The rebuild has been hard to buy into for people solely focused on the MLB squad and today provided a glimpse of some of what’s in store.
21 year old utility player Rodolfo Castro had himself a game. Two homeruns, and a slick snag of a line drive that he alertly turned into a double play.
To this point he’s skipped AAA entirely, called up directly from Altoona and he’s making a case to stay here. Some people get confused when you call someone a utility guy that he is going to be a journeyman, but Castro can play 3B, SS, 2B, and both corner outfield spots well. His bat will make him a starter and his glove will make it easier to find an excuse to keep him out there.
This is the future, and honestly he isn’t even the brightest example, just the first. Now will the Pirates keep him up after the break? Maybe. Maybe they’ll option him down over the break because there is no stoppage at that level this season. But I’ll tell you this, having someone young, energetic and hungry up here as a shining example of what’s to come sounds pretty good to me. Psst. His best position is 2B and we might need that really soon.
Toss in a back end of a back to back jack by Michael Perez after Castro’s first and you have the Pirates offensive story for the game.
Now on the mound, Chase De Jong clearly didn’t have it in the first. Couldn’t hit locations. Couldn’t hit the zone unless it was middle middle and the Mets made him pay smacking him around for 5 runs in the bottom of the first. But Chase would settle down and give up no more as the Bucs chipped away at the lead.
In the 8th inning the Bucs had the bases loaded with one out but Perez was called out of a very borderline call.
Followed by a pinch hitting Ke’Bryan Hayes strike out.
The bottom half brought David Bednar in and he surrendered a couple singles with one out, but he wiggled out of it.
In the top of the ninth, facing the fine Mets closer Edwin Diaz Frazier was retired, and Kevin Newman launched a double to left. He moved over on a Reynolds ground out and John Nogowski singled him in. Gamel followed with another single moving Nogo to third for Wilmer Difo who was 2 for 3 coming in. He would deliver giving the Bucs a 6-5 lead.
The Pirates would of course turn to their closer Richard Rodriguez to try to close this one out.
Final: 6-5 Pirates
News & Notes
- Here we are, All Star Break and the Draft tonight. Check out Craig’s breakdown.
- We’ll have more coming your way after the top ten are chosen.
- Adam Frazier finished his All Star first half with a 3 for 5 performance adding up to 118 hits.
- Diaz blew his 2nd save of the season
- John Nogowski had another two hits today bringing his total to 14. For perspective, Michael Perez who homered today only has 16.
- Wilmer Difo was 3 for 4 today
- It’s not easy for fans that don’t follow the day to day of prospects development to see the vision, so when a young player comes up and does things like Castro did today, it gives a taste of what could be building in the depths. If I’m the Pirates, I keep him up here and give the fans a taste beyond Hayes and Reynolds. His excitement is infectious and this team could use a jolt.