PITTSBURGH- When Ke’Bryan Hayes went on the injured list, the Pittsburgh Pirates needed someone to fill those big shoes in at the hot corner for a brief time, and Jared Triolo has done more than that
Although Triolo isn’t quite Hayes with the glove just yet, he’s more than capable of holding down the fort until Hayes is able to come off of the IL.
Triolo has one gold glove award in the minor leagues from 2021, which marked four straight Pirates’ third basemen to win the award in the minors.
Hayes had won the previous three from 2017-2019.
Since getting called up to the majors, Triolo has made a few eye-popping plays at the hot corner, which justifies the Pirates’ decision to call Triolo up in the first place.
When Hayes comes back, the question then becomes, what do the Pirates do with Triolo?
“We haven’t discussed a specific role with him,” said Pirates manager Derek Shelton on Triolo. “if you look at his body of work in Indy, he’s played short, he’s played second, I think he’s played first, and he’s played center. We started preparing him. When you have a guy like Ke’Bryan Hayes that is that good at third, and then you have Jared Triolo in the minor leagues that is that good at third, you have to start to prepare to do that.”
“We have already started to put him in other positions just for his versatility, when and if he was in the big leagues. He can play on the infield. His actions are good. I think he played a little bit of outfield in the spring, but from everything we talked about, his reads are good, and his jumps are good. He’s just a baseball player in terms of his actions, and I think you see that when you watch him move and watch the hops he gets.”
Shelton also mentioned that he thinks no matter where you throw Triolo in the field, he will be at least an average defender.
“I’ve played a lot of positions this year down in Triple-A,” said Triolo. “I’m pretty confident in those spots, but when we get Key back, it’s going to help this lineup even more.”
When you are tasked with filling big shoes in any profession, it can be a daunting task, and somewhat scary to face, but Triolo has seemed to face this head-on.
“It’s pretty sweet. Just in the minor leagues, watching him and watching Pirates games,” said Triolo. “The plays he makes it’s awesome to see. Since I’ve gotten up here, he’s been helpful and talked me through plays, what I should do, and what I shouldn’t do. It’s cool to have him bounce those ideas off of.”
Besides his defensive acumen, Triolo seems to be comfortable at the plate and doesn’t seem overmatched, like you see from some players fresh from the minor leagues.
“The difference is, I feel like there are not a lot of pitches that are way out of the zone,” said Triolo on the difference between major league pitching and minor league pitching. “Everything that they throw [in the majors], they’re either nibbling at the zone or giving you a close pitch where you can still offer at it. Whereas in Triple-A, sometimes they’ll lose something and give you a free ball or give you a middle-middle.”
Triolo is now a part of this recent youthful injection in the Pirates lineup, and it seems like the Pirates have looked refreshed out on the field.
“It’s been cool watching them before I got up here,” said Triolo “Nick, Henry, Carmen, and guys like that, they’ve brought some new life, so it’s pretty cool to see.”