Pittsburgh Pirates Minors: Marvel, Hayes, Indianapolis

(Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
(Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images) /

The Pittsburgh Pirates lost got swept by the Minnesota Twins after dropping both games including yesterday.  How did things shake out in the minors?

The Pittsburgh Pirates look like they have officially cooled off.  The team went into the trade deadline as one the hottest teams in baseball, but since then they have played like a mediocre baseball team.  While it could be hard to be optimistic about the team, it is always easy to find optimism in the minor leagues.  This is especially true with the talent at Double-A Altoona and Triple-A Indianapolis.

Altoona Curve

The Altoona Curve saw one of their newest pitchers head to the mound last night in James Marvel.  Marvel was promoted last week from High-A Bradenton and immediately looked like he was more than ready for Double-A.  In his first game, he pitched 6.2 innings and gave up two runs while striking out siz.  How did he follow up his strong debut?

Yesterday, Marvel got the start against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats of the Toronto Blue Jays’ organization.  Marvel simply put, was even more impressive in his second game as a member of the Curve.  The Duke product pitched seven complete innings and only gave up one run.  Across those seven innings he gave up four hits and allowed one batter to reach on a base on balls, meanwhile, he struck out five.

This is impressive because the Fisher Cats have a good cast of prospects in their lineup.  This includes top prospect Bo Bichette.  Also in the lineup is former Pittsburgh Pirates prospect Harold Ramirez, who is hitting over .300, along with Cavan Biggio (son of Craig Biggio), and former first found picks Forest Wall and Max Pentecost.  So to limit them to just one run across seven innings was likely a tough task.

Meanwhile, on the offensive side of things, the Curve saw Ke’Bryan Hayes get another hit.  Hayes was 1-3 with a walk and a run scored.  While this is not the most exciting game, it is important because it extended the Pittsburgh Pirates third base prospect’s hitting streak to 16 games.  Hayes is hitting .327/.403/.509 since the start of August and has seen his average move up to .291 on the year.

Triple-A Indianapolis

The Tribe had a doubleheader yesterday and there is one note from each game specifically.  The team sent the Pittsburgh Pirates top prospect in Mitch Keller to the mound in game one.  The big righty from Iowa has started to look more comfortable at Triple-A, and he did once again yesterday.  He threw six innings against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, who is the Triple-A affiliate of the Yankees.  It actually was a face-off of top pitching prospect with Justus Sheffield going for the opposing side.  Keller pitched six innings and only gave up two runs on five hits.  He struck out seven and walked one.  Keller earned the win while Sheffield was tagged with the loss after giving up four runs in 1.2 innings.

Next. A Frustrating Loss. dark

In the second game, the Indians took the loss. It was a bullpen game as the Pittsburgh Pirates Triple-A affiliate used four pitchers in the seven inning game.  Taking the loss was reliever Nick Burdi.  He gave up two runs (one earned) in his 0.2 innings of work.  He did strike one hitter out.  This was Burdi’s first appearance at Triple-A.  He was pitching in Double-A, but he was sidelined with a pulled leg muscle.  The belief is that he will likely be a September call-up for the Pittsburgh Pirates.