Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Tuesday Notes and News

  • Yesterday's shutout was the Pirates seventh of the year, already one more than the staff had in 2010.
  • We've noted more than once that the Pirates improvement in pitching is hitched to the teams' improvement in defense. Dejan Kovacevic of the Tribune Review has a piece backing up that premise and some common sense changes in positioning that helped to bring about the better play.
  • John Perrotto of the Beaver County Times adds a few more logs to the fire: "...the relievers they (Pittsburgh) could acquire without giving up a frontline prospect are Baltimore’s Koji Uehara, Colorado’s Rafael Betancourt, Oakland’s Grant Balfour and Toronto’s Jason Frasor and Jon Rauch."
  • Jen Langosch of MLB.com, after reporting that the Bucs are "kicking the tires" of Carlos Beltran, adds that the players themselves are a little leery of deadline deals. "I feel like we've done so well that we don't want to get rid of anybody," Garrett Jones said, echoing thoughts shared by some of his other teammates. "Maybe bring in one or two guys, but I hate to see any guy go that's on the team. Everybody that has been on this team has contributed tremendously. We just have that good team chemistry to where we're behind each other and pulling for each other."
  • Speaking of Beltran, there's been a lot of web chat about what it would take to land him. GW's two cents is that if the team takes on his salary with minimal personnel costs, fine. If it takes an elite prospect or a big player package, it's not worth it for a rental. Hey, baseball in Pittsburgh will go on past 2011.
  • Matthew Leach of MLB.com wrote a story covering the teams that should be in sell/buy mode before the deadline. He says this about the Bucs: "Pittsburgh should look to make upgrades -- within reason. The Pirates shouldn't part with key pieces of their future. The long view needs to remain the goal. But if they can add an outfield bat or a reliever for only a minor prospect, or in exchange for taking on money, they should do it." 
  • Neal Huntington was put under the glass by some Pirate bloggers, and the results were an interesting interview with plenty of player and trade insights. Charlie Wilmoth of Bucs Dugout has the results.
  • In a quirk of fate, Bucco merchandise sales are taking off regionally, but the team will get less revenue than in years past, notes the Tribune Review's Alex Nixon. The reason is simple - merchandise revenues are divided evenly among the teams, and though the Pirates sales are up, the overall league sales are down, so there's less money for the individual clubs to divvy.


WilliamJPellas said...

Methinks Jose Tabata's career has reached an early crossroads. When I saw him play at Double A Altoona a few years back, I saw a man among boys---which he might have been, if he is actually a few years older than his reputed age of 22 or 23. Still, he was noticeably more athletic than anyone else I saw on the field that day, and I had no doubts he would be a successful big leaguer.

However, between his apparently chronic hamstring injuries on one side, and his lack of over the wall power on the other, it would not surprise me to see the team go in another direction, ie, either land Beltran for the stretch run or go "all in" and bring in the established young veteran Hunter Pence in a trade that would include Tabata.

Ron Ieraci said...

Maybe they're serious, Will. The FO has a track record of covering the bases and then not pulling the trigger. They set a black-and-white value limit and stick to it. I'm fairly sure they'll get a set-up arm as it doesn't look like Meek will be back anytime soon.

As for the rest, the prices I've heard are higher than I'd like to see the team pay, same as always at deadline time.

Still, they do have an abundance of speedy OF'ers in stock, and a lot of arms drafted out of high school that are still throwing in Class A. Maybe that'll lead to a match.