Prospect Watch: Altoona Wins Behind Homers from Liover Peguero and Matt Gorski

Indianapolis played a doubleheader in the morning/afternoon on Wednesday. Greensboro had an early start time as well. Altoona started at night and went overtime for a victory.


Prospect Watch: Strong Greensboro Debut for Tres Gonzalez, Five Scoreless Frames for Dominic Perachi


Pirates 2023 Minor League Previews: Indianapolis Indians


Final Score: GAME ONE: Toledo 4, Indianapolis 3
Indianapolis Starter
: Kent Emanuel (1-1, 8.38)
Pitching Line
: 2.2 IP, 1 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 SO
Box Score

Top Performers:

  • Canaan Smith-Njigba 0-for-3, BB
  • Endy Rodriguez 1-for-3, BB
  • Ryan Vilade 0-for-1, RBI
  • Malcom Nunez 0-for-3
  • Cal Mitchell 1-for-3

Game Recap:

Kent Emanuel got the start for Indianapolis in game one of a doubleheader. He didn’t last long, allowing two runs over 2.2 innings, while throwing a total of 44 pitches. John O’Reilly followed with two hits, two walks and two runs, before he could get the final out of the third. He threw 29 pitches in his 0.1 innings.

Chase De Jong tossed a scoreless fourth, though he made things interesting with three base runners. Yerry De Los Santos threw shutout ball in the fifth. Carmen Mlodzinski took over in the sixth and retired the side in order on 14 pitches. Toledo won the seven-inning contest by a 4-3 score.

Indianapolis scored first in this game on an RBI triple in the first by Josh Palacios. They took a 2-0 lead in the top of the third on a Ryan Vilade sacrifice fly. Aaron Shackelford drove in a run in the fourth on his first triple. Indianapolis had five hits and three walks. Endy Rodriguez was the only player to reach base twice, picking up a walk and a single.

Final Score: GAME TWO: Indianapolis 9, Toledo 0
Indianapolis Starter
: Caleb Smith (0-2, 10.13)
Pitching Line
: 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 SO
Box Score

Top Performers:

  • Canaan Smith-Njigba 1-for-3, HR, RBI, BB
  • Ryan Vilade 0-for-4
  • Malcom Nunez 1-for-2, 2B, RBI, BB

Game Recap:

Canaan Smith-Njigba had two games without a hit after being sent down by the Pirates last week. His first Triple-A hit was a solo homer in this game. Indianapolis scored their first run on a double play ground out by Grant Koch.

It was a 2-0 game into the seventh when they added to their lead. Singles by Cal Mitchell, Vinny Capra and Josh Palacios each brought home one run. Malcom Nunez then walked with the bases loaded to make it 6-0. Aaron Shackelford followed with a hit-by-pitch. By the time it was over, Indianapolis had a 9-0 win in a game that was close until the final inning.

Caleb Smith went the distance in this game, throwing seven shutout innings on three hits, no walks and five strikeouts. He threw 94 pitches in the game, with 61 going for strikes. He had a 10.13 ERA coming into the game. He cut three full runs off of that mark.


Pirates 2023 Minor League Previews: Altoona Curve


Final Score: Altoona 5, Richmond 4
Altoona Starter
: Justin Meis (0-2, 6.75)
Pitching Line
: 1 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 2 SO
Box Score

Top Performers:

  • Liover Peguero 2-for-5, HR, RBI, 3 Runs
  • Henry Davis 1-for-5
  • Matt Gorski 1-for-5, HR, 2 RBI
  • Matt Fraizer 1-for-4
  • Drew Maggi 0-for-4, SB

Game Recap:

Starter Justin Meis lasted just one inning, but Altoona was able to pull out a win with the bullpen pitching nine innings. Meis threw 39 pitches in the first inning, with only 19 going for strikes. He managed to strand the bases loaded and limit the damage to one run, but the high pitch count cost him a chance to go deeper into the game. Travis MacGregor followed with two runs over three innings on one hit, one walk and five strikeouts.

Matt Eckelman had a terrific long relief outing, throwing three shutout innings on 35 pitches, lowering him to a 1.29 ERA. Tyler Samaniego tossed a scoreless eighth, then Noe Toribio allowed a run in the ninth to tie the score. He remained in for the tenth and struck out the side on 16 pitches for the 5-4 win.

Altoona got things started early with three runs in the top of the first. Domingo Leyba singled in a run, then scored on a two-run homer by Matt Gorski, his third homer of the season. Liover Peguero then hit his first home run in the fifth inning. Leyba singled home the eventual winning run in the top of the tenth. They scored Peguero with his third run of the night.

Drew Maggi returned to action for the first time since being sent down. He went 0-for-4, though he stole a base.

Fabricio Macias had two hits, a stolen base and an outfield assist.


Pirates 2023 Minor League Previews: Greensboro Grasshoppers


Final Score: Winston-Salem 7, Greensboro 6
Greensboro Starter
: Valentin Linarez (0-1, 4.97)
Pitching Line
: 2 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 2 SO
Box Score

Top Performers:

  • Abrahan Gutierrez 0-for-5
  • Jase Bowen 1-for-5
  • Sammy Siani 2-for-3, HR, RBI, BB

Game Recap:

Valentin Linarez had a rough outing on Wednesday morning, giving up four runs (three earned) on six hits and a walk in two innings. He threw 46 pitches in that brief time. He saw his ERA go up to a 6.14 mark. Jaycob Deese followed with two runs over three innings of work. He had two hits, no walks and two strikeouts.

Brad Case took over in the sixth and allowed one run over 2.2 innings, while striking out five batters. The run scored off of pitcher Santiago Florez, who came on for the final out of the eighth. It proved to be the difference if the 7-6 loss.

It’s been another rough season at Greensboro for Maikol Escotto, but he provided much of the offense in this game with a sacrifice fly and a two-run single. He also added his first double of the season. Sammy Siani hit his first homer of the season, to go along with a single and a walk. Mike Jarvis went 0-for-5, but two of his outs were RBI ground outs.


Pirates 2023 Minor League Previews: Bradenton Marauders


Final Score: Tampa 6, Bradenton 2
Bradenton Starter
: Owen Kellington (0-1, 3.55)
Pitching Line
: 4 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 SO
Box Score

Top Performers:

  • Jesus Castillo 0-for-3, BB
  • Rodolfo Nolasco 1-for-4, RBI
  • Termarr Johnson 0-for-3, BB
  • Enmanuel Terrero 2-for-4
  • Shalin Polanco 0-for-3, RBI, BB
  • Javier Rivas 1-for-4

Game Recap:

Owen Kellington had a decent start on Wednesday, with two runs over four innings, on five hits, one walk and five strikeouts. He threw 41 of 68 pitches for strikes. He has a 3.78 ERA in 16.2 innings, with 23 strikeouts.

Darvin Garcia allowed three runs in his only inning. Joshua Loeschern gave up a run in his two frames. Yoldin De La Paz struck out the side in the eighth, as Bradenton lost 6-2.

Bradenton scored first in this game with a first inning RBI single. They scored their second run on a bases loaded walk to Shalin Polanco in the sixth.

Enmanuel Terrero had two hits, while the team had five hits total. 

Termarr Johnson may have been rushed back, as his return was fairly quick once he was cleared for game action. He probably saw limited Extended Spring Training action, after being out of action for nearly seven full weeks. He has struck out 13 times in 25 plate appearances, while committing four errors in six games at second base.

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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Marco Luciano with a golden sombrero and fielding error cherry on top in his first AA game. Whew.


He just wanted to get it all out of the way. Now he can relax and start working on other firsts.


Or maybe Termarr just ain’t that good….yet.

Like i said in the offseason, he hasn’t done anything in professional ball to justify him being rated as the top 2nd baseman in the MiLB (as rated by Pipeline). I hope he can make the adjustments & turn it around, but the tape i saw on him last year wasn’t impressive.


Another 3 K game for TJ. Just draft Skenes and pray we don’t ruin him. If we draft Crews his 70 hit tool by MLB pipeline will prove to be a 35 after we get our hands on him. 😡

b mcferren

sure would be cool to send Tim Wakefield in to teach Knuckleman how to throw those beebee´s


I’m wondering if there is any thought to bringing up Peguero up to play short if he continues hot. I know he’s struggled on defense in the past but the big club cannot afford to mess up the semi-difficult play like they did tonight. Went to both games against the Rays and the difference between the 2 teams is that they make the plays and we do not. The ball down the right field line that Andujar didn’t even come close to catching was in the air forever. He doesn’t belong in the major leagues.

We got to do better than that.


Liover Peguero is the absolute last person you’d want to correct the kind of mistakes you saw in the Rays series. He is the epitome of that type of play.

Go get a real shortstop and call it a day.


I agree regarding Andujar. How many infielders are we going to make play the outfield? Why not have Cutch play right field?


He’s not playing SS at the moment, moved to 2nd due to the high amount of throwing errors.


I said the exact same thing regarding Andujar on that play, just about anyone would have got to that ball. Shouldn’t be in the field and definitely not a good enough hitter to just DH


It’s never a great idea to make broad judgments regarding personnel moves or proclamations on what a team is capable of on a pair of games.

Last edited 1 month ago by ArkyWags

If your reason for wanting to call someone up to play short is defense, Peguero is not the guy. The knock on him is he can make flashy plays, but gets eaten up on routine plays way too much

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