With Spring Training now in full swing, we are started to catch on to some patterns that, while can certainly change, may speak a little to how the Pirates are evaluating things so far.
One player that is vying for a spot is 2018 first round pick Travis Swaggerty. He hasn’t started a game yet, but has come on as a substitution twice so far this spring.
Despite the limited playing time he has made his presence known. He made a couple of strong defensive plays in center field in his first game, as well as picking up a base hit.
After replacing Cal Mitchell in right field during Wednesday’s game (taking Endy Rodriguez’s spot in the lineup), Swaggerty came up even bigger, launching a three-run home run that tied things up late.
The hit itself is one of the more impressive you are going to see, especially from a Statcast point of view. It traveled 105.5 mph off the bat and at a 27° launch angle, giving it a 1.000 expected batting average (xBA), while carries 433 feet to near dead center.
That gave him two batted ball events of over 100 mph on the day, along with his 102.8 lineout earlier in the game.
With Bryan Reynolds seeing time in left field during his spring debut, that frees up a spot in center field, with Swaggerty being the most natural option — although it’s been Jack Suwinski that looks like he’s been given first crack at it.
The Pirates play a pair of games on Thursday, giving plenty of opportunities to see as many players as possible in action.
Johan Oviedo Hit Hard In Debut
If you are going to get hit hard at any point in the year, now is the time to do it. Johan Oviedo allowed seven of his nine batted balls to travel 95 mph or higher (six were 100+), as he really struggled in his opening frame.
The righty is working on a new two-seam fastball, which could help him last a little longer as a starter, and it looked like a big reason why he was hit so hard.
Pirates Prospects Daily
By Tim Williams
Spring Training Recap: Tigers 8, Pirates 7
Pirates DVR: Henry Davis RBI, Rich Hill Faces Oneil Cruz and Rodolfo Castro
**MLB Pipeline released their top 30 Pirates prospects.
**Missed yesterday? Anthony looked at how Bubba Chandler will focus on pitching in 2023.
Song of the Day
Doubleheader today, with the Pirates visiting the Toronto Blue Jays and the Pirates at home against the New York Yankees. Here are the lineups:
On the road vs. the Blue Jays. pic.twitter.com/l5Xkjy51es
— Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) March 2, 2023
Anthony began writing over 10 years ago, starting a personal blog to cover the 2011 MLB draft, where the Pirates selected first overall. After bouncing around many websites covering hockey, he refocused his attention to baseball, his first love when it comes to sports. He eventually found himself here at Pirates Prospects in late 2021, where he covers the team’s four full season minor league affiliates.
As far as im concerned, there’s a clear competition for the LH OF role.
i had originally been hoping for Njigba over Mitchell, but Swaggerty may be entering the derby.
Reynolds Suwinski Swaggerty would be an interesting trio
the sooner Mitchell gets comfortable at 1b, the better.
Njigba looked bad today, espec against a LH. Three K’s on the day.
Tbh I really don’t care what he does vs lefties!
What exactly is the argument in favor of Roansy Contreras being demonstrably better of a two-pitch starter than Luis Ortiz?
First I haven’t seen anyone argue Roansy over Ortiz. He is just further along the usual pathway to the majors.
Second, If Ortiz is better that will show itself soon enough. Doesn’t require “takes” to see that.
And Ortiz probably is a more likely impact starter because his velocity is easy and consistent. Roansy is a different pitcher when sitting 93-95 vs his peaks last year in the high 90s. Ortiz has high 90s period.
we arent ready for the “roansy is solid but kinda overrated” conversation, nmr
After the last couple of years, sign me up for solid.
*cracks knuckles* wait til you hear the takes I’m brewing
He came from the Yankees? lol
Bases loaded no out B9th. Got out of jam!! I obviously picked the right game to watch!
Analytics said 93.1% probability of Jays win. I’ll have to remember that, 6.9% chance of Bucs getting out of that situation. But all Milb players, would it be the same for MLB players? Anyway, odds are slim of escaping.
Chatwood can be the first cut. Right now. Right this moment.
He’s coming off shoulder surgery last June. At best, he seems like a guy who would need to go to Altoona and work his way back.
No one try jinxing this, they deserve it
Moreta is a keeper based on one inning.
Really has a presence on the mound with all the goods to boot. Awesome
We got Moreta for Newman, right? In any case, he looked good in his inning against the Jays, though of course it was against their subs.
Yeah a big asterisk…..A and AA batters!
Burrows control was wild, kept the hitters on their toes. But got thru 2 IP against 1-6 starters…..best lineup he’s faced.
Perhaps he can use the late-stage Steven Brault method: throw for the center and confuse the hitters because even he doesn’t know where the ball is going.
Out to lunch with wife, check scores and see that the near opening day line up is getting no hit, sad.
These hitters just look awful. Almost no hard contact. If it was one game, that’d be one thing, but it’s 3+ years of the same dreary nothingness.
They scored 7 runs per game every other spring game. The up and down with every game is ridiculous.
Well, just a couple of days ago Haines was implying that their struggles last year were due to him not being allowed to have contact with the players in the offseason (to be fair, it was more Brown making that excuse for him).
Very nice catch in the RF corner by Terrero.
R5 guy looked good. Slider was better.
Yerry looks bad. Mostly 91-92, no command of slider.
But Swaggerty has a great arm.
Wasnt he more like 94-95 last year? Thats what i thought at least, swags really trying to earn his spot
if there’s one thing we’ve learned from ST games so far, its that the Bucs are really consistent in giving up lots of runs to opposing teams
And striking out
HA, ya they’re really proficient at K’ing
Lol reading your mind: Andy Haines questions
where in the world is tyler sanmiego
Buck Martinez — HOF announcer imo.
In draft news, well not news exactly, BA mock today has Skenes 2nd, Dollander 4th.
For those of you following on GameDay, Keller’s cutter is getting label a slider.
I was gonna say, 3+ mph faster than last year?!?
Keller keeps getting two strikes, then can’t get the out.
A familiar refrain for him.
Keller gives up a two run bomb, then covers late on a roller to first. Fundamentals a la Shelton.
During Shelton’s first spring training, the players gushed about how nice it was to finish their workouts much earlier in the day than what had been true under Hurdle. I don’t know if that’s continued, but I recall thinking at the time that it seemed pretty short-sighted. But then I felt like Shelton spent his entire first couple of seasons trying to be Mr. Popularity.
Gee, and Hurdle’s last teams sucked on defense. It seemed like they should have spent a lot more time practicing.
The 2018 Pirates were about league average in defensive efficiency, so to be accurate, Hurdle’s last team and we know that everything went wrong in 2019. But in 2019 when we had to rely on a defense of Moran, Bell, Cabrera, and Diaz, it’s hard for me to pin the blame on Hurdle. But in any case, I’d think a new manager would want to spend more time on fundamentals, not less.
But hey, I want Shelton to succeed too. But he started to lose me when he repeatedly referred to his job as keeping things fun (not because I don’t think they should have fun but because it sounded like he didn’t want accountability for wins and losses). I’m much more impressed when a coach/manager chooses to share the blame when their team doesn’t perform.
Camp is WAY more relaxed now. They don’t do much besides some very laid back IF drills and BP.
Any idea of how that compares to the good teams that train in Florida, like the Rays and Yankees? I don’t think relaxed has to be bad but when you’re coming off the three worst seasons in Pirates’ history, maybe that should change.
Watch out, dangerously close to suggesting the Pirates need to make a change before the season even opens! I thought it was stupid keeping him longer than 10 minutes after the final out of the 2022 season, so I support you 100%.
Fire him and give Don Kelly the opportunity.
Roansy balks in a run. Fundamentals.
Contreras threw a change 89mph, line for a hit to RF by Varsho.
Roansy hit 96 a few times, then 94 rest of inning. Still a two pitch pitcher by my eyes.
Well, one blip but otherwise very good first inning. Keller 96-98.
Didn’t look like a bad pitch to Volpe either, sometimes gotta tip the cap to a good hitter. Interesting Lameday classified the pitch as a “Sweeper”
I’m rooting for Swaggerty to force his way onto the roster; having a true CF is its own reward, but it also allows the team to be more flexible with Joe and Bae. Following the dominos, the result that you hope would eventuate is Owings doesn’t actually make the roster and you have a sub-optimal backup SS problem, but let’s face it – that’s not this team’s biggest worry, not even among the top 5. The veteranosity/service time result, of course, would be to roster Owings and send Bae to Indy, which while I would hope we’re past that point by now, you can’t rule it out with this front office.
It’ll be interesting to see what they do.
split screen a team and b team games at the same time
Is the game against Toronto televised?
It’s on MLB tv
MLBTV is carrying it.
Much appreciated, thanks
Lets Go Bucs!!
Custodio, Terrero, Rivas and Escotto are here. It’d be fun if a couple of them got in. +++ for split squads.
Of note, Blake Sabol hit a HR for SFG yesterday & has hit well so far this spring. Small sample obvi, but will be monitoring him
Real good test for Roansy vs Jays. Springer, Bichette, Vlad, Varsho, Chapman, Merrifield. Ok, this is going to be a two TV screen day.
Great song choice…
Hopefully Swaggerty can turn into some form of Kevin kiermaier. Having a plus defender in center field and moving Reynolds to left field will help the pirates a ton. The pirates pushing Reynolds to move back to left field and Reynolds willingness to move because it’s best for the team is a great sign to me. I have a really good feeling about the 2023 season.
BC was just on High Heat and he was asked if Reynolds would be in a Pirate uniform at the end of the season, he sure danced around the question without answering it. Starting to think he’ll be moved at the deadline
Of course he would dance around it because at this point it would be a pure guess. Will come down to what is offered by those shopping. If they get a solid offer he will be gone. If not so solid, he stays. Not going to lose any sleep over it.
I like seeing Swaggerty starting with the Varsity squad vs Braves. I also like seeing Hedges is catching Roansy instead of Mitch.
What’s the difference?
The top 4 are locks for the rotation. Velasquez is lock for either the 5th starter or a long relief job. Oviedo is battling for a 6th SP job or the next guy up if an injury occurs. Still not sure if Bolton will be an SP or RP this year. Chatwood is early season depth. Ortiz will start in AAA.
mlbtraderumors has a piece about Liberty Media, who are the owners of the Braves and a publicly traded company, so they have to open their books to the public. It said they made $588 million in Braves-related revenue, but also reported a slight operating loss. I’m not an accountant, so I will stop there. But, it would be really interesting to see if someone (Ethan?) could go through their report, and get a good read on what their revenues and costs really are, is that not one of Holy Grails of the baseball labor agreement questions, that no team ever opens their books to the public?
Would love to see Ethan take a look at that and dumb it down for us.
Looked at the financials associated with the article. Being a professional bean counter I can tell you that the report only shows summary figures and can’t deduce much from them. Would love to see the full financials and could give you some better insight.
I’m sure you can see it on the liberty media website.
There’s not much detail; it’s consolidated. When you exclude Battery revenues and expenses, operating profit is roughly $48mm, or an 8% margin. Super low for a business that generates $535mm in revenue.
A more interesting number is the fixed portion of expenses that is SG&A, which I would assume isn’t materially different club to club. Also, they have about $275mm in current assets and $545mm in debt. These numbers can help to build some relationships when applying to other clubs.
Haven’t gotten that ambitious yet. Counting beans at work at the moment. Well, and commenting here, lol!!
Guaranteed to be good bedtime reading.
Yeah thills galore!!!…….zzzzzzzzzzzzz
Curiosity got to the best of me (did not kill this cat…..yet) and looked at the Liberty media site and what they have published are consolidated reports for all of their entities but no specifics for each one. Bummer!!!
I wonder if as a contingency by MLB to sell a team to a public conglomerate, they could contractually (or by 30 gentlemen’s agreement) mandate that the publically held company never reports individual entities numbers. You would think shareholders could get the breakdowns though??
I am sure there are ways to get the financials for the various parts that make up the summary reports since it is a publicly held company. Many shareholders don’t really care about the dirty details as long as the investment is performing well. Now, if things started going ugly with certain segments, shareholders and people looking to buy shares would certainly want to see the dirty details at that point. Too much effort for me.
“I can turn a $4m profit into a $2m loss and get every national accounting firm to agree with me.” – former Blue Jyas exec Paul Beeston
The amount of wealth baseball owners are generating for themselves would blow people’s minds if they don’t appreciate America’s f*cked up tax policy.
Almost 100% of the purchase price can be depreciated over the first 15 years after acquisition; it’s called roster depreciation allowance (RDA). Now just add some bloated expenses to create a huge paper loss, and there you have your billionaire’s tax shelter.
Alert the media, we agree on a fiscal matter. There’s no doubt our tax policy needs an overhaul. I doubt we’re in agreement on what would be better though.
The current system is great for politicians and really good tax attorneys, which in turn makes it good for sleazy people/corporations. Unfortunately, there’s a 0.0% chance it will change meaningfully in our lifetime.
Braves and Blue Jays are owned by publicly traded corporations, thus they are forced to share financial information.
Nothing earth shattering in this year’s report. Revenues were up slightly and profits were down slightly due to higher payroll. Liberty Media is doing well on their investment in the Braves. So well in fact, it’s all but certain they will pass the luxury tax threshold for the first time.
If Swags can hit, get on base, it’s easily the best combination of having him in CF flanked by B-Rey and Jack. While also not completely tossing out the idea of B-Rey, Swags, and CSN from left to right. Jack’s K’s still worry me, with 4 so far in 7 ABs this spring.
If ANYONE can hit and get on base, they should find a spot for him on the roster. Given that Swag’s defense likely isn’t as fickle as Jack/CSN’s offense, I think the realistic best case is Swag is ok enough offensively, and Jack/Cutch provide a damn good platoon in right.
IMO Joe should get some time in the corner OF as well.
From seeing Jack at Pirate City taking BP, he looked awful & looks like someone who should start at AAA to get regular AB’s to get used to his new stance.
Ji Man Choi’s debut! Was wondering where he’s been
Also Liover’s debut at 2B maybe?
In my personal and somewhat shaky attempt to assess Pirate prospects’ (not Prospect’s!), I’ve forgotten that Swaggerty was drafted in 2018. That’s a long time ago for a college player drafted in the 1st round, #8 I think. Obviously, someone thought highly of him. Yet in all this time we fans know very little about him regarding performance. Like all prospects’, he lost the COVID season, I believe he was marinating with others in Altoona, and he seems to have been either injured or recovering from injury way too often. Last year, he was promoted to the majors but saw very little playing time before being returned to Indianapolis. Who is he, as a player? Is he a future piece or is he taking up a spot another prospect could use to complete their development? It’s time we found out.
Glove has always been MLB ready & check out his historical ability to get on base:
Yes it’s early but he seems like a man on a mission this Spring
Thanks for the suggestion. I’ve known he’s a highly rated defensive outfielder. That aside, I went to baseball reference and made some calculations for only his time in professional baseball, which includes 4 minor league seasons and 9 MLB plate appearances. Some base numbers: AB (1106), PA (1268), H (279), K (303), BB (142), and HBP (7). The results: BA (.252), OBP (.337), %K (23.9), and %BB (11.2).
1268 plate appearances in 4 years says he’s been ‘on the shelf’ a lot and the resulting metrics are mediocre for a player with an OPS less than .730. They don’t resemble a #1 draft pick. That said, as I noted earlier, he’s not spent much time on field when he was 100% physically. So, I repeat, let’s find out.
His upside is Harrison Bader, in my opinion, and I think he has a pretty decent shot at attaining it with the right opportunity.
I think that’s pretty valuable. First round or not, which is really not important any longer. Is he better than other options or not is all that matters.
Switch Castro with Marcano & who else really likes this lineup?
I think my line up on OD would be:
Hedges C (hide him here)
Jack, Joe, Bae, back up catcher on the bench
I think they are looking for a #9 in the mold of the second lead off hitter to hit “in front” of Cruz. Get Oneill the #1 spot (ala Barry Bonds circa 1988) and have him someone to get on for him to drive in the 2nd-4th times through the order. Both TS and Bae really fit the bill for that role….
like Jack more than Choi
I am REALLY rooting for TS to grab that CF spot. It would clean up so much of the “weird” of having corner outfielders and/or middle infielders trying out at the position. I like Reynolds in LF and I love Bae as the super U (but he might start in Indy and marinate there for a month). I say this as a life long fan of the Andy Van Slyke days-if we could find a reasonable facsimile for this generation of Pirates, that would be huge!
I’ve been dreaming of the next Slyke for decades. Literally wake up in the middle of the night and scream 18! Wife gets freaked out but she is from Charleston SC and not Pittsburgh. She doesn’t understand.
tell me more,
I guess I like players that play/played with passion. And I guess I felt like Slyke, Kendall, and some others through the years genuinely hated losing more than they like winning. Probably why I liked Jack Wilson too. Diving all over the place pissing off whoever had to clean the uniforms. Like a little league parent.
Dude came back and threw the ball to the cut off man.
I used to love the feeling that any fly ball between the gaps was almost always an out when Andy was out there.
I just went back and watched several AVS highlight compilations on Youtube. Gosh, I loved those teams! 1990-92 for sure, and the excitement of ’87-89 building up to it….
Nonchalant until the end. Not showing his hand. Back off Reedus.
I didn’t have pin up girl next door posters in my room like the other guys my age. I had Van Slyke and Bonilla posters (this was before fat-heads)…AVS was who I always wanted to be. Found out later he wasn’t/isn’t the nicest person in the world, but boy howdy, could he play baseball! Favorite plays were when he would pull the ball down the 1B line at TRS
and you KNEW he was going to be in for the triple!
I never looked into his character. Just like to think of him as the “cool uncle” type. I like Jose “Chico” Lind a bunch too. Supposedly he could jump over a man standing up. Or so I was told and believed 30 years ago.
Guess it was true.
He’s starting today against the Yankees, split squad.
Hit a big bomb ding dong and gets the start beside B-Rey. I like it.
Interesting . . . .
would be a big shot in the arm if this guy turned into something
Perhaps a real center fielder? It’s been a while.