Class AAA Indianapolis: Few Indy Indians are hitting much, but there are a bunch of starters pitching extremely well, including Nerio Rodriguez (23 IP, 19 K, 3 BB, 1.57 ERA), Tom Gorzelanny (19.2 IP, 23 K, 7 BB, 3.66 ERA) and Brandon Duckworth (20.1 IP, 16 K, 6 BB, 1.77 ERA). Another starter, Britt Reames, shut down the Toledo Mud Hens this week and has a 1.65 ERA. Reliever Scott Strickland hasn't yet allowed a run and has struck out 13 batters. Terry Adams, Matt Whiteside and Marty McLeary also have very pretty stat lines. One fan wrote to the Post-Gazette this week to ask when we'll be seeing some of these guys in Pittsburgh. Some of these guys, like Rodriguez and Duckworth, are pretty terrible bets to have any success whatsoever in the majors, but Strickland could help. Expect to hear a lot of complaining if current patterns in the bigs and the minors continue and the Pirates don't do anything about it, but beyond a couple of small changes, there isn't really much they should do, in my opinion.
Class AA Altoona: Prospects Josh Sharpless and Adam Boeve continue to play well. Reliever Chris Hernandez is off to a very good start and isn't too old to establish himself as a marginal prospect if he continues to pitch well, although he doesn't have great stuff, so the odds are against him. 24-year-old starter Josh Shortslef has shut down Class AA hitters so far; he's coming off a bad year at Lynchburg, so that may not mean anything.
Class A+ Lynchburg: Kyle Bloom, who's about the only player worth paying attention to on this team, didn't play this week. Wardell Starling had a decent outing against Kinston this week and has a 2.45 ERA, albeit with a lackluster strikeout rate. This team stinks.
Class A Hickory: Andrew McCutchen had another great week. Expect to see him in Lynchburg by the end of the year. Steve Lerud and Steve Pearce continue to hit.