The GCL Pirates and Bradenton Marauders both played at home today, but there wasn’t a lot going on as both got shut out.
GCL Yankees West 4, GCL Pirates 0
The Pirates managed only four hits and fanned a dozen times against five Yankee pitchers. The Bucs also committed four errors, so it wasn’t a stellar display.
They did get five shutout innings from starter Roger Santana, a lefty who signed for $100,000 — a big bonus by Pirate standards but not for other teams — out of the Dominican. Santana throws the standard four pitches and tries to work the corners. His fastball sat at 90-91 mph in the first inning and a shade below that later. He had control problems that peaked in the third inning, which ended with the bases loaded. He wasn’t able to throw his fastball for strikes with any consistency, which made it hard to set up his secondary stuff at times. He went more with the secondary pitches in the last two innings and had an easier time. Despite the control issues, he managed to keep the ball away from the middle of the plate and got a lot of weak contact. Santana allowed just three hits and two walks in his five innings, while striking out three.
Two struggling pitchers followed. Eumir Sepulveda gave up four runs, two earned, in just an inning. Vince Deyzel, who signed out of South Africa, threw three shutout innings, mainly on the strength of an 88-89 mph fastball that he located well.
The Pirates had some defensive issues, mainly from Rodolfo Castro. He started the game at third, with Victor Ngoepe at short and Nick King at second. For some reason, after six innings the Pirates moved Castro to short, Ngoepe to second and King to third. While he was still at third, Castro had an off-target throw on a routine grounder on which Mikell Granberry made a nice catch-and-tag, and a fumbled grounder. After the move to short, Castro booted another grounder that led to an unearned run. He looked a lot better at the plate, showing good patience while going 1-3 with a double and a walk.
The team’s two prep outfielder draftees didn’t do a lot at the plate. Mason Martin had an especially rough time, fanning three times and popping up the other. Calvin Mitchell went 1-4.
Charlotte 3, Bradenton 0
The Marauders didn’t do much more than the GCL team at the plate. Bradenton is operating at a disadvantage, as they’re short on outfielders. They lost Logan Hill and Jordan George to promotions, and Hunter Owen, who would have replaced Hill, got hurt before he could be moved up. The result has been utility infielders starting in the outfield. Today that meant Logan Ratledge in left and Alfredo Reyes, who showed a very strong arm today, in center. On top of that, right fielder Kevin Krause, the team’s only remaining power hitter, came out after flying out to end the first inning. He was replaced by backup catcher John “Fifteen Minutes of Fame” Bormann, who fanned all three times up. I didn’t see whether Krause ran out the fly ball, but he wasn’t hurt as he later went to the bullpen to warm up pitchers, so feel free to guess what happened. The Pirates probably moved Carlos Munoz up to compensate for the lack of offense from the outfield.
The Marauders’ starter, Logan Sendelbach (pictured), pitched very well. He threw sinkers almost exclusively. I saw a few sliders and one or two changeups. Sendelbach’s sinker was around 93 consistently, topping out at 94. Late in his six-inning outing, it sometimes dropped down to 91-92. He kept the ball down, got lots of grounders, and didn’t walk anybody while striking out four. He gave up two runs, one on a HR to lead off the game, the other on a pair of singles and a sac fly in the sixth.
The Marauders did get some good defense. Second baseman Mitchell Tolman and first baseman Will Craig each had a diving stop on hard grounders in the hole, and turned both into outs. Reyes looked completely at home in center, getting good jumps on a couple of long flies.
On offense, Ke’Bryan Hayes and Will Craig had two hits apiece. Tolman and Stephen Alemais had long drives caught at the wall.