Brandon Waddell Heating Up And Other Minor League Notes


A look around news from the minor league affiliates of the Pittsburgh Pirates

Major League Baseball players may currently be enjoying the All-Star Break, but the minor league break has already come and gone. With minor league games in full force this week there is news to cover from the Pittsburgh Pirates’ minor leagues.

This news starts with left-handed starting pitcher Brandon Waddell.

In late May Waddell was promoted to Triple-A for the first time in his professional career. Due to a rocky start with the Indianapolis Indians, Waddell’s overall numbers at Triple-A are not pretty.

Waddell owns a 5.19 ERA, 4.24 FIP, a 17.0% strikeout rate, and a 9.2% walk rate in 10 games (six starts). In 34 2/3 innings pitched for the Indians he has allowed three home runs and 39 hits. These stats do not indicate how well he has pitched of late, though.

In his last two starts Waddell has not allowed a home run, he has been charged with just two runs, he has walked three, and struck out 12. In each of these starts he pitched seven innings and he was named International League Pitcher of the Week as a result of his work.

Waddell remains a lefty starting pitcher prospect worth watching. He has the tools needed to be a reliable middle-to-back of the rotation arm at the Major League level. Hopefully, he has turned a corner at Triple-A.

Speaking of Triple-A Indy, Sean Rodriguez is currently rehabbing for the Indians. In 42 plate appearances on his rehab stint Rodrgieuz owns a .250/.357/.444/.801 slash line, a 130 wRC+, and he has slugged a pair of home runs. Rodriguez, however, continues to be plagued by the strikeout with a 23.8% strikeout rate.

The Pirates wanted to bundle at bats together for Rodriguez at Triple-A in an effort to get his bat going. Look for Rodriguez to be activated off the disabled list when the team resumes play against the Cincinnati Reds on Friday.

Next: Examining Elias Diaz's Emergence

Speaking of rehab stints, Nick Burdi began one with the High-A Bradenton Marauders on Monday night. This was Burdi’s first time on a mound since having Tommy John Surgery last season and he was impressive. Burdi struck out all three batters he faced and showed great life on his pitches.

Burdi was selected by the Pirates in the minor league section of the Rule 5 Draft over the winter. The once highly touted Minnesota pitching prospect is on the 40-man roster, but currently on the 60-day disabled list. When Burdi is healthy he could become yet another bullpen weapon to go with Edgar Santana, Kyle Crick, and Felipe Vazquez.