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Cannonballs coming: Big day for GCL outfielders

MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates-Media Day Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

First a few news items:

According to Pirates Prospects (sub. req’d), Jason Rogers is negotiating with a team in Japan. In that situation, a team will typically let a guy out of his minor league contract to head over there. Rogers is hitting 289/362/439 after a big day today. That’s not all that impressive for a veteran, bat-only corner player in AAA, so I don’t see this as a big deal. It should open a spot for Edwin Espinal to move up, which could in turn open up a spot for Will Craig in AA.

The Pirates have released Danny Arribas. He was strictly an organizational player, wasn’t playing much and would have been a free agent after the season. Still, he’s had some good stretches for them and I’m sorry to see him go.

P2 does the math on the Pirates’ remaining pool money after signing Dylan Busby (sub. still req’d). You can check the details at the link, but what I think it boils down to is that it’s likely the Pirates will sign one or both of Hunter Wolfe (12th round JuCo SS) or Mason Martin (17th round prep OF). The only other unsigned draftee who strikes me as meriting an above-slot bonus is Ryan Hoerter (36th round prep RHP) and he’s said he’s headed to Auburn. I’m partial to Martin, who rates as having plus power potential, but it’d be nice to get both.

And the games:

— Indianapolis (43-35) suddenly rediscovered that offense can happen in an 11-6 win over Durham. Jason Rogers and Eric Wood each hit HR #9 and went 4-5. Wood also had a double, and he drove in three while Rogers scored three. Erich Weiss added his second HR and Danny Ortiz had a three-run blast, his fourth HR. Clay Holmes gave up two runs on five hits in five innings. He walked none and threw 48 of 68 pitches for strikes, which are welcome developments, and fanned six.

Chris Bostick: 1-4, BB
Johnny Barbato: IP, 4 H, 2 R, BB, K

— Altoona (40-35) lost to Bowie, 6-3. Details here.

— Bradenton (40-33) got six strong innings from Pedro Vasquez to beat Dunedin, 4-1. Vasquez gave up a run on three hits. He didn’t walk anybody and fanned six. Mitchell Tolman went 3-3 with a triple and a walk. Ty Moore made his debut at the level, hitting a HR in three ABs.

Ke’Bryan Hayes: 0-4
Will Craig: 0-3, BB
Logan Hill: 0-4, 3 K

— West Virginia (33-40) blanked Augusta, 4-0. Mike Wallace threw seven innings in his first start of the year, allowing five hits and a walk, and striking out four. Matt Anderson, who had been starting, threw the final two innings. Hunter Owen hit his ninth HR.

Adrian Valerio: 2-5, 2B
Brent Gibbs: 1-3

— Morgantown (6-3) edged Mahoning Valley, 2-1. Scooter Hightower pitched well again, allowing just an unearned run in five innings. He gave up four hits, walked none and struck out three. Matt Seelinger (28th round) made his pro debut with a perfect inning, striking out two. Brett Pope (22) also debuted, getting a single, a walk and a sac bunt in three trips to the plate. Bligh Madris went 2-4 and Tristan Gray 2-3.

Michael De La Cruz: 1-3, BB
Jared Oliva: 0-3, BB
Deon Stafford: 1-4, 2B
Lucas Tancas: 0-4

— Bristol (2-5) had 16 hits and nine walks in a 10-6 win over Princeton. The Pirates went 7-for-19 with runners in scoring position and still stranded 15 runners. Paul Brands went 2-6 with his first pro HR, a grand slam. Johan De Jesus was 3-6 with a double. Travis MacGregor threw five shutout innings, allowing two hits and three walks, and striking out two. Drew Fischer (35) and Eddie Muhl (25) made their debuts. Fischer went an inning and a third, allowing just a walk and striking out three. Muhl gave up an unearned run on one hit in one inning. He struck out one.

Yondry Contreras: 1-4, 2 BB
Nick Valaika: 2-4, 2 BB
Edison Lantigua: 2-4, 2 BB
Ben Bengtson: 1-3, 2 BB

— The GCL Pirates (1-2) lost to the Braves, 10-3, but two 2017 draft picks had good days. Second round pick Cal Mitchell went 3-5 with his first pro HR and competitive round pick Conner Uselton made his pro debut, also going 3-5 and collecting a double. Starter Leandro Pina went four and a third innings, allowing three runs, two earned, on seven hits and a walk. He struck out four. Ryan Valdes, selected in round 33, gave up no hits or walks in his pro debut of an inning and two-thirds. He struck out three. Thirtieth round pick Manny Bejerano made his pro debut, entering the game at catcher in the seventh inning. He went 0-1.

Lolo Sanchez: 1-5
Jeremias Portorreal: 3-5, 2B, 3B
Rodolfo Castro: 0-4, BB

— The DSL Pirates (12-10) lost to the Rangers1, 9-2. Starter Osvaldo Bido gave up three runs on three hits in four innings. He walked four and struck out five. The offense managed just five singles.