Prospect Watch: Valentin Linarez Throws Five Perfect Innings in FCL

Your daily Pittsburgh Pirates Prospect Watch article for recaps of all of today’s games. Be sure to pick up your copy of the latest Prospect Guide in our store, available as an ebook or a limited edition paperback.

A note on Michael Burrows:  Roster Resource, which now resides at FanGraphs, for a long time listed Burrows as Rule 5 eligible in 2021.  This made no sense.  That was especially obvious from the fact that RR listed Braxton Ashcraft, who was selected in the same draft and is a month older than Burrows, as eligible in 2022.  The listing has now been changed and shows Burrows as eligible in 2022.

INDIANAPOLIS

(5:35pm)

Season preview

Boxscore Game One

Boxscore Game Two

Starting Pitchers:  Steven Brault 3 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 K and Beau Sulser (4-2, 3.02, 56.2 IP, 58 K)

Notable Performances:

Anthony Alford 3-7, 2B

Fabricio Macias 0-3

Cole Tucker 1-2, 2 BB

Game Recap:

Indianapolis (31-32) lost the first game of its doubleheader with Omaha, 2-1.  Steven Brault made the rehab start, going three innings on just 37 pitches, 28 strikes.  He gave up two hits, one of them a solo home run.  Cody Ponce went the last four, also allowing a solo homer and two hits.  The Indians had only four hits, two by Christian Bethancourt, and one each by Bligh Madris and Anthony Alford.

Indy also dropped game two, 4-3, as a seventh-inning rally fell short.  Beau Sulser, who’s having a surprisingly strong season, struggled from the start.  He gave up seven hits and four walks over four innings.  He got away with it until the fourth, when Omaha got all four of their runs.  Blake Weiman and Steven Wright followed with three hitless innings.  Indy had taken a 1-0 lead in the first, but didn’t score again until the seventh.  They got two in the inning with two outs, and had runners at the corners before Bethancourt flied out to end it.  Dee Strange-Gordon had two hits, two runs and an RBI.  Anthony Alford had a single and a double.  Cole Tucker reached base three times.

ALTOONA

(6:00pm)

Season Preview

Boxscore

Starting Pitcher:  Omar Cruz 5 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 8 K

Notable Performances:

Ji-Hwan Bae 2-4, 3B, BB, SB

Canaan Smith-Njigba 2-4, BB

Mason Martin 0-4, BB

Cal Mitchell 2-5, 2B

Game Recap:

Altoona (34-28) hammered Binghamton, 9-2.  Omar Cruz got off to a shaky start, giving up two runs in the first before retiring a batter.  He had to get out of a first-and-third, no out situation to keep the score 2-0.  Cruz eventually went five without allowing another run.  He fanned eight.  Steven Jennings followed with three scoreless innings and Hunter Stratton pitched the ninth.  The Curve spread the offense around, getting ten hits and eight walks from eight players.  They survived 15 strikeouts, four by Mason Martin, and a 3-for-14 performance with runners in scoring position.  Ji-Hwan Bae had a single and a triple, Cal Mitchell had a single and a double, and Canaan Smith-Njigba had two hits.  Everybody in the lineup except catcher Jason Delay either scored or drove in a run.

GREENSBORO

(6:00pm)

Season Preview

Boxscore

Starting Pitcher:  J.C. Flowers 4 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 4 K

Notable Performances:

Matt Fraizer 0-4, BB

Nick Gonzales 1-4

Liover Peguero 0-5

Aaron Shackelford 1-4, HR (15), BB

Jared Triolo 2-5, 2 SB

Matt Gorski 2-5, HR (10)

Lolo Sanchez 2-4, SB

Game Recap:

Greensboro came back from a 4-0 deficit to beat Rome, 8-5.  J.C. Flowers had a rough first inning, giving up four runs, two of them unearned.  He managed to last four innings total, allowing one more run.  Colin Selby, who’s mostly struggled in his return from Tommy John, fanned four over three perfect innings in relief.  Austin Roberts finished with two scoreless innings.  The Grasshoppers got most of their offense from the lower part of the order.  Jared Triolo, Matt Gorski and Lolo Sanchez each had two hits and two runs scored, with Gorski hitting his tenth home run of the year.  Triolo, who’s not a speedster, stole two bases to get up to 15 on the year.  Sanchez stole his 19th.  Aaron Shackelford hit his 15th home run of the year.  Nick Gonzales had a two-run single to put the Hoppers ahead in the seventh.

BRADENTON

(7:05pm)

Season Preview

Boxscore

Starting Pitcher:  Adrian Florencio 5.1 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K

Notable Performances:

Maikol Escotto 0-3, BB

Endy Rodriguez 1-4

Dariel Lopez 0-4

Jack Herman 1-4

Eli Wilson 1-2, 2 BB

Game Recap:

Bradenton (41-23) dropped a 2-1 game to Daytona.  Adrian Florencio had a good start, allowing two runs in five and a third innings.  Oliver Mateo had quite a performance in relief.  He faced seven hitters, striking out six of them.  He got credit for two and two-thirds innings because there was a runner on base when he came on and he got a strikeout-caught stealing double play.  The Marauders continued to struggle at the plate, getting only six hits, all singles.  The Marauders’ only run came after they loaded the bases with nobody out in the ninth.  Hudson Head pinch hit for Jase Bowen, who’d struck out three times.  Head struck out himself, then Daniel Rivero, just promoted from the FCL, hit into a force play to drive in the only run.  Rivero replaced Sammy Siani, who went on the seven-day injured list.  A ground out ended the game.

FCL PIRATES BLACK

(10:00am)

Season Preview

Boxscore

Starting Pitcher:  Luis Peralta 4 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K

Notable Performances:

Juan Jerez 1-3

Franrielis Bastardo 0-3

Luis Tejeda 0-3

Game Recap:

In intra-organizational play, the Gold team (11-3) beat the Black team (8-6), 8-2.  Valentin Linarez had quite a start for the Gold squad.  He fanned the first six hitters he faced and eight of the first nine.  He ended up throwing five perfect innings, striking out ten.  Adrian Mendez gave up two runs, one earned, in his inning and Mario Garcia struck out two in the seventh.  Luis Peralta started for the Black squad and allowed four runs, two earned, in four innings.  Jorge Ramos, making his first start of the year, gave up a run and struck out four over two innings.

A couple of outfielders moved down from Bradenton provided a lot of the Gold team’s offense.  Jasiah Dixon had three hits and a walk, a steal, and three runs scored.  Sergio Campana hit a two-run home run, his first longball as a pro.  Tsung-Che Cheng and Rodolfo Nolasco each had a single and a walk, and Cheng had a steal of home.  The Black team had only two hits, singles by Juan Jerez and Fleury Nova, and struck out 14 times in 23 ABs.

FCL PIRATES GOLD

(10:00am)

Season Preview

Boxscore

Starting Pitcher:  Valentin Linarez 5 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 10 K

Notable Performances:

Jasiah Dixon 3-3, BB, SB

Tsung-Che Cheng 1-3, BB, SB

Rodolfo Nolasco 1-3, BB

Sergio Campana 1-3, HR (1), SB

Game Recap:

See above.

DSL PIRATES BLACK

(10:30am)

Boxscore

Starting Pitcher:  Kevison Hernandez 2.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 5 K

Notable Performances:

Jesus Castillo 2-2, 2 BB, SB

Javier Rivas 0-3, BB

Ewry Espinal 1-3, 3B, BB

Shalin Polanco 0-3, BB

Enmanuel Terrero 0-3, BB, SB

Game Recap:

In another Pirate vs. Pirate battle, the Black squad scored six in the fifth and beat the Gold squad, 9-4.  The game was largely a cavalcade of walks, with Gold pitchers issuing 12 and Black pitchers 11.  The 13 total runs came on just nine hits.  Kevison Hernandez, making his pro debut for the Black team, had about the most successful outing of nine total pitchers, going 2.2 scoreless IP, giving up one hit and “just” three walks.  For the Gold team, Yojeiry Osoria, a lefty who was one of the Pirates’ top signings in the 2019-20 signing period, made his pro debut and only recorded two outs.  He gave up a hit, walked two, hit one and threw a wild pitch.  Esmerlyn Valdez drew three walks for the Gold team and Eddy Rodriguez went 1-3.  For the Black team, Ewry Espinal had a triple, a walk and three RBIs.  Jesus Castillo reached base all four times up and scored three runs.

DSL PIRATES GOLD

(10:30am)

Boxscore

Starting Pitcher:  Yojeiry Osoria 0.2 IP, 1 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 1 K

Notable Performances:

Jeral Toledo 0-4

Esmerlyn Valdez 0-1, 3 BB

Eddy Rodriguez 1-3

Game Recap:

See above.

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