Why would the put a senior and highly experience captain like Pike on the bridge of a stripped down training ship? Especially after they lost several starships to the Narada.
If he wasn't promoted to Admiral after Trek 11, he was put on the bridge of another ship like Enterprise or whatever the alt-verse version of the Miranda class is.
People always say they want their heroes flying around in some stripped-down garbage scow, I think they believe it will create more drama, and they think it's "gritty". Just go watch your Firefly DVDs again, I don't want to watch that every week in my Trek.