Altoona Curve: Return of #RoansyDay, What Now For Roansy Contreras
It wasn't the longest of outings, but it gave us what we wanted as Roansy Contreras returned to the mound for the Altoona Curve, giving us our first #RoansyDay in more than two months.
After being traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates in the offseason in the deal that sent Jameson Taillon to the New York Yankees, Contreras burst onto the scene during Spring Training eventually getting assigned to the Altoona Curve.
He carried that over to the start of the season, becoming one of the most electric pitchers in the minors in the early going. In his first three starts, the 21-year old Contreras allowed just seven hits while striking out 28 in 17 2/3 innings shutout innings. He didn't allow his first run of the season until his fourth outing against Erie.
In all, Contreras has 65 strikeouts in 46 innings pitched spanning nine starts before being shutdown with a forearm injury. The Dominican born righty would miss all of July and August before returning to the mound on the road against the Akron RubberDucks.
Contreras threw 37 pitches, 24 for strikes, in two innings on Wednesday. He struck out three while allowing two hits, one of which was a home run.
Understandably Contreras struggled with his control to begin the outing, but quickly adjusted and threw 64% of his pitches for strikes. Mainly using fastballs, 30 of his 37 overall pitches was with the heater, getting two swing and misses and recording five of the six outs with the pitch.
He fought with he breaking ball a little more than the fastball, although he got his first swing and miss on the night with he pitch, but finished throwing the pitch for strikes 4 of the 7 times he threw it. The home run was also on a hanging curve ball that was crushed.
So what now?
It was really unfortunate that Contreras missed two months of the season, more importantly for his development. There was talk of him making it to Triple-A at some point this year, which would be impressive considering his age and a true testament to the step forward he made.
Contreras was one of the real risers this season when it comes to a lot of the prospect rankings. So while we missed out on two months of him pitching, it could have been a lot worse.
How far do the Pirates push him to close out the season? After this week's series against Akron, the Curve have just two more six game sets left in the season. Meaning, Contreras probably pitches two more times this year.
You have to believe the Pirates won't push him too much and will probably only have him throw a couple of innings in each outing.
Regardless, the energy brought by the return of #RoansyDay was a welcome change, especially with two of the minor league teams getting postponed and the Pirates getting swept by the Chicago White Sox.
Other news and notes from Altoona
> Even when he isn't hitting, Matt Fraizer finds a way to impress you. He went 0 for 2 on the day, but walked twice. He's cut back on the strikeouts since getting to Altoona (17.7 K% in Double-A compared to 21.14% in Greensboro), but he is walking a lot less as well.
He's also played in a third of the games at the Double-A level compared to what he did with Greensboro. Fraizer has an identical average when split between the two levels, and while his slugging percentage is a little lower with Altoona - it's still really good (.535 SLG% with the Curve).
> Rodolfo Castro played in just his second game this year at shortstop. He's been the primary third baseman while with Altoona and started at second base the majority of the time with the Pirates. He also recorded his 14th error of the game.
Diego Castillo was promoted to Indianapolis, and with Oneil Cruz getting eased back in Castro was called into duty at shortstop.
How excited were you when you heard that #RoansyDay was returning? Let us know what you thought of his performance and what you expect the rest the way out for the Pirates' pitching prospect in the comment section below and subscribe to the site using the link at the top of the page.