The Pittsburgh Pirates have promoted 22-year-old right-handed pitcher Pedro Vasquez to the Altoona Curve on Friday. He will start the second game of a doubleheader tonight.
Vasquez pitched for Bradenton last year after coming over to the Pirates in the August 2016 traded with the Seattle Mariners for Arquimedes Caminero. In 26 appearances (24 starts), he had a 3.73 ERA in 137.2 innings, with 107 strikeouts and a 1.20 WHIP. His stats were much better going into the last few weeks of the season, with the poor finish possibly being explained by the fact that he was well over his previous season high for innings pitched.
Vasquez’s velocity should a little increase during the season, as he began to hit 94-95 MPH more often. He also improved his off-speed pitches, with his changeup being ahead of his curve at the end of last season. He has been in Extended Spring Training building up his pitch count after he was shut down in late March due to illness.
To make room on the roster, lefty reliever Sean Keselica has been assigned to Morgantown, which is just a paper move. If you assume that Vasquez joining the rotation means that someone like JT Brubaker or Brandon Waddell could be promoted to Indianapolis soon, then Keselica should be back with the team shortly.
John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.
When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.