Saturday, June 6, 2009

Pre-Game Potpourri

-- Here's one to ponder: Buster Olney of ESPN in his blog (subscriber only) says, according to MLB Trade Rumors, that he heard that the Pirates were concerned about Nate McLouth's defensive abilities, so they moved him now before his trade value diminished.

We know the Braves plan to shift him to a corner once primo prospect Jordan Schafer is ready for the show, just as the Pirates would have done when Andrew McCutchen came up, but still... Have the stat freaks taken over the game that much? He'll never be known as a rifleman, but he did cover some ground and was certainly a more than adequate glove in center.

GW would hate to think the suits are floating little balloons out to the media in a CYA effort after the fan beating they took over the deal.

-- In his Ump Bump blog, Nick Kapur picks one player every team should cut. His Bucco choice:
OF Brandon Moss: Lots of people have mentioned how one good side of trading away Nate McLouth was that it has “cleared playing time for blocked prospect Andrew McCutchen.” But hardly anyone mentions that one of the players who was allegedly “blocking” McCutchen is Brandon Moss, a corner outfielder who has been playing every day this season despite posting a .310 OBP and only a single home run.
-- RHP Mike Koplove, 32, was signed by the Pirates as a free agent from the Phil's organization and sent to AAA Indianapolis.

He was 1-3 with six saves and a 1.14 ERA in 21 relief appearances with AAA Lehigh Valley this season. He pitched in the show for seven seasons with Arizona (2001-06) and Cleveland (2007), going 15-7 with two saves and a 3.82 ERA in 222 games.

Why doesn't it surprise us that his his last MLB stop was with the Indians?

-- Listen, the Nate McLouth trade was a stunner. But consider what GM Frank Wren did on Wednesday to change the face of the Braves: He cut Tom Glavine, promoted Tommy Hanson and traded for McLouth. Now that's shake-up. And he's supposed to be looking at Brad Penny. All that from a contender, yet.

-- The MLB is trying to build a little buzz around draft day, ala the NFL. According to the Biz of Baseball, the changes include:
The 2009 First-Year Player Draft will expand from two days to three days, with the final two days being conducted via conference call from MLB headquarters in New York City.

The first day will consist of the first 111 picks, including Round One, Compensation Round A, Round Two, Round Three and Compensation Round B. There will be four minutes between first round picks and one minute between all other selections. On Wednesday, June 10th, the Draft will resume in the fourth round at 12:00 p.m. (EDT) and will be tentatively scheduled to go through the 30th round. The Draft will conclude on Thursday, June 11th, which is set to cover the 31st-50th rounds, beginning at 11:30 a.m. (EDT).

MLB Network will broadcast the selections made in the first round live.


WilliamJPellas said...

People can quote sabremetrics all they want. McLouth had ONE---repeat, ONE---error all last season! Which means that even if he didn't get to as many balls as some "better" center fielders did, he caught all but one of the ones he did get to. That means he is extremely sure-handed and at least somewhat fundamentally sound. He also has a reasonable throwing arm, as evidenced by the number of outfield assists he has thus far in 2009.

What's not to like about this guy, again? Ummmmm.....

And who cares even if he IS a supposedly below-average CF (which I don't buy for a minute, but let's run with it). Okay. Surely he's an OUTSTANDING defensive corner outfielder who won't kill you in center. He can play all three outfield spots, and that's even more to his credit. Again, we traded this guy....because.....???

As for Moss, I'll give him half a mulligan because he did suffer a serious knee injury, and obviously that's not his fault, the more so because it's evidently at least partly the result of some sort of congenital condition. But he certainly doesn't look anything like a starting corner outfielder, and he can't steal bases, and he can't play defense, and he's not a real power hitter even when healthy, and Nate is all those things, so....

Why did we do this deal, again? Please, remind me, I'm confused.

And if the front office is, as you say, trying to retroactively cover their rear ends, they're not fooling me and they're not fooling most of the few remaining Pirates fans. Wrong trade, wrong time, pure and simple.

Ron Ieraci said...

And more to come, Will, more to come.