Thursday, July 26, 2012

Roster, Rotation Settled

Time to catch up on the roster, with just a couple of predictable moves overall. We knew that LHP Wandy Rodriguez and OF Starling Marte joined the club to start a mini-domino effect. The pitching roster space was cleared when RHP Evan Meek was sent down; Gorkys Hernandez joined him today to make room for Marte, and probably earned himself a September return because of his leather.

Marte is penciled in at leadoff, and will be playing left field tonight. His line at Indy was .286/.347/.500 with 12 HR, 62 RBI and 64 RS. He was 21-33 in stolen sacks (64%) and has a rep as a nice fielder with a rifle arm.

The pitching staff was settled when Kevin Correia was sent to the pen to replace Meek. He'll fill the old long man/spot starter role that Jeff Karstens once had, and bump Brad Lincoln closer to the back end of the bullpen. It's not a new situation for Correia. He was pretty much a full time reliever until 2008, and even afterward he worked an outing or two in relief most seasons.

The Pirate pitching rotation now is looks like this: AJ Burnett, Jeff Karstens, Wandy Rodriguez, James McDonald and Erik Bedard. It's a good mix, breaking up not just the lefty-righty scheme, but also pitching styles. And now they have Lincoln and Correia if the need for a starter arises.

It may not be the last move for KC. Now that he's won six straight decision to put up an 8-6 record with a 4.24 ERA, his value on the market is the best it's been since he was a Bucco. That may not be terribly high, but the Pirates have had him on the trading block for a while and would like to get a player for him in his walk year.

If not, he'll be the Bucco insurance policy if a spot starter is needed during the dog days.

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