P2Live: Pirates Open Up a Series Against the Toronto Blue Jays; McCutchen Out with Ankle Sprain

The Pittsburgh Pirates (20-12) open up a three-games series against the Toronto Blue Jays (18-14) at PNC Park on Friday night starting at 6:35 PM.

Rich Hill (3-2, 4.18) will be on the mound for the Pirates, taking on right-hander Chris Bassitt (3-2, 5.18).

**Lineup has been adjusted below due to Andrew McCutchen being out with a left ankle sprain.

**The Pirates placed Vince Velasquez on the Injured List today. Chase De Jong returns after a rehab stint with Indianapolis.

**Anthony Murphy looked at how the Pirates could replace Velasquez.

**New mock draft!

**Catchers are on the move around the minors, plus Nick Gonzales returns to action.

If you go to the games this weekend, be sure to share your popcorn with Anthony Bass. Don’t wait too long though, he’s on the verge of getting DFA’d.

In case you were wondering if the umpiring in yesterday’s game was as bad as it looked live, the answer would be yes. It was awful.

Here are today’s lineups



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.

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As I’m sure it’s the same for all of you, watching the Pirates during this 5-game losing streak has been difficult. These losses occurred because the Pirates played horribly. Team tendencies like pitchers throwing too many pitches and allowing too many walks, base runners making foolish decisions, fielding errors at the worst times, and the lack of timely hitting, especially with runners in scoring position, that had disappeared, reappeared. It’s disconcerting for me too. I don’t think this team is heading to a bad end. I think it’s settling into the next phase of learning. There are problems all over the field. They are fixable problems. Being the old codger I am, I learned from listening to Bob Prince that good teams were strong “up the middle.” He meant defensively. This team is not strong up the middle in the infield or in center field when Bae is playing because though he makes some spectacular plays, he’s often out of control. While I’m on Bae let me mention he’s out of control in the infield too, and this evening when he attempted to steal 3rd with no outs and Reynolds at the plate, I almost threw a glass at the TV. Bad baseball doesn’t get better by forcing matters and playing stupid baseball on top of it. Castro is another player at a serious personal juncture. He’s ‘walking on eggshells’ in the field. It seems to me he’s so afraid to make a mistake that he’s destined to make a mistake. The young man currently lacks confidence, me thinks. There are other notable problems but I’m getting tired of writing so just one more. I’m wondering whether Ke’ will ever hit. For now, he’s an offensive liability and has been even when the team was scoring runs. He needs to be inserted into the 8-hole until he figures it out, or that’s where he should remain. I’m not giving up on the Pirates, and neither should any Pirate fan but the growing pains are exasperating.


Growing pains are tough. Don’t make too much out of a rough week.

I don’t think Castro lacks confidence, I think it’s the opposite. He’s trying to do too much. And I think the mistakes last night was reflective of that.


Back in town for the first time this season. Great crowd (lots of Jays fans) and a fun game even with a 4-0 loss. Any chance they had was ruined by running into outs three times in the early innings (all of them ill advised decisions). Or they looked ill advised from section 127. Hoping to get back in July when they get Ohtani for the stretch run.

Wilbur Miller

Meanwhile, in the minors . . .

Ortiz came out after three shutout innings. No obvious reason, so I’d guess they’re keeping their options open.

Nick G returned with a 3-for-5, Endy went 2-for-3.

Otoh, Termarr walked twice but also went 0-for-3 and whiffed twice more.

Wilbur Miller

UPDATE: Endy 3-for-4.


What happened to that aggressiveness at the plate they were showing a week ago. A lot of watching the hittable pitches go by again.

Wilbur Miller

I don’t know whether it’s just today’s game or what. I’m just checking on the Greensboro game. In the 6th, down by three, they got a leadoff double. So Ernny Ordonez then gets called out on strikes. Tres Gonzalez singles and steals second, which puts runners on second and third with one out. So Sammy Siani gets called out on strikes. Stuff like that happens every single day in the system. Who’s coaching these guys?


I concentrated on the Indy game when I saw they had Endy back at catcher and quit watching the Buc’s after the seventh. I’m still trying to figure out where and how Hedges accumulated all this goodwill as a defensive specialist. He looks terrible behind the dish!


The Pirate website called what happened in Tampa a “wake up call” but with this ineptitude they’re displaying it’s looking more like a “dose of reality.”


stealing this from NMR


Just remember the ending!





Well, yeah but that was the winning moment and it is Blake Clark…….EEEEEHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!


Moreta did a good job of not letting that 5th or 6th run in with only one out.


That was reverse veteran leadership Carlos


Was thinking earlier how streaky Castro and Suwinski are, best case scenario is that they alternate their streaks, but it seems that they were both cold to start the season, got hot around the same time and now it seems that they are both cold again


I read a piece once that essentially showed ALL hitters are streaky, but the best ones are good enough that their valleys aren’t bad enough to notice as much.

Like, slightly above average hitters who are consistently slightly above average don’t really exist!


Hedges out here tryna disprove the nerds. I’ll show them consistency!


What you talking about, he just smash one down the middle, your point is made, that there is a Hedges streak!

b mcferren

lets go bucs!




Bae is so f*cking reckless, hope is just a rookie thing.


Have the ump numbers ever been that bad?

Wilbur Miller

The East Germans never took up baseball, so, no.

Pirates Prospects Daily



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