K-BB rate, a BABIP approaching .500, and a 50% HR/FB rate. Huntington’s answer explains that?

                This all, of course, doesn’t even touch on the fact that we haven’t even begun to compare Santana to any of the White Flag Brigade he’d be replacing, which was the point of the original question.

    • Nailed the name, actually!

  • That’s… not the double I was expecting lol.