Monday, November 24, 2008

Hot Stove Embers...

According to a report on MLB Trade Rumors based on a report from the NPB Tracker that came from a report on Yahoo!Japan, the Bucs have signed Indian whiz kids Dinesh Patel and Rinku Singh to minor league deals. And you thought Ronald Uviedo was obscure?

Patel, 20, and Singh, 19, were discovered on the “The Million Dollar Arm”, a reality TV show in India. More than 25,000 contestants vied to see who had the best baseball arms, and Patel and Singh took the honors.

They collected a few rupees, and got a trip to Southern Cal to get a six-month mechanical tuneup at the hands of Tom House. They picked up an agent while they were there, Jeff Borris, and had a try-out in front of a couple of dozen scouts.

RHP Patel hit 90 on the gun, while LHP Singh registered at 84. We hope he's a crafty lefty, 'cause he sure ain't gonna blow anyone away.

Neal Huntington was coy when Jenifer Langosch of asked him if he had indeed signed the pair, just saying "We have seen the pitchers and are very interested in signing them," before eventually confirming that they had indeed inked Pirate contracts.

"The Pirates are committed to creatively adding talent to our organization," Huntington said in a release. "By adding these two young men, we are pleased to not only add two prospects to our system but also hope to open a pathway to an untapped market."

Hey, if nothing else, the Bucs picked up a couple of GCL pitchers, and with the signing of South Africa's Gift Ngoepe, the scouts will have frequent flier miles out the wazoo. The Pirates have jumped into the brave new world of international ball with both feet.

You can read Singh and Patel's story at & at

Our take on the Jack Splat to Detroit rumors? The Tigers are the likeliest club, along with LA if Furcal is too expensive for their taste, that would have much interest in Wilson right now, needing someone to hold down SS until wunderkind Cale Iorg is ready for the show in a season or two. His glove and contract make him a perfect fit for Motown.

We're not sure how the rumored three-team deal with the Marlins makes any sense; if they send us C Matt Treanor to flip to Detroit, then the Fish need a catcher to back up John Baker.

So the Pirates have to give up a backstop either way. We think Ronny Paulino should be attractive to either club - he's young, experienced, and cheap.

But unless Treanor is part of a bigger deal, which is possible, or is who the Tigers really want, it's simpler to just add one of our posse of catchers to the Detroit ante.

The possible payback? The Bucs could be looking at the other Tiger SS prospect, 22-year old Danny Worth, 2007's second round draft pick who was in AA this year. He hit .254, and is considered a superior glove guy.

Right now, GW thinks it's all sizzle and no steak. But the Pirates claim that they're looking to add young talent across the board, and if they can get a couple of pups out of the deal, the suits may eventually cobble something together.

Besides, it's all the action we have so far.


WilliamJPellas said...

Well, ya know, India has about three times the population of the United States. Just on population statistics alone, one would think there would be any number of athletic kids who could become outstanding baseball players if they had the proper training. Why NOT sign a couple of guys from India? If it establishes a precedent, and if it means that more kids who are or who might be similarly talented decide it's easier to take the established path than to blaze their own trail, we might get an all-at-once windfall of talent.

WilliamJPellas said...

The other thought that occurs is that maybe these two kids are cricket players? Cricket is a game that has some strong similarities with baseball, and generally it's not super difficult to move from one sport to the other, at least at the amateur level. If these two guys have played a lot of cricket, they may not be quite the longshots they would first appear to be.

In any event it's certainly an interesting couple of signings, and shows that the Pirates are willing to look outside the box and go just about anywhere to find talent.

WilliamJPellas said...

PS I just saw your blurb about the results of your last poll. Count me as one who definitely IS NOT "just peachy" with the idea of Adam LaRoche as our third baseman. The kid just doesn't have it IMO, and he will more than prove that by midseason next year.

Ron Ieraci said...

Will, if one of these guys gets to Lynchburg, I'll be stunned. But it is a great PR move for next to no cost, getting the Bucco's name out in Asia - if I recall my geography, the billion Indians are right beside a billion Chinese; one of those billions should be able to hit/throw a baseball, no? Might as well do it for Pittsburgh.

I don't know what to make of LaRoche. It's hard to believe that every scouting service in the world is wrong. I'm willing to start him off in 2009 with a clean slate, but Pittsburgh better have someone on the roster to push him.