Moskos Finding His Role

Lefty takes another step toward the big leagues

PITTSBURGH—Lefthander Daniel Moskos, still best known in Pittsburgh as the player for whom the Pirates controversially bypassed Matt Wieters in the 2007 draft, is making a name for himself this summer.

Moskos, 24, had a 1.46 ERA this season between Double-A Altoona and Triple-A Indianapolis, where he had made six appearances since being promoted June 24. He had 38 strikeouts and 13 walks in 37 innings, and opponents were batting .215.

That success prompted the Pirates, in promoting Moskos, to move him from the closer's role he held in Altoona—with 17 saves, tops in the Eastern League—to middle relief and occasional multiple innings with Indianapolis to better match the role he will see upon arriving in Pittsburgh, farm director Kyle Stark said.

The transition to Triple-A had early trouble spots, as opponents were batting .320, but Indianapolis pitching coach Dean Treanor said, "He has to make adjustments, and he will."

"You're facing a lot more experienced hitters," Moskos said. "The challenges from my side are to stay aggressive, keep my mechanics and delivery steady, as well as my mentality. All of which are the things that led to my successes in Double-A."

The Pirates used Moskos as a starter in 2008, but only with the aim of expanding his repertoire before he returned to relief. His fastball has sat at 92-96 mph this year—an improvement in velocity from 2009 and in the range of what he threw at Clemson—and he continues to throw a solid sinker, slider and changeup.

"This year has been awesome so far," Moskos said. "Going back to Double-A gave me a chance to get comfortable as a reliever, and I got the chance to close games, which I really enjoyed. For me, it's been refreshing to see my stuff come back. I knew it was in there, but I'm glad to have it back."

Treasure Trove

• Outfielder Exicardo Cayonez, the Venezuelan prospect who two years ago got the biggest international bonus in franchise history at $400,000, went 7-for-7 in a July 6 doubleheader in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League. Cayonez, 18, was off to a .426/.466/.537 start through 14 games.

• On the same day, lefthander Nate Baker of low Class A West Virginia pitched a no-hitter through eight innings at Hagerstown, with eight strikeouts and no walks. He was not allowed to complete it because of a strict pitch count.