Pirates Prospects Daily: 62 and Counting

I don’t know if anyone else followed last year’s Pittsburgh Pirates, but the team only won 62 games.

On Friday night, the 2023 Pittsburgh Pirates matched that win total. With 27 games remaining in the season, the Pirates would have to unleash an epic losing streak to not improve over their 2022 totals. If they play like they’ve played most of the season, they could end up with at least a ten game improvement.

My pre-season projection was 78 wins, which would require a 16-11 finish from this point forward. That seems unlikely, unless they match their April pace of play. It’s more likely that they finish in the low-70 win total, which is still above where Vegas had them in the pre-season lines.

What I like about each and every win going forward is that they provide hope for the future. Every time Mitch Keller shuts down the Cardinals in September, you can dream about the same thing happening in 2024 and beyond. The same when Liover Peguero makes a big play. Or, any of the other rookies on the Major League roster who are performing.


PIRATES (62-73) AT Cardinals

Score: Pirates 4, Cardinals 2
Pittsburgh Starter: Mitch Keller, RHP (3.93)
–Line: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 8 K, 1 HR
Player of the Game: Keller
Attendance: 33,842

Notable Performers

  • Ji-Hwan Bae, 2B-CF (1-for-5, SB [22])
  • Liover Peguero, SS-2B (2-for-3, BB)
  • Colin Holderman, RHP (1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K)
  • Carmen Mlodzinski, RHP (1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K)
  • Colin Selby, RHP (1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K)
  • David Bednar, RHP (1.0 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, SV [30])

One Sentence Recap: You can’t lose over 100 games if you win 62, and the Pirates got win 62 thanks to a pinch-hit from Andrew McCutchen that led a three run inning.


Andrew McCutchen came up with a key RBI single for the Pirates in the tenth inning.

Liover Peguero showed off his defense in the third inning.

Paul Skenes pitched two scoreless with three strikeouts on Friday for Altoona.


  • The Pirates selected the contract of Miguel Andujar as rosters expanded for September. Andujar batted .338/.404/.536 with 16 homers in 414 at-bats with Indianapolis.
  • Carmen Mlodzinski returned from the 15-day injured list (right elbow soreness) to throw a scoreless inning with two strikeouts.
  • Max Kranick’s rehab assignment was ended in his return from Tommy John, and he was optioned to Triple-A.
  • To make room on the 40-man roster for Andujar and Kranick, the Pirates designated RHP Yohan Ramirez and OF Cal Mitchell for assignment.


Pirates Prospect Watch: Paul Skenes Throws Two Shutout Innings


Malcom Nunez picked up two hits in his latest game for Indianapolis.


In addition to Paul Skenes pitching well on Friday, Carter Bins added two hits and a home run.


Valentin Linarez was one of the most impressive relievers I saw in Greensboro a few weeks ago. He finished August with a 3.95 ERA in 13.2 innings, and a 24:5 K/BB. Last night he added a shutout inning and two strikeouts to his season.


The Marauders played a double header, and got strong pitching from Hunter Barco and Wilber Dotel to help them win both games.


The DSL Pirates Gold lost in the championship after an incredible 41-12 season that finished with a 15-game winning streak. For the full system results, check out yesterday’s Prospect Watch.


Trip on a zip in the whip as I blip
Out of existence, despite built up resistance
I can see the void waiting for me off in the distance
But I maintain my rise, cause I believe in persistence
Spend half of my cash to knock me off my feet
Give the other half to a guy screaming in the street
Save twenty bucks for the return trip home
Where I’ll hole up for a month, burning like Rome

-Tim Williams, 9/2/2021

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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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The last two innings last night were an interesting example of good and bad player usage:

  1. Not sure you want Bae sacrificing with a runner of 1st. Bunting for a hit is fine, but with Williams on deck and being on the road (play for the win, not the tie), I didn’t like asking Bae to give himself up.
  2. To compound this, why bat Williams down by one in the 8th? If you’re going to bat him there, I don’t see a reason why Capra is on the roster.
  3. I’ve been opposed to starting Palacios and his overall stats back this up, and especially batting him 4th. However, with the caveat of it being a SSS he is an excellent pinch hitter and has a flair for the dramatic. Good use of a pinch hitter there and for not then feeling the need to start Palacios today. If Shelton has realized that Palacios can be a valuable bench piece but isn’t an everyday middle-of-the-order hitter, that’s a step in the right direction.

Of course you could accuse me of hindsight, but when watching I was in complete agreement with what Walker was implying–asking Bae to sacrifice in front of Williams (and letting Williams hit at all) didn’t seem to optimize our chance of winning. We had six outs to play with and I feel like Shelton more-or-less gave up two.


Capra should never have been here and currently holding Henry’s spot

Andujar should have been here long ago, they didn’t handle him right the first call up. The guy hit all year long and because he had a few OFERS after DH fireworks, they benched him
He PH sporadically and was eventually sent down,
He never stopped hitting until he was atop the INT League in BA
Also, deep into the season almost averaging an RBI per game


To round this out, I credit Shelton with helping maintain a positive vibe and I like that lately he’s been giving the credit for that vibe to the young players and not to himself or his coaches. I’m not as down on him as the above suggests–he has his strengths (rapport with the players, clubhouse management) and his weaknesses (I rarely feel like players are put in the best positions for them or the team to succeed). The latter should be something he can improve on, if he isn’t too stubborn.


Shelton’s team

May 1-July 17

July 17th
Endy Rodriguez and Liover Peguero called up

Super 2 ended on June 10th

31G were played between that day and July 17th


July 17-Sept 2

Endy has taken over this team


No doubt they stuck with Hedges too long. It was nice reading about Bednar praising Endy after Saturday’s game, in the same way that management used to justify continuing to play Hedges. Oviedo has also been effusive in his praise of Endy.

But of course we’re not the only organization that prioritizes veterans when there are young players that can do the job.


From June 2nd up until his final outing in August Linarez had been:

36ip 18bb 45k 2.50era .169baa


A quick look at their schedule, which is tough (only two teams with a losing record and no team with fewer wins than the Pirates), and I’d feel good if they finish 12-15 to end up at 74-88. And perhaps they could do better than that given that they seem to be playing with more energy since Endy and Peggy arrived.


My pre-season call was 75-87.


I didn’t pick a set number of wins, but a range, 68-72. Hope they get to the high end.


The 12 challenging


15 opportunities


Unlike DS, these kids are not programmed to lose

Winning is the only option, not satisfied with anything less

Gut Wrenching losses stay with you
unacceptable performances are not OK

Can’t be flushed, no more FLUSH

Only one FLUSH, DS


I am interested to hear posters share if there is a team you would love to see the Pirates sweep (on the remaining schedule).


Any three!

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