Altoona outfielder Starling Marte has been selected to play in this year’s MLB Futures Game played in Phoenix, AZ during All-Star week. Marte will play on the World Team. Chase d’Arnaud was originally selected, also, to play for the US Team, however, I assume he will take his recent call-up to the Majors over that honor any day.
Marte, 22, is in his first full year playing for Altoona and is having quite a season. He is hitting .338/.370/.477 in 266 at bats. Marte has shown for years that he has the talent, however, freak injuries have sidelined him. This will hopefully be his first full year of playing so we can see what he has over an entire season. Marte is a gifted athlete and scouts say his defense may ultimately push Andrew McCutchen out of center field once Marte arrives in the Majors.
The Futures Game will be broadcast on ESPN2 on Sunday, July 10th at 6 PM ET.
A lot of people have been calling for it to happen and it finally is. Chase d’Arnaud will be promoted from AAA-Indianapolis in time for Friday’s game against Boston. To make room for him on the 25-man roster, IF Josh Harrison was optioned to AAA.
First off, let’s go over some info on d’Arnaud. The Pirates’ 2008 4th round pick is in the midst of a solid 1st go around at AAA and has rebounded quite nicely from his disappointing 2009 campaign at AA-Altoona. Things didn’t start off well for d’Arnaud this season as he hit .217/.323/.373 in April. However, he turned things on in May with a .329/.357/.465 line and is continuing the success into June where he is hitting .299/.365/.429. He also has 17 SB in 20 attempts. Expect d’Arnaud to get some playing time at 3B mainly, however he is capable of playing 2B and SS, too. Many view him as the Pirates’ future shortstop, depending on his defense.
Now, you may be thinking to yourself, “Why did Harrison get sent down and not Pedro Ciriaco?” Jen Langosch from MLB.com provides an excellent reason as to why.
Basically, the Pirates also have plans to call up Alex Presley to DH for the series against Toronto. They will then be calling up Brad Lincoln next Saturday to start one of 2 games during a double header. Lincoln will most likely be called up and someone will have to be removed from the roster then to make room for him. After Lincoln’s start, he will be demoted, and Harrison will most likely be called up. When a player is optioned, he cannot be recalled for 10 days unless there is an injury on the ML roster. Therefore, optioning Harrison now will allow the Pirates to call him back up once Lincoln start is finished. Had the optioned Ciriaco now, and Harrison later, Harrison would not have been able to join the team for another few days. It’s confusing, but it makes some sense.
But anyways, back to d’Arnaud. He will become Neal Huntington’s 2nd draft pick to make the Majors. The other was ’08 1st rounder Pedro Alvarez.
The Pirates will also need to make a corresponding move to make room for d’Arnaud on the 40-man roster sometime Friday.
Pirates Prospects is reporting the Pirates have agreed to terms with their 23rd round pick, RHP Jordan Cooper. Cooper was drafted by the Pirates in 2009 in the 17th round by the Pirates, but didn’t sign. So the team obviously likes him. He went 3-2 with a 4.61 ERA in 66 1/3 innings the year as a draft-eligible sophomore for Kentucky, who plays in the baseball powerhouse SEC.
Here’s what Baseball America had to say about Cooper:
Scouts don’t know what to make of righthander Jordan Cooper. He opened the season in Kentucky’s weekend rotation and pitched his way out of it after having little success with an 88-90 mph fastball and a mediocre breaking ball. Then the 6-foot-3, 215-pounder looked like a top-five-rounds pick in midweek starts against Louisville and Western Kentucky, dealing with an 89-94 mph sinker, a harder slider and a solid changeup. He didn’t show the same stuff and lacked the same command when he returned to his Sunday slot. He has extra leverage as a 21-year-old sophomore, and the team that selects him likely will monitor his progress during the summer.
I would assume that Cooper’s bonus would be considered high for a 23rd round pick due to him having good leverage as a sophomore who can be drafted next season as well. Cooper should be joining the State College rotation and is the 14th player the Pirates have signed from this year’s draft.
Final: Pirates 5, Orioles 4
WP: Kevin Correia (9-6)
LP: Zach Britton (6-5)
SV: Joel Hanrahan (20)
When you put it in play, good things happen. That’s how the Bucs, ultimately, won today’s rubber match with the Orioles.
In the bottom of the 5th inning, Brandon Wood and Mike McKenry led off with back to back singles. Kevin Correia would bunt them over to 2nd and 3rd. Jose Tabata would be unable to plate a run as he struck out. Then Josh Harrison stepped and hit a sharp ground ball right at Orioles’ second baseman Blake Davis, who was making his Major League debut. The ball ricochet off Davis into shallow right field. Wood and McKenry would score and the Pirates would take the lead. A lead they would hold. Welcome to the big leagues, Blake.
Kevin Correia was pretty shaky as he allowed all 4 runs over 6 innings of work on 9 hits and a walk. He struck out 5. The Pirates’ bullpen, once again, would hold the Orioles scoreless for 4 innings thanks to work from Chris Resop, Jose Veras, and Joel Hanrahan. In all seriousness, Hanrahan deserves an All-Star bid. The guy is 20 for 20 in save opportunities now and is establishing himself as one of the premier closers in the game. In his last 13 appearances, he has allowed a hit in 1 of them. His season ERA is now 1.31 and his WHIP is a minuscule 0.96.
Andrew McCutchen followed up his great performance yesterday with a 2-hit day, including an RBI single in the 1st and a leadoff double in the 4th.
The Bucs are off tomorrow before hosting the Boston Red Sox this morning, in what I’m sure will be 3 heavily attended games with great atmospheres. Boy, would it be nice to win that series.