Sunday, October 25, 2015

Pirate News of the Week: Players, Staff Movin' On

The club hasn't settled in front of the TV for the playoffs. There has been a little shakin' and bakin' going on since Jake ended the Bucco season, mostly around the fringes so far:

Player Action:

  • The Bucs traded Colombian righty Richard Mitchell, a 20 year old, to the Marlins for 23 year old RHP Trevor Williams, a 2013 second rounder. Williams is a starter who got a taste of AAA this year. He has a 90-ish heater that he throws with both four and two seams, a decent curve and in progress slider. He's considered to be almost MLB ready as a four guy in the rotation; we'll see how his stuff works at Indy. None of his offerings are considered plus; he's a command type. Mitchell was switched from starting in the DSL to the pen in the GCL. He doesn't have swing-and-miss stuff either, but we're assuming new Fish hire Jim Benedict likes him down the road.
  • The Pirates began paring the 40-man. They outrighted OF Travis Snider, 1B Travis Ishikawa and RHP Deolis Guerra; Lunchbox and Ishy both opted for free agency. Before that, they waived RHP Vance Worley, who was claimed by the Orioles.
  • Elias Diaz was awarded the 2015 Captain's Award by Baseball America as minor league baseball's top defensive catcher. We expect another year at Indy for him to work on his swing before reaching Pittsburgh for good.
  • RHP Wilfredo Boscan and OF Gorkys Hernandez opted for minor league free agency.
  • The Pirate 40-man roster is at 42 players now. AJ & A-Ram are still on it, having not officially retired yet. They also have five players - Jung-Ho Kang, Andrew Lambo, Brandon Cumpton, Casey Sadler & Corey Hart - on the 60-day DL, along with a couple of borderline guys and several free agents, so there's some leg room for the FO. 

Staff Action:

  • The Marlins named Jim Benedict as VP of pitching development. Benedict & Ray Searage were the two-headed tweak monster that put several pitchers back on track, and his loss is bound to cause some at least short term pain to the organization. We're not quite sure if there was a professional, philosophic or financial reason for his departure, but it shouldn't have caught the Bucs without a Plan B; the Phils made a run at him in 2013, and his resume had to be attractive to other orgs. Prior to Benedict's hire, Miami hired away Marc DelPiano, who is their new VP of Player Development. He held that post once before for the Fish, and was in charge of scouting pro players for the Pirates.
  • In his ESPN Insider blog, Buster Olney writes that the Pirates are having "informal discussions" with Ben Cherington about an unspecified front office role. Cherington resigned as the Red Sox GM in August after being named the Major League Baseball Executive of the Year for 2013 by The Sporting News. (EDIT: he opted for a teaching gig at Columbia U.)
  • Third base coach Rick Sofield was one of five interviewees for the Padres' manager job. They plan a second round of interviews; no word yet if Sofield has been invited back. The thinking is that the Friars may be leaning toward a guy with experience like Ron Gardenhire or their AAA skipper Phil Nevin, so we'll see how that pans out.
  • Jay Bell was axed by Cincinnati, where he served as the bench coach.

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