It is about 500 degrees outside, folks and somehow the St. Louis Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Pirates are going to play baseball. This is the kind of weather where I take one step outside and immediately feel like I am on death’s door. People are supposed to actually do physical activity in this?
With that said the Cardinals and Pirates are playing four games in this — that includes a doubleheader on Tuesday. Matthew Liberatore will start the first game while Miles Mikolas takes the night game literally because Mikolas sweats a lot.
I wrote an entire paragraph about Zach Thompson of the Pirates. Right before publishing I realized that Zack Thompson was actually the starter for the Cardinals. Gabe even warned about this in his preview back in May. This Zack Thompson is the Cardinals #9 prospect. He made his debut for the Cardinals on June 3 where he gave up one run in four innings pitched. He had three strikeouts and one walk in that game. In his limited time he threw mostly 4-seam fastballs, with a spotty curveball and changeup.
The Pirates starter for Tuesday is Mitch Keller. Keller started against the Cardinals on April 9 and went four innings and gave up four runs on six hits and two walks. He mostly throws a 4-seamer up in the zone with a slider low and away to righties and then throws a sinker, curveball, and changeup the remainder of the time.
On Thursday the Cardinals face off against Roansy Contereas. He is the Pirates #5 ranked prospect. He throws a really good 4-seam fastball with a lot of rise at about 96 miles per hour. He will follow that up with a slider and then occasionally will hang a curveball. He is striking out 28.2% of batters while walking 7.7% and giving up just under 1 run per nine innings at 0.96. His 2.57 ERA is outpacing his 3.24 FIP.
As a team the Pirates offense ranks near the bottom of the league with a wRC+ of 85. The best player this season for the Pirates has been third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes. Hayes has a 113 wRC and has been phenomenal on defense. The best hitter on the team has been Bryan Reynolds with a 115 wRC+, though Tucupita Marcano has been a hot hitter for the Pirates in his 15 games since his debut on April 1. He is batting .311/.367/.511 for a 147 wRC+ in 51 plate appearances.
The Pirates have quite a few players on the Injured List. Catcher Roberto Perez has been there since May 8 and is on the 60-Day IL. Second baseman Josh VanMeter went on the 10-Day IL on June 2. Ben Gamel, Yoshi Tsutsugo, and Jake Marisnick have all been on the IL since May and Kevin Newman has been on it since the end of April.
Monday, June 13 at 6:45 pm CDT: Mitch Keller vs. Zack Thompson
Tuesday, June 14 at 12:15 CDT: Matthew Liberatore vs. TBD
Tuesday, June 14 at 6:45 pm CDT: Miles Mikolas vs. TBD
Wednesday, June 15 at 6:45 pm CDT: Roansy Contreras vs. Andre Pallante