Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Bucco Hot Stove

The names being bandied about as players of interest to the Pirates by various sources: Jeremy Accardo, Jason Bartlett, Justin Duchscherer, Kevin Gregg, Aaron Heilman, Kenshin Kawakami, JJ Hardy and Brendan Ryan.

They have already signed Kevin Correia, Andy Marte, Fernando Nieve, and Scott Olsen. Also, Kevin Hart and Jose Ascanio will be back after losing 2010 to injuries. Both are starters who will have to work out of the pen until their arms strengthen, and both are out of options. At least the Bucs should have some numbers in the spring.

It's easy enough to see that the FO is emphasizing pitching after last year's train wreck. Right now, the rotation looks like James McDonald, Ross Ohlendorf, Kevin Correia, Paul Maholm, and Craig Morton/Scott Olsen/Brad Lincoln, with more arms to come. And they can use the help.

Surprisingly to GW, the Pirates don't seem to be very high on Matt Diaz. We're not sure if that's because of price (10 teams are said to have inquired about him) or ability; he'd seem to be a good fit for the right field platoon. (EDIT - the Bucs were high on Diaz, after all. Dejan Kovacevic of the Post Gazette reports that they signed him to a two-year deal. It's not often that GW and the FO agree on something.)


WilliamJPellas said...

I think Diaz is a solid move. I would assume he will platoon in right with Garrett Jones as well as being in general the "fourth outfielder", ie, that he would play left on the few days when Tabata takes over in center and McCutchen gets a day off.

Ron Ieraci said...

If they get rid of Doumit, Wil, I think it's Jones/Bowker against righties and Pearce/Diaz against lefties. Dewey replaces Bowker if he stays.

There's really not much left in the marketplace at 1B or corner OF, so unless they have a trade up their sleeve, I think Hurdle will have to platoon RF & 1B with what he's got now.

WilliamJPellas said...

I have no problem with platooning, particularly if you're talking about a team and an organization that still has serious shortages in the overall talent department. It's not ideal, but Earl Weaver and Jim Leyland got lots and lots of mileage out of average major leaguers simply by being diligent to put them consistently in the most favorable situations relative to their talent. In fact, to me, the ability to maximize talent, regardless of how little or how much you have in objective terms, is what separates good managers from bad ones. In that vein, that is the single biggest indictment I believe you can make about John Russell. Yes, he was given utter crap with which to work. No, he didn't get better than expected performances out of...well, out of almost any of his players, actually. Other than Garrett Jones, name me one Pirate who was an unexpected overachiever during Russell's time in Pittsburgh. Perhaps you could argue Neil Walker, but Walker was a first round pick once upon a time, and it may be (as I believe) with him that it just took him 3 seasons to recover from his horrible wrist injury.

I think they should trade Doumit, and I'd like to see a package deal where he and a couple minor leaguers go to an AL team for one of their starting pitchers. I think that could easily be done.