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Spot on, Pat; Polanco fits the profile of a guy who is going to settle in somewhere in the Marte-to-Cutch spectrum, but there's no guarantee that he's going to pull a Cutch and play at an All-Star level from day one. I would also argue that the Pirates status as a contender is a reason not to start him in Pittsburgh; if you're playing for the Astros, a rookie can struggle in April and it just doesn't matter, becuase you're going to finish 40 games out anyway. If Polanco started the season slow, then you get into the situation where you're tempted to yo-yo him between the minors and PNC, and that's not often helpful in advancing a players development. Again, I agree with you--let's see where Polanco is come the middle of June.
23 hours, 58 minutes ago on Gregory Polanco and Big League readiness
I'm still skeptical, but I watched a whole lotta Glavine while he was pitching with the Mets, and one of the chief reasons he was able to survive pitching to just one spot and one spot only is that he got every borderline call from the umpires.
1 week ago on Monday Morning Required Reading: Harry Pavlidis and Dan Brooks on Pitch Framing
Frankly, I'd take Chris Dickerson over either snider or Decker, and it's not like I'm particularly big on Dickerson.
1 week, 5 days ago on A few things to look out for during spring training
If it's a swap of Morel for D'Arnaud, that's fine with me. Morel's a big guy with a bad back, but at least he has a theoretical role with the Pirates as a right-handed hitting backup to Alvarez with an OK glove and a little peo--after all, if you're looking to get Gaby Sanchez reps at third, you may have a need there. D'Arnaud, on the other hand, really has no role on the big club--outside of pinch-running, he doesn't do anything well enough that you'd want to put him in the game to do it.
2 weeks ago on Pirates claim Brent Morel, designate Chase d'Arnaud for assignment
Anyone--and I mean anyone--would be more welcome on figure skatinig than NBC's prime time group: Hammond's make up looks like it was done by a funeral director, Hamilton is always in full-on scream mode, and Bozic combines the muted tones of a '70s FM deejay with a flow of weepy references to art and heart that would put any middle-school female poet to shame. They're simply brutal.
2 weeks, 4 days ago on The highs and lows of NBC's first week of Olympic coverage
Well, you can't blame Boras for pimping for his clients, and I suppose if you're a big market team in full-on win now mode his arguments make at least some sense (and please note that the Pirates don't exactly fit those criteria--I'n mot advocating a Morales signing here.) It's not Boras job to be consistent; it's his job to be shameless in trying to fool just one more GM.
2 weeks, 5 days ago on Scott Boras really wants the Pirates to sign Kendrys Morales (and other odds and ends)
@DopplerDon You know, in Philly, AJ qualifies as one of the kids.
3 weeks, 5 days ago on AJ Burnett signs with the Phillies
It's not like AJ owes the organization anything--he took the bump every fifth day for two years and more than gave the Pirates their money's worth. If the Phils think he's worth $16 mil that's fine, and more power to AJ; as Pat says, that's a big chunk of change for one 37-year old pitcher, and, given the fact that it looks like the Pirates are gonna need some financial flexibility at the deadline, it's a risk they can't likely afford.
Justin Smoak is the poor man's Garrett Jones. Thanks, but no thanks.
4 weeks ago on Report: Pirates interested in Kendrys Morales
My father was a Pirate fan in that era, when Kiner was the only reason you'd bother to follow the club; Clemente and Kiner were his Pirate heroes (along with Dick Stuart--he had the "Don't Boo Stu" bumper sticker on the car), but Kiner was the hero of his youth. When I was a youngster, we lived in the hinterlands of Upstate New York, where you could get three TV stations on a good day, so our baseball fix was the Saturday Game Of The Week and that was pretty much it. Finally, cable made its way to us, and we are able to get Mets games on the old WOR-9, with Ralph and Lindsey Nelson and Bob Murphy, so Kiner was something from our respective youths that my father and I could share. My father died just a few years after that; my mother wrote Ralph Kiner a letter in which she talked about how much he'd meant to my father in those days when the Pirates were just brutal; he replied with a warm, handwritten note, which she still has. In my eyes, Kiner can and could not do any wrong.
1 month ago on Ralph Kiner: 1922 - 2014
I would pretty much agree with your assessment here--the Pirates have a lot of options for the rotation which are at least plausible, while the current options in right (although I suspect the Pirates may already have the date for Polanco's debut circled on the calendar) and first base suggest that a repeat of a Byrd/Morneau type of duet will be on tap for the stretch run.
1 month, 1 week ago on There's plenty of interest in AJ Burnett
I wonder if people are viewing Taillon as they looked at Cole before he came up last year, i.e., "Gee, shouldn't a guy like this have some dominant numbers?" With his build and his arsenal, I find the notion that his ceiling is a mid-rotation strater to be a bit ridiculous.
1 month, 1 week ago on Keith Law has seven Pirates in his Top 100 prospects
I know it was a crowded ballot, but Rock Raines and Jeff Bagwell both look to have lost about 25-30 votes each; how does a voter explain that?
2 months ago on And Your Cooperstown Class of 2014 is...
More than I would have paid, but it's not a disaster. At some point, the Pirates are going to need a bench player who hit at least a little bit.
2 months, 4 weeks ago on Pirates bring Clint Barmes back for $2 million
I agree with what you've said here, but then it's pretty much the exact same thing I said about Liriano last year.
2 months, 4 weeks ago on Ken Rosenthal reports Pirates sign Edinson Volquez for $5 million
Frankly, I think 2.5 mil is a lot for Barmes. I know Tim at PP used the Brendan Ryan contract as a comparable one for Barmes, but Ryan is the safety net for a 40--plus year old with bad pins--let's face it, Ryan is probably going to end up with 350-400 PAs at the minimum. Barmes is going to get half of that, maybe. The Pirates could sign someone like Paul Janish to do the late inning glove/once a week starter for a hell of a let less than 2.5 million.
3 months ago on Winter meeting rumors: Logan Morrison and Clint Barmes
3 months, 3 weeks ago on Andrew McCutchen wins National League MVP Award
Frankly, I don't think Barmes should be back at anything less than a significant discount--if his role is late inning glove/Charlie Morton's personal shortstop, you can find someone in the Paul Janish mode to do that for a lot less than what Barmes will likely be asking.
I share your unease about Byrd; yes, that was a hell of a year, but he's also a guy in his late 30s who was all but out of baseball last winter and had a big year when he could smell the money. If someone wants to go 2 years/20 mil with Byrd, I would thank him for his contributions and wish him well.
4 months ago on Free agency, Wandy Rodriguez, and other things
"Whaddya mean the Cardinals are a lousy defensive team? Look at that fielding percentage!!!"
4 months, 1 week ago on No Gold Gloves for the Pirates (and a minor rant about defense)
@azibuck Well, yeah...but (per B-R) the Bucs should have won about 88 games per their Pythagorean projections, so take away the 12 WAR difference, that's not such a inexplicable gap.
4 months, 1 week ago on There and back again: What do the Pirates need to do this winter?