Saturday, November 24, 2012

John Sickel Picks Top 20, Other Bucco Bits

A little afternoon bits & pieces post:
  • John Sickel picked his Top 20 prospects for 2013. The first five are RHP Gerrit Cole, RHP Jameson Taillon, SS Alen Hanson, OF Greg Polanco and RHP Luis Heredia. Oddly, three of the guys the Pirates just placed on the 40-man roster (C Tony Sanchez, C Ramon Cabrero and RHP Hunter Strickland) went unranked, and were mentioned as part of the "others" list. RHPs Victor Black and Phil Irwin, also newly added to the roster, were rated #15 & #17. Sickel must believe the best is yet to come for Pittsburgh. None of his Top 10 picks are on the 40-man yet.
  • Some ex-Buccos on the move, per Baseball America: RHP Daniel McCutchen signed with the Orioles, LHP Jo Jo Reyes with the Angels and 1B Nick Evans with the Dodgers. Oldies that inked farm deals were 3B Josh Fields with the Phils, RHP Ronald Uviedo & 2B Jim Negrych with the Blue Jays, RHP Eric Hacker with the Giants, LHP Justin Thomas with the As and C Luke Carlin with the Angels.
  • The Bucs announced their promotional schedule for 2013, which includes Neon Trees, Kool & the Gang, fireworks, bobbleheads, free T-shirts and other stuff. Tickets are now on sale for single games.
  • Happy birthday to Bob Friend, who hit the big 8-2 today. The righty went 197-230 with a 3.58 ERA in a 16 year career, 15 spent with the Pirates. He appeared in four All Star games, whiffed 1,734 batters, led the Senior Circuit in wins in 1958 (22) and finished in the NL's Top Ten for ERA five times. Friend and Vern Law anchored the 1960 WS rotation, although Bob also pitched for five last-place teams, making his stats even shinier. Friend also was active off the mound - he was a player rep, insurance VP, Allegheny County Controller and a Freemason, mentioned just in case any old Yankee fans believe there was a 1960 conspiracy.

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