After watching the Pirates drop their 63rd game of the season in a 7 to 3 loss to the Brewers, my mind wondered aimlessly as I considered exactly what I would write about. So, I did what I normally do during these circumstances, which is randomly shuffle my way through Pirates Twitter, and pretty specifically on Facebook, to find comments on previous stories myself and Gary have posted over the past few days. I know this isn’t the best, or most healthy way to occupy my time; often causing me to shake my head at people who just respond to headlines, while trying to still trying to figure why people-not associated with a particular team-feel the need to post stats from random Pirates Minor League games or worse a play-by-play. The highlights are cool at times, but just putting up stats makes me wonder if their followers haven’t heard of the MiLB app or, I don’t know, Google. But, I digress.
As I was getting to the end of one of my perusal sessions, having not gotten any further toward having an idea for the game recap, I noticed one post; whose message has gotten a lot of play over the past few years. Play The Kids. This seems simple enough. With Adam Frazier and Tyler Anderson gone, and Gregory Polanco standing in the middle of the doorway on his way out, the idea of seeing what you have in your younger players, as they obtain Major League Experience makes total sense.
Then I thought to myself; what game did they watch? If they watched it, or even loosely followed along.
In the Pirates Starting Lineup on Wednesday versus Milwaukee, there was exactly one player north of 30-Jacob Stallings-written down by Derek Shelton. Their starting pitcher Max Kranick is 24, the hot corner was manned by 24 year-old Ke’Bryan Hayes, 26 year-old All-Star Bryan Reynolds roamed in centerfield, Kevin Newman at 27 played up the middle and 22 year old Rodolfo Castro stood where Adam Frazier had just a few days before.
And even though I still remained confused, I thought they might be referring to younger players in the Minors or on the bench, that veterans like Ben Gamel and Gregory Polanco-both 29-could be holding back. The obvious answer would be Jared Oliva, and if this is what kids plural would mean, I am cool with that. However, if there is some sort of belief that there is a slew of young prospects pushing their way onto the Major League Roster, I am sorry, you are sorely mistaken.
Sure, the newly acquired Tucupita Marcano and Jun Hoy Park, are now in Indianapolis Indians Jerseys, so I could see an argument made for at least 25 year-old Park getting an extended look to see if he is worthy of a 40-Man spot at the end of the season. Marcano is getting one no matter what, and is only 21 years old, so I don’t necessarily see a reason to rush him.
Still, beyond that, are there any young players they are not giving the opportunity to? Oneil Cruz, Roansy Contreras and Miguel Yahure are all injured, and Cole Tucker just got back on the field after a week off from trying to make a diving catch in the outfield; not that .211 batting average with the Indians is making any short of case for Big League playing time.
Now, if we are talking promotions from Altoona to Indianapolis that is another story, and another article altogether.
News and Notes
- Max Kranick’s final line of 5 IP/10 H/6 R/6 ER/1 BB/3 K didn’t look great, yet, I can’t get too upset about a 24 year old kid with a total 42.1 innings above Double A pounding the zone at a 68.5% strike rate. Don’t worry he will learn pitch sequencing, his curveball will get a little tighter and he will see the importance of throwing a ball, while getting a guy to chase.
- It is possible that groundbreaking on the construction of a John Nogowski Statue outside of PNC Park may need to be halted. In his past seven games, he is slashing .200/.310/.400.
- David Bednar has the closer role on lockdown. Over his past 15 appearances across 14.2 innings he has only allowed 1 earned run, while striking out 16. Now do your thing Cherington, and trade RichRod.
- Rodolfo Castro owned the night as he became the first player in MLB history-since 1901-to have his first 5 hits all go for homers.
- I would have to assume that Ben Cherington makes at least one more deal before the 4 PM deadline tomorrow, with a few legitimate trade candidates on the market.
For those who are interested, the Pirates will look to avoid the sweep at the hands of the Brewers tonight at 7:05 PM EST at PNC Park.
Chad Kuhl (3-5, 4.38 ERA) is on the bump for Pittsburgh against Freddy Peralta (7-3, 2.29 ERA) for Milwaukee.