Thursday, July 13, 2017

During the Break: Marte Almost Back, Not So Much JHK; ASGs, Pitchers & Rotations; Minor Report, Q To Cubs and More...

  • Starling Marte returns on Tuesday; how ready for action he is now is TBD. He slashed .241/.288/.370 in 13 Pirates games with a -0.4 WAR and is hitting .250 in his rehab stint, so we don't suspect he'll be a difference-maker, at least for a while. as far as the savings from his removal from the payroll for half the season ($2.6M+), well, they haven't reinvested it yet; guess we'll see in a couple of weeks whether they keep it in their pockets or use it on a team upgrade.
Starling's back next week... (photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)
  • So far as the other MIA Bucco, per Stephen Nesbitt of the Post Gazette, MLB commish Rob Manfred and MLBPA director Tony Clark said their offices have attempted to aid the Pirates in presenting a solid case for Kang to be granted a United States visa, but they had no update on his situation. Might be time to work on next year...
  • J-Hay played five frames in the ASG and struck out twice. The AL won the contest 2-1 in 10 innings.
  • Jamo didn't have the flu Sunday when he missed his start; ended up he was suffering from a bad case of food poisoning, so he should be good to go in the second half.
  • Ivan Nova got a well-deserved during All-Star week. His last start was July 8th against the Cubs; his next will be July 18th against the Brewers. Nova is at 18 starts and 120 IP to date; he started 26 times and worked 162 IP in 2016, so he's upped his workload considerably. Add a season-long gimpy knee, and Bossa Nova sure could use the rest.

Ivan got a nice mid-summer break (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)
  • The rotation coming out of the All-Star break will be Gerrit Cole, Chad Kuhl, Trevor Williams, Jamo & Ivan Nova. 
  • Matt Whitener of Yardbarker checks out the squads and their future moves, and wrote that "No team enters the second half in a tougher position than the Pirates..."
  • Indy is breaking out a six-man rotation after the AS break: Drew Hutchison, Tyler Glasnow, Clay Holmes, Tyler Eppler, Steven Brault and Nick Kingham. Aside from saving some wear on young arms, they may be keeping the innings down for some MLB mileage later in the year. Hutch and Brault already have 90+ IP while the two Tylers have logged over 80 IP.
  • In the AAA All-Star game, LHP Steven Brault worked an inning, giving up a hit and striking out one. IF Chris Bostick (the utility guy played OF) went 0-for-3 with a walk and a whiff. The PCL defeated the IL 6-4.
Is Steven the next in line...? (photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)
  • West Virginia's Luis Escobar, the Pirates #12 prospect, pitched for the World Team. The 21-year-old tossed a clean inning despite some nerves and control issues, hitting 98 on his heater.
  • In a Windy City deal that should impact the division, the White Sox traded LHP Jose Quintana to the Cubs for four minor leaguers: OF Eloy Jimenez, RHP Dylan Cease, 1B Matt Rose and IF Bryant Flete. Jimenez was the top-rated position prospect for the Baby Bears and Cease their top-ranked MiLB pitcher while the other pair are projects. It'll be interesting to see how the rest of the Central gang reacts to the move.
  • Insult to injury: LHP Tyler Webb, the Rule 5 pick that Pittsburgh returned to the Yankees rather than move the now-released Antonio Bastardo, has been traded to the Brewers per Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports. The return was 1B Garrett Cooper who is hitting .366 w/17 HR and 82 RBI for AAA Colorado Springs of the PCL.
Webb's pitching in the division, but not for the Bucs (photo Dave Arrigo/Pirates)
  • Vera Clemente auctioned about 300 items from Roberto’s personal collection at the All-Star FanFest in Miami, ka-chinging over $3M.

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