Pittsburgh Pirates Minors: Blake Cederlind Needs to be Promoted
The Pittsburgh Pirates have the second-worst record in the National League. It is time to start looking at the younger players who could help next year.
At this point, the point has been well discussed that it did not make a lot of sense for the Pittsburgh Pirates to not trade pending free agents Francisco Liriano and Melky Cabrera. The team is out of contention and could have brought in value that could help down the road. Instead, they will have two veterans taking up roster spots on a last place team.
The other issue with this is that it is blocking players from getting a chance to be promoted. For instance, if Melky Cabrera would have been traded there was a good chance we would get to see outfield prospect Jason Martin return to the big leagues. Martin should be given a chance to prove that he could be the team’s fourth outfielder next year. Instead, we will continue to watch a player who most likely will play for a different team next year.
However, it has an even deeper impact than just at the Major League level. If Francisco Liriano would have been dealt, then the Bucs would likely have called up a reliever from the Triple-A level. This then would have left an open roster spot for the Indianapolis Indians for a pitcher who should be there already.
Blake Cederlind is the Pittsburgh Pirates best relief prospect. He has dominated at both High-A and Double-A this year and should be at the Major League level by next year. However, there has not been a real opportunity to promote him to Triple-A permanently yet.
The Pittsburgh Pirates drafted Cederlind in the fifth round of the 2016 Draft out of Merced Junior College. Obviously, he was not someone that would catch your eye coming out of a Junior College. The Bucs brought into the 6’3” and 190 pound pitcher as a starter but quickly transitioned him into a reliever in his first full season (2017).
The move looks like it has worked out as Cederlind has become one of the most dominant relievers in the minor leagues. The Bucs started him at High-A Bradenton where he pitched in just seven games where he threw 7.2 innings and struck out eight while only giving up one run. This was good for an ERA of 1.17 in a small sample size.
The Pittsburgh Pirates must have been sold that Cederlind was ready for Double-A and he has now thrown in 24 games for the Curve. The bump up in competition has not changed anything for Cederlind. In his 37 innings of work, the righty has accumulated an ERA of 1.27 with 33 strikeouts while only walking eight percent of opposing batters.
The most impressive thing about Cederlind, however, goes beyond his stats. As a starter he threw around 95 miles per hour, now reports are that he regularly hits triple digits. The fact that he can throw absolute gas and only be walking eight percent of batters shows that he needs to be up with the Pittsburgh Pirates as soon as possible. First, let’s get him to Triple-A.