Story by Rob Biertempfel/Photo by Christopher Horner
MILWAUKEE — The Pirates signed nine draft picks, all former college players: C Jason Delay (fourth round, Vanderbilt), C Deon Stafford (fifth, St. Joseph’s), OF Jared Oliva (seventh, Arizona), LHP Blake Weiman (eighth, Kansas), OF Bligh Madris (ninth, Colorado Mesa), RHP Beau Sulser (10th, Dartmouth), INF Tristan Gray (13th, Rice), RHP Gavin Wallace (15th, Fairfield) and INF Nick Valaika (24th, UCLA)
Delay and Valaika were assigned to rookie-level Bristol. The others went to short-season Class A Morgantown, which last night opened its New York-Penn League season.
The Pirates have signed 10 picks, including top choice Shane Baz. The deadline is July 7.
Signing bonuses were not announced, but Jim Callis of MLBPipeline.com offered this tidbit:
— Jim Callis (@jimcallisMLB) June 20, 2017
>>> UPDATED 6:28 PM CT — The Pirates signed two more players: OF Calvin Mitchell (second round, Rancho Bernardo High School) and OF Conner Uselton (Comp round B, Southmoore High School) Both were assigned to the GCL Pirates.
>>> ICYMI, RHP Mitch Keller, the Pirates’ second-ranked prospect, made his first rehab start last night with Morgantown. He worked two innings, as scheduled, threw 30 pitches, gave up one hit and struck out four. Keller has been on the DL since mid-May due to lower back tightness.
>>> UPDATE 3:47 PM CT — Josh Bell is getting the day off and Jose Osuna will start at first base tonight against RHP Zach Davies.
On May 7, Osuna started in left field against Davies at PNC Park and went 1 for 4, including a a two-run homer and two strikeouts. Bell went 0 for 4 that day, with two strikeouts. “I thought (Osuna) had some really good, aggressive swings against Davies,” Hurdle said. “He’s not a right-left split guy. Actually, his numbers are better against right-handed pitching this year.” A right-handed batter, Osuna has a .266/.319/.500 split against righties and a .233/283/.395 line against left-handers.
“There are certain kind of pitchers who, if I want to give Josh a day off, I’ll look for certain things,” Hurdle said. “This guy (Davies) falls in that category. He’s shown the ability to be a reverse-split guy, as well, at times, where right-handers have seemed to have a little bit more success. It’s a combination of those things.”
>>> Yinz want links? I’ve got links:
Pirates 8, Brewers 1: (Old-school headline) Cole cool as Bucs bash baffled Brewers
Notebook: In which Kuhl dials up the velo, Hurdle bounces balls and the division remains tightly bunched
>>> Tuesday, Pirates at Brewers, 7:40 p.m., Miller Park, Milwaukee. TV: Root. Radio: 93.7 FM.
UPDATE 4:55 PM CT -- Francisco Cervelli was scratched from the lineup due to flu-like symptoms.
Pirates (32-38): Adam Frazier 7, Josh Harrison 4, Gregory Polanco 9, David Freese 5,
Francisco Cervelli 2, Elias Diaz 2, Andrew McCutchen 8, Jose Osuna 3, Jordy Mercer 6 RHP Chad Kuhl (1-6, 5.61)
Brewers (38-34): Eric Sogard 4, Eric Thames 3, Domingo Santana 9 Travis Shaw 5, Manny Pina 2, Nick Franklin 7, Lewis Brinson 8, Orlando Arcia 6, RHP Zach Davies (7-3, 4.91)
Gamecast: Josh Harrison is 4 for 4, including a pair of doubles, with a walk and one RBI vs. Davies. … Davies has given up double-digit fly balls in seven of his 14 starts this season. In six of those games, he served up at least one home run. … The Pirates are 3-10 in games Kuhl has started. … Kuhl’s curveball remains a work in progress. He threw it just three times in his last start on Wednesday vs. the Rockies. Ian Desmond whacked one for a homer. … At the start of the season, Kuhl’s fastball averaged around 93 mph. Against the Rockies, it was 95.5 mph. On June 7 vs. the Orioles, it was 97.2 mph.
>>> Wednesday, Pirates at Brewers, 8:10 p.m., Miller Park, Milwaukee. TV: Root. Radio: 93.7 FM. Pirates: RHP Trevor Williams (3-3, 5.16) Brewers: RHP Junior Guerra (1-1, 2.84)
>>> Thursday, Pirates at Brewers, 2:10 p.m., Miller Park, Milwaukee. TV: Root. Radio: 93.7 FM. Pirates: RHP Ivan Nova (7-4, 2.91) Brewers: RHP Chase Anderson (5-2, 2.92)
>>> Friday, Pirates at Cardinals, 8:15 p.m., Busch Stadium, St. Louis. TV: Root. Radio: 93.7 FM. Pirates: RHP Jameson Taillon (3-2, 3.38) Cardinals: RHP Adam Wainwright (7-5, 5.75)
>>> Saturday, Pirates at Cardinals, 7:15 p.m., Busch Stadium, St. Louis. TV: Fox. Radio: 93.7 FM. Pirates: RHP Gerrit Cole (5-6, 4.28) Cardinals: RHP Lance Lynn (5-4, 3.33)
>>> Sunday, Pirates at Cardinals, 8:05 p.m., Busch Stadium, St. Louis. TV: ESPN. Radio: 93.7 FM. Pirates: RHP Chad Kuhl () Cardinals: RHP Mike Leake ()
>>> Monday: Off
Rob Biertempfel is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @BiertempfelTrib.