Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Wheels Are Moving

-- Troy Renck of the Denver Post writes "Gotta believe with Hurdle in Pittsburgh that the Pirates will make a play for Jorge De La Rosa and Jeff Francis."

The Bucs have already been associated with de la Rosa; in fact, Rob Biertempfel of the Tribune Review said that he's the #1 target on the FO's wish list.

He adds that Jeremy Bonderman is also on their radar.

Jerry Crasnick of ESPN tweeted that "Some teams that have expressed early interest in P Jeff Francis: Pittsburgh, Seattle, Colorado, Milwaukee & Houston," so Francis is officially part of the parade.

-- Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports noted "New Pirates manager Clint Hurdle wanted Jerry Narron to be his bench coach, according to a major-league source, but Narron went to the Brewers instead. Two of Hurdle's former colleagues from the Rockies — roving minor-league instructor Scott Fletcher and Triple A manager Stu Cole – could end up on the Pirates' staff."

Fletcher is the Colorado infield coordinator and Cole serves as a hitting instructor. Both are former middle infielders.

-- Biertempfel tweets that the Bucs are looking look to add Nick Leyva, the former Blue Jay bench coach, to Hurdle's staff.

-- Jen Langosch of MLB.com wrote that "Andy Hawkins, who coached with Hurdle in Texas, could be a name that pops up. Hawkins and Hurdle have the background of working together, and Hawkins spent numerous seasons as a Minor League pitching coach before joining the Rangers' big league club in 2009."

She added that "(Neal) Huntington suggested that a position will be available for (Jeff) Banister to return to the organization next season in some capacity. That position could be back on the Minor League side."

-- A couple of media sources have said that Hurdle is looking at an "internal option" for pitching coach; sounds like Ray Searage may get another go-around.

-- Tony Beasley has a year left on his contract; we'll see how that plays out.

-- Woody Huyke, 73, a Gulf Coast League Pirates coach, won the Coolbaugh Award as an outstanding coach in the minor leagues. Huyke, who's worked 42 years as a manager and coach in the Pirates' farm system, will get the award next month during the Winter Meetings in Orlando.

Between 1974 and 2004, Huyke was the manager of the GCL Pirates for 29 of the 31 seasons, compiling a 718-983 record in Bradenton. He got his start skippering the 1973 Niagara Falls Pirates. He also managed the Augusta Pirates for part of 1988, replacing Jeff Cox.

Huyke has helped as a coach for the GCL Pirates from 2006-2010.


WilliamJPellas said...

Add De La Rosa and a presumably healthy Francis to McDonald at the top of our rotation, and all of a sudden it's....well, it's not bad. Still definitely not anywhere close to great. But not bad. I know Francis has had significant injury problems in recent seasons, but if he's 100%, he's better than anyone we have right now other than McDonald.

Kinda makes ya wonder why this front office didn't make these sorts of moves before now. Except that I don't wonder, not really. Hard to root for a team when you disagree almost 100% with the way the front office does its business, but: onward.

Ron Ieraci said...

Wil - I'm not one to defend the mysterious ways of the FO, but I think spending on some pitching makes more sense now than it did a season or two ago; they have some players now.

And there's a gap between the minor league guys coming up - probably 2013 or so before their showtime - and what they have now.

Add two arms to J-Mac, Ohlie, and Maholm, and at least the staff isn't laughable any longer. Knock on wood!

WilliamJPellas said...

Well, I hear ya. I just will never agree that it was "right" in any sense of the term to so totally ruin the team on the field at PNC that it joined the ranks of the all time worst. It wasn't necessary for the Pirates to get THAT bad. No way. Not buying it.

Now we'll see if they sold Hurdle a bill of goods or if they really are "all in" as they say they are. I'm betting they're not.