The Pittsburgh Pirates defeated the New York Yankees 3-0 in Grapefruit League action on Saturday and a couple of the Bucs’ young arms looked good in the win — including Rule 5 pick Jose Hernandez.
Hernandez was handed the fourth inning after Johan Oviedo began the game with a perfect three innings.
Like Oviedo, the left-handed Hernandez tossed a perfect fourth inning and was able to record a pair of strikeouts. Hernandez featured a lively sinker and an impressive slider. The Pirates drafted Hernandez from the Los Angeles Dodgers’ organization in December.
Another Pirates’ prospect who impressed again, as he’s done the entire spring, was righty Carmen Mlodzinski. The 24-year-old tossed another 1.1 scoreless innings, increasing his total to 5.1 straight scoreless frames to start the frame. He punched out two, giving him five total on the year.
Mlodzinski was the 31st overall pick by the Pirates in the 2020 MLB Draft out of the University of South Carolina.
Fellow right-hander Cody Bolton picked up the save after he worked an easy 1-2-3 ninth inning which included a pair of punch outs. Bolton is making the switch to a full-time reliver this year and he’s looked comfortable in the role early.
Finally, Wei-Chieh Huang, who was picked up from the San Francisco Giants in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 draft, worked around some traffic in the eighth and held the Yankees scoreless.
The four pitchers combined for 4.1 innings in relief, allowed only two hits, one walk and struck out eight.
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At the plate, outfielder Canaan Smith-Njigba was the team’s starter in right field. Smith-Njigba finished the game 2 for 3, raising his average to a healthy .294 mark.
Smith-Njigba is one of a handful of outfielders fighting for a spot on the club’s Opening Day roster.
Finally, Jared Triolo walked in his only plate appearance as a late-inning replacement.