Endy Rodriguez might be playing himself into a possible promotion.
The Greensboro catcher collected a total of six hits over the weekend, four of which were home runs. He put together an 11-game hitting streak that stretched the end of June and into July. This month he has hit safely in 12 of the 15 games he has played.
At this point in the season, I’m not in an overly big rush to move anyone around, especially a catcher. While it’s easier to see the bat at play, you have to remember there’s more to it than that when it comes to the position’s development.
Rodriguez is, however, one of the better defensive catchers in the system, and with Henry Davis out currently, there is room for him in Altoona at the position. Both Blake Sabol and Dylan Shockley have played well behind the plate, but having Endy in Double-A could give them more options with how they work their lineup.
Of course, Rodriguez is known for his versatility (he played second base on Sunday), but with Davis out there’s a really big opportunity to get the most out of him behind the plate.
It would also give Abrahan Gutierrez a chance to be featured a bit more in Greensboro, as he’d be the clear go-to if Rodriguez moves up.
Any amount of playing time against better competition is good for the development, but this late in the year if Rodriguez struggles it doesn’t give him a lot of time to adjust going into the off-season. As a catcher, there would be a decent learning curve working with a new staff on top of adjusting to hitting at a higher level.
Still, Altoona would give him a chance to focus at the position, get a good look at where he’s at defensively stepping up with a better pitching staff and all of that with some capable options behind him.
— If you check out the Daily Video Rundown, you will see Travis Swaggerty hit another triple on Sunday, his sixth of the season. He had five in his entire minor league career going into 2022.
Swaggerty debuted in the majors this season, also collecting his first hit at the level, but never really got a true shot at sticking. It seemed like a good opportunity to get him back up when Bryan Reynolds hit the injured list, but that wasn’t the case. He hasn’t hit well in July, so that could be part of it.
Ben Gamel and Greg Allen coming back could be the other, so that issue could clear itself up by the deadline. I’m not sure Allen is able to build up enough value in such a short time, but I guess you never know. Regardless, Swaggerty has played well this year, and is pretty much the only outfielder on the 40-man who hasn’t gotten an extended look in the majors (Canaan Smith-Njigba as well, but the injury caused that).
With his defense, Swaggerty has the potential to help this team in multiple ways, he just needs an opportunity.
— Really the only way to say this comes off very hyperbolic but that was really some of the best baseball I’ve seen Quinn Priester pitch on Sunday. I’m not really worried about the stat line for him, outside of the one walk, but visually you could see some progression throughout the season.
He mixed in his changeup and sinker, with both of the pitches working beautifully off of each other. Preister didn’t even have to use his best pitch, the curveball, that much throughout the game. Even the fastball didn’t look as hittable as it had been in previous outing.
The biggest step I’d like to see next is to start working towards pitching on a more traditional schedule. He had been on a once-per-week or six day cycle the majority of the season. There’s a chance he stays like this straight through the season and into the Arizona Fall League to catch back up on innings.
I’ll have the video out of that start later this week.
— The stat line looks much more human for Mike Burrows in Indianapolis, but the important number for him and the only one to watch the rest of the year – 3 1/3. Between Altoona and Indianapolis, Burrows has pitched 73 1/3 innings after logging just 49 last year in Greensboro (plus the AFL).
After playing in the Future’s Game, Burrows looks like he’s still on the right path towards pulling a Roansy Contreras end of the season debut by the end of the year. It just wouldn’t be a surprise if they very much manage his workload until he gets to that point.
Pirates Prospects Spotlight
Today: Three Early Games for Monday
Daily Video Rundown
Today: Two Games in Chicago
Yesterday: Sunday Rubber Match
LAST WEEK ON PIRATES PROSPECTS
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