Saturday, September 1, 2012

Report: Five To Join Bucs Today

Kristy Robinson of Pirates Prospects reported that pitchers Chris Leroux, Jeff Locke and Justin Wilson, catcher Eric Fryer and infielder Brock Holt will be the first gang of Indy call-ups, confirmed by the Pirates much later. Holt, 24, is the only surprise, but the infielder earned his roster spot by tearing up at Indy, hitting .432 since being promoted from Altoona 24 games ago. He'll be a depth/pinch-hitter player off the bench, at least until Neil Walker is 100%.

Leroux, 28, is a fastball/slider guy who pitched well last year in Pittsburgh, and pleasantly surprised the FO when he cleared waivers after a pec injury earlier in the season. The righty, who throws in the mid-nineties, worked as a starter at Indy but will probably be a reliever in Pittsburgh, as he was last year when he had a 2.88 ERA in 25 innings with 24 K.

Locke, 24, is a lefty with a fastball/change up/curve combo, hitting the low nineties with his heat. He's a control and command type hurler who depends on location rather than nastiness to be successful, and the likeliest to start of the three, profiling as a back-to-mid rotation guy who went 10-5 with a 2.48 ERA for the Tribe.

Wilson, 25, has the stuff to be a top end starter (he started two no-hitters this year), but the lefty has been held back because of control issues. He's a fastball/curve pitcher, hitting the mid nineties with his gas. Long term, he's projected as a starter, but will likely work out the pen this time around. He was 9-6 with a 3.78 ERA at Indy, with 138 K in 135 IP.

Fryer, 27, is a right-handed depth guy and third catcher who allows Clint Hurdle a little bench flexibility. He can also play OF in a pinch, and has a .276 BA in Pittsburgh over two seasons in 32 plate appearances.

They join RHP Kyle McPherson and OF Alex Presley as late additions to the roster. 

All have had at least cups of coffee in Pittsburgh before, except for the rising-with-a-bullet Holt. Leroux and Holt had to be added to the 40-man roster, which was at 38 before today, so there's no need for any space-clearing cuts.The 40-man fill up would indicate that guys not currently on it, like Gerrit Cole, Tim Wood, Rick VandenHurk, Jeff Clement and Dallas McPherson, will likely stay on the farm. A couple others on the 40-man, like Tony Sanchez and Bryan Morris, are also likely to stay at Indy because of performance issues.


WilliamJPellas said...

VandenHurk is an interesting guy. Although his ERA is poor, he has struck out nearly 9 per 9 in bits and pieces of four seasons in the bigs prior to joining the Pirates' Triple A Indianapolis affiliate this year. Particularly if Karstens is not brought back, he might be worth a look in spring training next season as the fifth starter. Karstens, by the way, in my book is better than a fifth starter, but he can't stay healthy. He's not a big guy, so maybe he just can't stand up to the pounding for a full season and thus he keeps landing back in the "5/6 starter - long relief" role by default.

Ron Ieraci said...

Yah, Will, JK does profile as a four guy, and one that can only give a team 20-25 starts and 150 IP; you'd like at least an inning eater there. And I have heard he's on the bubble for next season.

The Bucs have to start clearing space for the Indy guys, especially with Cole & Irwin there now and Taillon in AA. I think Locke and maybe McPherson & Vandenhurk get a look in camp in the spring for whatever openings come free.