In an all-around awful display of baseball, the Pirates lost to Detroit, 10-7, at LECOM Park. The pitching was bad, but the sort of dismal defensive display that’s been a hallmark of Derek Shelton’s teams didn’t help. The Pirates are now 3-8-2 on the spring.
Starter Rich Hill was fine. He should have gotten three scoreless innings, but he made the mistake of picking a runner off first with runners at the corners and two outs in the third. The Pirates naturally botched the rundown and let the runner on third “steal” home.
Five relievers followed Hill and every one except Osvaldo Bido gave up at least one run. The runs were all earned, but the Pirates committed three errors, two of which contributed to rallies. In particular, none of the pitchers other than Hill showed any familiarity with the strike zone. Excluding Hill, the Pirates threw only 74 of 141 pitches for strikes. Apparently they thought Oscar Marin wanted them to fill the Ozone.
Wil Crowe, Angel Perdomo and Colin Selby were especially bad. Crowe gave up two runs on a double, triple and home run. The triple was a grounder past Carlos Santana at first that a first baseman with a little agility might have gotten.
Like Jose Hernandez yesterday, Perdomo missed an opportunity to impress with Jarlin Garcia out. He threw a scoreless inning, but let the first two runners reach, with one scoring, in his second inning. That brought on Colin Selby, who got hammered for three runs of his own along with letting Perdomo’s second runner score.
Yohan Ramirez deserved better, although he struggled to throw strikes like all the others. He gave up a run with the help of Jack Suwinski, playing center, who lost yet another fly ball in the sun. The final run came off Nate Webb, who gave up two hits and a walk in the eighth.
The job competition, aside from the bullpen, showed a little progress. Ji-Hwan Bae, playing short, and Tucupita Marcano, at second, each went 2-for-3, with Marcano getting a double. They also each had defensive flubs, though. Canaan Smith-Njigba had a single, as did Malcom Nunez, who’s been reassigned to minor league camp. Ryan Vilade, who’s still on the roster, and Travis Swaggerty each went 0-for-2. Vilade, who’s still on the roster, is batting .133.
The guys who aren’t in the job hunt contributed a lot of the offense, which has been a pattern. Nick Gonzales singled both times up. He’s having a good spring, batting .357. Endy Rodriguez had a double in two times up. He has five hits on the spring, which is just two fewer than Austin Hedges, Jason Delay, Kevin Plawecki and Tyler Heineman combined.
The biggest hit was a three-run bomb by Drew Maggi in the ninth, which made the game look more competitive than it was. Maggi now leads the team in home runs with two.
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.
Just for S&G
Blake Sabol – .462/.533/1.154/1.687 OPS, 3 doubles, 2 HR, 5 RBI
Ok starting to worry a little with keeping Vilade on the 40 over sabol.
Rule 5’s are a huge gamble. I’m thrilled he got the opportunity and is doing the best he can with that. But, I doubt that we have heard the last from the Giants on this subject.
Also makes me wonder how a kid can leave us and hit this well for another team – are the Pirates that piss-poor with hitting coaches? Hell, we have a hitting coach and a Manager who supposedly had been a hitting coach for other teams.
I love that Vilade now has a Native American name:
Randy Vilade Who’s Still On The Roster
Did we get anything out of the Josh Bell trade besides Joey Mooney happy crow day posts? Or whoever posted that?
Bell might have been DFAed for nothing after the season. Crowe looked good last year and Bell is now an Guardian
Nope not really.
Thought so. I’d trade Yean and Crowe for the chance to know Joey is doing well. Hell, throw in Villade while I’m at it.
Let us hope Gonzales has found his stroke.
I expect he will start at AAA opposite Liover Peguero, and it should be a very important season for him.
The Pirates have a boatload of very capable 2B starting with Castro, Bae, Peguero, Gonzales, and Triolo, and most can also play one or two other positions well. I give the Pirates credit for developing that 2B/Utility strength. I have been a Castro fan for years, but the gloves, bats, and footspeed of Bae and Triolo are hard to beat.
And, it may be a good time to talk to teams who are missing MI’s, such as Lux in LA and Rodgers in Colorado. I want to keep them all, but it will be damn near impossible to find PT for all at the MLB level.
Speaking of Colorado, the Pirates already have their 3rd best prospect in 2022 by Fangraphs – Ryan Vilade!
Come on, MJ. None of those dudes would start at the keystone for the Dodgers. Hell, not one of them would crack LA’s 26 man.
You may be right, but the Dodgers are taking a real conservative approach this year. The Rockies, OTOH, are terrible, so somebody going there would be assured of a legit opportunity.
Will Jared Triolo get a hit before HE gets reassigned? Inquiring minds want to know.
I’ve seen him hit the ball well a few times, he’s just not getting any breaks.
As have I. It IS encouraging. But, I bet he goes to Indy. Which is probably good, since he’d get to play regularly.