Found March 27, 2013 on Pirates Prospects:
Stolmy Pimentel has been impressive this Spring. If there’s one player who has surprised me this Spring, it’s been Stolmy Pimentel. When he came over from the Red Sox in the Joel Hanrahan trade, Pimentel looked like a fading prospect. He used to be one of the top arms in the Boston farm system. He’s still regarded as a prospect, but after struggling at the Double-A level the last two years, his hype has faded. From what I’ve seen this Spring out of Pimentel, there’s little reason to be down on him. There’s also no reason why he should have struggled so much at the Double-A level the last two seasons with this stuff. The right-hander didn’t have his best results of the Spring today, but it wasn’t bad. He went four innings, allowing two runs on five hits, with a walk and six strikeouts. His fastball ranged from 89-96 MPH, and he was throwing his slider in the 82-86 MPH range. He threw 73 pitches, with 48 for strikes against the Phillies’ Double-A squad. One key to his success this Spring has been the slider. It has been an out pitch this Spring, although Pimentel hasn’t thrown it that often. He started throwing the pitch last year, and felt that the pitch improved as the year went on. His numbers definitely improved, as you can see by his ERA and K% on a month by month basis. May – 25.1 IP, 5.33 ERA, 14.3% K/PA June – 25.1 IP, 6.75 ERA, 11.0% K/PA July – 26.2 IP, 4.05 ERA, 22.0% K/PA August – 27.1 IP, 3.62 ERA, 17.7% K/PA Pimentel will be used as a starter this year, and will begin the season in Altoona. It will be difficult to tell how he’s handling the level, since this will be his third trip through the Eastern League. Any success will come with an asterisk. He should move up to Indianapolis by mid-season, since he’s on his final option year. That will be a bigger test, but first he’s going to need the numbers in Altoona. If he pitches the way he has this Spring, that success won’t be hard to come by. Gerrit Cole Gets Practice Bunting I was watching the short-season games this afternoon when something threw me off. The Pirates don’t have names on the back of their jerseys in minor league camp, just numbers. They provide roster sheets with the names and numbers, but those sheets don’t include players who were sent down from major league camp. At this point in camp, it can be confusing, depending on the number. After watching a one out single, I saw number 35 step into the box. I didn’t think much of it, since Jordan Steranka wears number 35, and was on the on-deck circle. Number 35 went to lay down a bunt, and was getting a lot of instruction from the coaching staff. That was strange that Steranka, a college player, needed the instruction. After number 35 laid down a bunt, I watched as Jordan Steranka stepped up to the plate. What? It wasn’t Steranka who was bunting. Turns out it was Gerrit Cole, who was getting some experience sacrificing runners over. Cole stepped in almost every half inning, or when a runner would reach base. Unfortunately for the lower level pitchers, that seemed to be every half inning. The top pitching prospect went 3-for-3 in the bunts I saw, advancing two runners from first to second, and one from second to third. After the third bunt, Jameson Taillon grabbed a bat and a helmet, stepped into the box, and took a turn at advancing the runner. Just some of the fun of Pirate City. You think you’re going to be watching Enyel Vallejo for the first time, and then you get to watch the two top pitching prospects working on their in-game bunting skills. The Short Season Players Most of my time was spent watching the short season players today, since I haven’t seen a lot of them playing this Spring. Some notes: **Ulises Montilla, who had great numbers in the Dominican Summer League, ripped a line drive over the third baseman’s head for a single late in the game. **Edwin Espinal, a big third baseman who played in the GCL last year, had a nice piece of hitting, going opposite field on a low and away curveball from Angel Sanchez. **Enyel Vallejo started at shortstop today. He looks tall and athletic, but was very raw on the field. He displayed a good arm, but one of the throws I saw was a bit wild, pulling the first baseman off the bag. He also booted a routine grounder later in the game. **To give an idea of how raw these players are, Francisco Aponte needed instruction on where to stand on the third base line when leading off the bag. It’s a totally different experience watching this level. **Maximo Rivera showed off his speed on a ground out to first. I’ve seen Rivera earlier in camp, legging out a triple. **Hayden Hurst pitched two shutout innings, striking out one and throwing 91-94 MPH. **Adrian Grullon pitched two innings, allowing a run on one hit and three walks, with two strikeouts. He was 90-92 MPH. Other Notes **I haven’t seen Tim Alderson much this Spring, since he’s been on the travel roster to McKechnie. He’s still got the filthy curveball working for him, and was throwing 90-92 MPH. Some of those pitches were elevated, although his funky delivery adds some deception. He pitched two innings in relief. **Vic Black came on to relieve Wandy Rodriguez in the seventh inning, getting work coming into a game mid inning. Black threw his fastball 95 MPH, and his slider 85 MPH to get the final batter. **Duke Welker threw an inning in relief. He was 94-96 MPH with his fastball, and 84-86 with his slider. He did a good job pitching inside to right-handers. He struck out two, and had a good combination of pitches against the final batter. With one strike he went inside on the right-hander for strike two. He followed that up with a low and away slider to get the batter swinging at strike three.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
RELATED ARTICLES

Pittsburgh Pirates 2013 Season Preview: The Starting Rotation

The Pirates starting rotation shaped up to be a battle for one spot, but Jeff Karstens started having shoulder problems. Karstens appears likely on his way to a spot on the disabled list to start the season, which opened up another place in the rotation. A.J. Burnett, Wandy Rodriguez and James McDonald have all been penciled in in the top three spots for a while now, and word came...

Pirates roster shaping up to be a mess in April

Opening Day is less than a week away, and we’re finally starting to see what the last couple spots on the 25-man roster will look like when the Bucs head to Pittsburgh this weekend. It isn’t pretty. Here’s a breakdown of the situation: Starting Rotation The most important position that needed to be filled during spring training was the back of the rotation. Originally, it appeared...

Spring Training Notes: Roster Set, A.J. Burnett

The Pirates finished up their final cuts to minor league camp along with designating Clint Robinson and Hunter Strickland for assignment and have set their Opening Day roster. It will look like this: SP A.J. Burnett SP Wandy Rodriguez SP James McDonald SP Jonathan Sanchez SP Jeff Locke RP Jeanmar Gomez RP Chris Leroux RP Jared Hughes RP Mark Melancon RP Tony Watson RP Justin Wilson...

Analyzing the Opening Day Roster

The Opening Day roster is all but set. The Pirates cut nine players this morning, leaving 26 active players in camp. The only question mark remaining is whether Brandon Inge will start the season on the disabled list, which would put Josh Harrison on the bench. At this point it looks likely that Inge will start on the DL. Pirates General Manager Neal Huntington met with the media...

Pittsburgh Pirates 2013 Season Preview: The Infield

With Opening Day less than a week away and Spring Training coming to a close in Florida, it seems like an appropriate time to take a look at what the Pirates will put on the field next Monday when the Cubs visit PNC Park. The idea is to do one of these each day. I’ll break down the outfield, starting rotation, bullpen, bench and infield (today’s installment) individually. These...

Sanchez and Inge make Pirates' roster

The Pittsburgh Pirates told left-hander Jonathan Sanchez and third baseman Brandon Inge they will make the team's opening day roster. The pair, signed to minor league contracts as free agents, would have been able to opt out of their deals if they hadn't been told by Tuesday they will be added to the 40-man roster. Sanchez, a left-hander, will move into the No. 4 spot in...

Improved Pirates looking to avoid another meltdown

Jason Grilli is well aware of the history. After two promising summers turned into painful falls, the new Pittsburgh Pirates closer realizes what's at stake in 2013. ''You know, it's like three strikes and you're out,'' Grilli said. ''I don't think anybody in this clubhouse wants that to happen.'' Not if the group that's helped...

Pirates A.J. Burnett Thinking About Retiring After the Season

Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher A.J. Burnett, told Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, that he is considering retirement after the 5-year $82 million dollar contract he signed with the New York Yankees runs out. Burnett, 36, made his Major League debut in 1999 with the Florida Marlins, followed by stops in Toronto and New York and has a win-loss record of 137-121 coming...

Pirate City Notes: Minor League Rosters Starting to Take Shape

Wandy Rodriguez and Tony Watson will be over from major league camp today, as the Triple-A and Double-A teams take on the Phillies farm system. We’ll have bonus coverage tonight. Jessica Quiroli is in Clearwater, and will be providing some notes from the A-ball games on the road. The Pirates made what appears to be their final cuts today. A lot of the moves are starting to impact...

Opening Day Roster set

The Bucs have trimmed their roster down much like I predicted they would yesterday, and here’s what it looks like: Rotation: A.J. Burnett, Wandy Rodriguez, James McDonald, Jonathan Sanchez, Jeff Locke Projected starters: Russell Martin, Garrett Jones, Neil Walker, Clint Barmes, Pedro Alvarez, Travis Snider, Andrew McCutchen, Starling Marte Bench: Michael McKenry, Jose Tabata...

Roster Watch: Tony Watson and Justin Wilson

I’m just going to combine the last two Roster Watch articles.  I called Justin Wilson making this team waaaaaaaaay back when I did the Kyle McPherson article. Everyone knew that Tony Watson was going to make the roster, he has had two pretty good seasons in the bigs and has carved out a role in…

Draft Preview: More Rankings Come Out

The seventh weekend of the college season is about to get under way, with some teams starting their schedule a day earlier due to Easter Sunday. The Pirates have the #9 and #14 picks in the upcoming June amateur draft. Throughout the college/HS season, leading up to the draft, we will cover the interesting players that are being discussed in the Pirates draft range. There will also...

Inge and Sanchez Make The Team

Just as I feared, Brandon Inge has made the team.  Not that I’m surprised.  His signing led me to write this post about how all these “Just a Minor League Deals” shouldn’t be written off. This is probably the nail in the coffin for Jordy Mercer and possibly Josh Harrison.  With the addition of John…

Bucs' Barmes swinging for better year

Pirates' shortstop Clint Barmes had a steady season with the glove last season, but struggled big time with the bat. He told PiratesDugout.com's George Von Benko that he is hoping to build off a strong finish at the plate last season.

Worley gets loose, Twins beat Pirates

BRADENTON, Fla. (AP) -- A.J. Burnett loosened up for his opening day start with three innings Wednesday in the Pittsburgh Pirates' 7-4 loss to the Minnesota Twins. Burnett allowed two runs and four hits and struck out two. He'll next pitch on Monday when the Pirates host the Chicago Cubs. Vance Worley went five innings for the Twins, giving up two runs and seven hits while...
Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.