Monday, August 11, 2014

Best Marauders staff ever?

 The Bradenton Marauders don't hit for a ton of power or average and they make their share of errors.
 
Tyler Glasnow has a 1.53 ERA in 19 starts.
So why did the Pirates' high Single-A affiliate wake up this morning sitting atop the Florida State League's South Division with a league-leading 30 second-half wins?
Jason Creasy has issued 15 walks in 124 2/3 innings.
 Arms. Plenty of them. Bradenton has seen its share of strong pitchers during its short history, which began in 2010. Future big-leaguers such as Jeff Locke, Bryan Morris and Gerrit Cole have toed the McKechnie Field rubber while donning Marauders colors, as did Jameson Taillon, ranked the Pirates' top pitching prospect this season before he underwent Tommy John surgery. No staffs, however, have matched the quality and depth of this group, which entered Monday with an ERA of 3.22 - third-best in the Florida State League. Why?
Chad Kuhl's 12 wins are a single-season franchise record.
1. Tyler Glasnow - Now the Pirates' top-ranked pitching prospect, Glasnow has been as good as advertised, pitching to a 1.53 ERA in 100 innings while posting a 9-5 record after missing about a month with a sore back. He's been lights out in 10 starts at McKechnie Field, going 6-1 with a 0.96 ERA, and was named Florida State League Pitcher of the Week after striking out 11 Jupiter Hammerheads in six innings last Thursday. Will Glasnow stick around to aid Bradenton's playoff push or will he get a promotion to Double-A Altoona prior to season's end?

2. The rest of the staff - Glasnow may be the well-known stud, currently ranked the Pirates' top prospect by MLB.com, but the guys behind him have been good, too. Chad Kuhl's 12 wins are the most in a season for a Marauders pitcher and his 131 1/3 innings are tops in the league; Jason Creasy is 6-8, but the owner of a 3.83 ERA who has walked just 15 in 124 2/3 innings; John Kuchno, who tossed five no-hit innings during Bradenton's home-opener, is second in the league in innings (129 1/3) and has a 3.34 ERA; and don't forget All-Star Orlando Castro, 6-4 in 15 starts with a 3.24 ERA before Altoona beckoned.

3. The bullpen - Unlike the majors, minor league baseball isn't all about results - it is about development. Managers rarely play to match-ups and late-inning bullpen roles aren't set in stone. But whomever manager Tom Prince has sent out to help sew up Marauders victories has worked - Bradenton is 47-2 when leading after innings and 29-1 at home when leading after seven innings. Josh Smith has been one of the most reliable, pacing the team in holds (6) while recording six saves and a 1.80 ERA in 30 appearances. Bryton Trepagnier struggled during the All-Star game, but his nine saves lead the team, and Jhondaniel Medina has a 0.87 ERA and a 3-0 record in 30 games.

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