Welcome to 3 Up, 3 Down: a weekly recap and preview for the Pirates. This post refers to games from June 5th-11th: a stretch where the Pirates lost two extra inning games in Baltimore (6/6-6/7) and split a four game set at home against the Marlins (6/8-6/11).
- Andrew McCutchen is continuing to clobber the baseball, recording a .417/.462/.542 line in his six games last week. He is 23 hits over his last 57 at-bats (.404), racking up 38 total bases in that stretch (a .667 slugging percentage).
- Elias Diaz has reached base safely in all four of his starts since taking over for the injured Francisco Cervelli. Diaz has a 1.050 OPS on the year, including a .500/.563/.643 line in his first look as a starter. I opined Thursday that giving him a look as a starter was long overdue.
- Felipe Rivero made quite the first impression as the team’s part-time closer this weekend, getting the last four outs against the Marlins Saturday and Sunday. Rivero retired all 15 batters he faced over four appearances last week, striking out eight. He has only allowed one earned run since April 12 (28.2 innings). Clint Hurdle said Saturday that Rivero will be splitting the closing duties with Juan Nicasio.
- Tony Watson was booted from the closer’s role Friday after blowing a pair of saves in Baltimore. Watson has a 4.28 ERA and five blown saves this year- including his last four attempts. For a more in-depth look, Pirates Talk Now’s John Perrotto wrote about Watson and new part-time closer Rivero Wednesday.
- Tyler Glasnow was optioned to AAA Saturday. He has a 7.45 ERA on the year, which was inflated with a seven run performance Friday. He allowed 10 hits and only struck out one. For a more in-depth look, I wrote about Glasnow’s development Sunday.
- Gerrit Cole had a fourth straight bad outing June 8, allowing seven runs and 11 hits in 4.2 frames June 8. He has a 10.71 ERA dating back to May 22 (23 runs in 19.1 innings) and has not gone more than five frames in that stretch. Perotto touched on Cole’s struggles Thursday. He is scheduled to pitch Tuesday against the Rockies.
WHAT TO WATCH THIS WEEK
- Jameson Taillon is returning from the disabled list to pitch against the Colorado Rockies Monday, just five weeks after having testicular cancer surgery. He threw 97 pitches in his final rehab start and struck out 21 in 14 rehab innings.
- The first year MLB Draft kicks off this Monday and will go on through Wednesday. The Pirates have the 12th overall pick in the first round 42 picks overall. Four of those picks will come on the first day: their first round pick (12th), a compensation second rounder for failing to sign Nick Lodolo last year (42nd), their second round pick (50th) and a Competitive Balance B selection (72nd). According to Baseball America, the Pirates will have a bonus pool of $10,135,900.
- With Watson being demoted to low leverage situations, the Pirates need another late inning arm to gap the bridge to Rivero and Nicasio. Hurdle went to Daniel Hudson in the eighth Sunday, and he allowed a run and two hits in 0.2 innings. Hudson struggled earlier in the year, but was only scored upon in one of his last 11 outings. Perrotto wrote about the bullpen shuffle Friday.