The Pittsburgh Pirates are currently holding their Fall Instructional League at Pirate City in Bradenton, with two groups of players involved. The first group of players are 2018 draft picks and non-drafted free agents, along with players over from the Dominican League for the first time. Those players are just going through workouts and training for 12 days total. They arrived on September 9th and their time ends on the 20th, which is the day that games start down at Pirate City.
The second group of players started arriving yesterday and it includes previous draft picks such as Max Kranick, Deon Stafford and Jason Delay, as well as some international signings such as Fabricio Macias, Fernando Villegas and Sergio Cubilete. It also includes the players headed to the Arizona Fall League, and Jung Ho Kang is scheduled to get in some game action. You also have rehab players, with Braeden Ogle, Travis MacGregor and Cody Bolton headlining that group. We should have a full roster in the near future.
That group of players will play the schedule shown below, which is one week shorter than usual and only includes one camp day. The rest are all against opponents. Usually they have more Pirates vs Pirates games, but it’s a smaller group of players this year seeing game action. They are off on Sundays. Game times are listed as 1 PM during the week, 10 AM on Saturday, but they have been known to change the time based on weather.
Thurs 9/20 @ Blue Jays
Friday 9/21 Camp Day (either training or an intrasquad game)
Saturday 9/22 @ Orioles
Monday 9/24 vs Braves
Tues. 9/25 @ Yankees
Wed 9/26 vs Phillies
Thur 9/27 vs Team Germany (not sure what this is for, but there’s another country coming up)
Friday 9/28 @ Phillies
Saturday 9/29 @ Braves
Mon 10/1 vs Phillies
Tues 10/2 vs Tigers
Wed 10/3 vs Team Canada
Thur 10/4 @ Yankees
Friday 10/5 vs Yankees
Sat 10/6 @ Tigers
If you’ve never been to the FIL, the games go quickly because you don’t have any long innings or mid-inning pitching changes. If a pitcher gets up to 25 pitches (usually that number) the inning will end, regardless of how many outs there are and who is on base. Innings could also include extra outs if they go too fast. So you really can’t keep score, but you get to sit right on top of the action and see some of the better minor league prospects. Everything is free and it’s open to the public, but they don’t sell anything there. I’d suggest not going there without water.
We will have some live coverage from the FIL to help the next three weeks pass.