Morning Report: All of Those Doubles in Indianapolis This Season

The Indianapolis Indians lead all of baseball in doubles this year. With two last night, they have 281 on the season. I’m even including the majors when I say all of baseball. Here’s a look at some numbers associated with their high double total.

The Indians have four players who are among the top doubles hitters in the league. The total includes Christopher Bostick, who is still tied for eighth in the league despite a trip to the DL, a trip to the majors, being designated for assignment, then switching leagues. Kevin Newman and Kevin Kramer are tied for second with 30 each. Jose Osuna, who has spent significant time in the majors this season, is tied for fifth with his 26 doubles.

Besides those players in the top ten, Indianapolis also has 22 doubles each from Jordan Luplow and Eric Wood. Luplow has spent some time in the majors, while Wood has made two trips to the disabled list.

Perhaps the most amazing doubles stats comes from Ryan Lavarnway and Jacob Stallings. They have been splitting the catching duties, with Lavarnway playing full-time each time Stallings has been in the majors. Despite the team playing 123 games and they have combined for 121 games played, Lavarnway has 21 doubles and Stallings has 19, giving the catcher spot 40 doubles. That number goes up to 41 if you add in the third-string catcher, Jackson Williams.

The 281 doubles by Indianapolis has been topped six times in the International League over the last seven years, but none of those teams reached the 300 mark and all of them had four extra games on their schedule (International League dropped from 144 games to 140 since the last team had more doubles). With 17 games left and the team averaging more than two a game, we should see the highest total since back in 2010 when Buffalo had 330. Only three teams have surpassed 300 doubles in the International League over the last 14 years (stopped at 2005 because that’s all that MiLB has for teams). All three of those teams broke 300 in 2010.

For comparison among Pirates, Indianapolis has seven of the 13 guys with at least 20 doubles. Those 13 players obviously only come from the full-season teams, with the highest short-season player having 12 doubles at this point. What that means is that the other three full-season clubs combined have six players with 20 doubles, compared to seven for Indy. If you took it one small step further,  Stallings is the only player stuck on 19 doubles right now, so they have eight of the top 14 spots.

The somewhat easy explanation for this is that Indianapolis plays in a park with a lot of room in the gaps and you have the oldest group of hitters there, some with power, some with speed to leg out doubles. Their highest total in Indianapolis during the past 13 seasons was during that crazy 2010 season when they had 295 and finished fourth highest in the league. After that, 2018 is their next highest total and they should have no trouble surpassing that 2010 total, even with a shorter schedule and some of the top doubles hitters no longer on the team.

PLAYOFF PUSH

The Pirates are in fourth place in their division, trailing by ten games with 40 games left on the schedule. They trail the second wild card team by six games.

Indianapolis is tied for first place with 17 games left in their schedule.

Altoona is in second place and trails by 1.5 games with 19 games left in their schedule. They lead the race for the second playoff spot by 3.5 games.

Bradenton is in sixth place and trails by 15.5 games with 17 games left in their schedule.

West Virginia is in fourth place and trails by 11.5 games with 19 games left in their schedule. They trail the second place team by 2.5 games and could make the playoffs if Lakewood wins the second half title and they finish second.

Morgantown is in sixth place and they trail by 11.5 games with 18 games left in their schedule.

Bristol is in third place and trails by five games with 13 games left in their schedule. They trail the second place team, which also gets a playoff spot, by 2.5 games.

The GCL Pirates have been eliminated from the playoff race.

The DSL Pirates1 have been eliminated from the playoff race.

The DSL Pirates2 have been eliminated from the playoff race.

TODAY’S SCHEDULE

Today’s Starter and Notes: The Pittsburgh Pirates lost 1-0 to the Chicago Cubs on Thursday night. Trevor Williams will get the start today, coming off of his outing on August 11th when he threw seven shutout innings against the San Francisco Giants. The Cubs will counter with left-hander Cole Hamels, who has a 4.22 ERA in 132.1 innings, with 134 strikeouts and a 1.30 WHIP. In his last start against the Pirates on August 1st, he threw five shutout innings.

The minor league schedule includes JT Brubaker going for Indianapolis. In his last four starts combined, he has allowed three runs over 28.2 inning, with one walk and 23 strikeouts. Luis Escobar goes for Altoona tonight. He has allowed ten runs and 11 walks over 13.1 innings in his last three starts combined. Bradenton’s Gavin Wallace has allowed two runs over 11 innings, with 12 strikeouts in his last two starts combined. West Virginia starter Hunter Stratton has not allowed more than two runs in a start since July 6th. He threw a career high seven innings in his last start. The GCL Pirates are off today.

MLB: Pittsburgh (61-61) vs Cubs (70-50) 7:05 PM
Probable starter: Trevor Williams (3.66 ERA, 82:41 SO/BB, 123.0 IP)

AAA: Indianapolis (66-57) @ Lehigh Valley (74-49) 7:05 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: JT Brubaker (3.12 ERA, 81:32 SO/BB, 101.0 IP)

AA: Altoona (65-53) @ Portland (52-68) 7:00 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Luis Escobar (5.33 ERA, 16:16 SO/BB, 25.1 IP)

High-A: Bradenton (50-65) @ Jupiter (65-54) 6:30 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Gavin Wallace (5.36 ERA, 28:10 SO/BB, 42.0 IP)

Low-A: West Virginia (61-56) vs Columbia (55-63) 7:05 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Hunter Stratton (4.57 ERA, 77:40 SO/BB, 84.2 IP)

Short-Season A: Morgantown (22-36) vs Williamsport (24-32) 7:05 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: TBD (0.00 ERA, 0:0 SO/BB, 0.0 IP)

Rookie: Bristol (26-29) @ Burlington (17-38) 7:00 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: TBD (0.00 ERA, 0:0 SO/BB, 0.0 IP)

GCL: Pirates (22-23) vs Phillies East 10:00 AM 8/18 (season preview)

DSL: Pirates1 (29-35) vs Rangers1 10:30 AM  (season preview)

DSL: Pirates2 (25-39) vs Mariners 10:30 AM  (season preview)

HIGHLIGHTS

From Wednesday night, two guys who are upcoming free agents, Jin-De Jhang and Eric Wood.

and

RECENT TRANSACTIONS

8/16: Pirates recall Kevin Newman and Jordan Luplow. Jacob Stallings optioned to Indianapolis.

8/16: Jordy Mercer placed on disabled list.

8/16: Casey Sadler designated for assignment.

8/16: Brad Case promoted to Bristol.

8/15: Travis Swaggerty, Luke Mangieri and Connor Kaiser promoted to West Virginia.

8/15: Dylan Busby activated from West Virginia disabled list. Oneil Cruz placed on disabled list.

8/15: Montana DuRapau placed on disabled list.

8/15: Nick Burdi assigned to Indianapolis on rehab.

8/14: Pirates sign Johan Montero.

8/14: West Virginia assigns Ben Bengtson, Fabricio Macias and Kyle Watson to Morgantown.

8/14: Bligh Madris placed on disabled list. Justin Harrer promoted to Bradenton.

8/14: Shane Baz traded as the player to be named later to the Rays.

8/13: AJ Schugel assigned to Indianapolis on rehab.

8/13: Jackson Williams activated from Indianapolis disabled list.

8/12: Miami Marlins acquire Christopher Bostick for cash.

8/12: Pirates recall Jacob Stallings. Option Jordan Luplow.

8/12: Stephen Alemais placed on the DL. Jin-De Jhang added to Altoona roster.

8/11: Pirates recall Michael Feliz and Buddy Boshers. Clay Holmes and Casey Sadler optioned to Indianapolis.

8/11: Jin-De Jhang placed on temporary inactive list.

8/10: Pirates recall Clay Holmes. Option Dovydas Neverauskas to Indianapolis.

8/10: Afredo Reyes assigned to Altoona. Dylan Busby assigned to Bristol.

8/8: Luis Nova and Denny Roman promoted to Bristol. Yerry De Los Santos promoted to GCL Pirates.

8/8: John Pomeroy promoted to West Virginia. Alec Rennard and Argenis Romano promoted to Morgantown.

8/8: Rodolfo Castro activated from West Virginia disabled list.

8/8: Josh Bell activated from disabled list. Jose Osuna optioned to Indianapolis.

8/7: Pirates claim Buddy Boshers off waivers. Christopher Bostick designated for assignment.

8/7: Jackson Williams placed on Indianapolis disabled list.

8/7: Jin-De Jhang activated from Altoona DL. Bralin Jackson placed on disabled list.

THIS DATE IN PIRATES HISTORY

Five former Pittsburgh Pirates players born on this date, including three who played for playoff teams and one who had a very brief career.

Chad Quall, 2012 pitcher. Came over from the Yankees at the trade deadline and really struggled, allowing 11 runs in 13.2 innings

Alex Cole, 1992 outfielder. The Pirates traded for Cole on July 4th and he went to right field, where he hit .278 in 64 games. Went 2-for-10 with three walks in the postseason.

Bill Landrum, closer from 1989 until 1991. Had a 1.67 ERA in 81 innings, with 26 saves in 1989. Had a 2.13 ERA the following year. Saved 17 games in 1991. Pitched three playoff innings between 1990-91, giving up one run.

Johnny Rawlings, second baseman from 1923 until 1926. Played 219 games for the Pirates, hitting .272, with 97 runs scored. Never won a Gold Glove, but he was an excellent fielder.

Arch Reilly, third baseman on June 1, 1917. His regular job was as a college math teacher and he didn’t join the Pirates until he was done with work that year on May 28th. He played one inning at third base in his only game, handling one play. He started at third base two days later in an exhibition game, which were often played during the season back then. Reilly was released to the minors the next day and he never appeared in the majors again.

His story coincides with a player named Marcus Milligan. During that exhibition game Reilly started, Milligan pitched the last four innings. That was the only game he played for the Pirates before also getting released to the minors with Reilly. Unfortunately for Milligan, he never got a chance to get into a real MLB game. He passed away in 1918 in a plane crash while training for WWI at the age of 22. You can read more about Milligan here.

On this date in 1971, Bill Mazeroski doubles for his 2,000th hit. He becomes the seventh player to collect 2,000 hits in a Pirates uniform. Willie Stargell is the only player to reach that mark since. Roberto Clemente was previously the last one to reach that goal with the Pirates before Mazeroski.

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