Jots and thoughts:
-- The Associated Press reports that the Pirates didn't request a physical for Aki Iwamura, instead depending on the scouts' eyeballs.
A little sloppy, but dunno if it would have made much difference. Apparently Iwamura did little or no conditioning during the off-season, and a lot of his problems seemed to be mental rather than physical regarding his achy knee. The Pirates need to question if his brace was a medical necessity or a crutch; either one reflects poorly on them.
The Pirates may have had some timing issues; Iwamura had a contractual drop-dead date to become a free agent that they were fast approaching. The suits said they believed they were competition for him and so under pressure to pull the trigger, although with Jesse Chavez being the lure, just how serious could the other offers have been?
We're also wondering a bit about his commitment to Pittsburgh; we notice he hit the ball a heck of a lot better when he was being showcased than he did as an everyday player.
Still, as we said, it's sloppy. No physical, a seemingly bad evaluation by the scouts, and no follow up in the off-season...hopefully they'll learn something from the Aki fiasco before they try to fill a hole by bringing in someone else "proven" from outside the organization.
As is, fans (and bloggers) weren't very impressed with the team's evaluations of outside talent; this only adds another log to the raging bonfire.
-- Bobby Crosby got a couple of starts at short because JR thought he needed the work, not because Ronny Cedeno was hurt - or in a monumental slump. Hey, OK with us. It's time there was some competition on the diamond, and what better way to send the message? You can't always say it with flowers.
-- By the way, the Pirate boss men said that JR has managed 86 players since his arrival; that's three full rosters and some change. Geez, you'd think he'd have no trouble making up a lineup or setting up a rotation with all those choices.
-- 3B/SS Jarek Cunningham, a pretty highly regarded prospect a couple of years ago, has a 17-game hitting streak at West Virginia.
Cunningham, an 18th-round high school pick in the 2008 draft, has hit .373 with six doubles, two triples, three homers, 12 RBIs, and 13 runs since the streak began on May 31, with an overall 2010 line of .316/6/22. He missed 2009 with a torn ACL in his knee.