Your daily Pittsburgh Pirates Prospect Watch article for recaps of all of today’s games. Be sure to pick up your copy of the latest Prospect Guide in our store, available as an ebook or a limited edition paperback.
Both FCL teams were scheduled to play doubleheaders, starting at 10am, but the Gold team got rained out. Probable starters are getting more problematic as the minor league rotations are getting increasingly improvised, which is typical for this time of year. Henry Davis is in the Black team lineup for game one.
Bradenton’s game in Clearwater was postponed due to COVID-19. The problem is with the Clearwater team, not the Marauders.
In case you missed it, Braxton Ashcraft has had Tommy John surgery.
The Pirates released infielder Jesus Valdez, who’d been with Altoona most of the year but hadn’t played much. I can’t say I understand this one, because Valdez showed some power this year, but things obviously go on that we’re not aware of.
Starting Pitcher: Beau Sulser 6 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 2 K
Tucupita Marcano 1-5
Erik Gonzalez 0-3
Colin Moran 0-2, 2 BB
Cole Tucker 0-3, BB
Anthony Alford 0-4
Jared Oliva 2-4, SB
Game Recap: Indianapolis (37-40) lost to Iowa, 5-1. Beau Sulser gave up three runs over six innings. Blake Weiman gave up the other two. The Indians had only six hits. Their run scored on a Bligh Madris double, which was the only extra-base hit. Colin Moran and Erik Gonzalez continued their rehabs, going 0-for-2 with two walks, and 0-for-3, respectively. Jared Oliva, in his first game since returning to Indy, had two hits.
Starting Pitcher: Osvaldo Bido 6 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K
Ji-Hwan Bae 2-6
Diego Castillo 2-5, BB
Jack Suwinski 1-3, BB
Mason Martin 0-3, BB, SF
Carter Bins 0-4
Cal Mitchell 0-4
Altoona (42-34) beat Akron, 5-4, in 12 innings. Osvaldo Bido broke a string of poor starts, giving up just four hits and two runs in six innings. He left with a 3-2 lead, as the Curve got three runs in the top of the sixth on RBI singles by Diego Castillo and Jack Suwinski, and a sacrifice fly by Mason Martin. Cam Alldred gave up the tying run in the eighth. Each team plated the free runner in the tenth, with Altoona’s run scoring on a two-out strikeout and passed ball. Neither team scored in the 11th, then Ji-Hwan Bae singled in the free runner with two outs in the 12th. Will Gardner stranded the free runner in both the 11th and 12th to get the win. Bae and Castillo each had two hits.
Starting Pitcher: Grant Ford 3 IP, 6 H, 5 ER, 1 BB, 3 K
Matt Fraizer 0-3, BB
Nick Gonzales 0-4
Jared Triolo 2-4, 2B
Liover Peguero 0-4
Aaron Shackelford 1-4, HR (17)
Greensboro (49-30) got destroyed by Hickory, 15-3. Starter Grant Ford got pummeled for five runs over three innings, with all of the runs coming on gopher balls. Garrett Leonard gave up eight runs in two innings, including two more dingerz, one of them a grand slam. Austin Roberts threw two scoreless innings. Oliver Garcia gave up a pair of unearned runs, walking three while recording only one out. Utility infielder Andres Alvarez came in to pitch with the bases loaded and one out, and stranded all the runners. He ended up going an inning and two-thirds without allowing a run. The offense came from a two-run double by Jared Triolo and a solo shot by Aaron Shackelford, his 17th home run of the year.
Starting Pitcher: Nick Garcia (5-3, 3.88, 46.1 IP, 51 K)
Postponed, to be made up on August 7.
FCL PIRATES BLACK
Starting Pitcher: Christopher Cruz 2.2 IP, 5 H, 9 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 3 K and Wilkin Ramos 5 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 K
Dustin Fowler 1-3, HR (1), BB
Henry Davis 2-4, 2B, HR (1)
Juan Jerez 3-7
Deion Walker 2-3, 2B, BB
Luis Tejeda 4-7, 2B, HR (2)
Henry Davis made his pro debut in the first game of the Black team’s (11-12) doubleheader with the Rays, but the Pirates got torched anyway, 16-10. Christopher Cruz and Angel Suero combined to give up 11 runs in the third inning. Cruz was charged with nine runs, five of them earned, in two and two-thirds innings. Suero was charged with six runs, just one earned, in an inning of work. Third baseman Juan Jerez and shortstop Luis Tejeda had good days at the plate, which is helpful because they were among the best prospects the Pirates had coming to the US from the DSL. They gave it back and then some in the field, though, as Jerez had three errors and Tejeda two. At the plate, Tejeda had a double and his second home run of the year, along with three runs and three RBIs. Jerez was 2-for-5. Davis, meanwhile, had a double, his first home run, and three RBIs while playing most of the game behind the plate. Deion Walker had a single, double and walk. Dustin Fowler continued his rehab and hit his first home run at the level.
The Black team also lost the second game, 5-1. Wilkin Ramos got off to a tough start, walking the first two batters, with both coming around to score. He settled in to throw scoreless ball the next four innings. Yoelvis Reyes gave up two runs and Yunior Thibo one. The offense managed just three singles, one each by Jerez, Tejeda and Rayber Romero.
FCL PIRATES GOLD
Starting Pitcher: TBD and TBD
Rained out, games to be made up on August 5 and 31.
DSL PIRATES BLACK
Starting Pitcher: Yoldin De La Paz 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 6 K
Enmanuel Terrero 2-4, 2B, SB
Shalin Polanco 1-4
Ewry Espinal 2-3, 2B, HR (1), BB
The Black team (9-8) beat the Indians Red, 7-2. Starter Yoldin De La Paz continued pitching well, fanning six over three shutout innings. Eliecer Romero got the win, allowing one earned run over the next three innings. Ewry Espinal had a big day, hitting a double and his first career home run. He scored three runs and drove in two. Enmanuel Terrero added a single and a double.
DSL PIRATES GOLD
Starting Pitcher: Luigi Hernandez 4 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K
Jeral Toledo 1-3
Esmerlyn Valdez 2-3, HR (1)
Luis Faringthon 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 0 K
The Gold team (5-12) beat the Orioles 2, 4-2. Seventeen-year-old Luigi Hernandez had his best start so far, giving up just a hit, a walk and an unearned run over four innings, while striking out six. Luis Faringthon followed with two shutout innings. Esmerlyn Valdez drove in all four runs with an RBI single in the first and a three-run home run in the third. The latter was his career first. The Pirates had only one other hit, a single by Jeral Toledo.
Having followed the Pirates fanatically since 1965, Wilbur Miller is one of the fast-dwindling number of fans who’ve actually seen good Pirate teams. He’s even seen Hall-of-Fame Pirates who didn’t get traded mid-career, if you can imagine such a thing. His first in-person game was a 5-4, 11-inning win at Forbes Field over Milwaukee (no, not that one). He’s been writing about the Pirates at various locations online for over 20 years. It has its frustrations, but it’s certainly more cathartic than writing legal stuff. Wilbur is retired and now lives in Bradenton with his wife and three temperamental cats.