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.
As John has mentioned, the two FCL teams are still on a COVID-related hiatus. The earliest they’ll return to play is Thursday.
The FCL shutdown may or may not be keeping some of the Pirates’ 2021 draftees from making their debuts. Of the 19 players they signed, nine have yet to get into a game. They’re shown below. The number is draft round and * denotes a prep draftee.
2. Anthony Solometo, LHP*
4. Owen Kellington, RHP*
8. Sean Sullivan, RHP
11. Jack Carey, RHP
13. Owen Sharts, RHP (recovering from Tommy John)
15. Tyler Samaniego, LHP
17. Carlos Lomeli, RHP
18. A.J. Graham, SS* (pictured below)
19. Drew Irvine, RHP
Starting Pitcher: Sam Howard 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K
Tucupita Marcano 0-3, BB
Hoy Park 1-2, BB, HBP, SB
Jared Oliva 0-4
Indianapolis (45-51) got edged by Louisville, 3-2. Sam Howard started the game in what could possibly be his last rehab appearance. He walked one and fanned two in a scoreless inning. James Marvel followed and kept the game scoreless until the sixth, when he allowed three runs. John O’Reilly threw a scoreless inning and Cody Ponce threw two. The Indians didn’t get on the board until two runs scored in the eighth on a bases-loaded force out combined with a throwing error. Indy had only five hits and the only extra base hit was a double by Marvel. Hoy Park returned to Indy, going 1-for-2 with a walk and a hit batsman. John Nogowski made his first appearance there, striking out as a pinch hitter.
Starting Pitcher: Jeffrey Passantino 3 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 3 K
Matt Fraizer 2-6
Oneil Cruz 3-5, 2 SB
Rodolfo Castro 2-5, HR (12), BB
Mason Martin 2-4, 2B, 2 BB
Diego Castillo 3-4, 2 BB
Cal Mitchell 5-6
Jack Suwinski 0-4, 2 BB
Ji-Hwan Bae 1-4, HBP
With Oneil Cruz and Rodolfo Castro both back in the lineup, Altoona hammered out 20 hits in a 16-5 rout of Richmond. The bombardment started early, as the Curve scored four times before anybody was out in the first, then added five more in the second. Richmond’s first two pitchers recorded only two outs each. Oddly, 18 of the 20 Altoona hits were singles. Cal Mitchell had five hits and five RBIs. Castro, in his first at-bat since returning from the majors, launched a three-run home run, and finished with three runs and four RBIs. The longball was his 12th in AA and 17th altogether. Cruz had three hits and four runs scored, and Diego Castillo had three hits. Matt Fraizer only went 2-for-6, lowering his average. Every Altoona starter scored at least one run and every one except Jack Suwinski had at least one hit. The Curve also had seven walks, and went 11-for-23 with runners in scoring position. Jeffrey Passantino started and lasted only three innings, giving up four runs. Steven Jennings got the win, allowing one run in three innings. Oddy Nunez, who’s endured a miserable season, finished with three scoreless innings.
Starting Pitcher: Grant Ford 2.2 IP, 6 H, 7 R, 6 ER, 4 BB, 3 K
Liover Peguero 0-5
Nick Gonzales 1-5, 2B
Jared Triolo 1-5
Lolo Sanchez 2-3, 2B, 2 BB
Blake Sabol 3-4, 2B, BB
In case you missed it, Henry Davis has gone on the injured list with an oblique strain. Obliques being what they are, it wouldn’t be surprising if that ended his season.
Greensboro (60-39) got hammered by Asheville, 13-6. The Grasshoppers have had a surprising number of pitching meltdowns this season, and Grant Ford and Alex Manasa have been at the center of quite a few of them. Ford started and got knocked out in the third, having allowed six earned runs. He has an 11.05 ERA in four August starts. Manasa gave up four runs on eight hits in three innings. This was his second game back from a brief run through Indy and Altoona, where he allowed 11 earned runs in 6.2 IP. He now has a 5.55 ERA for Greensboro. Most of the Hoppers’ offense came from Lolo Sanchez, Nick Sabol and Will Matthiessen. Sanchez had a single, double and two walks, and scored three times. He has an .892 OPS in August. Sabol had a double, two singles and a walk. He’s having a strong season overall, but came into the game batting just .227 in August. Matthiessen hit a three-run bomb, his tenth homer for Greensboro and 12th on the season. Despite his sizeable contact issues, he has 57 RBIs in 69 games. Nick Gonzales hit a double to go temporarily over .300, but finished 1-for-5.
Starting Pitcher: TBD
Postponed, makeup scheduled as part of a doubleheader on August 27.
FCL PIRATES BLACK
FCL PIRATES GOLD
DSL PIRATES BLACK
Starting Pitcher: Antwone Kelly 4 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 K
Javier Rivas 1-1, BB, HBP, SB
Shalin Polanco 1-2, BB
Ewry Espinal 0-3
The Pirates Black (16-12) beat the Cubs Blue, 5-1. Antwone Kelly had a strong start, allowing one run on just two hits in four innings, striking out five. The hitters had only four hits, but six walks helped. Ronny Sanchez had a two-run triple. Shalin Polanco reached base twice and Javier Rivas three times.
DSL PIRATES GOLD
Starting Pitcher: Andres Silva 4 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K
Gustavo Armas 1-4, BB
Jauri Custodio 1-2, HR (1)
Esmerlyn Valdez 1-4, HR (2)
Miguel Sosa 1-4
Jeral Toledo 1-3, HBP
The Gold team (8-20) lost to the Mariners, 9-5. The game was tied, 1-1, until the seventh. The Pirates took a brief 2-1 lead, but the Mariners got four runs each in the seventh and eighth. Andres Silva had a good start, allowing one run and not walking anybody over four innings. Jose Garces threw a couple of perfect innings, but Juan Fuentes gave up four runs in the seventh and Argenys Dominguez gave up another four in the eighth. Jauri Custodio hit his first home run of the year and Esmerlyn Valdez hit his second, a two-run shot.
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.