The Pittsburgh Pirates minor league affiliates kicked off their new minor league season. They received some good pitching right off that bat.
The Pittsburgh Pirates had all four of their full-season minor league affiliates in action last night. It was actually Opening Day in the minor leagues yesterday. The Pittsburgh Pirates four affiliates in action were Triple-A Indianapolis, Double-A Altoona, High-A Bradenton, and Low-A Greensboro. Of course, Low-A is a new affiliate this year after spending the last multiple years in West Virginia.
Triple-A Indianapolis started their season off with the Columbus Clippers of the Cleveland Indians organization. Indianapolis did not receive much in terms of pitching and lost by a score of 10-4. JT Brubaker made the opening day start and pitched decent first game. He threw just 4.2 innings, but only gave up two runs while striking out three. The next two pitchers were Jesus Liranzo and Tyler Lyons, who both gave up two runs between 0.2 innings. Clay Holmes followed those two up with an inning of work and got lit up for four more runs.
Meanwhile, the offense only posted four runs but actually had some good first games from important prospects. Cole Tucker led off for Indy and went 2-5. Kevin Kramer and Bryan Reynolds each contributed a hit in four at-bats each. Former first-round pick Will Craig made the biggest impact hitting a two run shot in the third.
Meanwhile, Double-A Altoona brought home a dominant first win. The team beat the Akron Rubberducks by a score of 5-0. Former Duke starter and a 2015 draft pick in James Marvel. He threw six shut out innings, only giving one hit and striking out an impressive nine. The team had eight hits spread across the game with Robbie Glendinning and Jerrick Suiter having the only multi-hit games.
The Bradenton Marauders also had a really strong starting pitching performance, winning 1-0. Domingo Robles, an intriguing left-handed pitching prospect, threw six shut out innings. He only struck out one batter, but he only gave up two hits. The team’s top two prospects had multihit games. The Bucs 2018 first round pick Travis Swaggerty went 2-3 with a walk. Meanwhile, top shortstop prospect Oneil Cruz also had two hits in four at-bats. Outfielder Cal Mitchell had a hit in four at-bats.
The last team was the Greensboro Grasshoppers. Just like Triple-A, the Grasshoppers did not receive a lot from their pitching staff. The new affiliate lost by a score of 9-8. The Pittsburgh Pirates 2017 second round draft pick Steven Jennings on the hill. He only threw 4.1 innings and gave up eight hits and six runs, with four of them being earned. Mason Martin, Zack Kone, and Brett Kinneman hit in the three, four, and five spots. All three of them had two hits, with Brett Kinneman hitting a two run shot and a double.
All four of the Pittsburgh Pirates affiliates will be in action once again today. The Bucs top pitching prospect Mitch Keller will be making his season début. Be sure to check back all season for updates on all things in the Pittsburgh Pirates minors.