Thursday, July 7, 2011

Thursday Stuff

An off day for the Buccos doesn't necessarily mean a day without any action, right?
  • James McDonald (5-4, 4.40 ERA) will take the mound against Chicago's Rodrigo Lopez (1-2, 3.91 ERA) tomorrow night.
  • Clint Hurdle told the beat gang that he and the FO discussed future options for the team, which could entail external deals. Even if they don't pick up any new blood, there will still be plenty of movement going on with the roster as guys like Joe Biemel, Pedro Alvarez, Ronny Cedeno, Jason Jaramillo, and Jose Tabata are coming off the DL soon after the All-Star break, and that alone will reshape the lineup dramatically.
  • A lot has been made about the Pirate offense, but most of the pitchers have been getting OK run support. Out of 111 qualifying MLB pitchers ranked by ESPN, here's how many runs/game the Pittsburgh rotation gets and what position that puts them in: Kevin Correia - 7.17 (18th); James McDonald - 6.46 (36th); Jeff Karstens - 5.56 (63rd); Charlie Morton - 5.38 (75th); and Paul Maholm - 3.79 (110th). Two guys get above average support, a couple more get roughly average scoring (the median is 5.70 runs/game), and then there's Maholm.
  • The Bucs need to take one game from the Cubs this weekend to post their first winning record at the All-Star break since 1992.
  • Baseball America ranked its Top Fifty Prospects this afternoon, and only Jameson Taillon at #9 made the list for the Buccos.
  • State College OF Exicardo Cayonez was sent down to the to the rookie league GCL. The Pirates signed him in 2008 for $400K, then the largest wad of cash ever spent by the team for an international signing. He was hitting .032 for the Spikes with 13 K's in 32 at-bats, a 40% whiff rate. But he did OK in the GCL last year, hitting .263, and is only 19 (he'll turn 20 in October), so he has time to adjust. Still, you like to see a prospect moving up, not down, the food chain. RHP Jordan Cooper, who the Bucs drafted out of Kentucky this year, moved up to replace Cayonez.
  • Mike Lopresti of USA Today has a piece on the close races in the MLB as of the holiday weekend. The lede team is the Buccos: "On July 4 last year, the Pirates were 16½ games out first place and 30-52, an 18th consecutive losing season in the bag and Pittsburgh fans already eager for the Steelers. The Pirates began Monday 43-41, only 1½ games behind, and who knows when the Steelers will play?"
  • Hall of Fame skipper Dick Williams passed on today at the age of 82. He took the Red Sox, Padres, and Athletics to the World Series during a 21-year managerial career.

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