Friday, April 1, 2011

Opening Day Notebook

-- The lineup: Jose Tabata LF, Neil Walker 2B, Andrew McCutchen CF, Lyle Overbay 1B, Pedro Alvarez 3B, Ryan Doumit C, Garrett Jones RF, Ronny Cedeno SS, Kevin Correia P.

-- The weather: According to the National Weather Service, Chicago should expect a high of 46 degrees with a 70% chance of precipitation. Oddly enough, that's just about Pittsburgh's forecast, too.

-- The game will be shown on Root Sports - today is when the new name for FSN Pittsburgh kicks in - at 2:20 PM.

-- The payroll: What would the season be without seeing how low the Bucs can go on salary? According to USA Today, the Pirates 29-man MLB lineup (25-man roster + DL) is $45,047,000, in the ball park with San Diego and higher than Tampa Bay and Kansas City's pay-outs.

That fits in with a couple of estimates that put the 40-man payroll at about $46M this season; it was $39M on opening day last year, according to Cot's Contracts.

-- The rotation: With J-Mac back in sorts, the Bucco rotation will be Correia, Paul Maholm, Ross Ohlendorf, Charlie Morton and James McDonald.

-- Non-tenders: The arb guys that the Bucs let go last year were Andy LaRoche, Lastings Milledge and Delwyn Young. LaRoche (Oakland) and Milledge (White Sox) made the roster as bench players; Young (Philadelphia) was the Phils' last cut, losing the utility spot to Peter Orr.


WilliamJPellas said...

If we are getting the Correia of 2009, we will be getting a reliably better than average starting pitcher. Let's hope his spring training struggles were not cause for concern. Our starting lineup isn't bad. Still not enough speed and not enough defense to suit me, but enough respectable hitters to score some runs. I'd expect us to be middle of the pack as far as that goes. As you say, Ron, it comes down to the pitching. It might be a quasi-interesting summer, or at least tolerable, if the starting pitching is just "not terrible". Ya know? Then if we can work in the first couple of rookie starting pitchers from the minors---probably Owens and Morris, in that order---and see who else we can come up with next spring from among B-Rad, Justin Wilson, and Jeff Locke, we might be on to something. Still not enough team speed and defense, though. Toldja they were trying to build an American Leagut team.

Ron Ieraci said...

It's better than last year's edition, Will, but still quite transitional.

I saw a piece on Frank Moore, KC's GM formerly of the Braves, and he said that building through the minors is a seven year process to become title-competitive. Looking at Pittsburgh's timeline, I'm afraid his guess isn't far from wrong; that puts the Pirates being locked and loaded in 2014.