Pittsburgh Pirates: Travis Swaggerty Injury Update, Brennan Malone Reassigned

Photo Courtesy of Pittsburgh Pirates via Post Gazette

As soon as he was acquired by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the trade that sent Starling Marte to the Arizona Diamondbacks, Brennan Malone became one of the best pitchers in the system.

There was a brief time where there was a conversation in who was the best prep pitcher in the 2019 draft, Brennan or Quinn Priester - who the Pirates used their first round pick on, and now Pittsburgh had both in their system.

While Priester, who many are picking as a breakout player this year in the minors, has worked his way into the rotation of the Pirates Class-A+ affiliate, the Greensboro Grasshoppers, Malone has struggled a step down the ladder.

Originally starting the year on the Development List, Malone was assigned to the Bradenton Marauders and made his Pirates' organization debut in what turned out to be a combined no-hitter on May 15.

He made two more appearances before being assigned to the GCL Pirates, according to the MiLB.com website.

Malone, 20, struggled with his command in his three outings with the Marauders, walking five batters and hitting another while striking out two.

It's really nothing to be concerned about. He just needs some extra work on his control, you certainly saw that the stuff was there when he was on the mound. 

This is really just another reminder that every prospect develops at their own pace. With a little bit of extra work, there's no doubt that Malone will be back with Bradenton.

Bad News on Swaggerty

Seeing Travis Swaggerty make the Triple-A roster was perhaps one of the biggest surprises when the minor league rosters were announced. The former first round pick, Swaggerty had struggled offensively in the minors, but the time spent at the Pirates alternate training site in 2020 really helped him take that next step.

There was never any doubt that his glove was going to play at the next level, it was just if his bat was going to catch up if he could make a case to be a regular in the majors.

He got off to fast start, hitting a home run in his first at bat of the season, later going 3-for-4 on Opening Day.

After sliding back into first on a pickoff attempt, Swaggerty was forced to leave the game with an injury, and now we have found it he is dealing with a separated surgery that he is debating having surgery on.

At the time of the injury, Swaggerty had slowed down a bit, but was posting a respectable .772 OPS with three home runs. Not bad for a player who hadn't played above A-Ball going into 2021.

Should he have surgery, that would all but eliminate any chance of Swaggerty seeing a late season call up, which considering the Pirates outfield situation is certainly disappointing.

Other News/Notes

Oneil Cruz committed his eight error for Altoona Wednesday night. There's always been talk whether or not he will remain at his current position of shortstop. There has never been any doubt about the arm strength, but standing at 6'7" and with his power potential most assume he'll end up in right field.

- It was a rough night for some of the top Pirates pitching prospects. Jose Soriano started for Bradenton and allowed seven runs while not getting out of the first inning. Tahnaj Thomas allowed just three hits, but all three were home runs and he walked four batters. He didn't make it out of the second inning.

Miguel Yajure, who most believe should be in the Pittsburgh rotation, allowed five hits, five runs, walked three and struck out another six in five innings of work.

- While some struggled, Santiago Flores earned the save for Bradenton by pitching five no-hit innings to close out their wild contest against Palm Beach. He struck out seven batters in the process.

- Speaking of Bradenton, they drew 14 walks in a wild contest that saw 29 total runs scored. Maikol Escotto hit a grand slam for the Marauders.

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