The Pittsburgh Pirates go for the sweep against the Colorado Rockies this afternoon, with Johan Oviedo on the mound. The Pirates are off to an 11-7 start, and could be riding high coming home from Denver with a sweep today.
Anthony Murphy wrote about the pitch that is fueling Oviedo’s strong beginning to the 2023 season.
Johan Oviedo: The Pitch That Has Helped Unlock His Full Arsenal
If you missed yesterday’s coverage, the Pirates won thanks to two homers from Jack Suwinski. In the minors, the Pirates had a lot of welcome pitching performances. Also from yesterday, John Dreker reported that the Pirates have added two pitchers to their international signing class.
Suwinski seems to love Coors Field, with three homers in the last two games. Anthony Murphy wrote today about how the Pirates are being selective with his usage, leading to better results.
Pirates Prospects Daily: Less Is Becoming More For Jack Suwinski
PIRATES AT ROCKIES
Game Time: 3:10 PM EST
Pirates Starter: Johan Oviedo (1-1, 2.45)
Rockies Starter: Austin Gomber (0-3, 8.16)
The finale in Colorado.
📺 AT&T SportsNet
📻 KDKA 100.1 FM & 1020 AM | The PRN #LetsGoBucs pic.twitter.com/Ixz7UHHDv9
— Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) April 19, 2023
INDIANAPOLIS AT MEMPHIS
Game Time: 1:05 PM EST
Projected Starter: Kent Emanuel, LHP (0-0, 0.00)
Luis Ortiz had a great start last night. After a laborious first inning, he settled down and ended up with five shutout frames. With that start, Ortiz now has a 2.08 ERA in 17.1 innings this season in Triple-A. He’s got 18 strikeouts and seven walks.
The Pirates’ starting pitching depth has taken a hit after injuries to JT Brubaker and Mike Burrows. Ortiz and Osvaldo Bido are both pitching well for Indianapolis right now, showing that some depth still remains. Obviously the big guy that everyone is waiting on is Quinn Priester, who was featured today by Ryan Palencer:
Quinn Priester’s Athleticism Fuels In-Game Adjustments on the Mound
ALTOONA VS BOWIE
Game Time: 11:00 AM EST
Projected Starter: Justin Meis, RHP (0-1, 6.43)
I really liked the start from Kyle Nicolas last night. The right-hander, acquired in the Jacob Stallings trade, went six innings, allowing one run. What I really liked was that he only walked two batters. Nicolas is a future starter in the majors if he can gain some consistency with his control.
Justin Meis is on the mound this morning for Altoona. I saw him in Greensboro last year, and he was perfect on that day. He had been working on adding more north-south movement to his game this offseason. Thus far, he’s been hit a lot in his first two starts in Double-A.
GREENSBORO VS GREENVILLE
Game Time: 6:30 PM EST
Projected Starter: Anthony Solometo, LHP (0-0, 5.87)
Anthony Solometo takes the mound today for his first home start in Greensboro. You can now watch their home games on MiLB.tv, so this will be a good game to watch after the Pirates game. Solometo gave up four runs in 3.2 innings in his last outing, following one run in four innings in his High-A debut.
What I’ll be watching for in the debut is the park factors. Solometo might not be as impacted by the hitter friendly park in Greensboro. Most of what makes it hitter friendly is a smaller outfield, which is especially power friendly to right. As a lefty, Solometo should be able to limit the damage to the most dangerous part of that park.
BRADENTON VS DAYTONA
Game Time: 1:05 PM EST
Projected Starter: Wilber Dotel, RHP (0-0, 8.10)
I love the start from Jesus Castillo in Bradenton. Last year’s FCL batting champion is hitting for a .394/.553/.424 line in his first ten games in Single-A. His plate patience is off the charts, with 12 walks and five strikeouts. The downside is that he’s not hitting for much power, and that wasn’t a factor to his game last year. He has spent most of his time at second base this year, with two starts each at shortstop and third base.
Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.
Just tune in to the Grasshopper’s stream, Wow. Great CF angle and very clear video. Well done!
Throughout the rebuild, I have always thought this could be the year they could flirt with .500 with contention following in ‘24. I then did my annual run through the schedule where I put down my unscientific W-L record for each homestand and road trip. It usually comes out pretty close in the end but I was disappointed when I landed on 73-89. I am excited now because at 12-7, they are 5 games above the 7-12 projection I had for this point. Have some optimism that the flirtation with .500 is very possible, while dreaming of more!
Do not despair or overindulge in expectation. This team is on the rise. At this point win-loss is just an indication of direction not contention or championship caliber. Sit back and fret over the mistakes to come and enjoy those moments of baseball at its best. Finally, the Pirates can deliver some of those moments.
I totally agree. Just nice to see some pieces spear to be coming together and we can enjoy some competitive baseball.
wise words my friend!
Of course, we Pirate fans cannot expect that performance every day but, I must say, wow! This cast of players is a colossal improvement over the last few rosters. Not only an improvement, but a solid core is emerging. I want to take a breath because there are still some issues and growing pains to go through, but hope is quickly becoming expectation. Not necessarily this year, but soon this team will contend. And to think, there are more assets on the way. Ben Cherington and his entire organization seem to have done it right. They deserve credit. Hopefully Bob Nutting will join the parade.
Well said as I agree with pretty much everything in your post.
Welp 6 series in and 2 sweeps. Had 4 all of last season. Was surprised they had 4 with that team last year.
Also sweeps on the road!
since i can’t post images.
Moreta without adrenaline is not much fun to watch.
Rockies should just use position players as openers, would get better results.
Pirates really need a late inning defensive shortstop. Maybe the Reds have someone that they will trade for a minor league reliever?
You think they’d trade him for Dauri Moreta?
How about slightly used DeJong instead?
I don’t think we make that trade
So glad they have Hayes. And I’m still somewhat convinced he will be a good SS
Hey all been tracking at work but finally off, this is kinda fun! Lets just never lose again
Well, No HBP by Bard!!
Ramirez effectively wild….I really want to like this guy, his stuff is nasty, his control, nastier..
You don’t mess with the Johan. Or the Yohan.
Strauss or Bach?
It’s sad anyone thought they really had to explain the joke.
It was set up on a tee…..could not pass it up and……did not miss 🤣🤣🤣
In the business, that’s what you call stepping on a joke. The audience can figure it out.
Sorry, just could not help my self ……
Hey, I thought about using that one!
MiL OT, did Bishop get hurt again? See he was replaced for a PH.
No, just wanted to get a game-winning hit.
Frame this moment: Everyone in the lineup is over the Mendoza line.
Haven’t been able to say that since the Trump administration!
Pirates catch a break with the pitching lineup of the Reds. The Reds were going to throw Ashcroft, Cessa, Greene, Lodolo. But with Greene getting hit in the leg, and Luke Weaver coming off of rehab, the lineup right now is Weaver, Ashcraft, Cessa and Greene.
Officially a laugher. I doubt they will, but I would take Oviedo out and give an inning each to Crowe, Moreta, Holderman, and Hernandez.
So . . . I’ve been out doing yard work. Do we have a shot at a sweep?
Leave those lantanas alone!
Planted a bunch more
Of the rest of April? Maybe.
Mathias seems to have settled in. I guess we need to see if he carries this success with him once they leave Colorado, but at least now if he struggles we’ll know it’s not because he’s trying to do too much to make a first impression.
The encouraging thing is where he is hitting them, mostly if not all up the middle.
Remember when we sucked against lefties!
Wow–Castro really is doing everything we hoped Cruz would be doing.
Hitting yes, running meh, fielding nope, but overall I’m sure a lot are more than okay with his performance 👏🏻
458ft 💣 phew!
Conor Joe, hitting machine!
What are those strike calls???… atrocious calls then ejecting Reynolds
that pitch just outside to lefties has been called a strike by all three umps, to the point that yesterday I was asking myself if the strike zone square we see on TV is wrong, and here we are today and now I’m kind off convince that it is……then again I’ve felt that it has been low all season!,!,!
The ump has been mostly consistently calling strikes but that just makes the zone super wide it seems. I don’t think the graphic is just off. It’s… narrower?
Edit – actually, nevermind. Ball 2 and strike 2 are pretty damn close. And one is a ball and one is a strike. Ball is closer to the zone graphics. Pretty illogical
I really don’t know how this ump has an MLB job and it’s so frustrating to think that unlike officials in other sports, there is no accountability for MLB umps.
It’s truly infuriating. People know the bad umps by name like Angel Hernandez and yet the ump union is so strong that nothing ever happens to the guy for being so bad at his job.
And his bad job affects the game score!
I was following on-line and none looked liked strikes.
I will give that strike 3, but Reynolds saw 4 straight balls so should have walked before seeing that strike “3” which was actually strike 1
Can someone look up Oviedo’s ground ball rate? It seems that he’s getting a good amount of them. Would do it myself, if I knew how!
Fangraphs will actually have an updated “Live Stats” section as the game goes on.
It’s 58.3% for the game so far, and 56.9% on the year
Going into this game it was at.56%, on the year, which is very good
Noticed that, and noticed that for his career is just under 50%. If he gets to combine that and strike outs we might have something special here.
go here: https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/o/oviedjo01.shtml
and then look for GB%
Thanks! And thanks for teaching me how to fish!
…what was that?? Bad defense. Get outs quickly please
Pirates keystone combo makes me nervous
What worries me is, I imagine Daniel Bard might come in for some work, but which Bard will we get?
Didn’t he just come back from the IL due to anxiety? Were you trying to drop a pun on us?
No, and I’m not trying to belittle his bout with anxiety. But, it also could present a dangerous situation for Pirates hitters.
I know. I just turned down a trade in fantasy for him and read your comment. I agree. There is nothing funny about anxiety/mental health. Just was a random coincidence.
I think John detailed before how when he was with the Pirates, they had to stop him from throwing, cause he was hitting everyone
Yeah that was the only reason why I brought up the armor. He has extreme heat and can be electric then suddenly all over the place. See the “Wild Thing” in spring training beating the crap out of the metal “batter” before taking it’s head off.
Wonder if that makes players nervous knowing when he was on their team he was wild? No need for HBP’s.
If Diaz tells a batter not to dig in cause he doesn’t know where the ball is going, he would not by lying.
Armor up just in case!
Whoever the Rockies are playing after the Pirates, you’re welcome. I think the Pirates are using all of their relievers
The Phillies are licking their chops !!!
Someone give Greg Brown a Xanax. Keep it real, these are Rockie pitchers in Colorado the Pirates are knocking around. This is fun though so we can all hope this team can be better than expected.
You mean this isn’t the reincarnation of a combination of the Lumber Company and The Big Red Machine?
Phew. Those are some hard hit balls! How many of them were over 100mph exit velo?
So far, 9
Thanks! I was counting up to like 7 and the screen had changed.
Only a couple of hard contacts vs Oviedo is good too 👍🏻👍🏻
A plethora of power! (In my best El Guapo voice)
Damn! I wanted that 10th run.
Better late than never!
Shame on Reynolds and Suwinski. No hit???! 🤭
After his amazing first week of the season, Reynolds has been a below average contributor, but the great thing is that it hasn’t affected the bottom line as much as it used to!
Been well over 40 plate appearances between walks too.
lets go bucs!
This is getting a little awkward. These aren’t soft hits — this is way worse for the Rockies than the first game since it was more just bad defense and aggressive baserunning than piss missiles everywhere. Pirates are leveling Gomber.
Piss missile. Even if I got winning lottery numbers. The phrase piss missile will be what I take from this message board.
Gomber is just groving pecker high watermelons at this point
Can’t see how they leave Gomber in too much longer. Rockies pitching staff — woof.
Can we live here?
Santana trying to get all his sprint work in today I guess. First to third, hauling ass.
Really appreciate the hustle. No one in the Pirates can casually jog around after seeing Santana sprinting like that!
The Big Black and Gold Machine!
Turns out the old man’s bat speed is just fine.
I was so wrong about his signing, and I’m so glad I was!
Man, Cutch is just 🔥🔥🔥🔥
Oviedo’s backdoor slider is pretty damn evil. That was a great AB by Bryant but he’s almost more cruel against LHP as seen right away on the McMahon AB.
Rockies bullpen is not in good shape to throw a lot of innings today, so they may have to leave Gomber out there. Hopefully the Pirates can get a blow out early now.
Last time I saw a team play like this on the road was in ’76 and ’77. Not sure this team is as good but if the pitching holds up, they might be.
Here we go again!!
I really enjoy having Cutch back on the team. Glad he has had a nice start to the season.
agree. Was thinking it’d be funny, yet appropriate to start pounding the table to Extend Cutch
Pound away. When your hands get sore tag me in.