Monday, August 27, 2012

Lineup, Notes, News As Cards Come To Town

The Cardinals send RHP Kyle Lohse (13-2, 2.61 ERA) to take on RHP AJ Burnett (15-4, 3.63). Big series for the Bucs, needless to say, and it's appropriate that a couple of aces kick it off. The two pitchers have been on opposite ends of the spectrum this month. Lohse has gone at least six innings in all four of his starts and surrendered no more than four hits in any of them, putting up a 1.01 ERA and 0.863 WHIP. AJ has gone 2-1 in August, but with an ERA of 5.27 and WHIP of 1.537. The game starts at 7:05 and will be shown on Root Sports.

It's pretty simple - if the Bucs want to exorcise the ghosts of 2011 and knock down the cobwebs of the past two decades, this series is the place to start. And as usual, AJ is on the hill as their stopper.

The lineup: Jose Tabata LF, Travis Snider RF, Andrew McCutchen CF, Garrett Jones 1B, Neil Walker 2B, Pedro Alvarez 3B, Josh Harrison SS, Rod Barajas C, AJ Burnett P.

Harrison is being rewarded for his three hit night with another start.

  • The media guys reported that Gaby Sanchez was taking grounders at third base. Maybe the FO is looking to give Pedro some off nights against lefties and want a bigger bat at the hot corner than Josh Harrison or Jordy Mercer provide.
  • Karen Price of the Tribune Review talked to Neal Huntington regarding the makeup of the playoff roster. Kinda wish the GM was spending more time tinkering with the August lineup.
  • Michael Sanserino of the Post Gazette has an update on C Tony Sanchez,who is fast developing all the necessary defensive and leadership skills behind the dish at Indy. It's when he's at the plate (.222) that things go downhill.
  • Another zippo outing for Altoona's Jameson Taillon last night. He went six innings, giving up an infield hit and fanning seven on 69 pitches. He faced one batter over the minimum and punched out the last five hitters. His heater was mid-nineties with a sweet hook. The youngster was named the Eastern League Player of the Week today after back-to-back scoreless outings.
  • The GCL Pirates won their semi playoff qualifier 1-0 over the Cardinals. Next they'll play a best-of-three final with the Red Sox for all the rookie league marbles.


WilliamJPellas said...

I am still hopeful where Sanchez is concerned. He does have power, and evidently his defensive game is first rate. As long as his surgically repaired shoulder holds up, there's no doubt whatsoever that---right now, as is---he would be light years better than our current catchers when it comes to throwing out basestealers.

So, all he really has to be with a bat in his hands is a .240 or .250 hitter in order to be a better than average starting major league catcher. Granted, right now he's not even hitting for that high an average in Triple A, and that is cause for some concern. But given how much time he's missed in the minors due to injury, I'm willing to give him a mulligan for his first year in Triple A. Hopefully he takes it up a notch next year and can hit the ground running in Pittsburgh, say, after the All Star break.

WilliamJPellas said...

Interesting news re: Gaby Sanchez. He would certainly increase his value if he could be even passable with the glove at third. My brother brought up an interesting point that sort-of dovetails with your comment about the front office still being in "collector mode". He was saying that while the Pirates did a nice job of adding two guys with some ceiling in Snider and Sanchez, the problem is that they can't usually get both of them on the field at the same time---because of the presence of Garrett Jones, and you can't really sit him the way he's been playing this season. So, the end result is that you usually have one of these guys on the bench. Thus, you don't usually get the benefit of having both of them upgrading the lineup from where it had been prior to them being acquired.

So, there will have to be a decision made about Jones this coing offseason. I think the front office is thinking along these same lines, which is why they have Sanchez taking grounders at third. Gotta find more AB's for him, ya know?

Ron Ieraci said...

Will, these guys are entirely value driven in collecting talent with no organizational blueprint other than grab every power arm on the block and number one position players that never advanced much past AAAA.

There was a point that was worthwhile, but with the pitching that's coming up, they really should be working a brick and mortar approach instead of throwing it against the wall.

Gaby is a shot in the dark, just like McGehee was. But Tony, from what I've heard, is really becoming everything you'd want from a catcher if his stick ever develops. .250+ would be acceptable with the rest of the toolkit he has, and getting there looks like his challenge. I agree that a second go-around should help, but if he's up in mid-summer 2013, it's because the others guys are hurt or had a meltdown.