On a day that the Pittsburgh Pirates potentially saw their starting rotation suffer a big blow, pitching prospect Quinn Priester turned in a strong start for Triple-A Indianapolis
Thursday saw the Pittsburgh Pirates starting rotation potentially take a big blow. Vince Velasquez exited his start after just 3 innings with elbow soreness. Due ot JT Brubaker and Mike Burrows undergoing Tommy John surgery, the Pirate starting pitching depth has already taken a hit.
If Velasquez hits the injured list this will create a need for the thin remaining starting pitching depth to step up. Part of this is 2019 first-round pick Quinn Priester who turned in a strong start for Triple-A Indianapolis on Thursday. His strong start helped lead the Indians to a 5-2 victory over the Toledo Mud Hens to improve to 12-17 on the season.
Priester fired 6 scoreless innings for the Indians in his start. He allowed just two hits, did not walk a batter, and struck out four batters. This start lowered the struggling Priester's ERA to 5.96, to go with a 9:29 BB:K ratio in 25.2 innings pitched this season.
Priester allowed two balls with exit velocities over 100 MPH, other than that it was nothing but soft contact for Priester. He threw 50 of his 74 pitches for strikes and induced seven ground ball outs to go with just one fly ball out.
After Priester's day ended, lefty J.C. Flowers relieved him. Flowers allowed a hit and struck a batter out in a scoreless inning pitched. In 14.1 innings pitched this season Flowers now owns a 3.14 ERA and he's struck out 15 batters.
Eli Villalobos got the ball for the 8th inning but would not last long. Villalobos faced four batters, allowing a pair of hits and issuing two walks. He would also be charged with 2 earned runs. He was lifted for lefty Angel Perdomo who retired all three batters he faced while recording a strikeout. Colin Selby walked a batter and struck a batter out in a scoreless 9th inning to end the game.
Extra base hits were the name of the game for Indy's offense. Canaan Smith-Njigba was 1-for-5 wit ha double, Grant Koch, Aaron Shackleford, and Chavez Young all hit a double as well. Shackelford hit a solo home run, his 2nd of the season, while Cal Mitchell also hit his 2nd home run of the season.