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Ray Searage goes back to work

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NEW YORK – Much has been made about Ray Searage‘s ability to spin yarn, or at least Francisco Liriano, A.J. Burnett and others, into gold.

Searage’s track record the last several years has been sterling, his ability to communicate with players uncanny. But Searage has some work to do in 2014 as the Pirates’ starting staff has gone from a strength in 2013 to a great area of concern. The Pirates’ offense  has actually improved –  having scored the fourth most runs in the NL in June – and the bullpen is bound to improve when looking at those underlying skills.

But the rotation? Too many pitches have been up in the zone this season, or out of the zone, and the trend continued at Citi Field.

Charlie Morton continues to be a perplexing case.

Morton’s control was off and his pitches were flat in Wednesday’s loss, not a great combination for a two-seam pitcher.

Morton’s two-seam velocity was also back down to the 90-92 mph range after he showed a spike back to his 2013 levels in his win over Washington in his last start. Morton is now 1-7 on the season.

Morton said the velocity jump was a product of a mechanical adjustment he is making with Searage, which is essentially focused on generating more power his lower body. But Morton noted there are “highs and lows” when implementing an adjustment.

“We looked at tapes from last year to this year and the (back-side) load wasn’t quite there,” Searage said. “I’m talking about being in a power position at the top of your delivery to explode through the baseball, to power down the hill… We are making progress.”

Morton said he has monitored his PITCHf/x data. He said his movement is similar to 2013 levels but he notes the velocity has been down.

The Pirates gave Morton a three-year, $21 million extension because of his 2013. It’s important he gets back to that 2013 level. He’s the only Opening Day starter other than Gerrit Cole under club control in 2015.

*Searage said Edinson Volquez‘s velocity spike Tuesday – sitting 93-96 mph and touching 98 – was not a focus of sidework. The problem was the velocity was not accompanied by command.

“It was one of those nights where the velocity just showed up. His mental approach we’ve been working on being more aggressive inside. Using his fastball to more of his advantage,” Searage said. “He pitches at 92-94, but if you know you have 97 in the tank. … It’s not a bad thing.”

*Searage believes he had a productive bullpen session with Francisco Liriano on Tuesday. The Pirates can’t afford for Liriano to have another third of a season like his first: 0-5, 5.06 ERA.

(His underlying rates suggest there’s been some bad fortune but there’s been plenty of poor execution).

“He picked up some bad habits,” Searage said. “We saw some things on video. … At times his front side will fly open, (and) he’s late with ball-glove separation.”

It’s imperative Searage get at least two of these three key arms figured out or its going to be a long summer.

Searage’s work is only going to continue going forward as Volquez and Liriano are free agents, Wandy Rodriguez has already been dispatched, meaning there will be likely be three new starting rotation members in the spring of 2015.

Brandon Cumpton had an impressive Memorial Day start and could very well lay claim to one of those spots. Jameson Taillon could be up in the second half of 2015, but there are going to be a lot of question marks after C0le and Morton.

But that’s a focus for another day. With a brutal West Coast trip awaiting, Searage needs what he believes have been productive bullpens and side sessions to start producing in-game results or the Pirates are going to be an incredibly deep hole.

-TS

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Comments

  1. Maz in Iowa says:

    It was just a given(sort of)that the pitching would be pretty good coming into this season.Unfortunately most of us never saw this train wreck of starting pitching as being some of the worst in baseball.I’m assuming the front office was also blindsided…..due to the lack of activity in the offseason .

  2. Carlos Danger says:

    Has there been any update on stolmy? Seems like I haven’t seen him since spring training.

  3. Bizrow says:

    He is hurt and is rehabbing, last I remember is he may get some time in the Gulf League, which hasn’t started, or low A

    From what I remember, last report is he is throwing well, no pain.

    IMO they will do all they can to get this guy as much development time as they can

  4. I know pitchers are temperamental people, but I fear Francisco Liriano and Charlie Morton and Edinson Bedard have moved beyond Ray “the Pitcher Whisperer.”

    They now need Sigmund Freud.

    Maybe Maury Popich can get them focused by discovering who their true father is!

  5. Maz in Iowa says:

    Starting pitching is scary bad

  6. Ghost says:

    Great update, Biz. Thanks.

  7. The Gunner says:

    Good morning Groat

    Uncle Ray is a great pitching coach but, he has too many problem children this year. Morton’s performance yesterday was about par for the course for him. After 6 seasons of Morton being with the Bucs, yes, the subpar performances occur with much more frequency than the good ones.

    Now my latest thing is that the BMTIB should start shopping Pedro now and try to get some value for him before he leaves for greener pastures. I know, I’m starting to lose it.

  8. Jim S. says:

    There may be underlying figures that show Liriano has been unfortunate. I’ve heard that many times by a lot of people. But, anyone who has watched hm knows he has just plain stunk up the joint this year. I no longer expect him to even keep us in games past the 3rd or 4th inning. I would love to see him regain some semblance of last year’s performance, but I’m not counting on it.

    I think Volquez has been ok, but his performance is mostly bolstered by his first 3 or so strong starts and a relief performance. Since then, he’s been rocked a lot. It’s great that he threw 96/97/98 the other night, but I don’t see that lasting. And, what did it get him? His control was terrible, and he couldn’t finish off any batters. He gives up way too many HR.

    I don’t know what to make of Charlie. Any competent pitcher should be striking out Bartolo Colon with ease, rather than throwing wild pitches in the dirt with men on 3b. Charlie often has electric stuff, but he struggles with command very often.

    Will Gerrit Cole get through 5 innings in under 95 pitches on this start? I can’t recall the last Buc hurler not named (Straight out of) Cumpton to do that. All Cumpton does is take the ball, throw strikes, and get the job done. It would be nice to have more of that.

    Ray certainly has his hands full with that group. And, I didn’t even mention the relievers.

    I’m quickly losing faith in all aspects of this team. The defense is attrocious very often, the pitchers can’t throw strikes, Pedro has stranded the most runners in the league, Jordy is a hot mess, and even Josh Harrison has become Josh Harrison again. They started 6-3, and have gone 17-26 since then.

  9. Jim S. says:

    I apologize if I seem overly gloomy in that previous post. But, I had high hopes for this season, and it seems like every time they show a glimmer of hope they throw out a couple of clunkers like Tues/Wed. There’s still time, but they really need to clean things up quickly.

  10. NMR says:

    That is just wrong on Morton, Gunner.

    Flat out wrong.

  11. The Gunner says:

    NMR

    I agree, Charlie gets little or no support offensively and defensively on many occasions. And luck is certainly not with him the majority of the time. To his credit, his ERA & WHIP are real good but things always seem to get away from him. It’s just plain frustrating.

  12. TK says:

    “The Pirates’ offense has actually improved – having scored the fourth most runs in the NL in June”

    This being May 29th, its great to hear they will score the 4th most runs in June.

    Can you also predict lottery numbers or winning horses at the Meadows?

    jk

  13. Kyle says:

    “fourth most runs in the NL in June”

    Travis is clairvoyant!

  14. NMR says:

    You know the season is going south when good guys like you and Jim have frustrations starting to boil over, Gunner.

    Think I’m going to take a break from the internets and enjoy baseball with my Mrs. Just isn’t any fun around here right now. Just remember, it’s a long season. It’s going to get better. Go Bucs.

  15. Nate83 says:

    I really like Searage but I feel like he has gotten a little too much credit for past success stories just as I feel like he will probably get too much blame if these pitchers don’t turn it around this season. We are looking at 3 pitchers this year that he had been credited with making drastic improvements with regressing and not just a little bit. Liriano, and Jeanmar seem to be almost a shell of their 2013 selves. Morton has good underlying numbers but hasn’t been locating well and seems to struggle with runners on base a little.

    I would take Searage over almost any other pitching coach because I like the overall philosophy of his approach but do not think he has some kind of magic touch.

  16. Jim S. says:

    +++, NMR.

  17. Andrew says:

    “This ain’t a football game, we do this every day.”

  18. cmat0829 says:

    Good afternoon, all.

    Admit I was plenty frustrated yesterday as I was in DC area for client meetings and was following along with the AtBat app driving to Dulles airport and a somber Bucco loss made my 3 hour flight delay even that much more depressing…. but today I am back in beautful cloudy Phoenix (yes, cloudy is a weather EVENT here) and it’s get back on the horse time for the Dodgers series…our other, less publicized, House of Horrors.

    Above all, I’m a Bucco fan. Hard as it is to watch this team slop up the joint on the road, this team is so good at home. What does it take for this team to play better on the road? The games in NY were winnable, much more so than a few of these in Chavez Ravine look to be on paper.

    Some musings:

    1) Mercer needs some bench time. At SS, you can live with a weak bat if you have a slick glove. Mercer, in all due respect, at least in 2014, has been a mess in the field. Missing balls hit right at him or thrown right to him… I think he is taking the stress of his lack of hitting onto the field…. and that is not something we can carry right now. As Neal and Clint said when dumping Wandy, we ‘have better options’. At this point, that is Clint Barmes. As much as I hate to type that, it is just true. Barmes will at least field at a respectable level.

    2) Pedro is an enigma, MENTALLY. We all know his basic MO — awesome POWER, inability to recognize pitches and/or hit anything placed well outside edge and lower than the letters, strikeouts that frustrate, etc. but he know appears to be mentally suffering… he doesn’t seem comfortable in whatever approach he is taking at the plate, and throwing errors are for the most part mental. What I don’t know (and Clint probably doesn’t know either) is WHAT DOES PEDRO NEED TO SNAP OUT OF IT? Bench time? A Jim Tracy (God I hope not) public throwing under the bus? Clint telling him to do whatever you want, stop listening to Branson, just play the Pedro way and we’ll see where that takes us? I’m leaning to the latter, he is what he is, but we need to at least get the hot streaks out of him.

    3) Pitching — spot on in terms of it being a long summer if Morton and Liriano can’t get it together. Both have stretches of good…and stretches of awful. I’m still on the ‘they can get it together’ team but there is always a point where (in the name of Kip Wells) we have to say ‘this pitcher just isn’t that good’… again, I’m not there, but maybe that is eventually where we end up on both of these guys…….

    4) Silver lining time…. look around the NL, the Brewers and Giants stand above… but a lot of teams are starting to bunch up… more than ever, the Pirates need to add on to put themselves in a position to compete this season…. starting pitcher and shortstop… time is now more than ever for Neal to go get bonafide upgrades ..the money is there as are the prospects…not sure what the list of starting pitchers is at this point, and it is early, but I want them to be aggressive, not only with 2014 in mind but 2015 as well.

  19. cmat0829 says:

    Only need to look at every quote Ray has ever made to validate that it’s the PITCHERS who deserve the credit and the blame… Ray always says so… he/the staff may notice a thing here or there and make suggestions but it is the pitchers who do the work, make the change, follow through, etc. There are some cases where the blog and reality don’t collide, and in the ‘credit to Ray Searage’ department that is one of them. Don’t get me wrong, I love Ray, but I don’t think Neal or Clint or anyone (including most importantly Ray) has “Ray-colored glasses” on. This is always about the players, and we should not forget that.

  20. Nate83 says:

    Concerning number 4 are you thinking about trading for short term solutions or long term? Is it something marginal like Didi Gregorius or something a little more aggressive like Alexi Rameriz or an All star caliber player who has fallen out of favor with the team like a Matt Kemp but at a position of need for the Pirates?

    I think they are treading water at shortstop waiting to see what they have in Hanson. His bat will play but his defense is suspect at this point. Maybe someone like Didi makes sense because if Hanson turns out to be the guy Didi could easily slide into a backup role.

    Long term pitching would be hard to optain at this point in the season. Unless someone like Porcello just falls apart and Ray for the Tigers looks good enough for them to want to move Porcello. However we are then aquiring a flawed pitcher with big upside that hasn’t been realized for a couple of years now. I don’t know how much that would help us in 2014. Few teams will be giving up on their season at this point and there really are not starting pitchers being blocked throughout the league. It’s a tough commodity to aquire in May or June especially a long term one.

  21. cmat0829 says:

    On #4, my point is not to go for ‘something marginal’ and to go get true upgrades for 2014… bonus if we get 2015 control as well (for example, and it is NOT going to happen because its within the division, but Jeff Samardija is signed through 2015 for teams that will trade for him this summer).

    As to SS, yes Ramirez is someone who should be available…he has his pros/cons, but to me, getting a true upgrade at SS and someone who can perhaps hit leadoff would make him an intriguing possibility for the Pirates. Plus the fact that he makes too much money for the Sox and they’d love to move him…. makes him a realistic target. I’m not a huge Jimmy Rollins fan but he is another possibility I would think.

    As to Didi, don’t really know much about him.. I know he was beat out in Arizona by Owings after Towers made him the prized possession of the offseason…may say more about the idiocy of Towers than Didi’s ability….. but to me Didi isn’t a clear enough upgrade.

    But yes, the hardest thing to do is to acquire true impact players in June/July especially with the new Wildcard. Not sure I expect anything to happen but just declaring that is what I’d be aiming for if I were Neal.

  22. Nate83 says:

    Thanks for the response. Samardja would be the one true difference making pitcher I think would be available well before the trade deadline. I think he ends up in Toronto. They are willing to spend and they are competetive right now. I could see the Angels going after him as well. Usually I would say the Rangers but I think to many bad things are happening to them this year for them to make such a move.

    If the Phillies fall hard over the next 30 games I could see AJ being availabe as well. In the end I don’t think the Pirates are involved in any such moves unless they show some sort of life soon. To many things they are struggling at to convince management making a move or two would be enough to get them over the top.

  23. LeeFoo says:

    This may be all you need to know about our offense?

    The Pirates have scored less than 3 runs in 23 games. That is 2nd in the MLB. Only one team has scored less than 3 runs (that’s 0 to Two) in more games.

  24. NOT BLINDED BY LAST YEAR says:

    This team is playing to it’s potential. When your team has a payroll in the bottom third of mlb then how do you expect not to be in the bottom third of the standings. There’s an old saying you get what you pay for and it applies to this team more than any other. If you try to pick up washed up/broken/needs fixing parts don’t be surprised when they work for a little and then fail again, the parts were broken.
    If this team had kept mournea 1b wouldn’t be as big of a mess that it’s been.
    they could have gotten a serviceable ss for what they paid volquez/brought barmes back with.
    burnett could have been retained
    next may you’ll be wondering about 3b (is pedro worth it) 1b (need someone that can drive in runs) ss (need someone who can hit and field) rf (is polanco the real deal – he needs more mlb at bats, lol) and pitching (some things never change)

    this team is exactly where it belongs based on spending and the lack there of and how they do decide to spend

  25. Andrew says:

    Oakland Athletics?

  26. Andrew says:

    But the corollary is that they have allowed 2 runs or less, in 11 games, with only the Diamondbacks and the Twins being worse by a game.

  27. NOT BLINDED BY LAST YEAR says:

    still more than the pirates. how many starters on this team have regular playing time on any other team???
    mccutcheon, martin, marte thats it
    walker would have started as a platoon and pedro would be platooning now

    barmes/tabata/snyder/ichewaka/davis/either sanchez/mercer would not be starting anywhere else and all play/played significant amt of games

    don’t expect this yugo that the pirates provide you to play like a yankee bentley

  28. Jim S. says:

    Actually, there are multiple messes on this team. But, the 1b platoon is not one of them.

  29. The Gunner says:

    For an Italian guy, I really have a long fuse, NMR. I am just pretty much at the end of my rope with this year’s Buccos. In the last 24 hours, I’m ripping on Morton and I want to trade Alvarez. God knows what I might come up with next.

    I hope the Bucs get hot and take 3 out of 4 from Dodgers – that will quiet me down.

  30. Jim S. says:

    I hate to say it, cmat, but if Chavez Ravine is a house of horrors again this weekend, suddenly we are chasing a big to fairly big number vs. Milwaukee, St. Louis, San Fran and LAD. It will be a very big hole to climb out of, and I don’t want them in buy mode in July if that is the case.

    Maybe they will surprise this weekend.

  31. Kevin says:

    Charlie Morton’s history…he always pitches well enough to lose. He should be nothing more than a 4th or 5th option. Our problem is he’s our 2nd best pitcher numbers wise at this time. Hope Cumpton continues to pitch well.

  32. NMR says:

    Ha! I hear ya, Gunner, and if there’s a silver lining it’s that our expectations are now hgiher because we know these guys are better than this.

    If it helps any, I took a glance at Pedro Alvarez through May 30th each of the last three years…

    2012: .205/.263/.424 8 HR, 24 RBI, 34%K / 8%BB
    2013: .200/.257/.406 10 HR, 29 RBI, 34%K / 7%BB
    2014: .221/.306/.395 10 HR, 28 RBI, 22%K / 11%BB

  33. RobertoForever says:

    NMR,

    Now THOSE are some stats we can all be happy about on a Friday after a Bucs late night win.

    Keep those hopeful stats coming. I am trying to keep the glass half-full.

  34. RobertoForever says:

    Good news Jim. The Bucs won the first game. Gives us a little cushion going up against a pitcher coming off a high pitch count no-hitter, right?

    Anyone have any stats on pitchers on the next outing after a long outing no-hitter? Talk about small sample size :-)

  35. RobertoForever says:

    Kevin,

    Just wondering. I went to MLB.com and looked at sortable stats for NL starting pitchers. Ground Chuck is twenty fourth in ERA. Doesnt that imply that he would be a number two on six NL teams and no worse than a number three on NL teams. If we opened it up to all MLB he is thirty-ninth, meaning a number two on almost every MLB team.

    And that’s with Morton ‘struggling.

    Just seeing the glass half full.

  36. Leo Walter says:

    Andrew,you beat me to the punch. I get so sick of reading those over simplistic answers that it isn’t even funny. ” You get what you pay for “……why not ask why players can’t be held responsible for once ?

  37. Nate83 says:

    I think he may be the best pitcher numbers wise. I’m not sure but I think his ERA, BAA and WHIP are all better then Cole’s. I’m not sure what more he could do. Maybe play defense for the rest of the team. Most teams in the league would be happy to have him as their 3rd starter right now and many their second starter.

    Morton suffers from Jose Tabata desease. A majority of fans disregard his actual stats and judge him base on perception. Because he doesn’t pump his fist or look angry when he has a bad inning he must not be that good or care. If Morton give the Pirates this production over the life of the contract it will be a good deal with current market prices for starting pitchers.

  38. Nate83 says:

    Wow NMR. Perception is a crazy thing. Why do you have to go and show stats that this is the Pedro we have always had. In fact it’s a slightly better version. He is lacking doubles this year and maybe some of that is going opposite field approach. He absolutely scorched one last night but it was right at Dee Gordon. There is nothing wrong with Pedro. His BABIP has to get up just simply because he has been so unlucky on hard hit balls so far this year.

  39. NMR says:

    Also cracks me up that Josh Harrison is everyone’s flavor of the week while Gaby Sanchez remains the punching bag despite hitting much better than him.

  40. The Gunner says:

    NMR

    Well, I have cooled off somewhat since the Bucs beat “dem Bums” last night as well as your summary of Pedro’s stats. I sure hope #24 is snapping out of his funk.

    What site did you use to get Pedro’s stats?

  41. NOT BLINDED BY LAST YEAR says:

    Leo its a simplistic answer because it’s the truth out of the pirates 13 position players snyder/tabata/barmes/mercer prob wouldn’t even be on a mlb roster and sanchez/davis/stewart would be questionably picked up by anyone else. That’s half your position players that would have a very hard time making a living anywhere but pgh. Just because the pirates say they are major leaguers doesn’t mean any other team does.
    why cant we hold management accountable for NOT putting together a competive team. If half your position players wouldn’t be on another major league team do you expect 4 players to continually have mvp type seasons. where else but pgh would harrison/snyder/tabata bat leadoff consistently, cutch has no protection in the 4 hole. don’t give me the arguement that’s what we have. management had opportunity to IMPROVE on what we had and didnt.
    It may take another 20 yrs for the playoffs with this leadership group.

  42. Nate83 says:

    Blinded, I think you need to look around the league and see how many bad players are on teams. Almost every guy you mentioned would be on a major league team. Maybe not as an everday starter but as a platoon player or bench player which is exactly the role they are playing on the Pirates.

  43. NMR says:

    The sun is brighter and air sweeter after wins, Gunner.

    I get just about all my silly stats from FanGraphs.com

    http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=2495&position=3B

    I wouldn’t need to work nearly as many hours if I could curb my addiction.

  44. Nate83 says:

    Are you mad at the Pirates or the system MLB has set up? The Pirates are 1 of 8-10 teams dealing with the unequal system of local TV revenue. The A’s and Rays have consistantly been good with low payroll. The Twins and Indians have shown the ability to compete in that enviroment. The Twins got in trouble when they overextended and signes contracts to big for the market but are now getting back on track.

    You can argue that they should be spending another 10-15 million and they even have admitted they have left some money on the table but didn’t want to spend just to spend. They already added some payroll by adding Davis. They may add some more but if they don’t show improvement over the next 20-30 games I could see them using some of that money to extend Walker or Martin. However if you want them ever to be in the 10-18 range in payroll it will never happen under the current system even if Mark Cuban was the owner.

  45. Jim S. says:

    I’m hoping it affects Mr. Beckett tonight, Roberto.

  46. Jim S. says:

    Charlie is also very high on the rankings of not allowing hard hit balls.

    I think a big part of Charlie’s problem is he throws so d*mn many groundballs that he is prone to unearned runs allowed, since the large majority of errors come from groundballs.

  47. Jim S. says:

    I agree with most of that, Nate, but the nature of guys who throw tons of groundballs is they have more errors made behind them, and they throw more wild pitches. So, he is partially responsible for some of the bad things. His control has not been great this year. Walk rate, HBP and WP are all up over last year.

  48. Jim S. says:

    You are so far off base on Tabata and, especially, Gaby Sanchez that it is ridiculous. Gaby has to be among the very best platoon/bench players for any team in MLB this year.

  49. The Gunner says:

    Thanks NMR – I’ll check out that website.

  50. NOT BLINDED BY LAST YEAR says:

    is milwaukees or cincy’s tv deal that much better than the pirates. cincy/milwaukee/st louis’s payroll are 110-115 million. how is it these teams find the money to spend and the pirates can’t. would you like to bet the pirates wont extend walker or martin. they could have signed a 1b hitting 308 with 10 hr and 33 rbi’s yet decided not to make him an offer. there is no legitimate reason that the pirates payroll shouldn’t be at 100 million. they got an extra 20 million from the mlb national deal. they made unexpected money in the playoffs last yrs. this season’s season tix buys are up. where is the extra money going????

    jim i said gaby might/might not be picked up. what about mercer/barmes/snyder/stewart??? mercer can’t hit or field, pitchers hit better than stewart and barmes. stewart was signed to back up martin yet can’t hit or throw anybody out. barmes is because he had no other offers. ichewaka was signed because they had no play for 1b (isn’t he out of bb now along with wandy) this management team put the cheapest team together they could to please the crowd and it works. money left on the table is doing no good now and in july won’t be used because “we aren’t in the race”.

    management is the one saying the new tv deal is in the upper half of mlb, don’t you guys believe that?? if they’re lying about that, what else are they lying about. if polonco signs the deal in spring trainging he comes north with the team. cutch will be traded from this team before his contract is up, cole will never sign long term because the pirates wont pay and boras will get him a big paycheck. i can’t believe marte got the deal he did, but he may make out if he keeps regressing. tabata was supposed to be a star what happened there. he’s a 4th of, but when signed he was signed as a starting corner of, he isn’t starting anywhere else.

    you can call me as negative as you want, but i’m pointing out things management could have and should have done but didnt because of money.

  51. dennis g says:

    The only Jose Tabata disease I know of is the one where the player peaks at 21 years of age, hardly the case with Morton. At 21 Jose played in 102 games, hit .299, stole 19 bases in 26 attempts, ground into 7 double plays, struck out 12.9 % and had 5 sacrifices. So far this year in 123 plate appearances he has struck out 16.3%, ground into 7 DP’s, has one sacrifice in 2 tries, has one SB in 2 tries and is hitting .261. He has not hit .299 since his rookie year. Last year Jose was 5 for 5 in sacrifice attempts. The only leaderboards he has appeared on are for fielding and none since 2011 (unless you count his 10th place in GDP’s this year.) Jose’s case is perfect for describing a player who is neither more nor less than you see.

  52. Nate83 says:

    I assume you are talking about Morneau at first. He has already started to come back down to earth. Nothing, absolutely nothing he did during his time with the Pirates or for the matter the past 4 years would have warranted signing him to a two year contract for that much.

    I don’t know about the Reds. They are a slightly bigger market. I know the Brewers in parking alone get an addition 10 million or so.

    Bottom line is any way you cut the pie they will never be in the top half in payroll and I doubt they will ever be above 20 and they shouldn’t be base on all the factors. I agree payroll could and maybe should be closer to 100 million and they have said they will raise payroll when the time is right. Maybe they view 2016-2018 as the right time when the outfield will be in their prime or hitting their prime.

  53. RobertoForever says:

    Jim agreed. Just imagine how good he might be if he had elite defense.

    I enjoy Ground Chuck’s start but groan when the grounders seem to find all the holes , in the defense or in the fielder’s gloves, lol

  54. Leo Walter says:

    Not Blinded : you need to change your commenting name to Not Blinded By Last Year When It Comes TO The Pirates,But Blinded About Every Other Organization In MLB. You obviously ignore how poorly the Dodgers, Cardinals,Nationals,Angels and Mariners are doing relative to their team payrolls. I could add the Rangers, Royals and Tigers to that list ?also. To use the Dodgers as one example,I would love for you to explain to me the reason you would rate Tim Federowicz, Drew Butera, Chone Figgins JL Happ, Jamie Romak, Scott Van Slyke or a Paul Maholm , over many of the Pirate bench players or pitchers you so look down on ? Look, you might THINK you know what you are talking about, but your presumptions have so many holes in them I don’t have room here to shoot them down. And, not to nit pick, but do you think you could spend a little time on punctuation, beginning sentences with a capitol letter etc. ?

  55. Donald says:

    Reports are saying that the Rays will listen to offers for both David Price and Ben Zobrist if they fall much further behind. Zobrist at SS would be huge. Dude is making $7.5Million this year and next year. If they could give Barmes $5 before, I think they would be wise to take on Zobrist if they have a match propect-wise for a trade.

  56. NOT BLINDED BY LAST YEAR says:

    leo,
    every team you mentioned as doing poorly has a better record than the pirates (kc is tied) so the better payroll has a better record. i’m also sure pgh would take any one of the players you listed (maybe not maholm) as an addition to their roster over someone currently on it. there aren’t too many players on the pgh roster other teams are interested in. pgh trades morris for a compensatory pick – what does that say of their evaluation of him, couldn’t they get mlb talent for him.

 
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