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 Post subject: Game report: Indianapolis @ Pawtucket, June 8
PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2012 4:02 pm 
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Well, your correspondent now has seen enough of the Indianapolis Indians this week to think that most of the Pirate prospects on their roster are right where they should be -- at AAA.

At least for the moment.

Start with Starling Marte. To my sense, he needs to show that he can handle better pitching before he earns a promotion to Pittsburgh. 1-for-19 over four games with 8 strikeouts and only one well-hit ball out of the infield suggests that MLB pitching would eat him alive. Yes, he is fast, covers a lot of ground in CF, and has a terrific throwing arm, but one wonders against whom he has managed 22 extra-base hits this season.

Tony Sanchez did not put up great offensive numbers in the three games he played in this series (3-for-13 -- a double and two singles -- with 4 Ks). But in his first exposure to AAA pitching he didn't look overmatched either. I'm not smart enough to know all the nuances of catching, but I'd say he definitely knows how to play his position. He threw out three base-stealers (in 5 attempts), blocked pitches in the dirt well, and was quick to get to those that bounced away. He's got some toughness, too. Last night he was hit by three separate foul tips that had to hurt but shook them off. At Pawtucket, foul territory between the plate and first and third bases is huge, and in maybe his most impressive play of the game he came out of his crouch and sprinted a good 90-95 feet after a foul pop up. Almost caught it, too, at the risk of slamming into a concrete wall at the first base end of Indy's dugout. A small sample size, yes, but I definitely can foresee him in a Pirate uniform -- although probably not until next year.

Chase d'Arnaud had 7 hits, a SAC fly, and 3 steals in this series against some pretty good pitching. Last night, he led off the game against the great Daniel Bard, and took a 96 mph fastball to the ribs on the second pitch. Two pitches later he stole 2B. IMO, there's no question d'Arnaud has a future in the big leagues. He just needs to put all the pieces together and be consistent.

Jeff Locke was throwing 93 on the stadium radar gun last night, but he had serious trouble trying to handle Pawtucket's heavy hitters. They have a big first baseman named Mauro Gomez, who is one of the International League leaders in HR. In the 1st, Gomez flied out to Marte, whose back was against the RCF fence when he caught the ball. In the 3rd, Locke fell behind him 3-1 with two runners on, and everybody in the ballpark probably sensed what would happen next. It did: a 3-run HR crushed over the RF wall. I know, it was only one game. But it looks to me as though Locke may have reached his ceiling at AAA, at least in the Pirates organization.

A couple of other notes: Evan Meek took over for Locke in the 6th and was throwing 93-95. He was cruising . . . until he gave up a game-tieing HR to a light-hitting second baseman -- and to the deepest park of the park. Sigh.

Finally, Danny Moskos pitched the 10th last night in his first appearance since coming off the DL. He gave up a leadoff triple, and it looked like the game would end any minute. But to his credit, he pitched out of it and Indy won in the 13th.

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 Post subject: Re: Game report: Indianapolis @ Pawtucket, June 8
PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2012 4:10 pm 
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Bob in Boston wrote:
Well, your correspondent now has seen enough of the Indianapolis Indians this week to think that most of the Pirate prospects on their roster are right where they should be -- at AAA.

At least for the moment.

Start with Starling Marte. To my sense, he needs to show that he can handle better pitching before he earns a promotion to Pittsburgh. 1-for-19 over four games with 8 strikeouts and only one well-hit ball out of the infield suggests that MLB pitching would eat him alive. Yes, he is fast, covers a lot of ground in CF, and has a terrific throwing arm, but one wonders against whom he has managed 22 extra-base hits this season.

Tony Sanchez did not put up great offensive numbers in the three games he played in this series (3-for-13 -- a double and two singles -- with 4 Ks). But in his first exposure to AAA pitching he didn't look overmatched either. I'm not smart enough to know all the nuances of catching, but I'd say he definitely knows how to play his position. He threw out three base-stealers (in 5 attempts), blocked pitches in the dirt well, and was quick to get to those that bounced away. He's got some toughness, too. Last night he was hit by three separate foul tips that had to hurt but shook them off. At Pawtucket, foul territory between the plate and first and third bases is huge, and in maybe his most impressive play of the game he came out of his crouch and sprinted a good 90-95 feet after a foul pop up. Almost caught it, too, at the risk of slamming into a concrete wall at the first base end of Indy's dugout. A small sample size, yes, but I definitely can foresee him in a Pirate uniform -- although probably not until next year.

Chase d'Arnaud had 7 hits, a SAC fly, and 3 steals in this series against some pretty good pitching. Last night, he led off the game against the great Daniel Bard, and took a 96 mph fastball to the ribs on the second pitch. Two pitches later he stole 2B. IMO, there's no question d'Arnaud has a future in the big leagues. He just needs to put all the pieces together and be consistent.

Jeff Locke was throwing 93 on the stadium radar gun last night, but he had serious trouble trying to handle Pawtucket's heavy hitters. They have a big first baseman named Mauro Gomez, who is one of the International League leaders in HR. In the 1st, Gomez flied out to Marte, whose back was against the RCF fence when he caught the ball. In the 3rd, Locke fell behind him 3-1 with two runners on, and everybody in the ballpark probably sensed what would happen next. It did: a 3-run HR crushed over the RF wall. I know, it was only one game. But it looks to me as though Locke may have reached his ceiling at AAA, at least in the Pirates organization.

A couple of other notes: Evan Meek took over for Locke in the 6th and was throwing 93-95. He was cruising . . . until he gave up a game-tieing HR to a light-hitting second baseman -- and to the deepest park of the park. Sigh.

Finally, Danny Moskos pitched the 10th last night in his first appearance since coming off the DL. He gave up a leadoff triple, and it looked like the game would end any minute. But to his credit, he pitched out of it and Indy won in the 13th.


Couple Questions.

Jeff Clement?

Do you think D'Arnaud has what it takes to be a starting SS? Unility guy?

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 Post subject: Re: Game report: Indianapolis @ Pawtucket, June 8
PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2012 5:40 pm 
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Animal wrote:
Couple Questions.

Jeff Clement?

With respect, I addressed this question from you a couple of days ago. Clement = professional hitter from whom good things have come to be expected this year -- and he delivers slightly better than one-third of the time.

Quote:
Do you think D'Arnaud has what it takes to be a starting SS? Unility guy?

Yes to both, although what I think obviously is far less important than what the Pirates think. He has what I'd call good range with a good glove, a strong arm, and a flair for the spectacular. But he also shows occasional lapses on defense -- whether of concentration or otherwise -- that I imagine don't endear him to the front office.

Offensively, he hits the ball hard. He did not at all look overmatched in this series. And he has good foot speed (13-for-13 in steal attempts so far this year). I think he just needs to play every day and demonstrate more consistency all around.

Jean also was at last night's game, and she might have a different perspective than mine. You might want to ask for hers.

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 Post subject: Re: Game report: Indianapolis @ Pawtucket, June 8
PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2012 9:31 pm 
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Well, I meant how did Clement look through the REST of the series.

And that was the same thoughts I had of D'Arnaud last year. He looked great at times, probably our best base stealer, but then other times, he just looked awful. I still think he just may be our starting SS of the future.

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 Post subject: Re: Game report: Indianapolis @ Pawtucket, June 8
PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2012 10:04 pm 
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Last night Clement went 0-for-7 with 2 strikeouts. But he was credited with an RBI because he hit into a bases-loaded double play with no outs in the 1st inning. I didn't go to Thursday night's game. Three 1-1/2-hour trips down there in one week is enough.

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