Friday, August 31, 2012

Players Moving All Over...

There's lots of movement between levels as the Bucs prepare for their playoff roster and top affiliate Indy gets set for their post season, too. The Cards and Dodgers both lost on the Bucs' off day, so the game is on; this year's roster construction is more than an academic exercise.  Whomever the Bucs call up today are eligible for the post-season; September 1st call-ups aren't, so it's a big deal 24 hours. Here's what's going on:

  • Reports have placed RHP Kyle McPherson and OF Alex Presley in Milwaukee with the Pirates.  That means both players will be eligible for the playoffs. No mention yet of who will be sent down, but recent call ups 1B Jeff Clement and SS Chase d'Arnaud are the prime suspects to rejoin Indy for their playoffs. The Pirate reinforcements are likely to be internal; there's been no smoke regarding any kind of deal to bring in someone from another team.
  • The Pirates haven't determined, at least publicly, who will take Erik Bedard's lineup spot. Kevin Correia is in the mix, and Kyle McPherson had reportedly joined the big team. But since his turn won't come up until the Houston series (Monday or Tuesday), virtually any starter at Indy is a candidate and Jeff Locke is certainly in the conversation, as the start doesn't come up until early next week. The Bucs are expected to dip heavily into the pitching; they've already sent AA pitchers Phil Irwin and Gerrit Cole to Indy as reinfircements.
  • Possibilities to be called up tomorrow: LHPs Justin Wilson & Jeff Locke along with RHPs Chris Leroux, who isn't on the 40-man roster, & Evan Meek. RHP Daniel McCutchen was sent down August 25th, so he can't be recalled until September 4th at the earliest. C Eric Fryer, 1B Matt Hague, utilityman Drew Sutton, and 3B Dallas McPherson (who isn't on the 40-man roster) all have a chance, too. They can't take all of the guys, off course - Wilson, Locke and Fryer seem the likeliest to get the call. The Bucs brought up four players in 2011 - LHP Jeff Locke, LHP Aaron Thompson, LHP Daniel Moskos and 3B Pedro Alvarez.
  • And if you're looking for hot stove moves over the off season, Keith Law of ESPN said this of Hanny "I'd absolutely try to move him, since closer performance is so unpredictable anyway. One solid prospect, a potential everyday guy or mid-rotation starter, would be fair." (scroll to page bottom)
  • Indy's International League playoffs start September 5th; they could potentially last until September 15th, so that may factor into the who and when of the big team call-ups Saturday.
  • Speaking of the IL, Indy OF Starling Marte and RHP Tim Wood were named to the All-Star Team.
  • Gustavo Nunez, this year's Rule 5 pick from Detroit who is on rehab assign after a lingering ankle injury, hasn't been setting the minors afire during his return (.238). The Pirates will have to decide whether to carry him in September or return him to the Tigers after his rehab clock runs out in September.
  • Both RHP Gerrit Cole and 1B Matt Curry were promoted to Indy. The Bucs are bolstering the roster for the Tribes' playoff run even as they call up guys for their stretch run in September. IF Brock Holt, who was sent from Altoona to Indy ahead of them, posted his fourth straight three-hit game last night and is batting .440 with 40 hits in his 23 games with the Tribe.
  • Brock Holt (.322) was named Altoona's MVP and RHP Phil Irwin (4-7/2.93) was the Curve's Pitcher of the Year. Both are playing at Indy now.
  • West Virginia OF Gregory Polanco (.324/16/84) and SS Alen Hanson (.313/16/62) were selected as 2012 South Atlantic (Sally) League All-Stars.
  • The Pirates will send Brandon Cumpton (RHP), Tyler Waldron (RHP), Matt Curry (1B), Gift Ngoepe (IF) and Adalberto Santos (OF) to the Arizona Fall League.
  • The Dominican Summer League Pirates will play for the DSL Championship. The series starts on Saturday. The Gulf Coast League Pirates have already claimed the GCL championship, sweeping two playoff series.

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