-- The Dodgers must love seeing the Pirates come courting. We're sure the Pittsburgh scouts do their due diligence, but with Bryan Morris being hurt again, this time with a shoulder impingement, Andy LaRoche struggling with a bum thumb last year and back spasms caused by a protruding disk this season, and LA trying to get Jack Splat during the off-season for Delwyn Young, who they just DFA'ed...oh, wait a second, this just in...
Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reports in an early morning post: "The Dodgers have traded switch-hitting outfielder Delwyn Young to the Pittsburgh Pirates for two players to be named later, according to a baseball source."
The Pirates DFA'ed LHP Dave Davidson to make room on the 40-man roster.
We're curious who the PTBNLs are, and who goes bye-bye on the 25-man; Craig Monroe is a likely suspect, though Luis Cruz would be on the short list, too, especially if they see Young as having some potential at 2B, the position where he started his pro career.
-- We thought we'd visit our favorite baseball geeks at Baseball Reference and see how the Pirates were stacking up league-wise after the first seven games. Not too badly, as it ends up:
Pitching, the Bucs are second in NL ERA (2.70) to the Cards (2.62) and fourth in runs given up per game at 3.29, behind St. Louis (2.88), Los Angeles (3.00), and San Diego (3.25). And Holy Joe Kerrigan, they're sixth in fewest walks allowed, with 26. The league average is 27.
At 3.7 walks per game, they're on course to yield 599 free passes. Last season, the staff walked 657 batters (4.0/game). There's still lots of room for improvement; the bullpen has walked 12 guys in fifteen innings.
One last pitching tidbit: The Pirates have the second youngest staff in the NL, at 26.7 years old, behind only Florida, whose staff averages 26 years. The NL norm is 29.2 years old.
Hitting, the Pirates are about at the league average. The Pittsburgh line so far is .259/7/34/.424 slugging %; the NL's is .257/8/33/.422. They draw about a walk less per game than the league norm, though, and because of that, the OBP is about 15 points lower than the NL standard.
The position players average age is about at the league norm, too. The Bucs are 28.5 years-old; the NL average age is 29.1. We expect that number to drop in 2010.
Ah, stats, don't you just love 'em?
-- FSN just threw a hipcheck into Pirate fans TV plans. The games tonight, Friday and Tuesday have been removed for the Pen's Stanley Cup games and the Thursday businessman's special has been added. Hey, what can you say besides "Let's Go Pens!" Hopefully, they'll bump the Bucs a lot more in the next couple of months.
Of course, when Pens games clash with Pirate home dates, nothing good can happen for the Bucco attendance. And in this depressed economy, that could be a concern.
-- You can save a couple of bucks on the scorecard if you're going to the game tonight. Everyone, from players to coaches to the bullpen catcher, will be wearing #42 to commemorate the anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color line.
Bud Selig made it voluntary last year, and nine teams decked out the troops in #42, including the Pirates. This year, he didn't give the clubs a choice.
The only guy that still wears #42 is Mariano Rivera. The number was officially retired 12 years ago by Selig, and Rivera is the only one left that had the number before it was taken out of circulation.