Pirates Prospect Watch: Bubba Chandler’s Shutout, Nick Dombkowski’s Slider

ALTOONA, PA – I enjoyed writing the Prospect Watch from Greensboro last week so much that I decided to try it out this week in Altoona. Bubba Chandler led the system on Tuesday, and I’ve got several reports from Altoona’s 9-2 win over Akron.

Player of the Day


I saw Chandler for the first time, during his last time out. He allowed five runs on four hits in six innings that time, heavily influenced by three home runs in the home park. The home runs were causing him to speed up his motions on the mound, which led to more hits and homers. Last night, on the road, Chandler went seven shutout innings, allowing four hits, no walks, and striking out six. I’ll have a feature on Chandler on the site Wednesday afternoon.

Ten More to Follow


Triolo picked up three hits on Tuesday night, including his second homer of the year for Indianapolis. In four games back in Triple-A, the third baseman has gone 5-for-16 with a double and a home run.


Early in his start, Dombkowski was giving up some hard hit. Most of those hits went for outs deep in center field. The lefty settled in, thanks to one of the best sliders he’s shown all season, and perhaps all of his career. Dombkowski was an undrafted free agent in 2021, and didn’t have much of a slider to work with. Tonight, he featured a few really good pitches, which complemented his fastball well.

Both of the offerings feature sweeping, gloveside movement from the lefty. The fastball carries across the zone, while the slider offers a similar look with a delayed sweeping action and some depth. His fifth inning of work saw him strike out the side on 11 pitches. The first strikeout, against a lefty, came on an 81 MPH slider. This slider followed another 81 MPH slider which missed low and away. Dombkowski hit his spot the second time. After a four fastball strikeout to a right-hander, the lefty faced another lefty. This time Dombkowski started with a low-80s slider that caught the opposing hitter with an off-balanced swing. He followed with a 92 MPH fastball that was fouled back, and finished with an 89 MPH fastball that was blown past the hitter high in the zone.

With the slider working for him, Dombkowski has the chance to be an effective MLB reliever. Dombkowski struck out six on the day, with the slider working all through his outing.


Glenn went 1-for-4 with a double and a stolen base. What stood out the most to me was his plus arm strength and accuracy at third base. He can also just flat out play the position, as shown below.


Gorski features an open stance and a big leg kick that sweeps out across the plate for timing, pulling back toward his body as the pitch is thrown. He hit a line drive home run in the first inning, his 15th of the season.

One inning later, Gorski showed off his defensive skills in center field. Dombkowski was giving up some hard hit fly balls early, including the play below, which came after a solo homer to tie the game. Gorski tracked down the ball at the wall with ease, using his height to make the grab look easy.


Jarvis steps in the box, gets in line with the pitcher, and is immediately set. He missed a few weeks with an injury, after being promoted to Altoona one month ago. In his third start back, he added a three run homer in the second, lifting one out to deep left-center field.


Cruz has a quick back and forth rocking motion on the mound, before delivering to the plate. He did a great job tonight of staying ahead of hitters, throwing 16 strikes in his 24 pitches across three shutout frames. Cruz doesn’t have overpowering stuff, working 89-91 MPH with his fastball. The pitch was generating ground ball outs tonight, with very little help needed from his mid-80s changeup or his slower, mid-70s curve.


Brannigan hit his ninth home run of the month for Greensboro in a 2-for-4 night. The infielder shows plus defensive abilities, with the capability to remain on the left side. He’s also hit 18 home runs between two levels of A-ball. Brannigan is hitting .300/.346/.714 in the month of August.


Mitchell started his rehab with the Marauders, going 0-for-3 in his first game back. The Pirates sent him down from the majors on June 21st, and he’s been out of action from Triple-A since July 4th, after hitting two homers in his first four games of the month.


Nolasco has some of the best raw power in the lower levels of the system. He hasn’t been consistent with this power through his young career. The 21-year-old outfielder is having a great month of August, batting .250/.413/.518 with four homers in 56 at-bats. He added two doubles on Tuesday night.


Head made his return to action in the FCL, going 3-for-4 in his first game back, knocking in three and picking up a steal. He’s been out of action with Greensboro since May 30th. Prior to missing time, he had a .234/.295/.416 line in 137 at-bats in High-A.

Tuesday’s Home Runs

  • Miguel Andujar, LF, Indianapolis (16)
  • Jared Triolo, 3B, Indianapolis (2)
  • Matt Gorski, CF, Altoona (15)
  • Mike Jarvis, DH, Altoona (1)
  • Jack Brannigan, 3B, Greensboro (11)

Tuesday’s Minor League Results


Score: Iowa 10, Indianapolis 4
Indianapolis Starter: Jared Jones, RHP (5.91)
–Line: 5.0 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 3 BB, 5 K, 1 HR
Player of the Game: Jared Triolo, 3B (3-for-4, HR [2])
Attendance: 6,137

Notable Performers

  • Kyle Nicolas, RHP (2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K)
  • Miguel Andujar, LF (3-for-3, BB, HR [16])
  • Domingo Leyba, DH (2-for-4, 2 RBI)

ALTOONA (53-59) VS Akron

Score: Altoona 9, Akron 2
Altoona Starter: Nick Dombkowski, LHP (3.23)
–Line: 5.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 1 HR
Player of the Game: Mike Jarvis, DH (1-for-3, HR [1], 3 RBI)
Attendance: 3,512

Notable Performers

  • Omar Cruz, LHP (3.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K)
  • Tsung-Che Cheng, 2B (2-for-4)
  • Matt Gorski, CF (1-for-3, HR [15], BB)
  • Jacob Gonzalez

GREENSBORO (62-50) AT Rome

Score: Greensboro 2, Rome 0
Greensboro Starter: Bubba Chandler, RHP (4.90)
–Line: 7.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K, 0 HR
Player of the Game: Chandler
Attendance: 793

Notable Performers

  • Valentin Linarez, RHP (2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K)
  • Jack Brannigan, 3B (2-for-4, HR [11], 2 RBI)
  • Tres Gonzalez, CF (1-for-3, BB, SB [19])

BRADENTON (64-50) AT Jupiter

Score: Jupiter 7, Bradenton 2
Bradenton Starter: Hung-Leng Chang, RHP (9.31)
–Line: 4.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 0 HR
Player of the Game: Rodolfo Nolasco, LF (2-for-3, 2 2B, BB)
Attendance: N/A

Notable Performers

  • Mitch Jebb, SS (2-for-5, 2B, SB)
  • Lonnie White Jr., CF (1-for-4, BB)
  • Deivis Nadal, DH (2-for-4, 2B)

FCL PIRATES (32-23) AT FCL Orioles

Score: Pirates 15, Orioles 10
FCL Pirates Starter: Brad Case, RHP (16.20)
–Line: 0.2 IP, 1 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 0 K, 0 HR
Player of the Game: Gilberto Alcala, RHP (2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K)

Notable Performers

  • Magdiel Cotto, LHP (2.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K)
  • Peyton Stumbo, RHP (2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K)
  • Eddy Rodriguez, DH (2-for-3, 2B, 2 BB, 3 RBI, SB)
  • Hudson Head, CF (3-for-4, 3 RBI)
  • Wesley Zapata, 3B (2-for-4, 2 BB)


Score: Game Cancelled

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Tim is the owner, producer, editor, and lead writer of PiratesProspects.com. He has been running Pirates Prospects since 2009, becoming the first new media reporter and outlet covering the Pirates at the MLB level in 2011 and 2012. His work can also be found in Baseball America, where he has been a contributor since 2014 and the Pirates' correspondent since 2019.

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If Miguel Andujar gets put on the 40 man roster, he is protected from being picked up by another team in the rule 5 draft. If we don’t put him on the 40 man roster, does that mean he can be claimed by another team in the rule 5 draft?


If I wasn’t already familiar with Shelton’s pets and Cherington’s roster decisions, it would seem so odd that Andujar hasn’t been given more of a chance while we’re giving repeated opportunities to Palacios (64 wRC+, -0.5 fWAR) yet at 171 PAs and counting (Andujar was given 33 PAs). And they’re the same age, so it’s not like we’re giving an opportunity to a young player.

Palacios has a great personality and has made some sensational plays (a couple of the HRs, the catch the other night)–I’d love him to be a part of the team if he could prove he belongs. But the reality is that he’s a 28-year-old, below-replacement-level OF. We should be beyond an era when a personality and a few highlights is enough for a guy to keep his position.


And it’s just another example of why I feel like this management group costs us wins. Can we make the playoffs with them? Maybe, because we could have 95-win talent and Shelton might get us to 88 wins. But I continue to doubt their ability to maximize the potential.


So let’s say they don’t put him on the 40 man at all this year and they sign him to another minor league contract, are you saying a) another team can’t pick him up, b) another team can pick him up if they are willing to pay him what the Pirates did or c) another team can pick him up if the Pirates sign him, but you don’t think they will.
Sorry I am a little slow on some things. This is one of them.


Boy it is nice to see Bubba Chandler performing and allowing us fanatics on a site like this to have someone to dream about for 2025👍🤞… Omar Cruz interests me, by the time(if) he makes majors he may be the slowest thrower in mlb unless Rich Hill hangs on, kidding I think… Triolo will be better in 2024, nice he gets reps and gets stronger, post hamate…Nicholas is exciting, all I got🤷‍♂️😂👍👍

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