Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Pirate Patter

  • The Pirates announced that they signed Met's 1B/OF Nick Evans to a minor league deal with an invite to camp. Evans' career work product is a .256 batting avg, 28 doubles, eight home runs and 46 RBI in 386 at-bats over parts of four seasons. His addition gives the Bucs a security blanket if Derrik Lee bolts town and they have to platoon; he's basically Matt Hague with a MLB track record. And he's hit .295 with 6 dingers against lefties in 176 ABs.
  • The Bucs have so far invited five minor league free agents to camp: Evans, RHP Tim Wood, C/OF Jake Fox, RHP Shairon Martis and OF Brandon Boggs. 
  • John Perrotto of Baseball Prospectus tweeted that the Bucs had some interest in free agent OF David DeJesus, who signed with the Cubs. Our question would be why.
  • Jen Langosch of has an article on the Pirate game plan heading into the winter meetings.
  • Charlie Wilmoth of Bucs Dugout analyzed Clint Hurdle's platooning and bullpen tendencies. It's pretty interesting stuff and the results may be a little different than you thought. 
  • Ashley Marshall of has broken down the best of the baby Buccos by position. Her All-Prospect team has C Ramon Cabrera, 1B Matt Hague, 2B Jarek Cunningham, SS Jordy Mercer, 3b Elevys Gonzalez, UT Wes Freeman, OFs Starling Marte, Robbie Grossman and John Bowker (who is now in the Philly organization), RHP Kyle McPherson, LHP Nate Baker and reliever Tim Wood.
  • The Bradenton Marauders have just introduced a new logo. It's a grinning skull with a Pirate patch backed with crossed bats. Holy shiver me timbers!
  • Christina Kahrl posted an article on ESPN's Sweet Spot suggesting three fixes for each NL Central team. For Pittsburgh, it's take stock, get some corner OF offense, and jump-start Pedro.


WilliamJPellas said...

Going down the list of your bullet points: 1) Evans is a smart signing, and once again I have to take my hat off to Neal Huntington for his "dumpster diving". He really is very good at finding semi-useful players off the junkheap. That said, it's a shame that the otherwise very similar Steven Pearce just couldn't stay healthy to save his life. I don't think Evans would be here otherwise. I also think it's unlikely that Lee will re-sign in Pittsburgh. 2) I'm a little surprised that most of the guys the Pirates have invited to camp are older. That group looks more like an audition for the 25th man on a contender than it does a cattle call for a rebuilding team. But there are some semi-interesting resumes in that bunch, nonetheless. 3)In fairness, DeJesus was really raking toward the end of his time in Kansas City, but he got hurt and then he stunk up the joint in Oakland. Plus he's a lefthanded bat without a good deal of power, which we would seem to already have on hand in Presley, who is also younger and faster. I agree, I don't get it. Thank goodness he signed elsewhere. 4) Excellent analysis of Hurdle's managing tactics. But the real kicker was what he said at the end: John Russell didn't look like he was trying to win ballgames. I've said many times that the worst thing you can say about any baseball manager, regardless of how much talent they do or don't have on hand, is that their team underachieved. As horrible a hand as Russell was dealt by the front office, I still say the Pirates under him were even WORSE than they should have been. The lowest of the low in any sport is a bad team that also underachieves. That's what we had uunder Russell, who is without a doubt the worst manager I have ever seen. 5) The "best of the baby buccos" is not a terrible list, but it's certainly nothing special. Marte and Grossman---before he got hurt---are legitimate prospects. Maybe Mercer, too. McPherson, Baker, and Wood might win for Indianapolis, but they're not going to lead the Pirates to the postseason. Still much, much too light on pitching, and still far too few "impact" prospects. Not enough when we're heading into Year 5 under the current regime, and not enough given how much has been spent on the draft and on international players. 6) It was, and still is, a great move for the organization to have the High A team located in Bradenton. 7) Jump start Pedro? That's assuming he CAN be jump started. I guess we'll find out. If he isn't blasting 30 home runs he doesn't help you, that's all there is to it. He's a one dimensional power hitter who can't run, can't hit for average, and can't play defense. I never liked him and still don't.

Ron Ieraci said...

I like Evans, Will, if they use him as a platoon guy, which for some reason the Mets didn't; maybe they were trying to see if he was an everyday guy.

And yah, I'm disappointed in the minor league pipeline, especially with all the pitching they went after. Dunno if it's an evaluation prob or the by-product of too many high school arms.

And finally, if the Bucs are to improve meaningfully, a great deal of their improvement will be linked to pedro's star.