The Indianapolis Indians got off to a fantastic start to their season on Friday, putting up five runs in the first inning against the Omaha Storm Chasers. Since then, they have been outscored 20-1.
Caleb Smith Struggles
Brought in as a minor league free agent, it seemed like Smith was going to get a chance to win a bullpen spot. That seemed even more true when Jarlin Garcia got hurt.
Turns out they wanted to work him in as a starter, as he got the nod for the second game of the season for Indianapolis. Things didn’t start out bad, as he actually recorded outs on the first seven batters he faced.
He allowed eight hits, eight runs and two home runs, while walking three the rest of the way, pitching 4.2 innings on the day.
It makes sense that the Pirates keep a veteran of sorts in the Indianapolis rotation, especially with the amount of prospects there already. It creates a situation where if they need a call up (would have to add him to the 40-man) for an extra starter, maybe one that is going to take a beating (like Jerad Eickhoff last year), as opposed to using one of your prospects.
It was a very windy day in Indianapolis, as there were storms moving all over the country on Saturday. That alone helped add some difficulty to an already tough day in the field for Indianapolis.
Miguel Andujar especially had a tough day at first base. After Caleb Smith was able to successfully catch a runner trying to steal, once the throw got to Andujar, he had problems getting it out his glove before sailing the throw. The runner ended up safe – and scoring.
Andujar also had a near collision with Tyler Heinemen on a pop up, where neither seemed to realize the other was in on the ball.
Chris Owings struggled too, picking up an error, while also having another close call that ended up not being recorded as one. Travis Swaggerty had a throwing error on the day.
Swing And Miss Issues
It’s two games, so take any data of any types with a grain of salt. It is only noteworthy because of who it is, as some of those swing and miss issues have emerged once again for Nick Gonzales.
He’s swung at nine non-fastballs in two games, and has missed at six of them. He’s not the only one, as Swaggerty has a few whiffs on off-speed pitches as well.
Indianapolis has struck out 15 times in the first two games, with seven of those coming from Swaggerty and Gonzales.
Pirates Prospects Daily
By John Dreker
Pirates play at 1:40 PM today with Vince Velasquez on the mound. Indianapolis starts at 1:35 PM with Mike Burrows on the mound. The Pirates lineup will be added below once it becomes available.
**Pirates Recap: Offense Tumbles Down The Hill Pirates are on pace for 81 wins.
**Prospect Watch: Indianapolis Suffers a One-Sided Defeat Indianapolis is on pace for zero wins
**Minor Moves: A Plethora of Pirates Players Hit the Injured List Lots of minor league moves added yesterday, none of them good.
**Pirates Draft Prospects: Max Clark is a High Upside Bat to Watch Part five of our draft profile series
**Endy Rodriguez Feeling No Pressure and Enjoying the Game Ryan Palencer catches up to Endy Rodriguez
**Pirates Prospects Daily: Bryan Reynolds Negotiations Could Be Reaching the Finish Line
**Pirates DVR: Endy Rodriguez Home Run, Travis Swaggerty Double, Nick Gonzales Hit
Song of the Day
The series finale vs. the Reds.
📺 AT&T SportsNet
📻 93.7 The Fan | The PRN#LetsGoBucs pic.twitter.com/w5rG4g3VdZ
— Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) April 2, 2023
Series finale Sunday! pic.twitter.com/9n559kOw4y
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) April 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.
They look pretty awful all right there’s no getting around that. It’s hard to envision any significant improvement until there’s a managerial change.
They could have signed DeGrom and Bassitt and still be 1 – 2……or .333 come September…….with this inept offense.
This new look deeper line-up looks a lot like last year’s lineup, but with more mentoring.
Our new cleanup hitter is showing the kids how it’s done. No RBIs, 11 runners stranded.
Hayes with a whopping .083 batting average
the era of Crowe, Underwood and De Jong is coming to an end
I don’t get the hate for Underwood. Posting it here B Mcf… because it is stated by many more than just you. To me he is incredibly boring and mediocre. That may sound damning, but we (and most teams) cycle many worse through their bullpens. Would I terribly miss him, is he game changer -> of course not, but he is what he is. On the Pirates that may make him the 4th/5th guy in the bullpen and many other teams 6th or 7th, but I still think he is a mediocre MAJOR league caliber reliever.
Cruz could have tagged……if he has this amazing sprint speed with long stride?? Ball was on warning track. Come on Brock.
Don’t agree, but I also don’t agree that he hasn’t attempted to steal.
Gotta challenge the rookie out there, also with the element of surprise.
But Cruz has to know what to do there. Can’t be going half-way.
Down one run. I’d send him. Not down two.
Down two is why I’d send him. Gotta get him in scoring position as the tying run.
I was talking about Castro. Cruz should’ve been stealing with 2 outs.
He didn’t even have a big lead. Never even considered stealing.
The steal rate is 90% success with the closer bases. That data probably hasn’t made it’s way to DS yet!
Pirates claimed RHP Edwin Uceta off waivers and put Brubaker on the 60-day IL. I’m sure Uceta will do just as well as all of BC’s other waiver wonders.
Is that their weird ass way of announcing that JT is done for the year?
I’m sure they’ll clarify that next spring.
We’ll see how much Shelton wants to win in the 8th. He’s gotta PH for Hedges…….Castro or CSN to lead-off.
Castro vs Lefty
Yeah. CSN (like Suwinski and Choi) is terrible against LHPs.
Choi was terrible period today. 3 strikeouts. Two of them looking.
The actual worst move of the offseason? Keeping Andy Haines
So far this year they’re 3-for-18 wRISP, among other problems. The Haines juggernaut just chugs along.
And one of those 3 was the Cruz swinging bunt that went 12 feet
Vince pitches like this all season and the Pirates got a bargain and a steady arm in the rotation.
Three runs over 4.2 IP? No thanks.
I was expecting worse and expect worse to come but he only served up a couple and had better stuff than I expected. He’ll eat innings.
People have always liked his stuff. It’s why he keeps getting chances despite never being a good pitcher in an eight-year career. He actually almost exactly met expectations. His ERA as a starter the last three years was 5.87. After one start against a crappy team, it’s now 5.72.
It’s what $3.1 million buys these days
Cruz misplayed a ground ball that cost him a run. But I think he’s going to be mediocre to bad most games due to his iffy stuff and command.
Cutch gift each of his teammates a custom made belt with their number in front of the shade of red
I have seen this same shade of red in arm sleeves and elbow guards
Are we by chance bringing back these hats and jersey´s?
“Give that man a contract!”
I basically don’t like the big leg kicks that the Asian hitters subscribe to. They may think it gives them addl power or EV?? But Bae should reduce his…….I mean unless you have Ichiro’s skills……even Ohtani has eliminated his leg kick that he came over with. It’s just too hard to time up MLB pitches with solid contact.
I don’t like the running to 1b as they are swinging.
I’m fine with Bae doing that, since speed is his best tool
He needs to get on base to use that tool, he can only beat so many weak grounders!
Against Ashcraft’s cutter, right hand batters need to hit it hard to right field.
anybody know what “cards” Bob and Greg are talking about on the telecast?
the cards that defense carries in their pocket……mostly applies to IFers based on which Pirate is pitching. But I think OF have cards too.
A 2- 1 hitter’s pitch to Key and he looks like he’s back to his old dysfunctional swing, cuts under the ball for a soft pop-up.
With Cutch in RF, I’m thinking about the DH. If Shelton pulls Cutch in late innings (as he probably should for defense), we lose his bat too. There’s no way of flipping him to DH. Choi could go in to play 1B, but pitcher then bats in Santana’s spot. Oh well, just trying to get up to speed for the new season!
Here’s hoping the start of the VV era (eh, maybe not the right word…. Epoch? 😋) begins way better than lots of folks are expecting. 👍
Its already better than I was expecting
Ya, I went with “way better” for my hopes because I think for most ppl the bar wasn’t set terribly high.
Lets Go Bucs!
I’m sure glad DS didn’t give us a Sunday lineup today. I do wonder why Roansy is #5 SP to start the season. He’s clearly got better stuff than other members of the staff.
if you´re not first, you´re last
So they are trying to teach Andujar (age 28) how to play 1B, rather than Cal Mitchell? They’ll need a new first baseman in 2024. Seems like Mitchell would make more sense.
Probably due to fact he has experience playing 3B.
ashcraft is an rhp, but right-handed batters ops .901 against him, and lefties just .555
Thank you… I was about to post how unusual the lineup looked unless Ashcroft has weird splits! Still a tad bummed we won’t see the young LH outfielders .
When does the rest of the minor league teams start playing games?
Altoona is Thursday and Greensboro and Bradenton on Friday.
Much thanks. Thought it maybe this monday. Go baby bucs.
I’m not a big fan of vets (who don’t seem that good) taking up roster spots but your point is very valid. When they are really needed IMO is in 40 man management. There are times (I think for ALL teams) where you need a 2 week stop gap at a position and while you can temporarily get some 40 man room, you also know you want that space back. So you recall somebody (usually a vet) who you add to the 40 for 2 weeks knowing that you will be dropping them in about 2 weeks. While you may want them back in the minors, if you lose them on waivers it is not a real loss. Hello Caleb Smith.