Saturday, March 28, 2009

Weekend Weenie

-- Roy Halladay showed the Pirates how it's done yesterday, going seven innings and giving up a run on four hits as the Blue Jays won 4-1 in Grapefruit League action.

Virgil Vasquez went 5-2/3 innings, giving up three runs on five hits. It wasn't a bad showing for him; the big blow was a two-out, two run homer by 2B Brad Emaus on a day when the wind was whistling straight out at 20 MPH.

Brandon Moss singled in the Bucs' only run, driving in Eric Hinske, while Brian Bixler had a hit and a walk and was the only Pirate to reach base twice.

The Pirates play the Phillies this afternoon at McKechnie Field. Ian Snell gets the start, and he'll match up against Philadelphia's ageless one, Jamie Moyer.

-- Paul Maholm threw seven innings in a Triple-A game at Pirate City yesterday. The outing was to keep him on his five-day schedule, now that he's officially slated to pitch on Opening Day. Well, who else?

-- Jack Wilson is out after fouling a ball off of his knee yesterday. The extent of his injury, which now isn't being considered serious, could have an effect on the extra infielder kept when the team breaks camp.

-- The Pirates optioned OF/1B Steve Pearce and C Robinzon Diaz to Indy today and assigned infielder Anderson Machado to minor league camp. So Jason Jaramillo's glove won out over Diaz's bat, at least for the time being.

-- As the Jose Tabata tabloid tale unfolds, it seems to GW like a young guy with a future so bright he needs sunglasses simply fell into the clutches of a golddigger looking for a big payday. It's easy enough to understand; a teen immersed in a culture so foreign to him that he can't even speak the language is fair game for the local con artists.

We're interested in how the Pirates support him now. Apparently the Yankees didn't do much to acclimate him to life in the states outside the lines, and if the Pittsburgh suits want to make inroads in Latin America, they'll have to provide a substitute family for their young charges. Budgets and academies are part of the equation; being a surrogate big bro is, too.

-- When he was on the Buc's "to-move" list after the 2008 season, Ronny Paulino's rumored landing spot was Florida. And after failing to impress his new honchos in Philadelphia, that's exactly where he ended up, in a round-about way.

Hours after Philadelphia traded him to the Giants for LH reliever Jack Taschner, the G-Men shipped him to the Marlins for 21-year old Class A RH starter Hector Correa.

Remember what a hot battery Tom Gorzelanny and Paulino made in 2007? Now one's in the minors, and the other is fighting for a back-up job. The future is what you make it, especially in MLB.


WilliamJPellas said...

Wow, has Paulino's star ever rocketed to Earth. He's now been dealt 3 times in 3 months. Whew.

I still have to believe, though, that there's a place in baseball for him as somebody's platoon catcher at minimum. He still has an above average bat for the position, and unless he's flat out brutal with his mitt / throwing / calling a game, I can't believe he's THAT bad. I could be wrong, but I don't believe it at this point. Note also that the Florida Marlins do not make many player evaluation mistakes. I wouldn't be surprised to see Paulino rise again in Miami.

Ron Ieraci said...

Will, Paulino has the potential to be a .275 hitter with 15 HR per year, and to be adequate, if not good, behind the plate.

But he's been given a couple of wake-up calls, and they don't seem to be doing much to motivate him.

Maybe Florida can get him to fly right, but my guess is that like Jose Bautista, he's got all the physical tools but lacks the drive to hone them.

WilliamJPellas said...

.275 with 15 HR would make him a better than average offensive catcher, at least given the state of the position these days. But, as you say, some guys just aren't motivated. I don't get it, being an average Joe myself and thinking, man oh man if I had THAT kind of athletic ability....but, just because you're really good at sports doesn't mean you're self disciplined, any more than being really good at anything means you are self disciplined or have the drive to do better or what have you. Takes all kinds, I guess.

Ron Ieraci said...

To be honest, Will, I kinda like Jaramillo anyway; he looks like a younger version of Raul Chavez to me.

Paulino had the spot given to him, and gave it back. He's got a lot of potential, and catchers sometimes develop later rather than sooner, but he's running out of time and teams.