The Pirates promoted Tim Alderson to Triple-A this morning, presumably to fill the roster spot opened by Brad Lincoln’s promotion. He’s already made his Triple-A debut for the Indians, tossing three scoreless relief innings against Columbus this afternoon, striking out three, walking one, and allowing just one hit.
Alderson’s been an afterthought in the Pirates’ system for so long that it’s hard to believe he’s only 23, which is plenty age-appropriate for Triple-A. He made four relief appearances for Altoona before the promotion and he was plenty impressive, striking out eight and walking one in seven scoreless innings.
Tim Williams wrote quite a bit about Alderson this spring, how his velocity was creeping back up towards the 90s and how he wouldn’t be surprised to see him return to some kind of prospect status this year. Obviously we’re a ways away from that with just 11 innings under his belt this year, but I’ll be interested to see how he does at Indianapolis and how the Pirates handle him. His shift to the bullpen was mainly to help him iron his struggles out and the team stretched him out like a starter in camp, so it seems logical to think that if he has some success in long relief outings like today’s that he could find his way into Indianapolis’s rotation as the summer wears on.
Like I said above, we obviously need to see more out of Alderson before getting too excited, but he’s definitely made himself into someone worth paying attention to as this summer wears on. Indianapolis will be in Durham next weekend, so hopefully I’ll get a chance to see him in person.