Sunday, May 20, 2012

Bucs Loading Up At Indy - Is A Move Imminent?

The Pirates obtained AAA middle infielder Drew Sutton from Atlanta today for cash. The 28 year old RH has spent parts of 2009-10 in the show, putting up a .258/.322/.403 slash line and striking out a lot. Sutton is a lifetime .280 hitter in the minors and joins corners guy Jeff Larish as a recent addition to the Indy crew.

This could be a move that addresses Indy's recent offensive woes; they've been mirroring the parent club the past few days. They are carrying guys like Anderson Hernandez, Miles Durham and Brian Friday who are all hitting under the Mendoza line. The trio are organization troopers and can be dropped a level or released to add a little punch to the attack. And it would be cheap injury insurance, as both Sutton and Larish have some experience, though not recently, in the majors.

Then again, it may be that the Pirate lineup may be about ready to undergo a change or two itself, as they're not exactly setting the world on its ear with their lumber. There are a handful of guys at Indy that are worth a look at the big league level. After all, there are a whole lot of players drawing major league paychecks in Pittsburgh that are under performing big time.

In that scenario, the Pirates adding a shortstop and corner fielder to Indy's lineup would suggest that Jordy Mercer (Chase d'Arnaud is barley hitting his weight) and Matt Hague/Jake Fox (who isn't on the 40-man roster) would be in line for a call. But a call is only half the battle; Clint Hurdle is nothing if not loyal to his players.

Gorkys Hernandez, who logically would have started Saturday against a lefty, has rode the pine since his arrival in Pittsburgh. Mercer would have to play through Clint Barmes and Josh Harrison, and Casey McGehee would present a battle at first base. So the dynamics of a roster shake up are far from predictable in regards to playing time.

At any rate, it's an interesting acquisition with possible implications at a couple of levels. We'll find out pretty quickly if the trigger was pulled to shake up the Tribe - or the Pirates.

(Edit - so much for try to add 2+2 where the FO is concerned. Less than 24 hours after acquiring Drew Sutton, the Bucs swapped him to Tampa Bay for a PTBNL. Oh, and he went to the Rays' active roster, not AAA. Go figure. We'd guess after the Pirates loaded up the Indy roster, Tampa made a call to Neal Huntington this morning inquiring about who was available, and apparently Sutton was.)

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