Thursday, July 14, 2016

Notes: Pitching Conundrum, Niese's Market, Predictions, MiLB & ASGs...

All righty, just one more day 'til baseball resumes. The Bucco rotation this weekend against the Nats is Frankie Liriano (Fri), Cole Train (Sat - off DL) and Chad Kuhl (Sun). Tells us that the starting five are still in flux as the team returns from the ASB. Seems like they want to give Jameson Taillon a little more of a breather (unless there is something more to his dead arm phase), haven't quite figured out what to do with Tyler Glasnow (he's not slated as part of Indy's short-term rotation, so he's in limbo) and are still trying to move a back-ender or two. Another consideration: with the young guys on an inning limit, it might make sense to break in some of the pups from the pen, plus Ryan Vogelsong is on the rehab trail. Those items could make the Bucs less inclined to make a splash move. There are a lotta moving pieces on the Bucco pitching chessboard.

Nick Kingham is back on the mound again (photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)
  • Jon Niese is one piece of a not very strong but fairly deep market of pitchers available, per Jeff Todd of MLB Trade Rumors. Todd counts 40 arms being shopped to various degrees.
  • Will Leitch of Sports on Earth made 100 predictions for the second half of the season. Those involving Pittsburgh are: 1) The Pirates are in a transitional year, so they won't make any crazy moves, no matter what happens. Next year is the scariest year for the Pirates. 2) So they'll end up falling a little bit short of the Wild Card. But it might be the last time they miss the playoffs for a while. 3) Also, Andrew McCutchen will remain Pittsburgh's worst outfielder, even though he'll rebound in the second half.
  • reports that Ryan Vogelsong will pitch a rehab game tomorrow for the AA Altoona Curve.
  • Nick Kingham made his second GCL Pirates rehab start yesterday. He went four IP, giving up a run on two hits, with no walks and two whiffs after 37 pitches. 
  • The International League beat the Pacific Coast League in the AAA All-star game 4-2; Indy's Frank Duncan tossed a clean, eight-pitch frame for the IL.
  • The Eastern League AA East team whupped the West (Altoona's division) 10-2. Curve CF Harold Ramirez went 1-for-2 and 1B Edwin Espinal 0-for-2. The pitching, well...Altoona's Jared Lakind gave up two runs on three hits in his inning with a pair of whiffs while Tyler Eppley worked a frame and also gave up two runs on three hits, except without any K.

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