In the fifth inning on Wednesday night against the Washington Nationals, Pablo Reyes recorded his second at-bat of the game and 131st of his big league career, crossing over from the prospect group to just being a plain old Major League player. He’s the fifth player from the Pittsburgh Pirates to make that journey this season, joining Bryan Reynolds, Kevin Newman, Clay Holmes and Jacob Stallings. There will most certainly be more before this season ends.
Reyes began his pro career back in 2012 in the Dominican Summer League. We received strong reports from the start. People who saw him play regularly complimented his hand-eye coordination to the plate and his ability to make consistent hard contact. The downside to his game back then was one that stuck with him well into his pro career. He would take bad at-bats out to the field and they would stick with him for the rest of the game sometimes. He had maturing to do, and we really didn’t hear about that growth taking place until 2018, which is the same point his prospect status took off.
Reyes was always a talented player in the minors, showing the tools that made it seem like he could make the majors one day. Besides the ability to make contact, he showed a little bit of power, some speed, and the skills to play middle infield at the highest level, even if his head wasn’t always in the game in the field. Once he was able to separate at-bats from defense, his stock went up.
Going into 2018, Reyes was in his final season before minor league free agency. He began the year in Altoona, but quickly moved up to Indianapolis and slowly worked his way into more time and a better spot in the lineup. He hit .289/.341/.435 in 110 games and earned a promotion to the majors. Injuries got him playing time and he made the most of it, batting .293/.349/.483 in 18 games. It was a better performance than we had seen from him before, but it was also a very small sample size.
That performance in September helped Reyes to a spot on the Major League bench on Opening Day. Reyes played very little over the first month of the season, struggled when he did, and was sent down to Indianapolis. When he was recalled three weeks ago, for some reason it was an unpopular move. Numerous people were calling for others to get a shot instead, including a struggling Kevin Kramer, who is the same age as Reyes and put up worse MLB stats, which made it a very confusing request. In essence, people were mad that the young player hitting the best in Triple-A received a promotion, and they were basing that on him barely playing in April. The most deserving player getting called up and people still complaining is one of the most Pittsburgh Pirates things ever.
So now Reyes is no longer a prospect, which means no spot in the 2020 Prospect Guide. He will get over that disappointment. It’s highly unlikely that he’s the last player to lose their eligibility for the next prospect guide. Cole Tucker needs just 18 at-bats. Dario Agrazal needs 6.1 innings. Mitch Keller needs 29 innings, which seems very likely, even if they go to a six-man rotation in September. Geoff Hartlieb needs ten appearances, which could happen in September. Rookie Davis needs 15.2 innings and he’s likely to be up in September if he remains healthy. The first three I listed all seem like safe bets, and I’ll give them a proper send-off if/when that happens.
Indianapolis has 11 games left. They have been eliminated from the division and trail by 10.5 games in the wild card. They can be eliminated as early as today.
Altoona has been eliminated from the playoffs.
Bradenton has 10 games left. They trail by 10 games in the division. They can be eliminated as early as today. I’ll note that MiLB has them eliminated already, but that’s an error. Their elimination number is now one.
Greensboro has 11 games left. They trail by seven in the division and they are three games back for the second best record, which could possibly get them a playoff spot.
Morgantown has 13 games left. They trail by a 1/2 game in the division and one game in the wild card.
Bristol has 6 games left. They are a 1/2 game out of first place and 1.5 games ahead of the third place team. Two teams make the playoffs in each division.
GCL Pirates have been eliminated from the playoffs.
DSL Pirates1 have been eliminated from the playoffs.
DSL Pirates2 have clinched a playoff spot
Today’s Starter and Notes: The Pittsburgh Pirates lost 7-1 to the Washington Nationals on Thursday night. The Pirates now take on the Cincinnati Reds in a weekend series at PNC Park. They will send out Mitch Keller, who will be making his third start since returning from Indianapolis. He gave up one run over five innings against the Los Angeles Angels in his first start back. That was followed by six runs over 4.1 innings versus the Chicago Cubs in the Little League Classic. Keller made his big league debut against Cincinnati and allowed six runs over four innings. The Reds will counter with 29-year-old right-hander Anthony DeSclafani, who has a 4.40 ERA in 122.2 innings, with 127 strikeouts and a 1.35 WHIP. He has a 6.52 ERA in four August starts. DeSclafani faced the Pirates on May 29th and allowed three runs over 5.2 innings. He also faced them in early April and allowed six runs over 4.1 innings.
The minor league schedule includes doubleheaders for Morgantown and the GCL Pirates. The GCL team is actually finishing a suspended game that they only played the top of the first, followed by the regularly scheduled game. Morgantown will send out Bear Bellomy and Austin Roberts in their twin bill. Bellomy has a 2.08 ERA in three starts, while Roberts gave up one run over five innings in his last start and struck out seven batters. Greensboro is going with Winston Nicacio who has allowed one run in 21 innings since being promoted from Morgantown. He hasn’t walked a batter yet in Low-A.
Indianapolis will send out James Marvel, who is coming off of his worst Triple-A outing. He saw his ERA go up nearly a full run (1.82 to 2.74) after allowing five runs over three innings. Bristol is sending out Jose Maldonado, who has thrown shutout ball in each of his last two starts, allowing just three hits over nine innings, but he has also walked seven batters. Altoona will send out Sean Brady, who has pitched 6+ innings in 16 of his 19 starts since joining the Curve. Bradenton is sending out Nicholas Economos, who returned from a stint at Altoona last weekend to give up one run over six innings in his first game back with the Marauders.
MLB: Pittsburgh (52-75) vs Reds (60-66) 7:05 PM
Probable starter: Mitch Keller (8.86 ERA, 24:10 SO/BB, 21.1 IP)
AAA: Indianapolis (62-67) vs Louisville (53-76) 7:15 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: James Marvel (2.78 ERA, 38:19 SO/BB, 42.2 IP)
AA: Altoona (64-65) @ Bowie (71-58) 7:05 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Sean Brady (4.19 ERA, 69:32 SO/BB, 116.0 IP)
High-A: Bradenton (68-60) vs Daytona (62-65) 6:30 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Nicholas Economos (1.97 ERA, 57:23 SO/BB, 73.0 IP)
Low-A: Greensboro (74-53) @ Hickory (76-48) 7:00 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Winston Nicacio (0.43 ERA, 20:0 SO/BB, 21.0 IP)
Short-Season A: Morgantown (34-29) @ Auburn (23-40) 5:00 PM DH (season preview)
Probable starter: Bear Bellomy (2.95 ERA, SO/BB, 21.1 IP) and Austin Roberts (3.41 ERA, 30:9 SO/BB, 29.0 IP)
Rookie: Bristol (31-30) @ Johnson City (32-30) 6:30 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Jose Maldonado (4.54 ERA, 35:25 SO/BB, 39.2 IP)
GCL: Pirates (16-31) vs Orioles (33-13) 10:00 AM DH (season preview)
DSL: Pirates1 (33-36) vs Dodgers (35-33) 10:30 AM (season preview)
DSL: Pirates2 (55-15) vs (Royals2 (29-40) 10:30 AM (season preview)
From Indianapolis, Mitchell Tolman hits a long drive for his first home run in Triple-A
— Indianapolis Indians (@indyindians) August 22, 2019
From Altoona, Jason Delay hits his second home run of the night
AN💣THER 💣NE@jdelay5 smokes his second homer of the night and has driven in 5⃣
⬇️6⃣ Curve 6, Hartford 0 pic.twitter.com/lGPmFOloJJ
— Altoona Curve (@AltoonaCurve) August 22, 2019
8/22: Blake Cederlind promoted to Indianapolis. Kevin Kramer activated from Indianapolis injured list.
8/22: Osvaldo Bido activated from injured list. Ryan Valdes placed on Bradenton injured list.
8/22: Quinn Priester promoted to Morgantown.
8/22: Pirates release Francisco Cervelli.
8/21: Chris Archer and Clay Holmes placed on injured list. Pirates recall Dario Agrazal and Parker Markel.
8/21: Michael Flynn assigned to GCL Pirates on rehab
8/20: Richard Rodriguez activated from injured list. Montana DuRapau optioned to Indianapolis.
8/20: Pirates release Austin Coley.
8/20: Sean Keselica placed on Indianapolis injured list.
8/19: Cole Tucker optioned to Indianapolis.
8/18: Pirates add Montana DuRapau to roster.
8/18: Elvis Escobar activated from Altoona injured list. Tom Koehler placed on injured list.
8/17: Nick Mears promoted to Altoona. Cody Bolton placed on Altoona injured list. Ryan Valdes added to Bradenton.
8/17: Colin Selby placed on Greensboro injured list. Oliver Garcia promoted to Greensboro.
8/16: Pirates release Jake Brentz. Mitchell Tolman and Darnell Sweeney promoted to Indianapolis.
8/16: Adrian Valerio and Jesse Medrano promoted to Altoona. Chase Lambert and Raul Siri added to Bradenton roster.
8/16: Pirates recall Cole Tucker. Geoff Hartlieb optioned to Indianapolis.
8/15: Kevin Kramer placed on Indianapolis injured list.
8/14: Pirates sign Francis Olantilo.
8/14: Osvaldo Bido placed on Bradenton injured list.
8/14: John Bormann retired.
8/13: Pirates sign Isaias Dipre.
8/13: Nicholas Economos assigned to Bradenton.
8/13: Tom Koehler assigned to Altoona. Francisco Cervelli assigned to Indianapolis on rehab.
THIS DATE IN PIRATES HISTORY
One former Pittsburgh Pirates player born on this date, plus the second no-hitter in team history. Guy Bush pitched for the 1935-36 Pirates. He was part of a five-player trade after the 1934 season that included Hall of Famer Freddie Lindstrom. Bush was part of strong Pirates’ rotation that included HOF pitcher Waite Hoyt, as well as Cy Blanton, Red Lucas, Bill Swift and then Mace Brown getting long relief duty and some spot starts. Bush threw 204.1 innings in 1935, posting a 4.32 ERA. The next year, he was only used out of the bullpen, getting released in early July.
The first official no-hitter in Pirates’ history was thrown by Nick Maddox at the end of the 1907 season. That’s only true because MLB changed the definition of official no-hitters for some strange reason. Before Maddox threw his game, two Pirates’ pitchers threw complete games with no hits, yet for some reason, they took them out of the record book because they didn’t play nine innings. Regardless of what MLB says, Lefty Leifield threw the first no-hitter in Pirates’ history back on September 26, 1906 when he no-hit the Phillies for six innings. The game was called due to darkness, so Leifield gets punished because the ump decided it was a good idea to stop playing once the teams couldn’t see the ball.
The next year on August 23,1907, Howie Camnitz threw the second Pirate no-hitter during the second game of a doubleheader against the New York Giants. This game wasn’t even called due to weather or darkness. The two teams played extra innings in the first game, then decided the second game would be a five inning game, so Camnitz couldn’t have went any further unless the score was tied. He was far from perfect in the game, allowing four walks, but the Giants were unable to collect a hit and the Pirates won 1-0.
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.