Since I haven’t had a chance yet, let’s take a tour around the various winter and fall leagues and see how the Pirates are doing, both here and overseas. This isn’t necessarily a comprehensive look since I’m just visually scanning rosters, so let me know if I missed anyone.
Arizona Fall League
You probably don’t need me to tell you this, but Robbie Grossman is still on fire. He’s hitting .397/.483/.685 with a league-best six homers. Jarek Cunningham is continuing along his “nice pop but not much else” pace with a .229 batting average and a .291 OBP to go with his .500 SLG. Most of the Pirates’ pitchers aren’t doing all that well: Mike Colla is struggling with control, Nathan Baker is getting hit fairly hard (as is wont to happen in the AFL, of course), Phil Irwin left with some arm trouble and Jeff Inman just replaced him.
The good news today is the Gerrit Cole is pitching again. The bad news is that he’s pitching in Mesa and not Surprise or Peoria, which are the two parks in the AFL with Pitch f/x cameras. Which is something we’ve all been waiting for this fall. So we will again be relying on breathless twitter relays of his velocity. Actually, I still think that’s pretty exciting.
Dominican Winter League
There’s only a handful of Buccos playing in the Dominican right now. Chris Leroux, Matt Hague, and Chase d’Arnaud are playing for los Toros del Este and Leroux is pitching pretty well, allowing just two hits and two runs (one earned) in nine innigs of work stretched over two starts. He’s got 10 strikeouts and two walks, as well. I’m not sure if his starting this winter is notable. He’s said in the past that he’s interested in moving to the rotation (David Todd has been beating that drum, as well) but if I’m remembering correctly, Neal Huntington mostly dismissed that idea. The Pirates do need starters, though …
Hague had two singles playing as the DH yesterday, but that only brings his line up to .250/.289/.278 through nine games and 36 plate appearances. d’Arnaud has been even worse, going 0 for his first 10. I think he must’ve gotten hit by a pitch at some point, because his OBP is .091, but he hasn’t drawn a walk yet.
Over on los Leones del Escogido, Starling Marte hit his first homer yesterday (off of Tim Wood!) and he’s now 13-for-31 including that homer and three doubles. He’s only drawn one walk to go with his seven strikeouts, though, and he’s got four steals in five tries.
Venezuelan Winter League
Diego Moreno has been less than impressive in a handful of outings for los Aguilas de Zulia, giving up five hits and four walks in 4 1/3 innings. Gorkys Hernandez is off to a slow start with los Caribes de Anzoategui, with a .138/.278/.207 line in 29 at-bats and 11 games. Ramon Cabrera is only seeing limited action with los Leones del Caracas, but he’s made the most of it. He’s got four hits in nine at-bats with a double, plus four walks. Jose Ascanio is also no Caracas and he seems to be throwing well with six strikeouts and two walks in 7 1/3 innings.
Mexican Winter League
Not many Pirates here (I could only find Rogelio Noris), but Kip Wells is pitching for los Yaquis de Obregon. And he’s walked nine hitters in 9 1/3 innings, but he ‘s got a 2.89 ERA.
There are a few Pirates here, but the league won’t kick off for another week or so.