Friday, June 19, 2009

Rockies Rock Ross

Hey, the Rockies are the hottest team in baseball, and they showed the Bucs why tonight, winning 7-3 in a game that wasn't as close as the score. The Rox outhit, outpitched, and outgloved Pittburgh.

And the Pirates helped by continuing to pound the top of the ball. 21 outs were recorded on grounders. Not that it much mattered. The Big O gave up nine hits, including two that went yard, and six runs in five innings, half coming with two outs.

Oh well, we'll see what Charlie Morton has tomorrow.

-- Rob Neyer of ESPN's Sweet Spot says the Bucs should deal Ryan Doumit, too. Geez, Pittsburgh's become the blue light special aisle of MLB.

-- Jorge Says No! blog isn't so sure the Bucs will be big sellers, though:
With the trading deadline rapidly approaching, let's take a look at some teams, who might look to sell at the deadline.

Pittsburgh: UNSURE (probably sellers)
-already traded away Nate McLouth, who was their best player
-only 5.5 games out of first place at the moment
-too early to say if the Pirates will trade away any other players after the McLouth backlash
-- Jim Tracy told the Denver Post that he did indeed lose the team in 2007.
"It was during the latter part of the 2007 season, and it had a lot to do with what was taking place above me," Tracy said. "We lost our general manager, and it got to the point where I felt like the support staff that you need to do this job, in this chair, effectively was lost. It was gone. I felt like I was trying, at the latter point and time, to steer a ship that had no rudder. So in that vein, in the course of the last 30 days of the season or so, I did lose the team."

The Pittsburgh experience still stings, but Tracy said he never gave up. "I never quit trying there, I can promise you that," he said. "But it's not easy to change a culture that has been beaten for 14 or 15 years in a row. A lot of good people have tried there."
-- Speaking of old managers, Jim Leyland just got a two-year extension from the Tigers.

-- The A's signed ex-Pirate RHP Shawn Chacon, who hasn't pitched in the big leagues since an altercation with Houston GM Ed Wade last year, to a minor-league deal. He's not expected to be an option for Oakland's MLB staff, but provides some depth at Triple-A Sacramento, according to the Denver Post.

-- Where are they now? Try Japan for a couple of ex-Bucco pitchers. Ryan Vogelsong is pitching for the Hanshin Tigers, where he's 0-3 with a 6.84 ERA. John Wasdin is with the Seibu Lions, where he's 2-2 with a 5.04 ERA.

-- Top pick Tony Sanchez will start Saturday with short-season State College. He'll play the opening five games for the Spikes, and then report to Class A West Virginia.

-- The Pirates signed their ninth-round draft pick, Brock Holt, a junior second baseman from Rice University. He hit .348 with 12 home runs, 43 RBIs, and a .425 OBP. Holt struck out 35 times and walked 34.

-- According to MLB Trade Rumors, ESPN Insider Jorge Arangure Jr. reports that MLB investigators are looking into super prospect Miguel Angel Sano's age at Minnesota's request.

Sano says he's 16, but some believe he's older because of his physique; any player caught lying about his age receives a one-year suspension from MLB. Arangure reports that Sano is expected to sign with the Twins or Pirates if he's OK'ed.

-- A couple of drafted local kids signed contracts this week. Gus Benusa, a CF from Riverview and 8th round pick, inked with the Giants, and LHP Josh Hungerman, of North Allegheny and Cleveland State, a 17th round selection, signed with the Rockies.


Jeff Pellas said...

Looking forward to seeing Tony Sanchez here in State College. I'll definitely find my way to a game next week. Went to tonite's season opener for the Spikes (Fear The Deer!). I can't imagine a nicer stadium for a short season single "A" team! Medlar Field at Lubrano Park rivals Altoona's Blair County Ballpark where the "AA" Curve play. And the scenic vista beyond the outfield wall is second only to PNC Park itself, in my opinion. Frank Coonelly was at the opener. He was milling around the concourse shortly after the game began so I introduced myself and shook his hand ...and I told him the "McClouth Trade" took guts to pull off but that I thought it was the right move. I think I surprised him by saying that. Nice threads by the way! Oh, and the Spikes lost to the Williamsport Cross Cutters 15-2 (Cardinals affiliate)!

Ron Ieraci said...

Yah, Jeff, looks like it might be another long year for the Spikes. Doesn't look like much of a pitching staff, though if they sign a couple kids, they may end up there.

The position players look OK, but geez, I dunno what State College does to their gloves!

WilliamJPellas said...

I think I read somewhere that Sanchez might go straight to the Pirates' High A affiliate in Lynchburg. Many top collegiate players skip the lower 2 or 3 levels of their team's minor league system. In the Pirates' case---and correct me if I'm wrong here, Ron---the lowest level of the system is our Rookie League in Florida, then comes short season A-ball in State College, full season A ball in West Virginia, "High A" in Lynchburg, double-A in Altoona, and triple-A in Indianapolis.

Ron Ieraci said...

That's the order, Will. The understanding is that Sanchez is going to get his feet wet for a week at State College and then go on to West Virginia; Lynchburg is a big jumping off point for a college player, although he may end up there sometime during the season.

As a general, though certainly flexible, rule, the top picks go to A, college players to State College, and most high school/Latino guys start at Bradenton.

Usually, you can usually tell how highly the prospect is regraded by where he lands in his first couple of years.