I don't think there's any help for the Pirates bullpen in the Indy bullpen, but they might have some help in the rotation from Virgil Vasquez. V.V had a very good game in taking a tough loss tonight against Rochester. Denny Bautista gave up a 3-run HR with the runners belonging to Vasquez. Briefly, here are the particulars on V.V's night:
99 pitches, 66 for strikes, 8 K, 1 BB, 11 swings and misses plus 3 foul tips (as opposed to foul balls that left the dirt circle around home plate). He gave up a wind-blown HR to the Wings best player Luke Hughes.
His fastball sat at 88-89, but after starting slowly he threw 10 pitches 90+ and 7of them were in the 6th inning. He got a lot of swings and misses with his curve, which looked very good.
I'm not "excited" by V.V, as he'll be 27 in a few weeks, but I'm happy to have him in the organization. I think it's a credit to NH for trying to improve all phases of the organization. It's great to always look for high-ceiling players to build the org up, but building a wide foundation is also worthwhile, and Vasquez fills that bill.
His K/BB is what you would expect from someone in their third AAA stint, and he wouldn't whiff nearly as many major-leaguers, but he's got enough stuff that I don't think his MLB ERA would stay at Van Benschotian heights if he gets another shot. It will be nice when he or guys like him are the third or fourth option in AAA instead of the first, but relative to the recent past, he's a welcome relief. I don't want to overstate it, but NH is just doing his job well when he picks up V.V and keeps Yoslan Herrera at a lower level.
Nothing new on offense or defense -- McCutchen is good at the plate, Bixler somehow manages to hit doubles between K's and bobbles 50% of the balls hit to him, and Shelby Ford doubled to RF and was promptly picked off by the catcher after straying way too far from 2B after McCutchen had squared to bunt but pulled the bat back.
That was also the first time all series McCutchen had squared to bunt. So much for working on that.