Posted: 12/28/2012 8:46 AM
Posted: 12/28/2012 8:51 AM
Posted: 12/28/2012 10:08 AM
Posted: 12/28/2012 10:23 AM
Last edited 12/28/2012 10:26 AM by katoy2j
Posted: 12/28/2012 10:30 AM
katoy2j wrote: McCarthy is pretty much Jeff Karstens in a pitchers park. Even if you take out the fact he had brain surgery the guy has major issues with his shoulder and doesn't get many strikeouts.Liriano pitched in some hitter friendly parks and being left handed should get a boost from PNC with him being left handed plus our infield defense will be better than any he previously had. If he can get the walks under control he could be very, very good.Russell Martin will be a good litmus test for Liriano. Martin is one of the top pitch framers in baseball so we'll see if that has any kind of impact on Liriano. An extra strike here and there over the course of an entire season can cut down quite a few walks. If he can get it below 4 BB/9 he could be our best starter.Both players offered risks but Liriano offers far more rewards in my opinion. McCarthy is a safer play because even if he does poorly he'll still be in the mid 4's for ERA while Liriano will be in the 5's if he doesn't fix the walks. However Liriano has ace potential if he fixes the walks as the homers are likely to come down regardless.
Posted: 12/28/2012 10:41 AM
Posted: 12/28/2012 10:50 AM
Posted: 12/28/2012 11:09 AM
Posted: 12/28/2012 11:40 AM
Posted: 12/28/2012 12:37 PM
katoy2j wrote: Alvarez and Walker were a tad under average on defense but nothing worth worrying about. First base defense is pretty tough as most guys don't really provide much value. A few guys like Albert Pujols and Mark Teixeira are elite but a guy like Gaby Sanchez is actually considered a very good defensive first baseman. Barmes is an elite defender at the most important position.For a left handed pitcher your most important defenders are the third baseman and shortsop. A right handed pitcher it's usually the shortstop and second baseman.The Twins had Trevor Ploufe who was worth (-12) runs on defense and Brian Dozier who was worth 2 runs on defense as their primary defenders at third and shortstop.The White Sox hadKevin Youklis who was worth (-2) runs on defense and Alexei Ramirez who was worth 14 runs on defense as their primary defenders at third and shortstopThe Pirates hadPedro Alvarez who was worth (-5) runs on defense and Clint Barmes who was worth 13 runs on defense as their primary defenders at third and shortstop.So the Pirates 3B/SS defense is worth about 18 less runs than the Twins which is huge. The White Sox were slightly better and were 4 runs better than the Pirates. So it will be a significant difference coming to Pittsburgh as opposed to Minnesota.Now to save the next question of why then didn't Liriano do better when he went to the White Sox if the defense was better. The answer is it was a horrible park for him. Here are his numbers at US Cellular8 GP, 26.2 innings pitched, 7 homers, 9.11 ERASo his homer rate was over 3.0 HR/9 at that park which destroyed his ERA. In his starts on the road for the White Sox he didn't allow more than 3 runs in any start. PNC park is very kind to left handed pitchers because it's hard to hit it over the fence in left field. Throw in the fact it's an easier league and you get to face the pitcher instead of the DH it has a pretty good chance of working out. The key will be the walks though. If he can get that under control he's the best pitcher on the roster.
Posted: 12/28/2012 12:42 PM
Posted: 12/28/2012 1:14 PM
Posted: 12/28/2012 2:43 PM
vinnybravo wrote: I really want to see Morton and Martin work together. I have a feeling that if Morton comes back healthy, he and Martin will be deadly.
Posted: 12/28/2012 3:46 PM
katoy2j wrote: You would likely think that but it wasn't the case. Of the homers hit at US Cellular field they came on the following counts...0-0 (2 times)0-1 (1 time)0-2 (1 time)1-1 (3 times)So he was ahead or even in every count he allowed a home runLiriano allowed 19 homers last season. 6 of them would not of gone out of PNC park
Last edited 12/28/2012 3:57 PM by BAMSTEELERFAN
Posted: 12/28/2012 5:24 PM
BAMSTEELERFAN wrote: katoy2j wrote: You would likely think that but it wasn't the case. Of the homers hit at US Cellular field they came on the following counts...0-0 (2 times)0-1 (1 time)0-2 (1 time)1-1 (3 times)So he was ahead or even in every count he allowed a home runLiriano allowed 19 homers last season. 6 of them would not of gone out of PNC park Huh, strange. You know what, of the 19 total, only 7 were with the batter ahead. Very strange. Obviously, the walks are a huge problem, but I have a new level of hope that there is maybe just a sequencing issue and Martin/Searage can get this straightened out. Is he trying to blow guys away and staying up in the zone or what? Edit: Actually, he only had a 1.1 HR/9. 34.8 FB%, 12.9% HR/FB should easily come down in PNC. I think you are spot on.
Posted: 12/28/2012 6:27 PM
burghsports3 wrote: vinnybravo wrote: I really want to see Morton and Martin work together. I have a feeling that if Morton comes back healthy, he and Martin will be deadly. Why? Just curious.
Posted: 12/29/2012 7:30 AM
vinnybravo wrote: burghsports3 wrote: vinnybravo wrote: I really want to see Morton and Martin work together. I have a feeling that if Morton comes back healthy, he and Martin will be deadly.Why? Just curious.Watching Morton pitch he has tremendous late movement. Most of the games he had troubles in he would just miss the strike zone. He had Doumit catching for him and Doumit has a big problem with moving his head and has allot of glove movement. And he has allot of glove movement after the catch. So many times it looked as if Morton was getting squeezed, but it was really poor catching. Morton then would try and go to his fastball as his #1 pitch and he would get shelled at times.I think with the ability of Martin to frame his pitches this could be huge for Morton. I would love to see if Martin could make a difference. If he does then Morton will be a very effective pitcher.
burghsports3 wrote: vinnybravo wrote: I really want to see Morton and Martin work together. I have a feeling that if Morton comes back healthy, he and Martin will be deadly.Why? Just curious.
Posted: 12/29/2012 10:01 AM
Posted: 12/30/2012 5:04 AM
Posted: 12/30/2012 7:19 AM
If the pitching staff is solid (it should be), we should be better than .500 this year. Cole will give the pitching staff an awesome boost when he arrives. Can't wait to see him pitch.
I am sure Cole will be a successful major league starting pitcher as long as he is healthy. I do have a couple of quibbles with him, however. The first is that he did not have a particularly dominant collegiate career despite his enormous raw stuff and despite playing for one of the stronger programs in the nation. He was good, certainly, but not great. The second is that his fastball, from what little I've seen and read of it, might be too much of a "straightball". I wonder, in general, if he isn't still too much of a thrower and not enough of a pitcher---though the same can be said of many young power arms who have worked out quite well. In short, he might not hit the ground running as a more or less finished product, unlike some other collegiate pitchers who have rapidly ascended to the big leagues. I think he might take a year or two to harness his ability and become a consistent winner. The Pirates, it would seem, might share this caution, otherwise why spend money on a veteran like Liriano when Cole is just months or even weeks away from the majors once the team breaks camp?
Martin alone will be a huge improvement- runners will no longer be able to steal bases whenever they want.
Agreed. It would be great if he could at least halt, if not reverse, the long downward slide in his batting average, but even the Martin of 2011 would be an enormous improvement over a used up Rod Barajas and overexposed Mike McKenry. If Martin can manage even a .230ish mark, his power and defense will be a significant plus for the Pirates.
I don't expect Cutch to have the same amount of production but I don't think he'll fall off much. The guy is a superstar but it's not easy to repeat what he did last year.
Yeah, we might have seen McCutchen’s career year last season. He can’t do that, or even more than that, again….can he?!? It will be fun to find out. But sure, something not too far off last season’s excellence would do just fine. Here it is worth considering that a “career average” season for him after last year’s statistics are added in looks like this: .290/.374/.484/.858, with 23 home runs, 83 RBI, and 28 steals. I would gladly take that from Andrew next season and going forward. If he can consistently post numbers like that, while adding an occasional “popup” season that’s more like 2012, he will be a true superstar. Right now he’s close, but I want to see what his typical year to year production in his prime looks like before I’ll say he’s on track for Cooperstown---which is how I would define the term “superstar”.
I think 20 HR's from Marte is not out of the question.
I’m holding my breath with him. I love, love, love his tools set. I said a couple years ago that I believe he has better raw athleticism than McCutchen, and I still believe that. But, can he translate that into consistent production at the major league level? 20 HR, at least at this stage of his career, might be optimistic, but I’ll tell you this: he could hit 20 triples and steal 30 bases. Easily. I don’t know what kind of on base percentage or batting average we’ll see from him, particularly early in his career. A return to Triple A is not yet out of the question for him, though I am cautiously optimistic that he’ll be able to work on whatever he needs to work on at the major league level while helping the Pirates win ballgames. I’m hoping that he is able to temper his typical “Latin American” approach to hitting just enough to even out the peaks and valleys. Do that, and he will be just fine. I’ll go out on a limb and say that, while he may not ever achieve it, he has the ability to be better than Andrew. If he does reach those heights, it won’t be for another couple of years. But what a pair of bookends these two could become. I think they could be at least as effective as Bonds and Bonilla were. Better, if Marte becomes all he can be, which would be a better ballplayer than Bonilla was.
I don't see Jones matching last year's production. I see him going back to the same old, inconsistent Garrett Jones. I would not mind at all if he's traded before the season. In fact, I hope he is.
Man, I’m on the fence about this. I keep going back and forth. On the one hand I tend to agree with you about Jones and his maddeningly frustrating extreme streak hitter routine. We already have one guy like that in Alvarez, and he’s bad enough in that regard. On the other hand, Jones is a versatile if not particularly gifted defensive player, and he is a battle-tested veteran with legitimate power. He’s still probably at his physical peak, as well. Is now the time to trade him, particularly in a winnable NL Central? Or is it better to hang onto a known quantity veteran who, even if he’s nothing special, is still a very useful guy to have around? If the Pirates were still deep in the rebuilding process, I’d say definitely trade him while his value is still high. But this year, I’m not sure.
I think Alvarez will continue to improve, becoming more consistent and a legit power threat. With his power, 40 HR's is not out of the question. Yes, 40 HR's.
Right, but 200 strikeouts and a Rob Deer batting average are also definitely not out of the question. In which case it might make even more sense to hold onto Jones, because if the team trades Jones and Alvarez goes in the tank, all of a sudden the Pirates have a serious power deficit, especially from the left side. I’m expecting more or less similar numbers to what he showed in 2012: an average between .230 and .250, with 30 to 35 home runs, 80 or 90 RBI, and 180 or more strikeouts. But he could be considerably worse than that.
Walker is a very solid, good player. Not a star, but very, very good. I expect the same production from him, perhaps a little more if he can stay healthy.
Yep. He had a herniated disc in his back last year, however. That is the type of injury that tends to linger. He’s been saying all the right things all winter and all reports indicate that his rehab has gone very well. But he didn’t have surgery and a recurrence of his back problems is more likely than not. In which case the Pirates might have reason to regret trading Brock Holt, because the next guy in line to start at second base is apparently Josh Harrison. I’d rather get a look at Mercer in the event of Walker going down, but Hurdle is determined to give Mercer “The Ciriaco Treatment”. So get ready for your starting second baseman, Josh Harrison, for extended stretches.
Barmes is a total bum. I expect absolutely nothing from him offensively. The way I see it, every time he gets on base- that's a bonus. This guy is terrible. Hopefully we get rid of him any way possible before the season.
Don’t agree here. Barmes’ defense is very good and saves a lot of runs, particularly with the lower strikeout staff the Pirates currently have (though hopefully more missed bats are in our future with Cole, Taillon, Wilson, Morris, Melancon and Grilli). The shortstop position, as katoy has noted, is very weak in MLB at the moment. An old fashioned glove-first guy like Barmes is not as bad as his poor batting average would lead you to believe at first glance. Although he is getting a bit old for a bounceback season, I’d be satisfied if he added 15 or 20 points to his average. He has enough pop to give you 10 or 12 home runs and with his glove, that would be good enough in the short term. I am much more concerned about what the Pirates are going to do at shortstop after the 2013 season. Once again, it sure would have been great to have Ciriaco around. Maybe we can tell Hurdle to sit down and be quiet while we go and get him back from Boston? I’m being totally serious with that suggestion.
1B and RF are both big question marks. With this platoon crap, I don't expect much production from either position. We'll likely have below average production from both positions. Hopefully we have some one step up and take over the positions full time. The sad part is that all candidates have proven time and time again that they are not everyday MLB players.
I am not as down on platooning as you are. Earl Weaver used to get incredible mileage out of guys like John Lowenstein back in the day. Chuck Tanner did the same thing with John Milner and Bill Robinson among others. If Garrett Jones and Gaby Sanchez give us career normal seasons against opposite handed hurlers, our first base production will actually be better than average if not better than that. Neither of them would be particularly good as full time starters, but their production on aggregate would probably be about 30 home runs and 100 RBI. Right in line with a legitimate starting first baseman.
Right field is iffier, I think. I loved Jose Tabata coming up from the minors, but he hasn’t been able to stay on the field for two full seasons now, and Jerry Sands will be arriving shortly. I could live with a Sands-Snider or Tabata-Snider platoon in right, provided that all concerned can actually get in shape. I’ve not heard of any conditioning concerns with Sands, but Snider and Tabata have real problems in that regard. Tabata would certainly make the better fourth outfielder if healthy, and so I think it would be best for the Pirates if he won the job. I wouldn’t be unhappy with Sands, though, who is a guy with nothing left to prove in the minors and who needs at least somewhat regular at bats in the majors to see what he’s got. The King, I suspect, is headed out of town. If Jones is kept, Presley will definitely be traded. He might be stashed in Triple A for another year if they decide to trade Jones.
Last edited 12/30/2012 7:20 AM by williamjpellas
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