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Tim Williams still thinks that Charlie Morton is our third best pitcher and third best option. I find that absolutely hilarious, and yet, embarrassing at the same time.
1 year, 4 months ago on Game 161: Pirates 8 Reds 3
Good article. A few agreements/disagreements:
1)While I'm not naive that some planning around Super 2 status goes on w/ all big-time prospects, I'm not even sure giving a voice to 'some fans' that perceive Cole is being held back for financial reasons is necessary. The Pirates are obviously not manipulating in Cole's case, as he's had only one start in AAA (as you state) and their rotation is pretty full. Which leads me to #2....
2)I'm not sure why you think that the Pirates lack pitching depth this year. In my eyes, they have 7 (8 if you count Morton at the AS Break, 9 if you count Cole himself) guys - not including Jonathan Sanchez, mind you - that are just *that*...depth. I presume there are several teams that would like to be able to 7-8 deep from the jump, with varying degrees of quality but still serviceable. I consider our 'depth' to be a strong point, particularly in the rotation.
3) Why would a reader be laughing about planning/wondering about Cole pitching in the post-season? We were 16 games above .500 in August. We've been in contention 2 of the last 2 years as late as August. I would be pissed if someone wasn't planning on that scenario. No need to self-hate on our postseason chances because you have some readers that are Smizikian in nature and feel the Pirates are a doomed franchise. Not necessary, and, in this instance, not accurate.
1 year, 11 months ago on When will we see Gerrit Cole in Pittsburgh?
Alen Hanson 'inevitably moving to 2B' is a tad presumptuous, unless you are basing your analysis on counting errors. KLAW thinks he can stick at SS, and, while others have expressed doubts, those doubts are not based on lack of range/athleticism/hands, but his arm-strength (or lack there of). Considering he is still rather young and presumably hasn't filled out yet, I don't think saying he will 'inevitably move to 2B' is all that accurate.
2 years, 4 months ago on What do the Pirates have in Brock Holt? | August 2012
Not sure if your vantage point was skewed because of computer problems, but that HR by Marte did not look like a lazy fly ball off the bat. It was stung, sounded loud, and looked like a no-doubter from the jump - as evidenced by the fact that the CF/RF hardly even moved.
Like you said, he's raw but exciting to watch. If he gets some idea about offspeed pitches, particularly away, he is going to be dangerous for years to come. I think he will.
2 years, 5 months ago on Game 110: Pirates 7 Diamondbacks 6 | August 2012
Very good summation, Pat.
I wanted the Pirates to do three things over this year's trading deadline....and they did all three. First, I was of the segment of Pirate fans that thought the biggest improvement we could make was to the top-half of our starting rotation, as McDonald's regression was expected, Bedard's health was rightfully questioned, and Correia was skating by by pixie dust. Getting Rodriguez - who is familiar w/ division, is left-handed, fits well in our home park, and has (realistically) two more years of control at affordable rates - was pretty clever by NH. Most of the talk was focused on rentals and back-of-the-rotation marginal help; there wasn't much discussion re: Wandy. NH, in a pretty fair deal in my eyes, took advantage. Rotation - Check. Secondly, we needed more offense from a corner OF position, as our OF - particularly LF - has been league-worst (by a mile). Bringing up Marte was well-timed and, if nothing else, gives us an elite defender in LF for the final two months. I think he'll hit something like .260/.300/.420 w/ 10-15 stolen bases. Not great, but, when combined w/ top notch defense, is pretty valuable and a pretty big upgrade over what we were getting. However, the big move was the Snider acquisition. Snider, on his own, is pretty significant, but, when you see what the effect Snider had on the rest of the team, you realize the full impact of the move. Not only does Snider give us a LHB w/ power, good baserunning skills, above-avg defense, and 4 years of control, but he also makes three positions better, not just one. He allows Jones to move to 1B (his much better position) and face primarily RHPs; he makes our bench better by having Presley in the 4th OF role (which he is better suited for); and, he gives us better defense in RF. Corner OF - Check. And, finally, we needed to make our bench more reliable and talented. By having Presley (and Gaby Sanchez), as well as Harrison back to the UTIL role, our bench has become a little more productive. Bringing up a Clemente in September gives us a powerful LHB off the bench (a la Stairs, I guess) and maybe a Tabata (after sustained improvement) gives you another speed'ish type guy. Bench - Check.
And, the best part: all of the aforementioned was accomplished w/ only giving up one guy that may *really* hurt us in the future, Robbie Grossman. And, despite his potential, the addition of Snider negates his value to us.
Really well devised plan and really well executed. Now, it's just results.
2 years, 6 months ago on Pirates trade deadline in review: Convention is your worst enemy | July 2012
@whygavs@AndrewSmalley I agree re: SS and the future. While I am somewhat more familiar and optimistic with D'Arnaud than most, I'm not sure he has done anything to warrant my optimism. His approach at the plate was much better in the Minors than his brief stint w/ the Pirates, so I hope it was just a result of trying to impress the FO and coach, rather than a skill that works in one and doesn't work in the other. Mercer is an interesting case, as he is reportedly very solid at defending the position and carries the added bonus of providing some pop at a 'pop-less' position. His OBP scares me, but, if he was perfect, he would have been up last year. Also, despite his injury history, I really like what the Disastros did in getting Jed Lowrie. He would have been a 'rolling of the dice' sorts compared to Barmes, but I presume that either the deal would have been too much to give up or that NH wanted steady rather than upside at such a crucial position as SS (defensively speaking). If I have any gripe, it would be (apparently) little interest shown in Lowrie. But, that's nitpicking and I can definitely see the other side.
Good stuff, Pat.
2 years, 11 months ago on Did Neal Huntington succeed this winter? | February 2012
Great write-up, Pat. I particularly like the fact (and humility) that you acknowledge that there are substantial areas of analysis that your knowledge (or lack there of, in this instance) makes it difficult for you to speak on certain moves that NH and the FO took. It is refreshing (particularly as it relates to other Pirate blogs, which will remain nameless) and you should be commended for it.
One thing needs emphasized: the 'rolling of the dice' was much easier and feasible to accomplish in the SP market than the SS/C market. Besides Reyes, what 'impact' players were there at each position? I cannot think of any. Sure, they could (I presume) have made a huge gamble and traded or vastly overpaid for a guy like Ianetta or Rollins, respectively, but those aren't smart allocations of resources or even possible, in all honesty. It seems to me that NH surveyed the market, saw what could be done, fit what he wanted to do to that survey, and made some pretty solid moves. Bedard and Burnett are risky.....but, for the price of an overpay of Maholm, they are easily worth the risk - if for no other reason than both of them are better than Maholm. Doumit isn't likely to give you any more games than a Barajas, with the latter providing substantially better defense. Barmes isn't likely to give you as many headaches as Cedeno, with the latter never showing the pop that sometimes he flashes.
He upped payroll (though that isn't of any importance to me) by shrewd decisions (of which is considerable importance to me) and didn't leave himself exposed to bad contracts in the out-years (after 2013). That, while making his team - on paper - appreciably better than the 2011 team. Plan instituted; plan executed. Well done, NH.
And, well done, Pat.