Weekly Transaction Analysis: Pirates Gearing Up For the End of the Minor League Season

Every week we will be recapping the transactions in the Pittsburgh Pirates’ minor league system, looking at the trends and adding some context to some of the bigger moves.

The Pirates are finishing their season by promoting key prospects to Indianapolis (who play a longer season) along with moving key players to Greensboro and Bradenton (who are in the playoffs). This week’s article will look at some of the MLB depth shuffling, along with some of those early moves for the Greensboro and Bradenton rosters. Next week’s article will be very full, with all of the late-season promotions that are starting to occur this week.

Below are all of the transactions from the week of 9/4-9/19.

Promotions

Indianapolis

RHP Max Kranick promoted to Pittsburgh. (9/19) Kranick made the start on Sunday, giving up three earned runs in five innings of work, with four walks and six strikeouts. He’s spent very little time in the majors this year, despite making seven starts. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see him going back down this week.

C Luis Hernandez assigned to Indianapolis from the FCL. (9/17) Hernandez was likely called up for late season depth, but hasn’t gotten into a game. He had a .509 OPS in the FCL over 76 at-bats.

RHP Enyel De Los Santos promoted to Pittsburgh. (9/13). The Pirates claimed De Los Santos off waivers from the Phillies, and promoted him to the majors in the same day. He’s yet to appear for the Pirates, but had a 2.70 ERA in ten appearances over 13.1 innings in Triple-A.

RHP Connor Overton promoted to Pittsburgh. (9/11) The Pirates claimed Overton off waivers from Toronto on September 6th. He’s made two appearances in the majors with the Pirates, combining for four shutout innings.

LHP Cam Alldred assigned to Indianapolis from Altoona. (9/8) Alldred was having a good season in Altoona, with a 2.53 ERA in 53.1 innings of rlief, along with a 49:23 K/BB. He’s already appeared in three games for Indianapolis, allowing one earned run in 7.1 innings.

RHP Cody Ponce promoted to Pittsburgh. (9/6) Ponce has pitched 30.2 innings in the majors this year, with a 6.75 ERA. H has a 2.25 ERA in 8 innings over three appearances since returning.

RHP Kyle Keller promoted to Pittsburgh. (9/5) Keller has a 6.51 ERA in 27.2 innings this year in the majors. He has allowed one earned run in 3.2 innings over four appearances since returning.

RHP Shea Spitzbarth promoted to Pittsburgh. (9/5) Spitzbarth was called up for short-term depth, and sent back down two days later.

Altoona

None

Greensboro

C Kyle Wilkie assigned to Greensboro from Bradenton. (9/14) Wilkie doesn’t do much with the bat, but is a good receiver and game caller, and should help Greensboro in their playoff run.

RHP Jack Carey assigned to Greensboro from the FCL. (9/10) Carey spent about a week at the level, before returning to the FCL. He was the 11th round pick in 2021. In his brief time with Greensboro, he pitched 4.1 innings, giving up three earned runs.

RHP Valentin Linarez assigned to Greensboro from the FCL. (9/10) Linarez has made two starts for Greensboro, with five earned runs in nine innings. He had a 2.63 ERA in 24 innings over eight starts in the FCL.

SS Mike Jarvis assigned to Greensboro from the FCL. (9/9) Jarvis was the 6th round pick in 2021. He has a .789 OPS in 15 at-bats so far with Greensboro.

Bradenton

None

Demotions

Indianapolis

Pirates option RHP Shea Spitzbarth to the Indianapolis Indians. (9/7) He spent two days in the majors this time around.

Pirates option OF Phillip Evans to the Indianapolis Indians. (9/6) Evans has a .611 OPS in the majors this year, which is way down from his .932 OPS in a limited sample in 2020.

RHP Kyle Keller optioned to Indianapolis. (9/4) Keller quickly returned a day later, and has remained in the majors.

Altoona

RHP Steven Jennings transferred from Altoona to Greensboro. (9/9) Jennings has played with three teams this year. He previously had a 4.50 ERA in 10 appearances with Greensboro. He had a 6.67 ERA in 29.2 innings with Altoona.

Greensboro

RHP Jack Carey assigned to FCL from Greensboro. (9/18)

Bradenton

None

IL Assignments

Indianapolis

OF Fabricio Macias placed on the temporary inactive list. (9/18) Macias has a .624 OPS and his usual solid outfield defense.

2B Michael Chavis assigned to Indianapolis on a rehab assignment. (9/16) Chavis is getting a shot in the majors with the Pirates, and has a .954 OPS in 22 at-bats so far.

1B Christian Bethancourt placed on the 7-day IL. (9/8) Bethancourt had a .776 OPS with Indianapolis this year.

3B Erik Gonzalez transferred to the 60-day IL. (9/4) It would be a surprise to see Gonzalez return to the Pirates organization at this point, after struggling in the majors and spending a lot of time on the IL.

LHP Cam Vieaux placed on the 60-day IL. (9/4) Vieaux split the season between Altoona and Indianapolis. He had a 7.67 ERA in eight starts with Indianapolis.

Altoona

RHP Yerry De Los Santos activated from the 7-day IL. (9/8) De Los Santos will finish the year with Indianapolis, and could be an MLB relief option for Pittsburgh next year.

C Carter Bins placed on the 7-day IL with a wrist injury. (9/8) Bins is out for the season with his wrist injury.

OF Canaan Smith-Njigba activated from the 7-day IL. (9/10) Smith-Njigba will go to Indianapolis to finish out the year, and is a candidate to challenge for a starting outfield spot at some point in 2022.

3B Dylan Busby activated from 60-day IL. (9/14) Busby only has 32 at-bats this year, missing a lot of time with an injury.

Greensboro

RHP Garrett Leonard activated from the 7-day IL. (9/18) Leonard has a 5.81 ERA in 62 innings in relief with Greensboro. He spent a brief time on the IL, as did the next two players.

RHP Carmen Mlodzinski activated from the 7-day IL. (9/16) Mlodzinski has a 3.93 ERA in 50.1 innings this year, with a 64:20 K/BB ratio. He will be a huge asset for Greensboro in the post-season.

RHP J.C. Flowers activated from the 7-day IL. (9/16) Flowers has a 4.23 ERA in 61.2 innings with Greensboro. The very brief IL appearances for him and Mlodzinski ahead of the playoffs makes you wonder if this was just a break for the pitchers.

RHP Carmen Mlodzinski placed on the 7-day IL. (9/9)

RHP Garrett Leonard placed on the 7-day IL. (9/9)

RHP J.C. Flowers placed on the 7-day IL. (9/9)

RHP Tahnaj Thomas placed on the 7-day IL. (9/9) Thomas has a 5.19 ERA in 60.2 innings this year.

RHP Michael Burrows activated from the 7-day IL. (9/7) Burrows has made two starts since his return, combining for one earned run in five innings of work.

RHP Cameron Junker transferred from the 7-day IL to the 60-day IL. (9/4) Junker only made three appearances for Greensboro, but had a 3.00 ERA in 30 innings with Bradenton.

RHP Dante Mendoza placed on the 7-day IL. (9/4) Mendoza hasn’t pitched in Greensboro, spending his limited time this year in the FCL, with a 7.36 ERA in 3.2 innings.

Bradenton

C Abrahan Gutierrez activated from the 7-day IL. (9/14) Gutierrez is 4-for-14 with two doubles and a triple since his return.

OF Sammy Siani activated from the 7-day IL. (9/7) Siani missed almost two months of action. He’s 5-for-19 with eight walks and a .481 OBP since returning.

Added to the System

Indianapolis

Pirates claim RHP Enyel De Los Santos off waivers from Philadelphia. (9/13)

Pirates claim RHP Connor Overton off waivers from Toronto. (9/6)

Altoona

None

Greensboro

None

Bradenton

None

Released

None

Transactions Analysis
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