Found August 04, 2013 on
Each week we run our “Top Performers” series, looking at the best pitchers and hitters from the previous week. This year we will also be recapping each month in order to award the Pitcher and Player of the month. Below are the average pitching Game Scores* in the Pittsburgh Pirates’ farm system from the month of May. The rankings include every pitcher who made at least four starts for a Pirates’ minor league affiliate, with no limitations on whether the starting pitcher has prospect eligibility. The Game Score listed is the average of all of their Game Scores for the month.
*Game Score is a stat created by Bill James used to determine how good a pitcher’s outing really was. The formula for game score is simple: Start with 50 points, add one point for every out recorded, add two for each inning completed after the fourth, add one point for each strikeout. Subtract two points for each hit, four points for each earned run, two points for each unearned run and one point for each walk. There tends to be an advantage for pitchers who can go longer in the game, as they have more time to pile up strikeouts, while getting bonus points for extra innings beyond the fourth frame.
Pitcher of the Month
Kris Johnson is the Pirates Prospects Pitcher of the Month for the second month in a row. (Photo Credit: David Hague)
For the second month in a row, Kris Johnson has won the Pirates Prospects Pitcher of the Month award. Johnson had a huge month of July, with a 1.00 ERA in 27 innings, along with a 17:5 K/BB ratio. He made four starts this month, going six or more innings each time, with three of those starts going seven innings. He gave up just three earned runs total in those starts.
Johnson was the Pitcher of the Month last month, and since the start of June he has combined for a 1.34 ERA in 60.1 innings, with a 38:12 K/BB ratio. Including his first start in the month of August, Johnson’s last ten starts have been quality starts. He has gone six or more innings, with three or fewer runs each time out. The more impressive thing is that only one of those starts saw him give up three runs, and that was a seven inning outing. He has pitched into the seventh inning in eight of those ten starts.
Johnson could be an option for the Pirates in the major league rotation this year if help is needed. He is currently behind Brandon Cumpton on the depth charts, and he’s probably behind Stolmy Pimentel since Pimentel is on the 40-man roster. We’ve certainly seen the Pirates suffer plenty of injuries to the rotation this year, so it’s not out of the question that they would need three additional starters by the end of the year. You hope that the rotation stays healthy, and if that happens, Johnson would still have a path to the majors. He currently profiles as the third best left-handed reliever, and could be added to the 40-man roster and called up in September as the third lefty in the bullpen.
The Other Candidates
Tyler Glasnow had a big month of July, putting up a 1.73 ERA in 26 innings, with a 30:11 K/BB ratio. Glasnow is always near the top of this list, but either falls short to someone who had a better month, or has similar numbers as someone at a higher and more difficult level, or both.
Stolmy Pimentel had the top start in two of the four weeks this month, combining for a 1.99 ERA in 40.2 innings, with a 24:6 K/BB ratio. Pimentel probably would have been the Pitcher of the Month if it wasn’t for his start on July 7th where he gave up four earned runs in six innings. He could be an option for the Pirates in the rotation in the final two months of the year.
Joely Rodriguez has been putting up strong numbers all year, and continued that in July. He had a 1.54 ERA in 35 innings, with a 23:10 K/BB ratio. He had great numbers in West Virginia, and doesn’t seem to be letting up in Bradenton.
Clay Holmes struggled early in the 2013 season, but has been turning things around lately. In the month of July he had a 2.08 ERA in 26 innings, with a 24:11 K/BB ratio. The biggest thing there is the lack of walks, as Holmes has struggled throughout the year with his control, but seems to be improving in that area.
BEST OF MAXIM
Last night I wrote about how Francisco Liriano and A.J. Burnett are the 1-A and 1-B when it comes to Pirates aces. I also said that I feel Liriano has passed Burnett as the Pirates ace. Typically, Burnett would follow that up with a complete game gem, allowing one run and striking out nine. After the game, Clint Hurdle was asked about the possibility that the Pirates have two aces...
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It’s probably the closest an older, married man can come to experiencing the legendary “walk of shame” from collegiate undergrad days of long ago: sheepishly shuffling away from his computer monitor around 4:00PM on July 31st of every year, after his favorite Major League Baseball team has done nothing at the Trade Deadline to improve itself...
We know Starling Marte and Andrew McCutchen are in, but not every roster spot is easy to suss out. (Photo by: David Hague)
This is not a jinx.
On this day last year, the Pirates’ playoff odds were hovering around 50 percent. Their chances to make the postseason this year are above 98 percent. Starting to think about what the 25-man playoff roster will look like is not counting...
Francisco Liriano dug up another gem for his 12th win of the season. (Photo Credit: David Hague)
When the Pirates need to stop a losing streak, they send out their stopper.
Francisco Liriano has become the stopper. He and the Pirates are now 12-4 in his starts after beating the Colorado Rockies 5-2 on Saturday night, and by doing so stopped a two-game losing streak from turning into...
The Pittsburgh Pirates had a statement to make to the St. Louis Cardinals and the rest of Major League Baseball this week, they belong on top.
Pittsburgh was faced with their biggest challenge thus far, as they played eight games in seven days. During that stretch the Pirates went 6-2 and dominated the Cardinals. They came into the series trailing by 1 1/2 games in the NL Central...
Jameson Taillon has officially been promoted to Indianapolis.
Here are the minor league moves from the last few days.
**Jameson Taillon has officially been promoted to Indianapolis, and is making his debut tonight. We heard about the promotion on Friday from Cory Giger. Neal Huntington talked about Taillon’s promotion on Sunday.
“There isn’t a great science to player movement...
TOP OF THE SYSTEM
A look at how the current top 20 prospects did today. Note that this list doesn’t include players currently in the majors. If a player is in the majors, he will be removed, everyone below him will be shifted up a spot, and a new player will be added to the bottom of the list. Rankings are from the mid-season rankings, and links on each name go to their Pirates...
Rockies (52-59) at Pirates (65-44)
7:05 PM–PNC Park, Pittsburgh
The Bucs look to avoid a series loss as they try and get back on track tonight against the Rockies.
Jorge De La Rosa (10-5, 3.21) vs. Francisco Liriano (11-4, 2.16)
De La Rosa, the lefty the Pirates pursued in free agency several years ago, has recovered from some...
MIAMI -- Few people enjoy smoking cigars as much as Jack McKeon.
A daily communicant, the former Marlins manager has been known to leave a lighted cigar outside church while attending Mass only to pick up the stogie immediately following the service.
But two months after undergoing heart bypass surgery, McKeon dropped a bombshell at Marlins Park on Sunday -- his cigar-smoking days...
Sellout crowds for October baseball are in PNC Park’s future. (Photo Credit: David Hague)
The Pirates won four out of five games from the St. Louis Cardinals and two out of three from the Colorado Rockies last week. That is, hold on while I get my dictionary…
A good thing. Good. Hmm, that’s a new word.
Anyway, Pittsburgh sat just under 98 percent playoff odds one week ago...
Welcome back, my friends, to the show that ends in usually about an hour or 90 minutes or whenever we are done talking about baseball. We’re so glad you could attend. Come inside, come inside…
After a couple weeks off, we are back on Pirates Roundtable Live. Among the topics of your interest for your talking heads to discuss: closing the book on Pittsburgh’s lack-of-trade deadline...
A.J. Burnett scattered eight hits and Russell Martin provided some rare run support for the right-hander with a three-run homer that led the Pittsburgh Pirates over the Colorado Rockies 5-1 Sunday.
Burnett (5-7) struck out nine and walked one in his first complete game of the season and 23rd of his 15-year career. He threw 110 pitches, including 83 strikes.
Martin's home run...
A.J. Burnett was picked up off the scrap heap after a failed experiment in New York, and all he's done is have his the best season of his career, including two big performances in the past seven days.
The Pittsburgh Pirates have a chance to make a deep playoff run for the first time since 1992 and don’t plan on making the same mistake the Washington Nationals made last year. The Pirates have said that they will not be shutting down their prized young pitcher, Gerrit Cole. They will get creative in monitoring his usage but they want him around for when they need him the most...
With all of the time that we've spent talking about Francisco Liriano and Jeff Locke and Gerrit Cole this year, there's something that's gotten lost in the mix: some days, AJ Burnett takes the mound with his best stuff, and when that happens the other team doesn't stand a chance. Burnett was brilliant this afternoon, tossing nine easy innings against the Rockies,...