Pittsburgh Pirates Minors: Cody Ponce Promoted to Triple-A
The Pittsburgh Pirates are hard to watch right now, so let’s take a look at a new pitching prospect who is already receiving a promotion.
While the Pittsburgh Pirates continue to struggle night in and night out, it continues to confirm that the team should have traded off all of their pending free agents. Instead, the team sits here with Melky Cabrera and Francisco Liriano contributing to a bad team.
Now they did trade a few of their soon to be free agents in Corey Dickerson and Jordan Lyles. While the Pittsburgh Pirates received a player to be named later for Dickerson, they did acquire a prospect from the Milwaukee Brewers. The Brewers sent right-handed pitching prospect Cody Ponce in exchange for Lyles.
Ponce is an intriguing relief pitching prospect who was a second-round pick in 2015. He features a mid 90s fastball and has really shown the ability to strike out hitters as a reliever. However, he was a starter at Cal Poly and through his first few years in the Brewers system.
When Ponce first came into the Pittsburgh Pirates organization he was placed at Double-A Altoona. His first two appearances came out of the Curve’s bullpen, but his last game he started. He only threw three innings, but it looks as if the Bucs could be trying to stretch Ponce out into a starter role once again.
Apparently the Pittsburgh Pirates felt like Ponce was ready to move up to Triple-A. According to Jarrod Prugar of DK Pittsburgh Sports and John Dreker of Pirates Prospects, the Bucs are promoting Ponce to Triple-A Indianapolis. This needed to happen as he is already 25 years of age. It is hard to say whether he will be used as a starter or reliever, but it could be telling what the team’s plan for next year will be with the big righty.
If Ponce transitions back into a starting pitching role, or stays as a reliever, he is now in a position to try to make the team out of spring training next year. Given his age, the team will likely be a little more aggressive with him.