Monday, June 18, 2012

Mercer & Pitching Questions, Notes, News

Time to catch up with the off-day happenings:
  • The Jordy Mercer question has been raised more than once in the media locker room sessions as Clint Barmes continues to struggle. Clint Hurdle has told the scribes that young guys need playing time to develop and added somewhat cryptically that "the deck needs shuffled." Whether that means Mercer will get a couple of starts now that the AL park tour/DH is done or he'll be swapped back to Indy for Yamaico Navarro is the question.
  • The next best question: why haven't Indy's Rudy Owens, Jeff Locke, Justin Wilson or Rick VandenHurk been brought up to pitch? Well, no matter what reasons the FO has given, our guess is that they are in the throes of paraylsis by analysis. They don't want to screw with the 25 man roster, especially as moves will have to be made in the in the next couple of weeks when Jeff Karstens and Chris Leroux complete their rehab. They want to try to establish some trade value for Kevin Correia and Eric Bedard, both of whom are in their final contract years. The FO also has demonstrated a kind of love-hate relationship with its minor league players, overrating them for trade purposes and underrating them as potential Pirates. That segues into the Bucs reputedly kicking the available tires in the pitching marketplace, another reason they may be treading water on calling up anyone from AAA. So our take is that Pittsburgh's pitching will sort out in the next month through trade, injury, and performance; we'd expect the post-July rotation to look a lot different than the current one.
  • Nathan Stoltz at Beyond the Box Score takes a look at four of 2012's breakout pitchers, including James McDonald.
  • Pedro Alvarez and Ralph Kiner are the only Pirates since 1918 to hit at least 2 homers in 2 straight games on 2 different occasions.
  • Indy LHP Justin Wilson was named the International League Pitcher of the Week after going 1-0 with 0.69 ERA in 13 IP giving up a run on five hits with 11K. Opponent's are batting a league-low .206 off the 24 year old. He was also the IL Pitcher of the Week in April, and is the first two-time award winner this season.
  • State College's big name in the field this year will be sandwich pick OF Barrett Barnes. They should be especially strong on the mound, though, with prospects Luis Heredia and Clay Holmes leading a pack of young, hard throwers. 
  • Stetson Allie will begin the year in the rookie league GCL as he transitions to third base from the mound. So will second round draft pick prep C Wyatt Mathisen. Another name to watch is 18 year old Dilson Herrera, a Colombian shortstop who signed in 2010 for $220K. 2011 picks Colten Brewer and Tyler Glasnow, along with this year's third round pick high schooler Jon Sandfort, top the staff.
  • For complete recaps of the short-season GCL Pirates and State College Spikes, click on Tim Williams' Pirate Prospect reviews. Both open their seasons today.
  • In the first draft pool cap year of the draft, five of the top ten selections have yet to ink a deal, including Mark Appel, so the agent-club posing hasn't been cured quite yet.

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