The Pittsburgh Pirates were off on Monday night. However, the rest of the organization was in action, with all four levels playing.
The Pittsburgh Pirates are heading to Detroit to take on the Tigers. With the travel day from Washington, the Bucs had Monday off. Still, the team’s top four minor league affiliates were all in action Monday. The four teams split, with two of them winning and two taking losses.
Triple-A Indianapolis took on the Toledo Mud Hens of the Detroit Tigers’ organization. The Indians’ saw one of their top pitching prospects in JT Brubaker toe the rubber. Brubaker, our preseason pick to win Indians’ Pitcher of the Year, had another strong outing. The former Akron Zip threw 5.1 innings and did not allow a single run while striking out five. Brubaker now has a 1.69 ERA through his first three starts. The right-hander got the win as the Indians won by a score of 9-1. The unfortunate thing is that Brubaker left the game in the sixth due to injury. According to Rob Biertempfel, Brubaker was favoring his throwing arm.
The offense was led by the team’s top prospects. Cole Tucker went 3-5 with two runs scored and one run batted in as well. Bryan Reynolds also went 1-4 with his fourth home run of the season. Not to be outdone by the prospects, Pittsburgh Pirates rehabbing outfielder Gregory Polanco went 2-5 with two RBI and one run scored. Also, Elias Diaz went 1-4 with a double.
At the Pittsburgh Pirates Double-A level, the Altoona Curve took on the Harrisburg Senators of the Nationals’ organization. The Curve lost the game by a score of 4-2, but they had some strong performers. The starter, James Marvel, only last four innings, but he did strike out six and only gave up one run. His ERA is now down to 2.87 through his first three starts. The two top prospects at the level also had strong games in Jared Oliva and Stephen Alemais. Oliva, the center fielder, went 2-4 with a double. Meanwhile, Alemais, the team’s shortstop, went 2-3 with an RBI.
While the Curve lost, the Bradenton Marauders brought home their eighth win of the season. The Pittsburgh Pirates High-A affiliate took on the Tampa Tarpons of the New York Yankees organization. The Marauders won by a score of 4-1. The High-A team started a 2018 draft pick in Aaron Shortridge. The former fourth round pick from the University of California threw six scoreless innings. He struck out four hitters and only allowed three base runners, two being hits and one being a walk.
In terms of the offense, one of the Pittsburgh Pirates top prospects in Cal Mitchell led the way. He was 1-4 with a two-run home run. Mitchell has three home runs already this season and is hitting .244 on the year. The left-handed hitting outfielder actually has hits in nine out of his 11 games, however, a tough 0-5 game is really dragging his average down.
The lowest level team in the system, the Greensboro Grasshoppers, took on the Augusta GreenJackets of the San Francisco Giants organization. The Pittsburgh Pirates affiliate lost by a score of 5-4. The Bucs 2017 Supplemental First Round pick Steven Jennings got the start, and he was roughed up for five earned runs in 4.1 innings with five strikeouts and three walks.
No one on the Grasshoppers offense had a multiple hit game. Jonah Davis, the team’s center fielder, went 1-5 but had a three run home run. Connor Kaiser, a 2018 draft pick, went 1-3 with a double and two runs scored. Additionally, Lolo Sanchez continued his strong start to the season picking up another hit and is now batting .361 on the season.