Monday, May 17, 2010

Splashes On A Rainy Monday

-- Zach Duke gets the unenviable task of taking on Roy Halladay tomorrow night. Halladay is 6-1 with a 1.59 ERA.

-- Delwyn Young will become the Pirates third starting second baseman in three games as he gets the nod tonight. As an added bonus, he'll bat leadoff.

-- Jimmy Rollins, Phil SS who has been out for 29 games with a strained calf, was given the OK to play tonight. Let's hope it takes him a couple of days to get his mojo back.

-- So far in May, Pittsburgh pitchers have put together a 4.02 ERA. The starters numbers are 5-6 with a 4.23 ERA while the pen is 1-2 with a 3.69 ERA. The ERA for the season is still just 5.64, but it's dropped half a run since April. Maybe Joe Kerrigan will keep his job.

-- We weren't the only ones to notice it. Roto Authority's Tim Dierkes checked out who's added and who's lost velocity this year - and Zach Duke and Paul Maholm are in the Top Ten of the losers.

-- Indy's Daniel McCutchen has been placed on the minor league DL with arm fatigue.

-- Altoona Curve pitcher Jared Hughes, 24, has been named the Eastern League Pitcher of the Week. He made two starts last week and compiled a 2-0 record. Hughes went a season-high seven innings in both starts and permitted a total of three runs (one earned) in his 14 innings of work to compile an 0.64 ERA for the week. The righty from Long Beach State also struck out six and walked just a pair over the same time frame.

He has a 7-1 record with a 3.16 ERA through eight games (seven starts) in 2010 and currently leads all of Minor League Baseball with his seven wins.

-- Prospect Starling Marte will have surgery tomorrow to repair a hamate bone injury in his left hand suffered after getting conked by a pitch a week or two ago. The hook of his hamate bone will be removed, ala Pedro Alvarez. He's expected to be out 8-10 weeks, so he should be back sometime in August.

-- Ah, the minor league domino game. Bryan Morris was sent to Altoona yesterday. Righty Hunter Strickland, 21, will replace him at Bradenton. At West Virginia this year, he went 0-4 with a 5.86 ERA, and compiled eight walks and 15 strikeouts in 43 innings.

Hey, quiet down, we didn't promote him; maybe control pitchers are the flavor of the week. The ERA doesn't bother us, but 15 Ks in 43 innings? That's a red flag. We'll find out soon enough if he's a warm body or if the brass see something they like in him.

Taking Strickland’s place at West Virginia is righty Victor Black, who had been on State College’s roster. Black was a sandwich pick (#49) in the 2009 draft. He'll turn 22 in a week.

Not to worry. The Spikes still have high school aces Zack Von Rosenberg and Brooks Pounders, taken in last year's draft, to anchor their rotation.


WilliamJPellas said...

When better than average but not great control pitchers like Duke and Maholm lose a couple MPH off the ol' heater, it can have a catastrophic effect. I've been ready to trade Duke for the past year, and I'm ready to listen to offers for Maholm, too. While I wouldn't deal both of them in 2010, I'd certainly trade one of them.

I really liked Maholm, and his 2008 performance was really outstanding, though you'd never know it from his W-L record. If he had been able to continue at or near that level, I'd have said no way do you deal him, especially with his reasonable contract. But the knee injury last season seems to have really hurt him across the board. He's a warrior, but the 2009-2010 Maholm is much more replaceable than the 2008 edition. If he and Duke have arm fatigue, all the more reason to explore a trade. Contenders have been known to overpay for reliable innings-eaters. (I know, I know, "the product on the field", etc.. But some trades make more sense than others.)

Ron Ieraci said...

Dunno if I'd pull that trigger yet, Will, until I had somebody ready to step up and replace them in the rotation.

Save Lincoln, there's really no one lighting it up at Indy, and a free agent would probably not be an upgrade for what the Bucs would be willing to pay.

It's more likely they sign Duke to deal and wait until next year to see how the starters in the system shake out.