Friday, September 24, 2010

A Couple Of Thoughts After 100 Losses

-- The Pirate infield has no range; it's not just Zach Duke and Paul Maholm that suffer, but the entire staff. If they don't make a switch or two, it will be a roadblock to any sustained success in 2011. We get tired of typing "groundball single" in the game recaps.

We still advocate putting Pedro at first, Walker at third, Jones in right and finding a second baseman. And one more outfielder that can play left/center when McCutch or JT are out.

You can't get a pitcher to throw to contact if he doesn't have the confidence most of those balls will become outs. The Pirates conversion rate of balls in play into outs is .671, worst in MLB. That's a .333 opponent average minus whiffs.

-- We have blamed JR for many things, but the bullpen fiasco is no fault of his; that falls on the FO. They pick up guys and it's up to Russell to get them into games and see what they have. Except for Chris Resop and Chan Ho Park, the answer is very little. There's a reason the players were on the waiver list, after all.

Hey, we have no beef with turning rental players into possible pieces of the puzzle, flipping Octavio Dotel, Javier Lopez and DJ Carrasco into J-Mac, Andrew Lambo, John Bowker and Pedro Ciriaco. But don't tell the faithful that you're doing everything you can to win now when it's obvious you're still collecting prospects for the future at the cost of victories in 2010.

That sort of disingenuous pap is what helps cause the disconnect between the FO and the fans.

-- Quit blaming underperforming players; you evaluated and signed them, and Aki Iwamura isn't the reason the team has lost 100 games and counting. Geez, with Dewey, Neil Walker and Jeff Clement, the Pirates sometimes had three catchers playing the right side of the field. Start building a team position-by-position instead of collecting LH corner players.

The Pirates only play half their games at lefty-friendly PNC Park. Maybe that's why there's such a gap between home and away performance.


WilliamJPellas said...

Wow. Three catchers on the infield at the same time. THIS is the expertise of the "Best Management Team In Sports"??? Yoi and double yoi!

Ron Ieraci said...

Might be a little misleading, Wil - I don't think that Dewey, Clement, and Walker were all on the field at the same time this season.

But giving OJT to guys at the MLB level is one of the prime reasons the fielding rate is so poor, and that's one glaring deficiency that the organization doesn't seem to want to address.

And I sometimes wonder if the opp scouting and positioning doesn't have something to do with the range factor. It's just an eyeball thing, but the infield doesn't seem to play back very much or cheat a step or two for pull/opposite field hitters.