Friday, October 22, 2010

Pondering the Pirates And Other Stuff

-- There's no rush for the Pirates to hire a manager, and it's to the FO's benefit to wait until a couple of playoff coaches shake free for interviews.

Rob Biertempfel of the Tribune Review speculates that New York Yankees bench coach Tony Pena, Rangers hitting coach Clint Hurdle, Giants bench coach Ron Wotus and Yankees third base coach Rob Thomson may be on the Bucco radar.

(Add some, lose some: Bob Dutton of the Royals Report tweeted the news that John Gibbons withdrew as a candidate to become Pittsburgh's next manager and will remain as the Royals' bench coach. Hasta la vista, John.)

The team's not a rudderless ship in October without a skipper; his only job is to give his two cent's worth on upcoming personnel decisions. A spanking new field boss isn't much help in that category.

So the brass can back-burner the manager for a bit and concentrate on who to protect on the 40-man roster, arbitration tenders, free agent/trade possibilities and the such. The new bossman should inherit a club that's already had its annual housecleaning.

-- The playoffs are validating the organization's decision to go pitcher heavy in the recent drafts; pitching is really the key this year. Look no further than the Giants with Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, and Madison Bumgarner.

Throw in Cliff Lee, Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels, CC Sabathia...everybody has got a go-to guy (or two).

Maybe in three years the hot rotation will feature Bryan Morris, Jameson Taillon, and Luis Heredia. At least that's what Bob Nutting is hoping. And with guys like Stetson Allie, Zack Von Rosenberg, Billy Cain, Rudy Owens, Brad Lincoln, Quinton Miller, Nick Kingham and company in the system, a light at the end of the tunnel can finally be seen.

-- Baseball America has a look at the Pirates 2010 draft. It's behind a subscription wall, but Tim Williams of Pirate Prospects has the summary; some interesting names caught BA's eye.

-- Aaron Gleeman of Hardball Talk reports that "As if Jose Bautista hitting 54 homers this season wasn’t an amazing enough feat, now it turns out he did most of that slugging with a hernia (suffered in May). Bautista underwent surgery to repair a sports hernia today and is expected to be out of commission for 4-6 weeks."

-- Hey, Butler High has two ex-MLB pitcher's coaching up its jocks. Matt Clement is the basketball coach, and Todd Erdos, originally of little Washington, was just hired as the baseball skipper, reports Mike White of the Post Gazette.

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