-- Jerry Crasnick of ESPN has a pretty thorough piece on the Pirates housecleaning since Frank Coonelly and Neal Huntington became the top guns.
-- Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated says the Pirates are pursuing the "proper philosophy", while Jay Mariotti calls the team "Quittsburgh" in Fanhouse.
-- Jim Callas of Baseball America has his new Top Ten of Pirate prospects since the dealine: 1. Pedro Alvarez, 3b; 2. Brad Lincoln, rhp; 3. Tony Sanchez, c; 4. Tim Alderson, rhp; 5. Jose Tabata, of; 6. Gorkys Hernandez, of; 7. Rudy Owens, lhp; 8. Zack Von Rosenberg, rhp (unsigned; not quite sure how he made the list); 9. Robbie Grossman, of; and 10. Starling Marte, of.
John Perrotto of Pirates Report adds his updated Top Ten: 1-Pedro Alvarez, 3B, Class AA Altoona; 2-Tim Alderson, RHP, Altoona; 3-Jose Tabata, OF, Class AAA Indianapolis; 4-Brad Lincoln, RHP, Indianapolis; 5-Gorkys Hernandez, OF, Altoona; 6-Starling Marte, OF, low Class A West Virginia; 7-Tony Sanchez, C, West Virginia; 8-Bryan Morris, RHP, high Class A Lynchburg; 9-Robbie Grossman, OF, West Virginia; and 10-Rudy Owens, LHP, Lynchburg.
-- Rob Beirtempfel of the Tribune review has some sobering news regarding Craig Hansen. He writes that
"Reliever Craig Hansen's career may be in jeopardy due to Parsonage-Turner Syndrome, a rare condition which affects the nerves that conduct signals from the spine to the shoulder. PTS is marked by severe pain, shoulder paralysis and lack of control of the arm, wrist or hand. The cause of PTS is unknown, but it has been linked to viral and bacterial infections, surgery, vaccinations and parasitic infestation.Things don't sound good for Hansen. The disease has a best case scenario of running its course in seven months, but it could take years.
About 75 percent of those affected by PTS have fully recovered within two years, but some recoveries take up to five years."
-- Jen Langosch reported in her blog that the Pirates continue to stock up on minor league shortstops.
"The Pirates traded RHP Mike Koplove to the Mariners for SS Deybis Benitez. Koplove has been pitching for Triple-A Indianapolis since mid-season and had been one of the Indians' most reliable relievers. He went 3-1 with a 2.35 ERA in 22 relief appearances. Benitez has been assigned to low-A West Virginia."The 22 year old Venezuelan looks like organizational fodder.