Pittsburgh Pirates: Injuries Force Minor League Shuffling At Lower Levels

Photo Credit - Flickr/BeGreen90

 The Pittsburgh Pirates made a flurry of moves yesterday at the minor league level, and I wanted to break down my reaction to a couple of them and a conspiracy theory if you must about another. Most of the moves involve the Greensboro Grasshoppers in some shape or form, and the theory plays into that.

Matt Gorski, Chase Murray head to IL

It was Matt Fraizer who was rightfully getting the majority of the headlines in the Grasshoppers outfield. But with his recent promotion to Altoona it left the door open for some people to realize that that Gorski, who was taken a round before Fraizer in 2019, is having a pretty good season himself.

Gorski is one of six players in the Pirates system to have double digits in both home runs (13) and stolen bases (14). This isn't news to those who have followed Gorski, as Jim Callis tweeted when the Pirates signed him that he had 20-20 upside who could also man center field.

Not sure if he makes it there, with a promotion to Altoona will give a good gauge at exactly what kind of prospect they have on their hands.

Yoyner Fajardo promoted to Greensboro

The 22-year old from the Dominican Republic had been hitting good in Bradenton, with a slash of .309/.397/.471 in 31 games at Low-A. He was able to mix in seven extra base hits in said contests, not a bad start.

What makes this news worthy is that he was called up and played, when Liover Peguero did not. He left Sunday's game with a 'heat illness'. It's the thick of summer, so it's hard to doubt that it could have been heat related, but the fact he was still out of the lineup after their regular day off is something to keep an eye on.

I'd like to see what the Pirates do with Fajardo if it was just Peguero needing an extra day to recoup. According to the MiLB app, the Grasshoppers bench is really light of active players right now and that's including Peguero.

Grant Koch heads to Altoona

This one is where things get interesting. Koch wasn't lighting the world on fire this season, batting just .192 in Greensboro, taking the majority of the reps behind the plate for the Grasshoppers. He does have a respectable nine home runs this year, and nearly half of his hits (35) have been for extra base hits (17). 

So he does provide a little bit of pop from behind the plate, but at a very low contact rate.

Sending him to Altoona though leaves Greensboro with just one 'official' catcher on the roster, Eli Wilson, and he hasn't gotten off to the best start since being promoted from Bradenton. Blake Sabol, while listed as an outfielder, has played behind the plate - including Tuesday night's series opener against Winston-Salem.

He only played three games at catcher in Bradenton, but has doubled that total since getting to Greensboro.

That being said, with the injuries to Gorski and Murray the Grasshoppers are a little light in the outfield right now. Will Matthiessen played in right field on Tuesday, but that was only his second game there. Sabol is probably a little more valuable in the outfield at the current moment.

So what could the Pirates do to help with a thinning catcher position at one of their farm teams? Whelp it just so happens that the first overall pick Henry Davis plays that position and has looked good in his very (emphasis on the very) limited playing time in the Florida Complex League.

He hasn't played a lot in the last week, but if what he has done so far is any proof, it might be time to challenge the first overall pick.

The Pirates also have another 2021 draft pick, Wyatt Hendrie playing in the FCL as well who could be another option later on.

We could be reading too much into it, and they legitimately want to give Sabol an extended look behind the plate.

I guess we will just have to wait and see.

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