Morning Report: All-Star News and Prospect Notes

Josh Harrison was the lone representative of the Pittsburgh Pirates at last night’s All-Star game in Miami. He came into the game on defense in the top of the sixth inning, playing second base in place of Daniel Murphy. Harrison batted in the bottom of the sixth inning against Ervin Santana and struck out with one out and a 1-1 score.

Harrison handled a routine grounder to start the seventh inning, which turned out to be his only defensive play of the game. In the bottom of the ninth, he had a chance to win the game with no outs and Yadier Molina on first base representing the winning run. He struck out for a second time, this at-bat against Craig Kimbrel. The game ended 2-1 in favor of the American League in ten innings.

* The Triple-A and Eastern League All-Star games will be played tonight. The Triple-A game pits the International League against the Pacific Coast League. Indianapolis will be represented by pitchers Steven Brault and Drew Hutchison, as well as INF/OF Christopher Bostick. Hutchison was selected, but won’t be participating in the game.

The Eastern League All-Star game features six selections from the Altoona Curve, but Jordan Luplow has been promoted to Indianapolis and Kevin Kramer is injured, so only four will play. Edwin Espinal was a late addition to the roster as a replacement. He will be joined on the Western Division roster by Montana DuRapau, Wyatt Mathisen and Alex McRae. We will post a recap of each game tomorrow morning.

* Max Kranick threw a couple times off of flat ground last week and he will throw a bullpen session today down at Pirate City. He said that he felt great after each throwing session last week and the plan is still to get him into his first game around July 28th. The usual progress is bullpens, a sim game and then two innings in a game if all goes well, so that 28th estimate seems about right. Kranick has been out since late May due to shoulder tightness. If you missed it from the Prospect Watch last night, Austin Shields was skipped in the rotation yesterday due to an infection in his armpit. He has already resumed throwing, going through a bullpen before yesterday’s game.

* For those wondering, I completed my ratings of the players for the mid-season top 50 prospects list on Tuesday, as did Wilbur Miller. Once all of the ratings are done, they are averaged out, ranked in order, and then we get to go to bat for players who we think are rated too low, or state our case why someone seems to be ranked too high. The process has begun.

As I mentioned, we held off a little bit so Tim Williams could talk to and see some of the GCL players and I took that time to watch seven Morgantown games on MiLB.tv (eight if you count last night after I finished rating players). You may have noticed that Wilbur Miller also covered two Morgantown games live over the weekend. So while the original scouting reports from the draft still mean more, we have been watching these draft picks to start getting better ideas.

* Robbie Glendinning (21st round pick) made his pro debut last night. The Pirates signed 37 draft picks and he was the 35th to see action. We are still waiting on the debuts of pitchers David Lee and Shea Murray down in the GCL. Both barely pitched this year in college and Lee was one of the last signings, so no surprise that neither has pitched yet.

PIRATES GAME GRAPH

The Pirates are off until Friday.

TODAY’S SCHEDULE

Today’s Starter and Notes: The Pittsburgh Pirates are on the All-Star break until Friday when they open a series at home against the St Louis Cardinals. Gerrit Cole will be on the mound for the series opener.

In the minors, the Double-A and Triple-A All-Star games are tonight. Six games on the schedule, with Cam Vieaux going for Bradenton and Luis Escobar going for West Virginia. Escobar pitched a scoreless inning on Sunday in the MLB Futures game. Vieaux has allowed three runs total over his first three starts with Bradenton. Steven Jennings is scheduled to make his second pro start in the GCL. The 42nd overall pick from this year went two innings in his debut last week, so he could go three today. Morgantown will either send Sergio Cubilete or Scooter Hightower to the mound. Cubilete was originally scheduled for Tuesday, but Gavin Wallace started instead.

MLB: Pittsburgh (42-47) vs Cardinals (43-45) 7:05 PM 7/14
Probable starter: Gerrit Cole (4.43 ERA, 27:94 BB/SO, 107.2 IP)

AAA: Indianapolis (50-39) vs Louisville (35-54) 7:05 PM 7/13 (season preview)
Probable starter: TBD

AA: Altoona (46-41) vs Bowie (47-42) 7:00 PM 7/13 (season preview)
Probable starter: TBD

High-A: Bradenton (48-36) @ Clearwater (47-40) 10:30 AM (season preview)
Probable starter: Cam Vieaux (1.42 ERA, 3:9 BB/SO, 19.0 IP)

Low-A: West Virginia (38-46) vs Augusta (31-52) 1:00 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Luis Escobar (4.64 ERA, 33:100 BB/SO, 75.2 IP)

Short-Season A: Morgantown (13-8) @ Hudson Valley (7-13) 7:05 PM  (season preview)
Probable Starter: Sergio Cubilete (3.24 ERA, 7:10 BB/SO, 16.2 IP)

Rookie: Bristol (5-14) @ Johnson City (8-11) 7:00 PM

GCL: Pirates (3-11) vs Tigers East (3-8) 12:00 PM

DSL: Pirates (20-13) vs Indians (12-21) 10:30 AM  (season preview)

HIGHLIGHTS

Here is a home run from Jordan Luplow from last week. He leads the system with 19 homers.

RECENT TRANSACTIONS

7/11: Hector Garcia assigned to GCL Pirates on rehab.

7/10: Starling Marte assigned to Bradenton on rehab.

7/8: Antonio Bastardo designated for assignment. Phil Gosselin recalled from Indianapolis.

7/8: Dan Runzler activated from disabled list. Justin Maffei assigned to Altoona from Indianapolis.

7/8: Luis Escobar placed on temporary inactive list. Nick King assigned to West Virginia.

7/8: Cody Dickson placed on disabled list.

7/6: Pirates recall A.J. Schugel. Elias Diaz optioned to Indianapolis

7/6: Gift Ngoepe activated from disabled list.

7/6: Pirates release Jared Lakind

7/5: Hunter Owen assigned to West Virginia. Nick King assigned to Morgantown.

7/5: Adonis Pichardo assigned to Bristol from GCL Pirates.

7/4. Stephen Alemais assigned to GCL Pirates on rehab.

7/4: Starling Marte assigned to Indianapolis on rehab.

7/4: Gift Ngoepe assigned to Morgantown on rehab.

7/4: Yeudy Garcia activated from disabled list. Casey Sadler assigned to Altoona from Indianapolis.

7/4: Pirates release Buddy Borden.

7/3: Francisco Cervelli activated from disabled list. Edgar Santana optioned to Indianapolis.

THIS DATE IN PIRATES HISTORY

Six former Pittsburgh Pirates players born on this date, included a pitcher who helped the team get to two World Series. Starting with the best first, we have Lee Meadows, who pitched for the Pirates from 1923 until 1929. He was a very good pitcher on some very bad teams before coming to the Pirates. His 100-128 record in his first 8 1/2 seasons does not tell the whole story. When he was put on a Pittsburgh team in 1923 that was in contention over the rest of his career, his record turned around. Meadows ended up going 88-52 with the Pirates, including 19-10 seasons in both 1925 and 1927, helping the Pirates to the World Series each year. In between those two seasons, he led the NL with 20 wins. You can read a full bio here.

As for the five other players born on this date, we have pitcher Tom Gorzelanny (2005-09), his teammate from the 2008-09 season, pitcher Phil Dumatrait. Another teammate of Gorzelanny, 2005-07 first baseman Brad Eldred. We also have 1970 catcher Dave Ricketts and utility fielder Johnny Wyrostek, who played for the Pirates during the 1942-43 seasons.

On this date in 1997, Francisco Cordova and Ricardo Rincon combined on a 10-inning no-hitter over the Houston Astros at Three Rivers Stadium. It was only the second time in team history a no-hitter went into extra innings, with the Pirates and Harvey Haddix losing in the 13th inning in the previous game. This was the eighth no-hitter in franchise history, the first since 1976, and it stands as the most recent one as well. You can view the boxscore here.

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