Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Years Notes

Some New Year's Day Bucco news:

  • John Dreker of Pirates Prospects reports that newly acquired IF Ivan DeJesus Jr. won the Roberto Clemente (Puerto Rico) Baseball League batting title, and by a wide margin. His .364 average was 26 points ahead of the second place finisher. He also led the league with 52 hits, finished second with 11 doubles and a .921 OPS, third with 27 runs scored and fourth with 24 RBI’s. DeJesus also made the All-Star team, going 3-for-5 in that game. Maybe he will compete with Josh Harrison and Jordy Mercer for that bench infielder slot this season.
  • Eric Seidman of Fangraphs looks at the "The Buccos Bullpen Shuffle" and writes that "By moving Hanrahan for Melancon and taking a flier on Francisco Liriano, they (the Pirates) may well be able to replicate the Hanrahan-Grilli tandem’s production at 30% of the cost while improving the rotation." he adds the caveat that "It’s very possible that Melancon falters and Liriano, as a change of scenery candidate, stinks regardless of the change. However, the Pirates made better use of that $10 million by making this move after re-signing Grilli and bringing in Liriano."
  • For those of you wondering about Franky Liriano, Bill James predicts his 2013 line to be 7-10/4.21 with 8.9 K and 4.7 BB per nine. We'll see if Ray Searage can work some magic on the lefty. Liriano's major problems are obviously control and the observation that he loses command of his slider out of the stretch, leading to a low strand rate. 
  • Alex Speier of WEEI Radio has a piece on the career path of RHP Stolmy Pimentel, and it also contrasts the difference between the Red Sox farm system and the Pirates, both on talent and philosophical levels. (Thanks to David Todd @DTonPirates)
  • Jim Lachimia of MLB.com remembers the Great One, Roberto Clemente, on the anniversary of his death forty years ago yesterday. Teammate Steve Blass said "Roberto was a physical contradiction because he was 38 and looked like he was 25. To tell you the truth, we thought he was ageless." And he is.
  • As you shovel your walk again, remember that Opening Day is just three months away, on April 1st at PNC v the Cubbies. Camp is just around the corner - pitchers and catchers report on February 11th and the full squad on February 14th.

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