The Pirates’ AAA and AA players took on the Tigers at Pirate City. There were two noteworthy developments. First the good: Gregory Polanco played in the field for the first time. His arm didn’t get challenged, which is probably just as well. At the plate he hit a couple of hard grounders and a popup that fell for a single.
The less good development was that Mitch Keller got bombed. Seriously bombed. He managed to record only one out in his first inning before the inning was called due to his pitch count. He walked the first hitter, then wasn’t helped when Jason Martin took a very bad route to a catchable drive to center that became a double. There was a long HR to right and a lot of other hard-hit balls throughout his start, which lasted four-plus innings. Keller was falling behind a lot and throwing a lot of not-very-effective changeups. Martin, at least, did hit a long HR of his own off a LHP.
A few other notes:
- Stephen Alemais played short for the AA team, so I expect he’s headed back to Altoona.
- The rest of the Altoona infield this year may be Mitchell Tolman at second, Hunter Owen at third and Randolph Gassaway (a minor league Rule 5 acquisition) at first. A lot of the AAA guys, especially outfielders, are still with the Pirates.
- Cole Tucker absolutely has filled out some.
- Travis Swaggerty apparently has some (supposedly) minor ailment and hasn’t played in a while.