Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Saturday News

From USA Today: The Toronto Blue Jays acquired the top pick in the 2002 draft on Friday, claiming right-hander Bryan Bullington off waivers from Cleveland, which had claimed him from the Pirates earlier this summer. We guess the Indians saw enough, too.

From Yahoo! Sports: Dale Sveum, who finished the season as Milwaukee’s interim manager, is on the radar to replace Lou Frazier as the Bucs first base coach. Sveum was a utility infielder with the Pirates in 1996-97 and 1999, then was a manager in their farm system for three seasons.

Yahoo also reports that Joe Kerrigan uses numbers, not his gut, when it comes to pitching decisions. He's a big believer in statistical analysis, and always had a laptop computer at his locker when he coached. Kerrigan uses those numbers to make tactical decisions.

He gained an appreciation for statistics from Hall of Fame manager Earl Weaver, whom he pitched for in Baltimore at the end of his playing career in 1980. “Earl always went by the matchups, and it enabled him to make the Hall of Fame,” Kerrigan said. “That’s what I base my pitching philosophy on.”

From Jenifer Langosch of Jim Negrych, who was honored as the Pirates' Minor League Player of the Year, injured his finger on October 10th. He jammed it while sliding into a base playing for West Oahu of the Hawaiian League.

X-rays on the finger came back negative, confirming that nothing was broken. As a result, the 23-year-old infielder has begun taking batting practice again and should be able to return in a designated hitter role within the next few days.

The prognosis for Eric Krebs' Hawaiian Winter Baseball season is not as promising. After pitching one-third of an inning of relief on October 7th, the RHP was shut down with inflammation in his right elbow. Krebs, a 16th-round draft pick in 2005, hasn't pitched since and will be examined by doctors in Pittsburgh.

It's almost certain that he won't return to Hawaii to finish out the final three weeks of the CaneFires' season. "I don't think there is going to be an issue that will affect next year," Kyle Stark said. "But it's likely going to have him shut down for the rest of the time out there [in Hawaii]."

From the Winter League Stats Board: As of yesterday, Jose Tabata is hitting .455, Robinzon Diaz .388, Steve Pearce .318, Miles Durham .299 with 2 HRs and 17 RBI, and Shelby Ford .286 with a homer and an invite to the Arizona All-Star team.

Most of the pitchers haven't gotten much work. The best of the guys with a few innings under their belt are LHP Kyle Bloom (15 innings, 1-0, 2.40 ERA) and JVB (7 innings, 0-1, 1.29 ERA).


WilliamJPellas said...

Tabata and Diaz can help this team as soon as next season. Diaz for sure, Tabata perhaps not until 2010. But I think both are very good prospects. For all the negativity around this team, I don't think there's any question that Neil Huntington and Frank Coonelly have the Pirates' farm system in significantly better shape than it was at any time during Littlefield's tenure. Mickey White did have one or two respectable drafts---not great, but respectable. The bulk of the players from that period are already with us, ie, McLouth, Doumit, Maholm, and Capps. Not a great harvest, some useful / better than average guys, with McLouth and Doumit perhaps able to reach star status.

Other than that brief exception, the Littlefield era was uniformly terrible. Huntington's farm system is definitely better overall, and there are a few prospects at the top and at the bottom of the minors who look like the real deal. If we continue to draft well and sign aggressively, in a couple of years things will look a lot different around here.

Ron Ieraci said...

I agree, will, that the decision to dismantle the team wasn't the pitching as much as the gaping talent void in the minors.
And I think it's kinda interesting to see that the Bucs are going after some gray hairs for the coaching ranks. I thought they left Russell on an island as far as having someone whose been there, done that, in the dugout with him.
Sveum would be a great catch if they can land him.