Here are some minor moves around the Pittsburgh Pirates system ahead of the new week on the schedule. We already heard yesterday that there was a move involving the catcher situation in Greensboro. Another move was made today in response.
The big news for today is that third baseman Jared Triolo has joined Indianapolis after rehabbing with Bradenton for a week, following hamate surgery. He went 7-for-16, with four RBIs and a 1.188 OPS during his rehab.
The 25-year-old Triolo was added to the Pirates 40-man roster this past off-season. He’s one of the top defensive players in the system, along with a solid OBP guy, who has a little pop in his bat and decent speed.
After Wyatt Hendrie was promoted to Greensboro, the Pirates filled that opening at the catcher position for Bradenton with Omar Alfonzo, who has been working out at Pirate City during Extended Spring Training.
Alfonzo was a highly rated catching prospect when he was signed on his 16th birthday by the Pirates back in 2019. Due to the canceled 2020 season, he debuted in the DSL in 2021, where he posted a .762 OPS in 39 games. That’s a solid number for the pitcher-friendly league.
Alfonzo wasn’t able to repeat that performance last year in the FCL, where he hit .144/.276/.202 in 33 games. He’s playing almost all of this season at 19 years old, so there is plenty of development time left. His father Eliezer Alfonzo caught six years in the majors, while his cousin Edgar Alfonzo was an All-Star infielder during his 12-year big league career.
In other news, Bradenton outfielder Jauri Custodio was placed on a 7-day Injured List. The 21-year-old is hitting .227/.340/.318 in 16 games this season.
Domingo Leyba has been placed on the 7-day IL for Altoona. The 27-year-old infielder, who has big league experience, is hitting .329/.404/.456 in 22 games.
Greensboro pitcher Braxton Ashcraft has been placed on the Development List. I’m guessing this is either planned rest in his return from Tommy John surgery, or he will just be taken off of the list when it’s his time to start this week. He has a 2.60 ERA, an 0.92 WHIP and 20 strikeouts over 17.1 innings this season.
If anything else pops up today, we will update it here.
John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.
When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.
I hope Hendrie to Greensboro is permanent and not just a battlefield promotion. He’s repeating the league after hitting slightly better than league average last year, and he’s already 24.
With Gutierrez also repeating (at GBO) and Bins back at Altoona after spending most of the year a level higher, I’d really like to see some realignment of the catching throughout the system.
IND – Endy & Bins (when he’s back)
ALT – Davis & Gutierrez (upon return from IL)
GBO – Wilson & Hendrie
BRA – Planchart, Cimillo & Alfonzo
I’d add Shockley in there somewhere because his defense is legit but he never gets consistent ABs. I don’t know why they didn’t leave him in Indianapolis instead of Koch.
Yeah I think there’s a 3rd catcher at the top 3 levels as well, among Shockley, Koch and Luis Hernandez.
Wilson is also on the IL, so there’s plenty of room for all of the third-string catchers. That was dangerous though when Koch was briefly the starting catcher for Indy. Pirates were one injury with Delay/Hedges away from experimenting with no backup catcher at the big league level, maybe just a cardboard cutout of the injured one from those two
Good bloodlines for Alfonzo, hope he sticks in Bradenton!