Free Trial Ad
Why Subscribe?
  • Player/Prospect News
  • Exclusive Insider Info
  • Members-Only Forums
  • Exclusive Videos
  • Subscribe Now!
Inbox
Reply to TopicPost New Topic
  Page of 3  Next >

Has the season been a success?

Avatar

Posted: 09/01/2014 12:04 PM

Has the season been a success? 


The Pirates go into September 2 games out of 1st in the NL Central. I know it's cliche, but going into the season if we knew the Pirates would be in this position we all would have taken it. Considering the nonsense that was written about this team by genius baseball minds like Katoy back in early May, do you think the season has been a success independent of whether or not the Pirates make the playoffs? I want to read others opinions, but of course I'll give mine.

I think a team in the market size of Pittsburgh has to go into every year with the goal of playing meaningful games in September. Yes it's true that the ultimate goal every year should be to try to win the World Series, but that's a pie in the sky way to look at things. Not long ago the Pirates were the laughingstock franchise in baseball, you gotta walk before you run. The job isn't done yet, but the simple fact that I HAVE to put my $2700 down for my playoff tickets on Sept. 5th means the season is a success in my eyes. I don't want to miss the playoffs this year, and despite Katoy consistent attempts to explain why the Pirates won't be in the postseason I can't pass up the opportunity to have face value tickets for October baseball.
THE IGNORE FUNCTION IS A BEAUTIFUL THING

Last edited 09/01/2014 12:05 PM by fishmong

Reply | Quote
Avatar

Posted: 09/01/2014 12:36 PM

Re: Has the season been a success? 


There's no question it has been a success.  Meaningful September baseball.  Breaking all time attendance record, etc.
Reply | Quote

Posted: 09/01/2014 2:00 PM

Re: Has the season been a success? 


I think it all depends on what your goal was at the beginning of the season. I think with the roster the Pirates had to start the season with, the season is a huge success so far.
Reply | Quote
Avatar

Posted: 09/01/2014 3:05 PM

Re: Has the season been a success? 


Definitely a success. I wish management has shown more confidence in the team and added a few more pieces at the trade deadline.

___________

 

  

Reply | Quote

Posted: 09/01/2014 4:07 PM

Re: Has the season been a success? 


I agree.  It's been a good year, but it could have been even better if they had added a 7th inning guy & strengthened the bench.  Addressing the offensive hole @ 1st would have helped, too.  That being said - with Alvarez in the lineup & playing 1st & Jay Hay @ 3rd, their lineup is actually pretty good.

I don't know what those moves would have cost them in terms of minor leaguers & I wouldn't mortgage the future for a 7th inning reliever or pinch hitter, but I think we could have done something other than dumpster dive.  Volquez & Worley, though, have been remarkably successful.  All things considered - it's been a fun baseball season & we're still in the hunt.
Reply | Quote
  • kdog341
  • Member
  • 568 posts this site

Posted: 09/01/2014 6:32 PM

Re: Has the season been a success? 


Losing the MVP having alverez dealing with mental stuff. Losing your top 3 pitchers for months at a time. I don't think anyone can say other wise.



Reply | Quote
Avatar

Posted: 09/01/2014 7:22 PM

Re: Has the season been a success? 


So it seems like the general consensus is that even if the Pirates don't make the playoffs, this years been a success. That won't make it less disappointing if the Pirates don't get a playoff spot, but I think the expectations are where they should be.

I'd like to have seen the Pirates improve the ML roster with a trade acquisition, but I did see the prices were fairly high. I can't blame the front office for not selling the farm off for a marginal improvement. I mean it would have been nice to get David Price or Jon Lester, but that would have required giving up current ML pieces. I think that would have been robbing Peter to pay Paul.

I suppose that adding a impact reliever would have been nice. Maybe with another bullpen arm the Pirates can do a better job of holding the lead in the last two games... but there's no way to know. It would have been nice to see them do something more than bringing in John Axford, but unless the Astros trade talk database gets hacked again who really knows who was out there.
THE IGNORE FUNCTION IS A BEAUTIFUL THING
Reply | Quote
  • kdog341
  • Member
  • 568 posts this site

Posted: 09/01/2014 9:11 PM

Re: Has the season been a success? 


Maybe this is another thread altogether but to anyone whose upset we did nothing at the deadline. Oakland is struggling to hold on to a WC slot and Detroit is barely holding off kc.

Next season Gregory and marte will be better. Harrison has earned the 3rd basemen job.
Walker and mccuthen stay healthy. Find a defense catcher like Castro and have Pedro everyday very good team next season.

Add taillon kingham and Bell in July were in business



Last edited 09/01/2014 9:12 PM by kdog341

Reply | Quote

Posted: 09/02/2014 5:17 AM

Re: Has the season been a success? 



fishmong wrote: So it seems like the general consensus is that even if the Pirates don't make the playoffs, this years been a success. That won't make it less disappointing if the Pirates don't get a playoff spot, but I think the expectations are where they should be.

I'd like to have seen the Pirates improve the ML roster with a trade acquisition, but I did see the prices were fairly high. I can't blame the front office for not selling the farm off for a marginal improvement. I mean it would have been nice to get David Price or Jon Lester, but that would have required giving up current ML pieces. I think that would have been robbing Peter to pay Paul.

I suppose that adding a impact reliever would have been nice. Maybe with another bullpen arm the Pirates can do a better job of holding the lead in the last two games... but there's no way to know. It would have been nice to see them do something more than bringing in John Axford, but unless the Astros trade talk database gets hacked again who really knows who was out there.
Ahh, see I was thinking to this point. I think to this point its a success. If the Pirates miss the playoffs then I think the season was a failure. The reason why I would say that is because the team was close to making the playoffs and going back to the off season the FO failed to upgrade the team. After the success of last season the FO had a chance to build upon its success, but instead it stayed put. To me that is a failure if it does not work out.

Last edited 09/02/2014 5:18 AM by vinnybravo

Reply | Quote

Posted: 09/02/2014 5:38 AM

Re: Has the season been a success? 


It has been an enjoyable season. It has been an exciting season. But it is hard for me to call it successful when all the main pieces from a 94 win playoff team returned, they failed to add to that core despite more resources than ever before, and they will likely fall short of what they accomplished last season.

Last edited 09/02/2014 5:40 AM by mjdouble

Reply | Quote
Avatar

Posted: 09/02/2014 7:06 AM

Re: Has the season been a success? 



fishmong wrote: So it seems like the general consensus is that even if the Pirates don't make the playoffs, this years been a success. That won't make it less disappointing if the Pirates don't get a playoff spot, but I think the expectations are where they should be.

I'd like to have seen the Pirates improve the ML roster with a trade acquisition, but I did see the prices were fairly high. I can't blame the front office for not selling the farm off for a marginal improvement. I mean it would have been nice to get David Price or Jon Lester, but that would have required giving up current ML pieces. I think that would have been robbing Peter to pay Paul.

I suppose that adding a impact reliever would have been nice. Maybe with another bullpen arm the Pirates can do a better job of holding the lead in the last two games... but there's no way to know. It would have been nice to see them do something more than bringing in John Axford, but unless the Astros trade talk database gets hacked again who really knows who was out there.
This is VERY true.  Look at the A's.  Talk about overdoing it.  They were 54-33 when they made the trade to get Samardzja and Hammel.  The results were positive, even though Hammel wasn't doing so well, but they were still winning and were 13-8... UNTIL they traded Cepspedes.  Since then, they're 12-17 and lost the lead in the division and pretty much have no chance to win it.

To that I'll add, this all does go back to what I've been saying for a few years.  "Money ball" doesn't really work.  You're always 1 player away.  No matter what kind of lead you have, at some point, one of the teams who are spending money on talent will eventually catch up to you.  The A's went "all-in" and have already lost the division.  Sure, they have the top Wild Card spot and a firm grasp on it, a 5.5 game lead, but as we saw with the division race, that's not necessarily a lock.  Since August 1st, the A's are 13-17 and Seattle is 17-11 so in that one month, the A's saw their lead over Seattle get cut in half.

Back to the main point though, trading regular starters for 3-month rentals is nuts, more so for the Pirates than others.  While the Pirates do have a good future and "some" depth in the minors, trading a guy like Marte needs to get a better return than a rental.  Outside of the outfield, the Pirates depth is too far away to help the ML team.  Lets say the Red Sox wanted Harrison for Lester.  Who would be our 3B right now?  Who would be leading off?  The lineup 4 out of every 5 would be impacted negatively and that's not worth the upgrade that Lester gives on that 5th day.

I do think management handled the in-season well.  This past off-season, not so much.  For the most part though, I am ok with it because I don't think this year was the year for the Pirates.  There were too many holes in the lineup (1B and RF), and too many other question marks (3B, SS, and LF).  Not to mention the rotation issues.  Outside of Morton, every other pitcher was a question mark.  Essentially, on a 25-man roster, we had some unknowns with about 10 players!  That's just too many to have high expectations on.  With that, unless this team goes something like 6-19 in September, there's no way to look at this season as a success.
#fringeprospect
Reply | Quote

Posted: 09/02/2014 7:40 AM

Re: Has the season been a success? 



TBayXXXVII wrote:
fishmong wrote: So it seems like the general consensus is that even if the Pirates don't make the playoffs, this years been a success. That won't make it less disappointing if the Pirates don't get a playoff spot, but I think the expectations are where they should be.

I'd like to have seen the Pirates improve the ML roster with a trade acquisition, but I did see the prices were fairly high. I can't blame the front office for not selling the farm off for a marginal improvement. I mean it would have been nice to get David Price or Jon Lester, but that would have required giving up current ML pieces. I think that would have been robbing Peter to pay Paul.

I suppose that adding a impact reliever would have been nice. Maybe with another bullpen arm the Pirates can do a better job of holding the lead in the last two games... but there's no way to know. It would have been nice to see them do something more than bringing in John Axford, but unless the Astros trade talk database gets hacked again who really knows who was out there.
This is VERY true.  Look at the A's.  Talk about overdoing it.  They were 54-33 when they made the trade to get Samardzja and Hammel.  The results were positive, even though Hammel wasn't doing so well, but they were still winning and were 13-8... UNTIL they traded Cepspedes.  Since then, they're 12-17 and lost the lead in the division and pretty much have no chance to win it.

To that I'll add, this all does go back to what I've been saying for a few years.  "Money ball" doesn't really work.  You're always 1 player away.  No matter what kind of lead you have, at some point, one of the teams who are spending money on talent will eventually catch up to you.  The A's went "all-in" and have already lost the division.  Sure, they have the top Wild Card spot and a firm grasp on it, a 5.5 game lead, but as we saw with the division race, that's not necessarily a lock.  Since August 1st, the A's are 13-17 and Seattle is 17-11 so in that one month, the A's saw their lead over Seattle get cut in half.

Back to the main point though, trading regular starters for 3-month rentals is nuts, more so for the Pirates than others.  While the Pirates do have a good future and "some" depth in the minors, trading a guy like Marte needs to get a better return than a rental.  Outside of the outfield, the Pirates depth is too far away to help the ML team.  Lets say the Red Sox wanted Harrison for Lester.  Who would be our 3B right now?  Who would be leading off?  The lineup 4 out of every 5 would be impacted negatively and that's not worth the upgrade that Lester gives on that 5th day.

I do think management handled the in-season well.  This past off-season, not so much.  For the most part though, I am ok with it because I don't think this year was the year for the Pirates.  There were too many holes in the lineup (1B and RF), and too many other question marks (3B, SS, and LF).  Not to mention the rotation issues.  Outside of Morton, every other pitcher was a question mark.  Essentially, on a 25-man roster, we had some unknowns with about 10 players!  That's just too many to have high expectations on.  With that, unless this team goes something like 6-19 in September, there's no way to look at this season as a success.
I'll agree that it would have made no sense to trade Marte for a top pitcher. But to say that was the only option is wrong. If high end prospects truly have the exceptional valuable that most people believe and you were basically the only team dangling that kind of talent then a deal should be able to get done. It might not be a team to team swap. You might have to get a 3rd team involved. But that doesn't mean the GM should get a pass for not landing one of them. As for the question marks this year. Sure, there were some. Do you really think there will be less question marks in future seasons? I don't. And it wasn't just top starters that Huntington whiffed on. Matt Thorton is a good LOOGY that the Pirates let slide to the Nationals. James Russell would have been a nice pickup too. In my mind if you take a step backwards that is not a success. I'm sure even the front office had bigger goals and expectations than falling short of the playoffs. That doesn't mean it has been a bad season. That doesn't mean it hasn't been a fun season. But successful? Come on, the bar should be a little higher now than just being in a playoff race. This is the 3rd straight year they've been in a race. I could argue a 4th straight year since 2011 they were at least in sight of the leaders at the trade deadline. The goals have to be little more lofty than that. And when you fall short of most of your goals that is not a success. Of course there is still enough time to make to make it a success.
Reply | Quote
Avatar

Posted: 09/02/2014 10:16 AM

Re: Has the season been a success? 



mjdouble wrote:
TBayXXXVII wrote:
fishmong wrote: So it seems like the general consensus is that even if the Pirates don't make the playoffs, this years been a success. That won't make it less disappointing if the Pirates don't get a playoff spot, but I think the expectations are where they should be.

I'd like to have seen the Pirates improve the ML roster with a trade acquisition, but I did see the prices were fairly high. I can't blame the front office for not selling the farm off for a marginal improvement. I mean it would have been nice to get David Price or Jon Lester, but that would have required giving up current ML pieces. I think that would have been robbing Peter to pay Paul.

I suppose that adding a impact reliever would have been nice. Maybe with another bullpen arm the Pirates can do a better job of holding the lead in the last two games... but there's no way to know. It would have been nice to see them do something more than bringing in John Axford, but unless the Astros trade talk database gets hacked again who really knows who was out there.
This is VERY true.  Look at the A's.  Talk about overdoing it.  They were 54-33 when they made the trade to get Samardzja and Hammel.  The results were positive, even though Hammel wasn't doing so well, but they were still winning and were 13-8... UNTIL they traded Cepspedes.  Since then, they're 12-17 and lost the lead in the division and pretty much have no chance to win it.

To that I'll add, this all does go back to what I've been saying for a few years.  "Money ball" doesn't really work.  You're always 1 player away.  No matter what kind of lead you have, at some point, one of the teams who are spending money on talent will eventually catch up to you.  The A's went "all-in" and have already lost the division.  Sure, they have the top Wild Card spot and a firm grasp on it, a 5.5 game lead, but as we saw with the division race, that's not necessarily a lock.  Since August 1st, the A's are 13-17 and Seattle is 17-11 so in that one month, the A's saw their lead over Seattle get cut in half.

Back to the main point though, trading regular starters for 3-month rentals is nuts, more so for the Pirates than others.  While the Pirates do have a good future and "some" depth in the minors, trading a guy like Marte needs to get a better return than a rental.  Outside of the outfield, the Pirates depth is too far away to help the ML team.  Lets say the Red Sox wanted Harrison for Lester.  Who would be our 3B right now?  Who would be leading off?  The lineup 4 out of every 5 would be impacted negatively and that's not worth the upgrade that Lester gives on that 5th day.

I do think management handled the in-season well.  This past off-season, not so much.  For the most part though, I am ok with it because I don't think this year was the year for the Pirates.  There were too many holes in the lineup (1B and RF), and too many other question marks (3B, SS, and LF).  Not to mention the rotation issues.  Outside of Morton, every other pitcher was a question mark.  Essentially, on a 25-man roster, we had some unknowns with about 10 players!  That's just too many to have high expectations on.  With that, unless this team goes something like 6-19 in September, there's no way to look at this season as a success.
I'll agree that it would have made no sense to trade Marte for a top pitcher. But to say that was the only option is wrong. If high end prospects truly have the exceptional valuable that most people believe and you were basically the only team dangling that kind of talent then a deal should be able to get done. It might not be a team to team swap. You might have to get a 3rd team involved. But that doesn't mean the GM should get a pass for not landing one of them. As for the question marks this year. Sure, there were some. Do you really think there will be less question marks in future seasons? I don't. And it wasn't just top starters that Huntington whiffed on. Matt Thorton is a good LOOGY that the Pirates let slide to the Nationals. James Russell would have been a nice pickup too. In my mind if you take a step backwards that is not a success. I'm sure even the front office had bigger goals and expectations than falling short of the playoffs. That doesn't mean it has been a bad season. That doesn't mean it hasn't been a fun season. But successful? Come on, the bar should be a little higher now than just being in a playoff race. This is the 3rd straight year they've been in a race. I could argue a 4th straight year since 2011 they were at least in sight of the leaders at the trade deadline. The goals have to be little more lofty than that. And when you fall short of most of your goals that is not a success. Of course there is still enough time to make to make it a success.
I don't really have a big problem with not going after Thornton and paying him $4M to pitch 30 innings.  I'm not really big on Russell either.  I'm ok with bringing up kids before acquiring those 2.  I'm guessing that Huntington is on the same wave length as me where this team performed 1 year early.  I think that's the reason they weren't very active in the off season.  I think they will be more active this year.  As active as others may want?  No.  But I think more active.

Yes, I believe there'll be less questions next year.  I've seen enough of Mercer and Harrison to say that SS and 3B won't be an issue next season.  I like Snider in the role-player mode.  I think we'll see more of Lambo this month and I like what I saw in Polanco for his first run through.  I'm more confident in what we have in Marte as well.  I believe that 3B, LF and SS are secure is that they aren't questions.  Will they be super stars?  No, but I think they all will be legitimate players that I'm comfortable with as everyday starters.  Right now, the only real issue I see is 1B.  I don't think RF is solved, but it's in a better situation.  At 1B, there are a lot options.  We'll have to see how that plays out.  I won't be surprised to see one or more guys in the 1B group (Sanchez, Davis, Alvarez), traded.  In fact, I'm expecting it.  Overall though, I've improved on my outlook in 4 of the 5 positions that I had questions with at the beginning of this season.

As far as pitching, I'm more comfortable with Cole.  I'm fine with Morton in that I know what I'm getting.  That's where I end on that.  I still have questions about Locke.  I don't know who comes back between Liriano and Volquez.  To me, odds say that regardless of where those 2 are, they won't be as good elsewhere.  This is where I think the "system depth" and 1B over flow come in.  I think there could be a team dumb enough to see value in Alvarez and we might be able to package him and a kid to get a solid starter.
#fringeprospect
Reply | Quote

Posted: 09/02/2014 10:33 AM

Re: Has the season been a success? 


Mercer and Marte are exactly who I thought he'd be. And I'm very happy with JHay at 3B. But coming into this year I was comfortable with Pedro at third. For me 2015 has basically the same RF, 1B, and SP questions in addition to questions at catcher. And the bullpen will be more unsettled than it was coming into this season. I think you will always have at least 2 positions in the field that are unsettled and at least 2 unsettled starting pitchers......just like this season. If you are waiting on the perfect window you'll be waiting for ever.
Reply | Quote
Avatar

Posted: 09/02/2014 10:42 AM

Re: Has the season been a success? 



mjdouble wrote: Mercer and Marte are exactly who I thought he'd be. And I'm very happy with JHay at 3B. But coming into this year I was comfortable with Pedro at third. For me 2015 has basically the same RF, 1B, and SP questions in addition to questions at catcher. And the bullpen will be more unsettled than it was coming into this season. I think you will always have at least 2 positions in the field that are unsettled and at least 2 unsettled starting pitchers......just like this season. If you are waiting on the perfect window you'll be waiting for ever.
I hear you with the regards to the unsettled positions.  I don't disagree.  I'm just saying that you had less questions coming into this season than I did.  Which is most likely the main reason why we differ on the end result.  You had about 4... I had 9.
#fringeprospect
Reply | Quote

Posted: 09/02/2014 10:43 AM

Re: Has the season been a success? 



TBayXXXVII wrote:
mjdouble wrote:
TBayXXXVII wrote:
fishmong wrote: So it seems like the general consensus is that even if the Pirates don't make the playoffs, this years been a success. That won't make it less disappointing if the Pirates don't get a playoff spot, but I think the expectations are where they should be.

I'd like to have seen the Pirates improve the ML roster with a trade acquisition, but I did see the prices were fairly high. I can't blame the front office for not selling the farm off for a marginal improvement. I mean it would have been nice to get David Price or Jon Lester, but that would have required giving up current ML pieces. I think that would have been robbing Peter to pay Paul.

I suppose that adding a impact reliever would have been nice. Maybe with another bullpen arm the Pirates can do a better job of holding the lead in the last two games... but there's no way to know. It would have been nice to see them do something more than bringing in John Axford, but unless the Astros trade talk database gets hacked again who really knows who was out there.
This is VERY true.  Look at the A's.  Talk about overdoing it.  They were 54-33 when they made the trade to get Samardzja and Hammel.  The results were positive, even though Hammel wasn't doing so well, but they were still winning and were 13-8... UNTIL they traded Cepspedes.  Since then, they're 12-17 and lost the lead in the division and pretty much have no chance to win it.

To that I'll add, this all does go back to what I've been saying for a few years.  "Money ball" doesn't really work.  You're always 1 player away.  No matter what kind of lead you have, at some point, one of the teams who are spending money on talent will eventually catch up to you.  The A's went "all-in" and have already lost the division.  Sure, they have the top Wild Card spot and a firm grasp on it, a 5.5 game lead, but as we saw with the division race, that's not necessarily a lock.  Since August 1st, the A's are 13-17 and Seattle is 17-11 so in that one month, the A's saw their lead over Seattle get cut in half.

Back to the main point though, trading regular starters for 3-month rentals is nuts, more so for the Pirates than others.  While the Pirates do have a good future and "some" depth in the minors, trading a guy like Marte needs to get a better return than a rental.  Outside of the outfield, the Pirates depth is too far away to help the ML team.  Lets say the Red Sox wanted Harrison for Lester.  Who would be our 3B right now?  Who would be leading off?  The lineup 4 out of every 5 would be impacted negatively and that's not worth the upgrade that Lester gives on that 5th day.

I do think management handled the in-season well.  This past off-season, not so much.  For the most part though, I am ok with it because I don't think this year was the year for the Pirates.  There were too many holes in the lineup (1B and RF), and too many other question marks (3B, SS, and LF).  Not to mention the rotation issues.  Outside of Morton, every other pitcher was a question mark.  Essentially, on a 25-man roster, we had some unknowns with about 10 players!  That's just too many to have high expectations on.  With that, unless this team goes something like 6-19 in September, there's no way to look at this season as a success.
I'll agree that it would have made no sense to trade Marte for a top pitcher. But to say that was the only option is wrong. If high end prospects truly have the exceptional valuable that most people believe and you were basically the only team dangling that kind of talent then a deal should be able to get done. It might not be a team to team swap. You might have to get a 3rd team involved. But that doesn't mean the GM should get a pass for not landing one of them. As for the question marks this year. Sure, there were some. Do you really think there will be less question marks in future seasons? I don't. And it wasn't just top starters that Huntington whiffed on. Matt Thorton is a good LOOGY that the Pirates let slide to the Nationals. James Russell would have been a nice pickup too. In my mind if you take a step backwards that is not a success. I'm sure even the front office had bigger goals and expectations than falling short of the playoffs. That doesn't mean it has been a bad season. That doesn't mean it hasn't been a fun season. But successful? Come on, the bar should be a little higher now than just being in a playoff race. This is the 3rd straight year they've been in a race. I could argue a 4th straight year since 2011 they were at least in sight of the leaders at the trade deadline. The goals have to be little more lofty than that. And when you fall short of most of your goals that is not a success. Of course there is still enough time to make to make it a success.
I don't really have a big problem with not going after Thornton and paying him $4M to pitch 30 innings.  I'm not really big on Russell either.  I'm ok with bringing up kids before acquiring those 2.  I'm guessing that Huntington is on the same wave length as me where this team performed 1 year early.  I think that's the reason they weren't very active in the off season.  I think they will be more active this year.  As active as others may want?  No.  But I think more active.

Yes, I believe there'll be less questions next year.  I've seen enough of Mercer and Harrison to say that SS and 3B won't be an issue next season.  I like Snider in the role-player mode.  I think we'll see more of Lambo this month and I like what I saw in Polanco for his first run through.  I'm more confident in what we have in Marte as well.  I believe that 3B, LF and SS are secure is that they aren't questions.  Will they be super stars?  No, but I think they all will be legitimate players that I'm comfortable with as everyday starters.  Right now, the only real issue I see is 1B.  I don't think RF is solved, but it's in a better situation.  At 1B, there are a lot options.  We'll have to see how that plays out.  I won't be surprised to see one or more guys in the 1B group (Sanchez, Davis, Alvarez), traded.  In fact, I'm expecting it.  Overall though, I've improved on my outlook in 4 of the 5 positions that I had questions with at the beginning of this season.

As far as pitching, I'm more comfortable with Cole.  I'm fine with Morton in that I know what I'm getting.  That's where I end on that.  I still have questions about Locke.  I don't know who comes back between Liriano and Volquez.  To me, odds say that regardless of where those 2 are, they won't be as good elsewhere.  This is where I think the "system depth" and 1B over flow come in.  I think there could be a team dumb enough to see value in Alvarez and we might be able to package him and a kid to get a solid starter.
This is where we always go wrong as Pirates fans....buying into the "next year will be better" train of thought biggrin

I think Russel Martin and Ray Searage are both gonna be gone after this year.  We aren't gonna pay Martin and I think Searage is gonna get serious looks for a promotion and/or raise.  People have been talking all year about the Pirates ability to fix guys and I think Searage would be an excellent candidate for other clubs, especially small market teams.  He's already got plenty of experience.

That is all speculation of course, but IF it happens, our staff is gonna be a big question mark.
 
Reply | Quote
Avatar

Posted: 09/02/2014 10:55 AM

Re: Has the season been a success? 



GhostOfPBG wrote:
TBayXXXVII wrote:
mjdouble wrote:
TBayXXXVII wrote:
fishmong wrote: So it seems like the general consensus is that even if the Pirates don't make the playoffs, this years been a success. That won't make it less disappointing if the Pirates don't get a playoff spot, but I think the expectations are where they should be.

I'd like to have seen the Pirates improve the ML roster with a trade acquisition, but I did see the prices were fairly high. I can't blame the front office for not selling the farm off for a marginal improvement. I mean it would have been nice to get David Price or Jon Lester, but that would have required giving up current ML pieces. I think that would have been robbing Peter to pay Paul.

I suppose that adding a impact reliever would have been nice. Maybe with another bullpen arm the Pirates can do a better job of holding the lead in the last two games... but there's no way to know. It would have been nice to see them do something more than bringing in John Axford, but unless the Astros trade talk database gets hacked again who really knows who was out there.
This is VERY true.  Look at the A's.  Talk about overdoing it.  They were 54-33 when they made the trade to get Samardzja and Hammel.  The results were positive, even though Hammel wasn't doing so well, but they were still winning and were 13-8... UNTIL they traded Cepspedes.  Since then, they're 12-17 and lost the lead in the division and pretty much have no chance to win it.

To that I'll add, this all does go back to what I've been saying for a few years.  "Money ball" doesn't really work.  You're always 1 player away.  No matter what kind of lead you have, at some point, one of the teams who are spending money on talent will eventually catch up to you.  The A's went "all-in" and have already lost the division.  Sure, they have the top Wild Card spot and a firm grasp on it, a 5.5 game lead, but as we saw with the division race, that's not necessarily a lock.  Since August 1st, the A's are 13-17 and Seattle is 17-11 so in that one month, the A's saw their lead over Seattle get cut in half.

Back to the main point though, trading regular starters for 3-month rentals is nuts, more so for the Pirates than others.  While the Pirates do have a good future and "some" depth in the minors, trading a guy like Marte needs to get a better return than a rental.  Outside of the outfield, the Pirates depth is too far away to help the ML team.  Lets say the Red Sox wanted Harrison for Lester.  Who would be our 3B right now?  Who would be leading off?  The lineup 4 out of every 5 would be impacted negatively and that's not worth the upgrade that Lester gives on that 5th day.

I do think management handled the in-season well.  This past off-season, not so much.  For the most part though, I am ok with it because I don't think this year was the year for the Pirates.  There were too many holes in the lineup (1B and RF), and too many other question marks (3B, SS, and LF).  Not to mention the rotation issues.  Outside of Morton, every other pitcher was a question mark.  Essentially, on a 25-man roster, we had some unknowns with about 10 players!  That's just too many to have high expectations on.  With that, unless this team goes something like 6-19 in September, there's no way to look at this season as a success.
I'll agree that it would have made no sense to trade Marte for a top pitcher. But to say that was the only option is wrong. If high end prospects truly have the exceptional valuable that most people believe and you were basically the only team dangling that kind of talent then a deal should be able to get done. It might not be a team to team swap. You might have to get a 3rd team involved. But that doesn't mean the GM should get a pass for not landing one of them. As for the question marks this year. Sure, there were some. Do you really think there will be less question marks in future seasons? I don't. And it wasn't just top starters that Huntington whiffed on. Matt Thorton is a good LOOGY that the Pirates let slide to the Nationals. James Russell would have been a nice pickup too. In my mind if you take a step backwards that is not a success. I'm sure even the front office had bigger goals and expectations than falling short of the playoffs. That doesn't mean it has been a bad season. That doesn't mean it hasn't been a fun season. But successful? Come on, the bar should be a little higher now than just being in a playoff race. This is the 3rd straight year they've been in a race. I could argue a 4th straight year since 2011 they were at least in sight of the leaders at the trade deadline. The goals have to be little more lofty than that. And when you fall short of most of your goals that is not a success. Of course there is still enough time to make to make it a success.
I don't really have a big problem with not going after Thornton and paying him $4M to pitch 30 innings.  I'm not really big on Russell either.  I'm ok with bringing up kids before acquiring those 2.  I'm guessing that Huntington is on the same wave length as me where this team performed 1 year early.  I think that's the reason they weren't very active in the off season.  I think they will be more active this year.  As active as others may want?  No.  But I think more active.

Yes, I believe there'll be less questions next year.  I've seen enough of Mercer and Harrison to say that SS and 3B won't be an issue next season.  I like Snider in the role-player mode.  I think we'll see more of Lambo this month and I like what I saw in Polanco for his first run through.  I'm more confident in what we have in Marte as well.  I believe that 3B, LF and SS are secure is that they aren't questions.  Will they be super stars?  No, but I think they all will be legitimate players that I'm comfortable with as everyday starters.  Right now, the only real issue I see is 1B.  I don't think RF is solved, but it's in a better situation.  At 1B, there are a lot options.  We'll have to see how that plays out.  I won't be surprised to see one or more guys in the 1B group (Sanchez, Davis, Alvarez), traded.  In fact, I'm expecting it.  Overall though, I've improved on my outlook in 4 of the 5 positions that I had questions with at the beginning of this season.

As far as pitching, I'm more comfortable with Cole.  I'm fine with Morton in that I know what I'm getting.  That's where I end on that.  I still have questions about Locke.  I don't know who comes back between Liriano and Volquez.  To me, odds say that regardless of where those 2 are, they won't be as good elsewhere.  This is where I think the "system depth" and 1B over flow come in.  I think there could be a team dumb enough to see value in Alvarez and we might be able to package him and a kid to get a solid starter.
This is where we always go wrong as Pirates fans....buying into the "next year will be better" train of thought biggrin

I think Russel Martin and Ray Searage are both gonna be gone after this year.  We aren't gonna pay Martin and I think Searage is gonna get serious looks for a promotion and/or raise.  People have been talking all year about the Pirates ability to fix guys and I think Searage would be an excellent candidate for other clubs, especially small market teams.  He's already got plenty of experience.

That is all speculation of course, but IF it happens, our staff is gonna be a big question mark.
Isn't the objective to always be better every year than the previous?  wink

You do raise an interesting point with Searage.  I'm not as concerned with Martin though.  I do think he's had a major impact on the pitching staff, but I think he could be replaced.  Easily?  No, but I think a viable replacement could be found.
#fringeprospect
Reply | Quote

Posted: 09/03/2014 12:27 AM

Re: Has the season been a success? 


Pitching will always be a question mark. Even the top tier guys have down years. We got some tremendous value from some starters nobody thought would perform. The front end and back end of the bullpen have been completely recycled from April. Yes, there have been disappointments, but the success rate for replacements has been fairly high.

On the position side, injuries have absolutely killed this club. Losing Cutch, Walker, Marte, and Martin for huge chunks of time just isn't a fixable problem. The whole season has been an exercise in "what can we do with what we have".

I root for the Pirates, but I also have a "it is what it is" attitude, especially this year. Given the obstacles facing them, it is my opinion that the club over achieved this year.

Success is relative. No one expected championship hardware this year, those complaining about not going for the brass ring this year in my opinion just aren't being realistic.

Meaningful September games are something I'm just not used to. So from that standpoint, yes. This year has been a success.
Reply | Quote
Avatar

Posted: 09/03/2014 6:37 AM

Re: Has the season been a success? 



TBayXXXVII wrote:
GhostOfPBG wrote:
TBayXXXVII wrote:
mjdouble wrote:
TBayXXXVII wrote:
fishmong wrote: So it seems like the general consensus is that even if the Pirates don't make the playoffs, this years been a success. That won't make it less disappointing if the Pirates don't get a playoff spot, but I think the expectations are where they should be.

I'd like to have seen the Pirates improve the ML roster with a trade acquisition, but I did see the prices were fairly high. I can't blame the front office for not selling the farm off for a marginal improvement. I mean it would have been nice to get David Price or Jon Lester, but that would have required giving up current ML pieces. I think that would have been robbing Peter to pay Paul.

I suppose that adding a impact reliever would have been nice. Maybe with another bullpen arm the Pirates can do a better job of holding the lead in the last two games... but there's no way to know. It would have been nice to see them do something more than bringing in John Axford, but unless the Astros trade talk database gets hacked again who really knows who was out there.
This is VERY true.  Look at the A's.  Talk about overdoing it.  They were 54-33 when they made the trade to get Samardzja and Hammel.  The results were positive, even though Hammel wasn't doing so well, but they were still winning and were 13-8... UNTIL they traded Cepspedes.  Since then, they're 12-17 and lost the lead in the division and pretty much have no chance to win it.

To that I'll add, this all does go back to what I've been saying for a few years.  "Money ball" doesn't really work.  You're always 1 player away.  No matter what kind of lead you have, at some point, one of the teams who are spending money on talent will eventually catch up to you.  The A's went "all-in" and have already lost the division.  Sure, they have the top Wild Card spot and a firm grasp on it, a 5.5 game lead, but as we saw with the division race, that's not necessarily a lock.  Since August 1st, the A's are 13-17 and Seattle is 17-11 so in that one month, the A's saw their lead over Seattle get cut in half.

Back to the main point though, trading regular starters for 3-month rentals is nuts, more so for the Pirates than others.  While the Pirates do have a good future and "some" depth in the minors, trading a guy like Marte needs to get a better return than a rental.  Outside of the outfield, the Pirates depth is too far away to help the ML team.  Lets say the Red Sox wanted Harrison for Lester.  Who would be our 3B right now?  Who would be leading off?  The lineup 4 out of every 5 would be impacted negatively and that's not worth the upgrade that Lester gives on that 5th day.

I do think management handled the in-season well.  This past off-season, not so much.  For the most part though, I am ok with it because I don't think this year was the year for the Pirates.  There were too many holes in the lineup (1B and RF), and too many other question marks (3B, SS, and LF).  Not to mention the rotation issues.  Outside of Morton, every other pitcher was a question mark.  Essentially, on a 25-man roster, we had some unknowns with about 10 players!  That's just too many to have high expectations on.  With that, unless this team goes something like 6-19 in September, there's no way to look at this season as a success.
I'll agree that it would have made no sense to trade Marte for a top pitcher. But to say that was the only option is wrong. If high end prospects truly have the exceptional valuable that most people believe and you were basically the only team dangling that kind of talent then a deal should be able to get done. It might not be a team to team swap. You might have to get a 3rd team involved. But that doesn't mean the GM should get a pass for not landing one of them. As for the question marks this year. Sure, there were some. Do you really think there will be less question marks in future seasons? I don't. And it wasn't just top starters that Huntington whiffed on. Matt Thorton is a good LOOGY that the Pirates let slide to the Nationals. James Russell would have been a nice pickup too. In my mind if you take a step backwards that is not a success. I'm sure even the front office had bigger goals and expectations than falling short of the playoffs. That doesn't mean it has been a bad season. That doesn't mean it hasn't been a fun season. But successful? Come on, the bar should be a little higher now than just being in a playoff race. This is the 3rd straight year they've been in a race. I could argue a 4th straight year since 2011 they were at least in sight of the leaders at the trade deadline. The goals have to be little more lofty than that. And when you fall short of most of your goals that is not a success. Of course there is still enough time to make to make it a success.
I don't really have a big problem with not going after Thornton and paying him $4M to pitch 30 innings.  I'm not really big on Russell either.  I'm ok with bringing up kids before acquiring those 2.  I'm guessing that Huntington is on the same wave length as me where this team performed 1 year early.  I think that's the reason they weren't very active in the off season.  I think they will be more active this year.  As active as others may want?  No.  But I think more active.

Yes, I believe there'll be less questions next year.  I've seen enough of Mercer and Harrison to say that SS and 3B won't be an issue next season.  I like Snider in the role-player mode.  I think we'll see more of Lambo this month and I like what I saw in Polanco for his first run through.  I'm more confident in what we have in Marte as well.  I believe that 3B, LF and SS are secure is that they aren't questions.  Will they be super stars?  No, but I think they all will be legitimate players that I'm comfortable with as everyday starters.  Right now, the only real issue I see is 1B.  I don't think RF is solved, but it's in a better situation.  At 1B, there are a lot options.  We'll have to see how that plays out.  I won't be surprised to see one or more guys in the 1B group (Sanchez, Davis, Alvarez), traded.  In fact, I'm expecting it.  Overall though, I've improved on my outlook in 4 of the 5 positions that I had questions with at the beginning of this season.

As far as pitching, I'm more comfortable with Cole.  I'm fine with Morton in that I know what I'm getting.  That's where I end on that.  I still have questions about Locke.  I don't know who comes back between Liriano and Volquez.  To me, odds say that regardless of where those 2 are, they won't be as good elsewhere.  This is where I think the "system depth" and 1B over flow come in.  I think there could be a team dumb enough to see value in Alvarez and we might be able to package him and a kid to get a solid starter.
This is where we always go wrong as Pirates fans....buying into the "next year will be better" train of thought biggrin

I think Russel Martin and Ray Searage are both gonna be gone after this year.  We aren't gonna pay Martin and I think Searage is gonna get serious looks for a promotion and/or raise.  People have been talking all year about the Pirates ability to fix guys and I think Searage would be an excellent candidate for other clubs, especially small market teams.  He's already got plenty of experience.

That is all speculation of course, but IF it happens, our staff is gonna be a big question mark.
Isn't the objective to always be better every year than the previous?  wink

You do raise an interesting point with Searage.  I'm not as concerned with Martin though.  I do think he's had a major impact on the pitching staff, but I think he could be replaced.  Easily?  No, but I think a viable replacement could be found.



Sorry, TBay, but you've fallen into the katoy/cferrel mindset -- don't trade prospects, doing nothing is better than paying any price for doing something, just wait until "prospect X" gets here, next year will be better, and (for me the worst) "we shouldn't pay $X for that". It isn't your money, and the Pirates currently have plenty of it.  With current attendance levels, new revenue sources, and a low payroll, this will undoubtedly be the most profitable year in the history of the franchise, by far. And to clarify (for those who insist on repeating the cliché), this isn't about spending for the sake of spending -- but money is no excuse right now for making moves to strengthen this team.  Paying Thorton $4 million for a couple of months would have been no big deal.

Whether you realize it or not, you've just praised management for doing nothing to help this ball club down the stretch in a pennant race.  Given the prices, management could have been forgiven for not addressing every need at the trading deadline, but it didn't address ANY of them.

___________

 

  

Reply | Quote

Posted: 09/03/2014 7:09 AM

Re: Has the season been a success? 


Thorton is due about $500K the rest of this year and $3.5 million next year. If the salary was such an issue you could just flip him to another team in the offseason. Some big market club would be happy to have him. His salary wouldn't be a deterrent either. Someone offered him that contract to begin with and the Nationals were willing to assume it. There is obviously a market for him.

Last edited 09/03/2014 7:11 AM by mjdouble

Reply | Quote
Reply to TopicPost New Topic
  Page of 3  Next >