Welcome to this week’s edition of Pirates Breakdown’s Stock Report! The Pittsburgh Pirates took losses in four of their six contests last week, putting even more distance between them and the final Wild Card spot in the National League.
The Pittsburgh Pirates started last week in exciting fashion with an extra inning victory over the Chicago Cubs on Sunday. They then proceeded to lose all three games against the Atlanta Braves before splitting the first two games of the series in Milwaukee. Here are two players that helped the team in their two victories and two of their teammates that played a major role in some of the losses last week.
Whose Stock is Rising
Jameson Taillon took the mound twice last week and put up almost identical lines in those games. Taillon did not factor into the decision in Sunday’s win but did earn a victory in the team’s 9-1 win in Milwaukee on Saturday. In both games, Taillon pitched six strong innings and allowed five hits, including a solo home run to go along with eight strikeouts. The only difference was that he allowed no walks in the August 19th game but did give up three free passes on Saturday. Taillon has now recorded eight quality starts in his last 10 outings and will look to continue his string of success the next time he takes the mound.
It might seem odd to have Adam Frazier listed in this part of the column considering that he had a streak of three games last week that saw him go hitless in 10 at-bats. But it is what he did in the other games that landed him this very envious spot. On August 19th he was the difference maker in the team’s 2-1 victory over the Cubs when he clubbed a game winning home run in the 11th inning when the team was down to their final out. Then on Saturday he connected for a three run shot in the eighth inning to all but assure the team of a much needed win.
Whose Stock is Falling
Clay Holmes continues to have a rough month of August and in general a rough 2018 campaign. Holmes was called upon to pitch the 15th inning in the team’s eventual 7-6 loss in Milwaukee on August 24th and he gave up three runs on three hits and three walks in just two thirds of an inning. For the month of August, Holmes has now given up 11 runs in just five and a third innings of work. This has been a terrible year for Holmes at the big league level (he has walked more hitters than he has struck out) and does not necessarily mean he should be totally removed from the team’s future plans, but he’ll need to work on a lot this offseason if he is going to be a functioning member of the bullpen next year.
Another bullpen arm that has struggled this week and this season is Michael Feliz. Feliz came into the August 21st game against Atlanta in the seventh inning with the Pirates down by two runs. By the time his work on the mound was over, he has given up a run scoring double to Kurt Suzuki and a two run home run to Dansby Swanson. Right now, of all of the big league players that came back to Pittsburgh in the trade that sent Gerrit Cole to Houston, Feliz is by far the worst performer. Like Holmes, he is going to need to show improvements this offseason if he is going to be in the conversation for a bullpen role in 2019.