Thursday, June 23, 2011

Moving On...

The Bucs made the first of what is expected to be several moves made this week.

First, Pittsburgh announced that Chase d'Arnaud (.280/4/33) was called up and Josh Harrison was sent down. This isn't too big a surprise, except that we would have expected a more straightforward d'Arnaud-Pedro Ciriaco swap.

Still, d'Arnaud can play third and is a middle infielder by trade, so he's considerably more versatile than JH, and Harrison, while putting the ball in play (.283), had just a .295 OBP/.317 slugging %, and didn't offer much in the leather department.

In the 23 year old Harrison's first foray in the bigs, he showed that he was a capable utility guy with a decent stick and good speed, and that's probably his ultimate role, having neither power nor a standout mitt. d'Arnaud, 24 years old, was a fourth round draft pick in 2008 and is considered one of the future building blocks of the team. So hey, there's no time like the present to get his feet wet in the show.

The Bucs will have to clear a spot for him on the forty-man roster.

Rob Biertempfel has a whole scenario worked out about upcoming moves in his Tribune-Review article. He says that Alex Presley will be brought up when the Bucs visit Toronto on Tuesday. We'd expect that if the FO and Clint Hurdle want to get his bat in the lineup that they'll swap him out for Pedro Ciriaco.  There's really no other logical choice, unless they plan to dump a contract, and we'd be hard pressed to identify a taker for any of Pittsburgh's veteran underachievers.

The Pirates have seven infielders and four outfielders now, if you consider Garrett Jone's move to first to be more or less permanent, so losing Ciriaco for an outfielder doesn't really change the equation much, except to drop the Pirates to one reserve middle infielder, d'Arnaud. In effect, you've replaced Ciriaco with d'Arnaud and Harrison with Presley.

The other approaching move that we're aware of is the call up of Brad Lincoln to pitch in the July 2nd DH at Washington. He'll be up and down again after the start; the million dollar question is for who?

We'd expect Presley to be the one to go; even with Jones at first, the Bucs have a glut of OF'ers. The most likely callback when Lincoln is returned would be Harrison, who is eligible to return on July 3rd. Once sent down, a player has to spend 10 days on the farm before he can be recalled to prevent too much roster gamesmanship (unless someone goes on the DL). This is Biertempfel's reasoning behind Harrison being sent down first, so his callback would coincide with Lincoln's return ot Indy.

The only other move we foresee would be Jason Jaramillo returning to health and trading spots with Dusty Brown, but JJ's recovery time is still TBD. So for a while, anyway, there will be a whole lotta shakin' going on and we'll get to see the future in d'Arnaud, Presley, and Lincoln.

The real action will come around the trade deadline when the Bucs have to decide if they're sellers or buyers and figure out what to do with all the guys currently on the DL as they regain their health - Mike Crotta, Joe Beimel, Evan Meek, Steve Pearce,  Dewey, and a bit later Pedro, Chris Snyder, and Ohlie; maybe even Kevin Hart.

No comments: