Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Thought Or Three

  • The Bucs are bat-deficient, there's no doubt. But remember that this week they're also facing two of baseball's best staffs at Atlanta and Philly; that may have something to do with the results, too. 
  • For all the great work of the Bucco bullpen, Daniel McCutchen deserves recognition as the glue man. Need a long man? A bridge man? A middle man? He's been everything but a closer for Pittsburgh, and performed well at every spot. D-Mac is no longer the afterthought of the Nady/Marte deal.
  • Don't jump off Pedro's band wagon quite yet. He's had a hit every game since he's been back, and while certainly not perfect at the plate, has shown much better discipline. To expect him to come up and be Babe Ruth from the gate is really a bit much. After all, this is still his training period; El Toro has all of 5-1/2 months split over two seasons in the show. And the show is, in our view, the best place for him to learn. Pedro already owns AAA pitching.
  • One gains much more appreciation of Ronny Cedeno after watching nearly three weeks of Chase d'Arnaud and Brandon Wood play shortstop.
  • One piece of the puzzle that went missing with the return of Ronny Cedeno, Steve Pearce and Pedro is that the team speed has taken a huge hit. It'll pick up some when Jose Tabata and Alex Presley return from the DL, but high motor guys like Chase d'Arnaud and Pedro Ciriaco are probably gone until September, if then. And that makes Clint Hurdle's aggressive small ball approach that much harder to execute. Right now McCutch, Xavier Paul and maybe Daniel McCutchen are the only plus speed guys on the roster.
  • Carlos Beltran went to the Giants for 21 year old RHP Zach Wheeler, ranked the #55 prospect by Baseball America in 2011. The NYM included $4M with the deal. With the Colby Rasmus deal yesterday, Kosuke Fukudome almost wrapped up for Cleveland and Carlos Quentin supposedly off the market, the Pittsburgh quest for OF thunder became a little more problematic. Big boys Philly, Atlanta and Boston are also said to be in the market for OF'ers, looking at guys like Hunter Pence and BJ Upton, and the Bucs may get shunted to the secondary market. Of course, you always have to wonder what the Dodgers have to offer, considering the messy McCourt situation and the FO's frequent dealings with their LA counterparts..

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