XST; June 4, 2014

Today’s games with the Pirates began at 10:00AM. While waiting for the Williamsport squad to take the field, I saw Zach Green in uniform.  I followed him over to Roberts Field.  After determining that he wasn’t playing the field, I headed back to Ashburn Field.  Ricardo Pinto started and threw 6 great innings. While over at Roberts, I missed the first batter he faced. When I got back to Ashburn, there was a runner on second; he scored with two outs on a throwing error by Jan Hernandez. Pinto picked the runner off second to end the inning. Over the remaining 5 innings, Pinto allowed 2 walks and a hit batter. He also picked a runner off first base. So, depending on how the first batter reached base, I saw either a no or one hitter over 6 innings. He also struck out 6 batters.

Meanwhile, the offense banged out 14 hits. Jose Pujols hit a solo home run in the first inning. It sounded like it came of the end of the bat but he was able to muscle it over the left field fence.  It was on his strength alone since there was no wind in that direction. In the second, Herlis Rodriguez tripled into the right field corner and scored on a Robinson Torres sacrifice fly. In the third, Nick Ferdinand singled and moved into scoring position on a Cord Sandberg single and then scored on a fielding error.

In the fifth inning, Trey Williams doubled, Rodriguez walked, and Torres doubled them home.  He scored on a suicide squeeze by Canelo who was safe at first on the throw home.  Olvy Marte singled before both were driven in on Sandberg’s double over the centerfielder’s head. Canelo doubled to lead off the 7th inning and scored on a Wilson Garcia single.

Going into the top of the 8th inning, they had a 9-1 lead. Deivy Francisco, in his second inning of work, was touched for 3 runs on 2 hits and 2 walks.  A Williams double and a Torres single added an important tack on run in the bottom of the 8th inning.

In the 9th inning, Francisco continued to exhibit the pitching that got him sent down to XST allowing a triple and then walking 2 batters.  Matt Southhard was brought on to get the final 2 outs. He was only able to record one.  The Pirates tied the score and manager Shawn Williams rolled the inning.  With 2 outs in the bottom of the ninth, Sandberg walked and stole second before the game ended in a 10-10 tie.

Assuming Pinto’s first batter reached via a hit, the pitchers’ lines were –

  • Pinto              6.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 1 HBP
  • Francisco     2.1 IP, 4 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 5 BB, 2 K, 1 WP
  • Southard      0.1 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 1 K, 1 WP, 2 of 2 inherited runners scored

Nine of 11 batters in the line up had hits today –

  • Sandberg went 3-4 with a walk, stolen base, and 2 RBI. His 2 singles were line drives.
  • Garcia went 1-5 with an RBI
  • Pujols went 2-4 with a run scored and RBI
  • Hernandez went 0-4 with a K
  • Williams 2-3, with 2 doubles, a walk, and 2 runs scored, the first double one-bounced the left field wall, the second into the gap
  • Rodriguez went 1-2 with a walk and 2 runs scored
  • Torres went 2-3 with a SF, run scored, 4 RBIs, and a K
  • Posso went 0-4
  • Canelo went 1-3 with a double, sacrifice, 2 runs scored, RBI, and a K, the sac was a successful suicide squeeze, the double was roped into the LF corner
  • Marte went 1-4 with a single and a run scored
  • Ferdinand went 1-3 with a single and a run scored

Most of these guys are still taking pitches.  I don’t mean to harp on it, but I became so used to seeing 2/3 of the line up hacking away at the first or second pitch, that it bears mentioning.  I am impressed at the number of guys showing more patience lately.

I tried going back and forth between the fields, but eventually became more interested in Pinto’s pitching.  I missed Zach Green’s first at bat.  He was standing on second when I rounded the building.  I saw his second at bat.  He struck out swinging on a 2-2 pitch.

I saw Cody Asche running laterally on Schmidt Field with Gustavo Martinez.  Later they went over to Carlton Field and Coach Delima hit ground balls to Asche at third with Martinez taking throws at first.  He has been hitting at the inside cages, and could start hitting live tomorrow.

I don’t know if I mentioned this before, but Jesus Chavez was loaned to Acereros del Norte in the Mexican League.  The 20-year old left hander went 9-0 in 14 starts with a 2.18 ERA for the VSL team last season.

And, Jason Marquis is in town.  He was talking to Pirates staff in his workout clothes.  I thought he was a position player at first, based on his stocky, muscular build.

Camp is winding down. They are on the road tomorrow morning and then camp ends. They will still have morning workouts and intra squad games until the Williamsport squad is picked and they leave for PA sometime next week. Williamsport opens next Friday, the 13th.

14 thoughts on “XST; June 4, 2014

  1. I saw that with Chavez as well. Looks like he is getting regular use in a short relief role: 4.1 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 4 K. This is pretty good competition for him. I have no problem playing there and letting someone else have the GCL innings.

      1. I’m just trying to make an educated guess here, but I think it’s something like AA. It’s hard to say because there are a lot of veterans, including some former major leaguers, but also guys like Chavez who are light on experience.

        Chris Roberson is second in the league in wOBA, if that helps.

      2. Maybe High A but it is weird in that there will be older players like in our AAA. Mix of younger prospects not good enough to get a major league deal, players that would be in A+ or AA here because they can make more money, and then older players.

  2. Everyday it seems like T. Williams has a couple hits. I’m really getting excited about him. Part of me wonders why he isn’t at LWood considering he’s a year older than a lot of the other guys.

  3. It sounds like Sandberg has been playing well in these XST games. Hopefully he has a breakout season in Williamsport! It would be nice to finally strike gold on one of these toolsy outfielders…

    1. Keep in mind I only see about half of the games, plus I split my time between the two teams until recently when I spent most of my time watching the Williamsport squad. I have been impressed by Cord Sandberg. He’s doing everything well. Jose Pujols has turned me around. I didn’t see what others saw in him last season. But he has become more selective at the plate, has gotten better in the field, and has some power. I like Herlis Rodriguez. I wouldn’t say I’m impressed because I had high expectations of him. I don’t know if he figures into the Phillies’ plans, but he’s an exciting player to watch. Trey Williams has also looked good, making better contact with his new stance. But first base will probably increase the power expectations as he progresses. I haven’t see enough of Jan Hernandez to render a fair opinion, but he seems to have better plate discipline than I remember from last season and he still has some pop in his bat. Among the pitchers, Denton Keys looks pretty good. Mark Meadors and Will Morris also caught my eye. I think Morris is in Lakewood now.

  4. Sandberg, Williams, Pujols are reason to get excited for rest of summer. I was very unimpressed with Zach Green when I saw him at Lakewood.

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