Pirates Will Have One Affiliate in the Florida Complex League

I was able to get the Florida Complex League schedule yesterday and noted on Twitter the interesting fact about the Pittsburgh Pirates this year. They will have just one FCL affiliate this season.

The schedule was posted this morning on MiLB.com. As noted in the tweet, the league begins on June 6th, ends on August 23rd, and they play 55 games. The thing that makes it interesting is that the Pirates have enough players at Pirate City for two teams, even before the draft picks start showing up later in the year. I will note that the draft doesn’t start until July 17th, so by the time any draft pick signs, gets down there and gets into game shape (sometimes a few days after they arrive, sometimes weeks), the league will almost be over. The league ends 37 days after the first day of the draft, so a large majority of the playing time will be going to guys already there. The rosters have unlimited spots, so the Pirates won’t need to make a lot of cuts before the season starts.

In talks with some people from the Pirates, they are fine with the shorter schedule and believe that the work they do outside of game action works just as well or better than games at that level. There will be sim games going on, situational games where they put players in pressure situations to start innings, sometimes with men on base already, sometimes with outs already. So the players will be seeing game action, just not on paper so we can see how they are doing from afar.

For the first time that I remember, the DSL and FCL/GCL will be starting on the same day. Usually they are 2-3 weeks apart. Both play shorter schedules now than they did in the past.




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I don’t have a particular problem with this. As long as they are fielding one full squad, they can still give players competitive exposure as they see fit. But I do wonder if it wouldn’t make sense to adopt a fall league approach where teams can be made up of players from different franchises.

Wilbur Miller

This would be fine, I guess, if the off-field instruction was producing results, but it’s not. There are far more players going backwards than forwards this year. The hitting especially has been bad, so it’s awfully hard to believe that facing pitching machines substitutes well for facing live pitching in live games.

In the end, though, it doesn’t matter. Chandler, Solometo, et al., will throw 25 innings or so, then next year they’ll have to stay all year at Bradenton and throw 45 innings, then Greensboro for another year, and so on. Maybe the Rays can salvage them in 2029 or so.


So leagues that make no money, shorter season, cash cow; extended play off!!!

Last edited 1 month ago by PirateRican21
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