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Wakeup Call: Maurkice on the rookies

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Brief and to the Point …

>> The Wednesday column comes off the first real day for the Steelers’ prized rookie linemen, David DeCastro and Mike Adams. And it includes one of the most probing interviews I’ve ever done.

>> Wasn’t able to fit this in for space reasons, but here’s Maurkice Pouncey on those two: “They lined up and had an excellent practice, man. And it’d be awesome if they could help us out. All of us are going to help them get caught up to speed. Some of it will be tough. You’re learning a whole new playbook. You’re coming in against bigger guys. In college, you’re usually the strongest guy on the field. Now, you’re going against real NFL guys. … But there’s no question these guys can adjust. Did you see them out there?”

>> Snapped this right after drills …

That’s Casey Hampton right behind D-line coach John Mitchell. They’re playing around with someone up on the balcony above headquarters.

Is that about as svelte as you’ve seen Snack?

>> Brad Lincoln’s second blowup in a row raised his ERA as a starter to 6.91. As a reliever, that figure is 0.45. I’m not Billy Beane, but those figures would at least hint that he’s a lot better in one role than the other.

Move him back to the pen. Be fair to the kid and the team. He finally found some confidence in his stuff, he finally started to pitch with a swagger, and the rug got pulled out.

If you need a starter, give this guy a call.

>> Life stinks without pucks.

Comments

  1. Playoffs by 2012 says:

    Just read that the Cubs have fired their hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo. I’ve always liked him, and I believe Clint Hurdle took over as hitting coach of the Rangers for him after he left to go to the Cubs.

    I highly doubt that Pirates management will consider adding him. But I find it interesting that the Cubs management will offload an “under-performing” hitting coach who is very well known and respected, and our management will not even fathom the thought of replacing our “under-performing” hitting coach who is a virtual unknown.

  2. Jandy says:

    Here’s something interesting: Robbie Grossman was definitely suspended. Not for anything “serious”…here’s the article:
    http://altoonamirror.com/page/content.detail/id/561625/Coming-off-suspension–Grossman-says-he-has-to-act–in-a-professional-way-.html?nav=727

    “Life stinks without pucks.” You can say THAT again! :(

  3. Sec.143RowMSeat24 says:

    Hurdle said last night Lincoln is still scheduled to start Sunday in Cleveland and if he struggles there, he will be back in pen. They should have seen enough by now to know he just doesn’t have the stuff to start. No reason to wait any longer. #FreeRudyOwens.

  4. Thundercrack says:

    The Pirate coaches and front office is just a bunch of meanies. Pulling the rug out out from under Lincoln and making him start games. All in the name of winning! How dare they.

    I agree with DK in that Lincoln looks good as a reliever and should stay in the pen. I believe that is where he will have his most success and can be a very good relief pitcher.

    But asking a life long starter -who has 13 relieve appearances under his belt – to start a couple of games until some of the other injured starters come back, is not that much of an outrage. At least not to some of us.

  5. JAL says:

    JAL’s With A Little Bit Of Luck Morning Links

    GENERAL DAILY UPDATED BASEBALL SITES

    1- MLB Transactions

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/pittsburgh_pirates/

    3 Go Buccos- Pirate News (from external sources)

    http://gobuccos.com/pittsburgh-pirate-news/

    PIRATE BLOGS

    4—Pirates Prospects

    Pirates Notebook: Lincoln Struggles, But Will Remain In Rotation

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/06/pirates-notebook-lincoln-struggles-but-will-remain-in-rotation.html

    Indians Shut Out Red Wings Again; 7 Scoreless Innings For VandenHurk

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/06/indians-shut-out-red-wings-again-7-scoreless-innings-for-vandenhurk.html

    Prospect Watch: Willy Garcia Hits His Ninth Homer

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/06/prospect-watch-willy-garcia-hits-his-ninth-homer.html

    Pirates Have a Lot of Over-Slot Options and Not a Lot to Spend

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2012/06/pirates-have-a-lot-of-over-slot-options-and-not-a-lot-to-spend.html

    First Pitch: The Thing the Pirates Organization Does Best

    http://blogs.piratesprospects.com/williams/first-pitch-the-thing-the-pirates-organization-does-best/

    5 Bucs Dugout

    Pirates Vs. Orioles: Bucs’ Interleague Schedule A Blessing

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2012/6/12/3080845/pirates-vs-orioles-bucs-interleague-schedule-a-blessing

  6. JAL says:

    6 Rumbunter

    Fire Up the Vlad Guerrero to Pittsburgh Pirates Rumors

    http://rumbunter.com/2012/06/12/fire-up-the-vlad-guerrero-to-pittsburgh-pirates-rumors/

    7 McEffect

    Close Eye on Lincoln Tonight

    http://www.mceffect.com/2012/06/close-eye-on-lincoln-tonight.html

    8 The Green Weenie

    Bird Bombs Bedevil Bucs 8-4

    http://oldbucs.blogspot.com/2012/06/bird-bombs-bedevil-bucs-8-4.html

    9 Raise the Jolly Roger

    Beat up in Baltimore

    http://raisethejollyroger.com/2012/06/beat-up-in-baltimore/

    10 WhyGavs

    Game 60: Orioles 8 Pirates 6

    http://whygavs.com/pittsburgh-pirates/may-2012/game-60-orioles-8-pirates-6.html

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 CBS Sports

    Pirates-Orioles Game Review

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/gametracker/preview/MLB_20120613_PIT@BAL/piratesorioles-preview

  7. JAL says:

    12 Baltimore Sun

    Roberts makes it a memorable return with three hits in an 8-6 Orioles victory

    http://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/orioles/bal-brian-roberts-makes-it-a-memorable-return-with-three-hits-in-orioles-victory-20120612,0,5307019.story

    13 Chicago Tribune

    Pirates Report

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/sns-rt-bbo-pirates-teamreportmtze86ch6k0xq-20120612,0,6335133.story

    14 Sports Illustrated

    Solid pitching helping make Pirates contenders — yes, really

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/tom_verducci/06/12/pittsburgh.pirates/index.html

    15 NPR

    The Language Of Baseball: In Is Out And Foul Is Fair

    http://www.npr.org/2012/06/13/154839159/the-language-of-baseball-in-is-out-and-foul-is-fair

    16 ESPN

    The surprising Pittsburgh Pirates

    http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/page/120611tripleplay/the-surprising-pittsburgh-pirates-mlb

    SPORTS WEBSITES

    17 PBC Site

    Bucs hit hard in series-opening loss to O’s

    http://pittsburgh.pirates.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2012_06_12_pitmlb_balmlb_1&mode=recap&c_id=pit

    Notebook: Hague gets DH nod in opener with O’s

    http://pittsburgh.pirates.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20120612&content_id=33176382&notebook_id=33179342&vkey=notebook_pit&c_id=pit

    18 Fangraphs

    Free Vladimir Guerrero

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/free-vladimir-guerrero/

    19 Bleacher Report

    Pittsburgh Pirates: 12 Prospects to Be Excited About

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1216529-pittsburgh-pirates-12-prospects-to-be-excited-about

  8. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    20 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Pittsburgh Steelers Minicamp: Some Early Thoughts on Important Session

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2012/6/12/3080138/pittsburgh-steelers-minicamp-news-willie-colon-mike-wallace-contract-ben-roethlisberger-father

    Breaking Down the AFC Playoff Contenders: Houston Texans Remain Favorites in AFC South

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2012/6/11/3077717/afc-playoffs-odds-pittsburgh-steelers-houston-texans-afc-south

    Breaking Down the AFC Playoff Contenders: Defense, Not Manning, Will Make the Season for the Denver Broncos

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2012/6/12/3080125/afc-playoffs-odds-pittsburgh-steelers-

    21 Steelers Depot

    - Minicamp Day 1 News and Notes

    http://www.steelersdepot.com/2012/06/2012-pittsburgh-steelers-minicamp-day-one-news-notes-recap/

    22 Nice Pick Cowher

    Jacked Up: Steelers Timmons Should Channel #58

    http://nicepickcowher.com/2012/06/11/jacked-up-steelers-timmons-should-channel-58/

  9. JAL says:

    Soccer(football)

    27 Sky Sports

    Jakub’s cracker lifts Poland

    http://www.skysports.com/football/match_report/0,19764,11065_3472055,00.html

    28 Daily Telegraph

    ‘Feeble England can’t win Euros’ says World Cup-winning French defender Marcel Desailly

    http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/sport/soccer/feeble-england-cant-win-euros-says-world-cup-winning-french-defender-marcel-desailly/story-e6frey4r-1226393766620

    29 World Soccer Daily

    World Soccer Daily: 10 Euro 2012 stories you need to read, 12th June, 2012

    http://www.worldsoccer.com/euro2012/world-soccer-daily-10-euro-2012-stories-you-need-to-read-12th-june-2012

    PENGUIN BLOGS

    30 Pensburgh

    Season in review: Dustin Jeffrey

    http://www.pensburgh.com/2012/6/11/3077282/season-in-review-dustin-jeffrey

  10. JAL says:

    With a Little Bit of Luck, My Fair Lady, 1956. This was the most successful musical by Lerner and Loewe. Based on a George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion, the original production starred Rex Harrison, Julie Andrews and Stanley Holloway. Harrison and Holloway reprised their roles in the 1964 movie and Holloway does the version here. In Hoi Polloi, 1935, the Three Stooges did their version of Pygmalion.

  11. bdubb says:

    In 9 starts in 2011 at the MLB level Lincoln gave up 3 or more runs twice. He pitched well as a starter in Indy to start the season. Came up here and had a real nice start vs Miami. I just can’t get over why 2 starts is dooming this kid. Now I can live with the argument that he isn’t stretched out and if you don’t want to destroy the pen you bring up a starter from Indy. But to just dismiss Lincoln as a starter doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. Until yesterday his fastball was in the mid 90′s and he was hitting spots. Last night he was at 92 and the fastball was flat.

    I guess I am just not educated enough to see why the bullpen is where you all want him. After 2 months in the pen you all expect 7 innings and 70 pitches in these starts. How many times does that happen?

  12. JMB says:

    Looking at the links, I can’t see Vlad coming. If anything, Cleveland must be thinking about Vlad or Soriano as a DH.

    As others have said, Kendry Morales or Chase Headley make the most sense for us at this point, depending on the asking price.

  13. Jandy says:

    bdubb, I’m not the expert here, but perhaps the Pirates expect MORE of Lincoln because they NEED it. Our hitting isn’t saving us so the pitching has to.

  14. Milo Hamilton says:

    @Jandy

    Thanks for the story on Grossman. That must have been some tantrum.

  15. NMR says:

    I don’t understand why people get so defensive about Lincoln.

    Having options, not forcing a square peg into a round whole, is what a good system provides. The Pirates have that!

    Lincoln is clearly a different pitcher as a reliever. Thats to be expected. I’m pretty sure Joel Hanrahan or Jason Grili can’t be “stretched out” (new favorite baseball-speak term that nobody has any clue as to what it means). He’s had three big league seasons to prove he’s a starter and has failed each and every one.

    If you think this has only been two bad starts, you’re lying to yourself.

    He’s a good pitcher. He can help the Pirates. Why do you want to mess with that? Ego?

  16. NMR says:

    *hole

  17. bdubb says:

    NMR, I mentioned he gave up more than 3 runs once last year in 9 starts. That’s pretty good. I am not advocating him to be a starter this year. I am defending him b/c there are some on here so quick to dismiss him as a starter. I do know baseball and I do know that guys like him need to be stretched out. You just can’t not throw that many pitches and walk onto the mound as a starter and go long into the game. Has he pitched well in these 2 starts? No. But he had a bad 4th inning vs Cincy when he said he ran out of gas. Yesterday was bad from the first pitch. I am just saying guys can’t generally go from the pen to starter and pitch deep into the game. Even everyone’s favorite Karstan’s couldn’t get through 5 when they were tossing him back and forth from the pen to starter

  18. Jandy says:

    Milo, my pleasure! And yeah, I bet it was quite a fireworks show.

  19. Milo Hamilton says:

    When Lincoln does go back to the bullpen, hopefully sooner rather than later, Chris Resop has to go. If that means going on the “convenience list”, fine. Doug Slaten has been effective & needs to stay.

    They may be forced to make a trade just to make room for guys when they get healthy.

  20. Milo Hamilton says:

    What are the chances Ben Roethlisberger names the new baby Todd ?

  21. Jandy says:

    LMAO!

  22. bob hasis says:

    In yesterday’s blog, I exchanged comments with LuckyinKentucky (on which we agreed) that Lincoln might better serve us from the pen. However I would like to emphasize that prior to his start in Cincy – and last night – he looked like a proto-typical starter.

    In Cincy, he had great stuff and bad location. Last night which you all saw, he grooved too many pitches and there was little movement. I contend he hasn’t learned yet to pace himself (stretch out – the new Hurdle terminology).

    I think I can accept one more start from him which will come in another hostile environment. Remember these two starts were in Cincy, Baltimore and upcoming in Cleveland. Pretty tough environment in which to “get one’s sealegs under him”

  23. NMR says:

    Well done, Milo.

    Last night was the perfect case study of why Brad Lincoln should not be used as a starter.

    One, I’m pretty sure the under would be taken if Rudy Owens ERA line was placed at 6.91.

    Two, even if Owens starts last nights game and gives up the same line, Lincoln can be used in place of Resop. I’m not gonna play the “if” game, but I think we can all agree we’d rather see Brad than Chris.

    @bdubb

    You’re missing the point on the “stretched out” reference. Lincolns approach and stuff is unquestionably different between the pen and rotation. You cannot expect a guy to throw bullpen quality stuff over a 100 pitch start. Thus, my use of Hanny and Grili as reference. Simply “stretching” him out doesn’t change that. If you know how, I’m sure there are 30 ball clubs that would love to employ you.

    Lincoln does not have the stuff as a starter to be a swing and miss guy. Lincoln doesn’t have the command as a starter to be a ground ball guy. He’s going to always be one that gets hurt by the long ball in his role as a starter.

  24. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Milo is right on Resop. He must have some arm problem or something to find the CL. We don’t “see” the games, per se, but we have the audio package. To me, and from Walk and Greg’s PBP, it seemed Brad was getting hit solidly. Well-struck outs, too. They need to get the most out of him for the team’s sake and his. This season, that looks like the back end of the pen. Grilli and Hammer can’t pitch every night. Lincoln was hitting 96 earlier in the year and only 91-92 last night.

  25. Jeff says:

    Is it finally time for management to admit that Alvarez needs to go down to the minors? He struck out looking twice last night at pitches right down the middle. The more egregious of the two was in the first inning with two men in scoring position. They had a great chance to jump on the O’s in that situation and he came up short AGAIN. Unbelievably frustrating!

  26. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Although Resop got clobbered, which has been more often than not, in his defense (a weak one), they opened that inning with 2 E’s. That inning was the clincher as it turns out.

  27. nate83 says:

    With two perfectly good starting options in Indy I think it is time to send Lincoln back to the pen. I don’t look at it as giving up on him as a starter but instead as this is what is best for the team right now. He has shown well in pen as a long releiver. I wish he could have releived himself last night. Maybe the score would have remained 4-2 and we would have won. Moving him to the pen makes us a better pitching staff even if Owens Locke pitch exactly the same as him as a starter.

  28. LuckyNKentucky says:

    I don’t see any shame in using Lincoln in the pen where he’s effective. Look at Sean Burnett. If he hadn’t switched to relief, he’d be out of baseball now. Some guys are better platooning, even though they never did it coming up or in the past. He’s got the talent, just utilize it. Rudy Owens looks pretty impressive so far, and we’re in this thing, so no excuses for waiting. Like NMR said above, if Lincoln is in the pen last night, we win that one if Owens gives the same performance Lincoln did.

  29. Milo Hamilton says:

    @Lucky

    You’re right about the errors, one of which was his own. But last night aside, he’s easily the 15th man on a 12 man staff

  30. nate83 says:

    Sorry NMR I didn’t see your comment above. So I will change my post to just read I agree with NMR 100%.

  31. LuckyNKentucky says:

    BTW, Ryota Igarashi is shocked his ERA is still at 9.00 after not pitching in the Yanks win last night over the Braves.

  32. Bizrow says:

    Before they promote Owens from the minors and send Lincoln to the bullpen, Resop has to come down with a mysterious injury so they can place him on the DL, am pretty sure he is out of options and if waived, someone would most definitely pick him up.

  33. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Biz,

    It’s the CL. You need to get it right, man.

  34. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Milo named it the Convenience List.

  35. nate83 says:

    Well it would be a landmark day that we would have to waive a player that others would line up to take. What an awesome problem to have. I’m not sure a Pirate GM has had to deal with such a stressful roster decision in the last 15 years.

    That being said that bridge would have had to be crossed when both Karstans and Morton come back to the team as well as maybe Leroux.

  36. Milo Hamilton says:

    Credit where credit is due. I believe it was Groat that came up with the “convenience list”.

  37. JohninOshkosh says:

    Put Resop on the 15 day CL for being Time Management Impaired.

  38. NMR says:

    Thanks, but no worries, nate. Your post was well stated.

    @Biz – I think the blog author would take exception to that. There is another option, and it starts with a “T”. Plenty of teams could use bullpen depth.

  39. NMR says:

    @Jeff

    I don’t know about being demoted, but I think its definitely time to start sitting Alvarez against lefties.

    Mgehee has started producing and Harrison has been underused. Good time for Pedro to pick some splinters.

  40. JaxBuc says:

    Somewhere over the last couple of weeks, I must have been dozing when I should have been paying attention. Can someone point me to the origin of the series of comments that start with ” Ryota Igarashi is shocked…” so that I can better appreciate the ongoing jokes?

  41. LuckyNKentucky says:

    NMR,

    I feel certain the blog author would take exception to that. Speaking of Leroux, he has pitched well in Indy so far. No options, so he has to come up after 20 days, right?

  42. LuckyNKentucky says:

    JB,

    He was shocked when the Pirates released him in the spring. Like the 24/7 comment, it never ceases to be funny if not overused by people like me.

  43. JohninOshkosh says:

    The St. Louis Cardinals have already signed their first round pick from last week’s draft. He will be playing professional baseball this week and gaining valuable experience and instruction.

    There is a reason certain franchises play deep into the autumn, folks. They get things done.

    Note: Even though I despise the Cardinals, I occasionally look at their official site because Jenifer Langosch is the beat reporter. One of my favorite beat reporters.

  44. Jandy says:

    Thanks, guys, for all the laughs this morning! :)

  45. Jandy says:

    OshKosh, is her pic on the site too?

  46. Leefoo says:

    Just curious……….is this blog EVER gonna get that new software working?

    It would be nice to reply right under a comment.

    Foo

    ==========

    .

  47. JohninOshkosh says:

    @Jandy:

    She is really good. For several years, we were blessed with two outstanding beat reporters covering the Pirates. Her and another guy we all like.

  48. Jandy says:

    OshKosh, it’s cool. I was busting on ya, but I guess you got me back. lol
    I just may have to check out her site. Thanks!

  49. JohninOshkosh says:

    No disrespect intended to 24/7.

  50. Jandy says:

    Osh Kosh, love the name of her blog. No wonder you like her ;)

  51. NMR says:

    @John – I’m pretty sure the Cards, Donald Trump, and the Pope combined couldn’t get a Boras client to sign a minute before the deadline. And thats not taking anything away from the Cards, who are for my money the best run organization in baseball.

    Does 24/7 know he’s 24/7? His blog gets about as much action as Pedro’s bat.

  52. LuckyNKentucky says:

    John,

    Your TMI recommendation on Resop was great. You mentioned the Cardinals and their excellent approach by the FO. They have great fans, also, but we Pirate fans are still the best. The 2 Yankee fans here in my office, and they are good fans, were “shocked” to know, and I kid you not, that Igarashi was even on the Yanks’ roster. Pirate fans know every roster move and contemplate them in advance and even most of the ones in the minors, for example, the Grossman situation. Bucco fans are the best anywhere.

  53. DemonDachshund says:

    Re: Getting Morales in a trade…

    I guess I just don’t see a contending team dealing away the guy they’re using in the cleanup spot without the Bucs moving one of their big guns, and I doubt they’d value those guys as highly as we’d want since again… Their payroll means they’ll want to win RIGHT NOW. I’m sure they’d be happy to move Hunter, but I’d still rather have a guy who can play 1B or 3B against lefties in addition to fitting in somewhere against righties.

    Headley seems like the way to go to me.

  54. NMR says:

    With Byron Buxton, 2nd overall pick in the MLB Draft, signing with the Twins last night for around $6m, Houston has done the equivalent of drafting Tony Sanchez.

    I don’t hear any outrage from Astros fans.

    Hindsight, oh hindsight.

  55. JohninOshkosh says:

    NMR:

    No. You are right. And I didn’t intend a slam at the Pirates FO per say. I, like you, am impressed at how well run are the Cardinals.

    Pope negotiating with Cardinals. Heh, heh, heh. Good one.

  56. RobertoForever says:

    bdubb

    I certainly agree with your points. After Lincoln had an excellent start in Miami earlier in the season, he certainly is worth these 3 or 4 starts while the rotation needs a 5th starter. But I do eventually see the points that others are making – if you end up being the 7th best starter, AND you can excel in the bullpen, the team might as well get maximum value from him in the pen.

    But your point about folks giving up on players and constantly looking for musical chairs after a small sample size is valid. I see there are calls to bench Alvarez for Harrison. Harrison, of the .218 BA and the 1 HR variety, considering that this is a HR hitter’s ballpark.

  57. NMR says:

    I didn’t take it that way, Oshkosh. I meant it as a slam on Boras. Brains, money, and the Almighty could get that guy to do the right thing!

  58. JohninOshkosh says:

    @Lucky:

    Agree with you. I think losing reveals character. I remember a player, whose name I can not recall, talking about playing in Oakland. He said something along the lines that they may only draw 10,000 a game, but it is a loud and knowledgeable 10,000. Same with the Pirates (who draw much better). You have to really love a team to follow it with the intensity people on this blog do after all these years of losing. I am surrounded by Brewers fans. Most do not follow them to the level seen here on a daily basis.

  59. NMR says:

    Alvarez is hitting .174 with a 45% K rate against lefties. They could be playing on a little league field and he’d still deserve to be benched.

    Brilliant logic.

  60. JohninOshkosh says:

    OK, NMR. But, as we all know, once the ominous “Submit Comment” button is pushed, it is up to the reader how the post is going to be received. :)

  61. Bizrow says:

    CL, gotcha, thats pretty good ;-)

  62. NMR says:

    Hahaha, John, just wanted to thwart the inevitable STOP MAKING FUN OF THE PIRATES attack from Roberto, although I see he’s managed to embarass himself once again.

  63. RobertoForever says:

    @JAL

    Read that SI article you included in #14 links. Excellent article.

    Who knew it was Rod Barajas who was responsible for J-Mac’s success? Sounds like a good nugget to find 3 months after the fact.

    Also noticed that the Green Weenie filed his headline and web address a littttttle early, lol. Pirates lose 8-4? (He did include Walker’s HR in his article though).

  64. RobertoForever says:

    @NMR

    Its funny, you cry about attacks, yet you are the one who starts them, along with an insult. Interesting

    Yes, I am sure you are right. Pedro doesn’t deserve to be near the major league field. Or a little league field. I’ll be sure to pass that along to NH with his Earl Grey this morning.

  65. nate83 says:

    The scary thing about Alvarez is that if not for that 10-12 game hot streak he had before being moved to the clean up spot I don’t think his average is .150 and he has returned to striking out to way to much and looking lost at the plate. Definately sit him against lefties and allow McGahee play himself back out of the lineup.

    If McGahee resembles anything close to what he was in 2009-10 then he essentially is close to that bat we are all wanting to trade for. That is a big if but he does seem to be coming around of late.

  66. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Roberto,

    I still believe that Alvarez problems are a “head” thing and maybe an approach like the one they have taken with Charlie is needed with Pedro. He has the tools, the talent, the desire, but looking at 2 called third strikes in critical situations speaks to something more than being a bust. He needs the proper handling and what’s best for him and the team may be some pine.

  67. nate83 says:

    Roberto

    Even you can agree that Pedro currently at this point has not done enough to warrent everyday play. At the very least he deserved to be platooned and if he continues to struggle it is senseless to leave him on this roster when he could be getting consistant at bats in the minors.

  68. NMR says:

    At least I’m not snide, right?

  69. Milo Hamilton says:

    I just spent the better part of the last hour with my soon to be 72 year old mother. Turns out she really likes Jesse Palmer (he was co-hosting with Kelly today). I guess someone has to. I felt kinda funny leaving her alone. Oh well, you think you know somebody.

  70. Jandy says:

    Milo, maybe she just thinks he’s eye candy ;)

  71. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Milo,

    At least she’s not a Yankee fan. Then, you’d have to hire someone to stay with her 24/7. Or does anyone do 24/7 anymore?

  72. Jandy says:

    BOOM! Lucky is officially on a roll!

  73. Jandy says:

    NMR, you ? That S word?? NEVER!

  74. JandyGirl,

    Excellent get on the Grossman article. A suspension without a suspension. At least it wasn’t twitter.

  75. Milo Hamilton says:

    That was the 1st time I’d seen that show since Rege left. I miss Rege.

  76. JAL says:

    Life would be much duller if Pedro disappeared :)

  77. Didn’t think I could be here today, but I had to come and take my medicine for my unwavering support of Lincoln as a starter.

    He was bad last night——but he was bad from the 1st inning, and if he had come in as a reliever he still would have been bad from the beginning.

    Everything he threw was “up”, right where the hitters can see and stroke better. His fastball seemed to have no movement and his curve was inconsistent. That hanging curve pounded for the 1st homerun was high school.

    Somedays you “just shoulda stood in bed!” Yesterday was that day for Brad Lincoln.

    I STILL maintain (maybe wavering a little now!) that:
    1/ short-term the Pirates need another starter
    2/ long-term Brad Lincoln best position is as a starter
    Ergo: 3/ leave Brad Lincoln as a starter, at least until Karstens quits pulling his groin

    “Stretching out” had nothing to do with Lincoln’s performance last night. He was consistent . . . . . his fast ball was flat and everything was up in the hitting zone from the 1st inning on. He would have failed as a reliever or starter.

  78. Milo Hamilton says:

    Sometimes dull is good.

  79. Jandy says:

    Hey Groat, good to see you friend :)

  80. Milo Hamilton says:

    By the way, Mike Rizzo just called Jim Bowden & Stan Kasten to let them know that the Natinals are 14 games over .500 & have the 2nd best record in baseball. In case they missed it, of course.

  81. I’m at wits end with Pedro. I don’t know what to do.

    We’ve tried the Convenience List thing with him last year——he was one of the pioneers, followed by Ryan Ludwick last season. We’ve tried the option to the Minors. We’ve tried benching him for a stretch. We’ve tried letting him hit himself out of a slump.

    Short of trading him (what could we get right now?), I think Bucs have to keep him in line-up!

    1/ He is playing a very good defensive 3rd base right now (never thought I would say that) and is the strongest defensive 3rd baseman on the team.
    2/ Pirates are/were in 1st Place WITH him hitting like his bat is a pillow.
    3/ If he does awaken and start hitting to his potential, that’s EXACTLY what the Bucs need in the middle of that weak line-up.
    4/ Who ya gonna call? .208 hitting Casey McGeheeheehee? .218 hitting and 1 HR Josh Harrison? .192 hitting Yamaico Navarro? There ain’t no Ghostbusters among that bunch!
    5/ If Alvarez hits, he completes this team! If he stays where he is, Bucs are what they already are!

    I may still be foolishly tempted by that 10 game stretch when he hit like a star, but Bucs have no one else who could do that, even for a short time.

    Man, it would be nice to have someone hit behind McCutch!!!!

  82. John Lease says:

    Time for Leroux to return.

  83. Naterosboro says:

    DK

    This struck me from your column:

    “But doubts will — and should — linger about his inexplicably ill-advised positive marijuana test on the eve of the NFL combine in February.”

    Is this just public perception coming out in your writing? I mean, I get that recreational drug use is never looked upon as a good thing. And also that it can cause issues with the player and the league if he keeps failing these tests.

    But, do we still look at marijuana as some sort of “devil” lettuce? Do we show “Refer Madness” as an acurate representation of the plant?

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying he should be out toking up before kickoff, but who really cares if he (or anyone else) wants to smoke a little bud? He has character issues now? Really? If he was an alcoholic, would the same be written?

    Alcohol has ruined (and will ruin) many more lives than marijuana has, yet if someone has a problem with alcohol, no one questions the person’s character; it’s just seen as unfortuante and they need to get help.

    It’s time we started treating marijuana correctly. The Hemp plant can be used for many many many other things than just recreation drug use (google “most useful plant”). Its also shown to have medicinal qualities.

    The witch hunt on weed (and the people that smoke it) has to stop.

    DK: Thought it was clear the timing was my essential reference there.

  84. I wonder if Strasburg would still be in AA and Harper at high A if Neil Huntington had drafted them.

    Pirate Prospects has an article up (via JAL) giving credit to Huntington’s team for having no Tommy Johns.

    It’s hard to get hurt when you never pitch and never move up in the Minors.

  85. Johnny Rosboro’s Son,

    The foolishness of Adams toking is that he did it the day before the combine, when he knew that he would be drug tested and he knew the NFL suspends for failed drug tests.

    He either has character issues or he is flat out stupid. Both?!?

  86. NMR says:

    So Pedro should still be in the minors(yet was promoted two years ago).
    Lincoln deserves to stay in the rotation(thus blocking someone from promotion).
    Neal Huntingdon doesn’t move players through the system fast enough?

    2 + 2 = 5

  87. RobertoForever says:

    @nate83 – agree that after the hot streak he has struggled. But maybe the dosing of the hot streak was caused by thrusting him prematurely into the 4 spot. We’ll never know, but I would love to have seen what would have happened if he had been given 3 or 4 weeks in the 6 spot, then some time in the 5 spot, THEN a move into the cleanup spot.

    @Lucky – riding the pine – didn’t he just get a 3 or 4 game benching? Not sure that continued benching really sends much more of a message. I think we are back to finding out whether Pedro can be an everyday 3B. At some point, his play will determine if they need a platoon. But like Alex Gordon, I think they need him to work it out.

  88. JohninOshkosh says:

    I’m sure that insane piano playing scene in “Reefer Madness” would greatly resonate and have tremendous impact on 21st century youth!

    Besides, if I was stuck in Indianapolis….

  89. RobertoForever says:

    @Jandy

    Yes, a heartfelt thanks for the Grossman article. Read it while using mobile, and meant to thank you when I got back to the PC. Will we EVER know what caused the suspension….

  90. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Groat,

    Being a Buckeye fan all my life and born and riz in Ohio, I’m inclined to say both. Art Schlichter, Santonio and many more seem to indicate that. I say that with sadness, believe me. But, hopefully this kid is smarter than those guys and can be judged on his own merit and character (and IQ).

  91. JAL says:

    Groat

    With you all way on that post (#83) Can’t remember a player like Pedro who can look like the next great power hitter one week and someone who couldn’t hit an A level pitcher the next week,

  92. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Roberto,

    In years past, I’d agree with you wholeheartedly (can’t believe I’m saying that), and I’m one who believes guys should play their way out of slumps, as long as the slump isn’t career-long, but his place in the lineup and our need for him this season, with a chance to do something, makes me hesitant to push to leave him in there. Maybe not benching, but some form of help other than just letting him look at pitches down the heart of the plate.

  93. Naterosboro says:

    @ Groat2Maz2Strangeglove

    Did Adams admit to smoking the day before the combine? I don’t know and didn’t see any reports that said he did. I do know that the THC can stay in your system for up to about 6 weeks after use (depending on varying factors), and can remain in your hair follicle for 6 months to a year.

    My point is, how do you know that he smoked the day before the combine? I really would like to know. If it’s just simply the failed test, well then I think there’s no way to really “know” when he was smoking (although if he’s testing positive for it, I’d say he is or at least was a regular smoker).

    And, I feel my original point still remains, that smoking pot doesn’t and shouldn’t equate to “character issues” necessarily, or it certainly isn’t a precursor to having character issues.

    A guy can be a jerk with or without smoking weed, just as someone can be a great individual with or without smoking.

  94. JHadar says:

    When they totaled up the score
    We lost last night in Baltimore
    We got six and they got eight
    Our pitching wasn’t very great

    But a wretched start by Bradley Lincoln
    Doesn’t mean our ship is sinkin’
    We’re holding fast our strong belief
    He’ll be just fine in long relief.

    But we need an extra starter
    A trading chip for Neal to barter
    For better bats before the deadline
    He needs to make a splashy headline

    Neal it’s time to do your duty
    Call up Indy, ask for Rudy
    And let the league know Mr. Locke
    Is standing on the trading block.

    Find us please a slugging lefty
    With a batting average hefty
    To make opposing hurlers shiver
    With thoughts of homers in the river

    One would help, two’d be nice
    Do it quick and hang the price
    There are fans that don’t remember
    Being in it in September.

  95. Milo Hamilton says:

    So let’s see. Breaking the law doesn’t equate to a character issue. Just checking.

  96. Naterosboro says:

    Breaking the law doesn’t equate to a character issue. Just checking.

    So if you speed you have character issues? That’s breaking the law isn’t it? Yup, thought so…

  97. Milo Hamilton says:

    @Nate

    See, I knew you’d get it.

  98. LuckyNKentucky says:

    JH,

    Great poetic work. What a talent. BTW, Nate, I think everyone on this blog is a character. Not the same? Sorry. I grew up in the advent period of weed. Apples and banannas compared to speeding. I see your stance, though, and respect it.

  99. RobertoForever says:

    @Lucky,

    Didn’t get to see the game on video, but several folks commenting last night that the umping was not that great.

    So I just went to look at Pedro’s strikeouts. Both called 3rd strikeouts appear to be just on or outside the strike zone.

    Just providing some context. Striking out looking twice is never good, but it looks like Chen painted those two.

    http://www.brooksbaseball.net/pfxVB/cache/numlocation.php-pitchSel=612672&game=gid_2012_06_12_pitmlb_balmlb_1&batterX=30&innings=yyyyyyyyy&sp_type=1&s_type=3.gif

  100. Johnny Rosboro’s Son,

    Dejan likes to drive fast. Sometimes when he drives fast through Muncie, Indiana, he gets speeding tickets.

    Unfortunate!

    However, if Dejan is a professional truck driver, and his speeding tickets cause him to lose his license and not fulfill his career choice, that’s not unfortunate, it’s stupid.

    It’s either stupid, or character issues for Adams, if he jeopardizes his career and earnings for a little illegal high!

  101. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Roberto,

    My info was hearsay. Didn’t see the pitches outside the zone. Gameday is extremely innacurate on that. (Just goes to show you, one shouldn’t comment on what one doesn’t know).

  102. Jandy says:

    Just got back from a break..,

    Roberto, you are very welcome. Love to share here.

  103. JohninOshkosh says:

    @Roberto:

    Thanks for posting that link. I’ve seen you reference pitch locations before but I was uncertain where you were getting that information. Good information.

  104. RobertoForever says:

    Did a little more checking. This may put Lincoln’s struggles in context. Apparently Lincoln net missed out on a lot of calls compared to Chen’s big net gain.

    Chen got the benefit of 7 strike calls that were balls, but were called strikes. There were 4 missed strikes that were called balls.

    Lincoln had the benefit of only 1 strike call that were actually outside the strike zone. There were 7 missed strikes that were called balls.

    Lincoln’s fastball may have been flat, but when the umpire squeezes the strikezone to a small window, it certainly makes it easier for the batter to sit dead red and hit the ball far. Maybe its a chicken and egg thing, but when the ratio is that out of whack for one starter compared to the other, it deserves to be factored in.

    Chen’s chart

    http://www.brooksbaseball.net/pfxVB/cache/numlocation_io.php-pitchSel=612672&game=gid_2012_06_12_pitmlb_balmlb_1&batterX=&innings=yyyyyyyyy&sp_type=1&s_type=.gif

    Lincoln’s chart

    http://www.brooksbaseball.net/pfxVB/cache/numlocation.php-pitchSel=453184&game=gid_2012_06_12_pitmlb_balmlb_1&batterX=&innings=yyyyyyyyy&sp_type=1&s_type=.gif

  105. NMR says:

    It’s a generational battle you’re not gonna win, Nate.

    I never heard Brett Favre described as having “character issues” while he was popping opiates like skittles. If you get addicted to doctor prescribed heroin its ok, but if you smoke marijuana you’re stupid or flawed.

    Flawless logic.

  106. National Mart of Records,

    Although I expressed exasperation, I thought I was quite clear that Pedro belongs in the starting line-up, not the Minors.

    Brad Lincoln started the season in Indianapolis, where he made 2 starts and was deemed the best option to come to the Pirates instead of Owens or Locke. How is he blocking them?

    Taillon and Cole are still in high A. Stetson Allie is in the batting cage. State College is going to be a Free Agent. All those upside overslot pitchers are still at Bradenton or West Virginia, pitching 3 – 5 innings.

    2 = 2 = 4 —— (Did you happen to go to elementary school in Farrell with Mike Adams?!)

  107. RobertoForever says:

    @John

    Its a great website. It is actually using the same data that the networks use for their pitch track, and MLB uses to judge the umpires. They have done a great job normalizing the data and putting out standard graphs.

    They had to stop putting out the data real-time, probably under pressure from MLB. It was great because right after an at-bat, the data used to go up and you could see if a batter got jobbed, while it was still fresh in your mind.

    Now the data goes up right after a game goes final.

    For a data hound, its like finding a backyard full of forgotten bones!

  108. Milo Hamilton says:

    I don’t know what’s generational about failing a drug test at your job interview.

  109. DemonDachshund says:

    I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that Adams is not the only guy at the combine who smoked pot. Not by a long shot. I have no idea how they get around the drug tests, but it implies to me that there is either a quantity or a recency issue that makes the red flag go off. And I’m also guessing, given the amount of players I suspect are smokers and the relatively tiny amount of positive tests, it’s fairly common knowledge on how to avoid getting caught.

    So to me, the positive test Adams got was roughly equivalent to somebody showing up at a job interview severely hung over and reeking of vodka. It’s not so much the act itself as it is the demonstration of a lack of control and/or common sense that would have me worried as a prospective employer. And lack of control and/or common sense is a character issue.

    DK: Yeah.

  110. Jandy says:

    This time I gotta agree with Devil Dog. Smoking weed when you KNOW you’re going to be tested is DUMB. Hopefully, lesson learned.

  111. I thought the home plate ump was poor last night, especially when he called Presley and Walker out on 3rd strikes that were shown to be out of the strike zone. (Pedro’s were strikes.)

    That being said, the umpire had nothing to do with Lincoln’s failure last night. His pitches, fastballs and curves, were up in the hitting zone the whole game. Some were just like sitting there on a tee.

    He had no control, throwing over 80 pitches, with everything up.

    Only the Pirate hitters could have missed Lincoln’s offerings last night.

  112. NMR says:

    Groatskie,

    Comment was a combination of all views shared on the blog. I would’ve addressed you directly otherwise.

    But to continue the discussion, if Lincoln was kept in the bullpen, where he belongs, then Owens or Locke would be making his starts. So yes, he directly blocks both of them.

    Cole has played 2 1/2 months of professional baseball and will be in AA this summer.

    Taillon will be promoted this summer as well and is still only 21.

    The last time Allie swung a bat was against highschooler flinging 75mph softballs.

    None of those overslot pitchers have earned a promotion.

    Marte has shown he wasn’t ready for the bigs, and correctly kept in AAA.

    Can you name one player has who actually been held back on something other than merrit?

  113. NMR says:

    Milo moving the goalposts. Classic.

  114. NMR says:

    Reread Nates original post if you think his comment is about failing a drug test.

  115. NMR says:

    And fwiw, I think DK correctly was speaking of the timing of Adams failure more than the act.

  116. Jandy says:

    I also have to commend JHadar on his poetry. Love it!

  117. JHadar says:

    G-Maz-etc

    “Only the Pirate hitters could have missed Lincoln’s offerings last night.”

    Don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

  118. Jandy says:

    Another good article from the Altoona Mirror. Andrew McCutchen has a huge heart.
    http://www.altoonamirror.com/page/content.detail/id/561650/Medical-crisis-brings-Igoe-into-sports-world.html?nav=752

  119. I feel like I should be dressed in a cardigan and smoking a pipe today.

    With JAL producing George Bernard Shaw, Lerner and Loewe, Rex Harrison, and Julie Andrews——and Iowa Hadar producing a public poetry reading that gets to the core of Pirates’ present status, I’m overwhelmed by culture. [My little pinkie is sticking out!]

    Luckily, Johnny Rosboro’s Son showed up with the beatniks and the bongos and the herb——and JAL gave a citation to the 3 Stooges. Now I’m back in my own element.

    Anybody want to buy a used cardigan and still smoldering pipe?

    “I feel happy, O so happy! I feel happy, so happy, and gay!”

  120. Naterosboro says:

    “DK: Thought it was clear the timing was my essential reference there.”

    But what difference does it make when he failed the test? Isn’t it about the failed test? So, if he failed the test 3 weeks after the combine teams would’ve looked past that? Had it been 3 weeks earlier it would’ve been OK? If he was failing drug tests from Freshman year until the combine, yet passed that one, teams wouldn’t have had the “character” questions?

    I don’t really understand what the timing has to do with it. To me, if teams were scared off by the timing of the failed test, that would say to me they thought he was stupid, rather than having character issues. Maybe being stupid is a character issue. I’m just trying to follow the logic.

  121. Jandy says:

    Groat, just what we need in here….Anger Management!

  122. Johnny Rosboro’s Son,

    Methinks you are arguing a political point about the legalization of mar-jew-juan-nah here, and we don’t do politics.

    However, no one else at the combine was publicized to have failed the drug test, long before the Steelers drafted Adams.

    That reflects at least irresponsibility on Adams part, and combined with his tattoogate involvement at Ohio State, also breaking the rules, indicates character issues. {see post #102 above}

    Let’s not try to change the laws here.

    By the way, I tore the tag off my mattress, but don’t tell anyone!

  123. JandyGirl,

    You are now officially the “Altoona Correspondent” for this blog, Dejan’s Right-hand Girl!

  124. nate83 says:

    Just to back NMR comments I have heard numerous former GM’s and players that are now on TV give Pirate managment credit for how they are moving players through their system at the appropraite speed. It does seem we are critical no matter what they do. You could argue Alvarez came up too early but he was the second pick overall and a 3 year collage player. Posey, Weiters, Heyward,etc….where all brought along by their teams using about the same timetable I believe.

  125. Jandy says:

    Whoop! A promotion!

  126. JAL says:

    Groat

    Glad you noticed the Three Stooges reference. Not often GBS, Rogers and Hammerstein, others, and the Stooges can fit together.

  127. JHadar says:

    Prof. Groat — Does that cardigan have real leather elbow patches?

  128. Jandy says:

    What I wanna know…is what is Groat REALLY smokin in that pipe ;X

  129. NMR says:

    I fully expect JAL to start us off with some late 70′s Grateful Dead tomorrow morning.

  130. JohninOshkosh says:

    Did anyone see that recent Three Stooges movie? I refused to go because I did not want to place into my brain any mental image of the Stooges that were inauthentic.

    The Greatest.

    My neighbor has stories of meeting the Stooges when they were at our county fairgrounds years ago putting on a show at the county fair. Priceless stuff.

  131. Jandy says:

    OshKosh, I watched the Three Stooges with my Dad when I was growing up. Knuckleheads! lol
    I don’t think I want to change those memories, so I’ll skip the movie.

  132. LuckyNKentucky says:

    John,

    That was a great movie. Much better than the TV one they made a few years ago. Full of the kind of comedy they were famous for. The whole theater howled in laughter when my boys and I went.

  133. National Mart of Records,

    I think where you and I disagree is the proper usage of Lincoln. I think starters are more difficult to find and I think Brad Lincoln’s best long range help for the Pirates is as a starter. He has had 3 starts: 1 very good, 1 mediocre, and 1 very bad. I would like him to prove or disprove himself with 1-2 more starts before sending him to the purgatory of relief. I think his upside is greater as a starter. Last night he would have been terrible no matter what inning he was pitching.

    If Lincoln goes to the pen, then another reliever has to go. I know Chris Resop is our designated Demon Dachshund of the day . . . . . but Hanrahan already has 2 blown saves and Cruz has trouble getting the ball over the plate at times and Hughes gave up 4 runs in one inning earlier and sometimes Watson can’t get out lefties . . . . . all relievers, all players, have bad stretches. Resop has saved our bacon with guys on base a bunch of times in past season and a half. Before last night only 11 of 41 had scored when he came into games. Why cut Resop loose to bring up a guy for one start?

    I’d say Lincoln and Resop have put the nooses around their own necks recently, but I am not yet ready to trip the trapdoor.

    Your 2nd question: none of the young drafted pitchers have been held back on merit because they never get to pitch more than 3 – 5 innings. How can a player grow when he never gets to pitch? I agree with Alan!

    Nate the Wide Receiver, national commentators know nothing about the Pirates, especially their minor leagues. They just talk company propaganda they hear.

  134. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Jandy,

    Your dad must have been an alright guy. My mom wouldn’t let me watch them when they were on Paul Shannon’s Adventure Time. I had to sneak (break the law) and watch them. She was afraid I’d club someone with a hammer or saw someone’s head. I might have, too.

  135. JohninOshkosh says:

    Jandy:

    Funny. My Dad once advised me that if I was ever to meet a girl that thought the Three Stooges were funny, then I ought to marry that girl!

    For the record, my wife thinks they are moronic.

  136. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Groat,

    My only disagreement with your statement on Lincoln is that he’s gotten progressively worse as a starter. When Burnett got powdered against the Cards, he went immediately, made the adjustments and came out strong the next time. I know he’s a wily, proven veteran, but it seems to be a different pattern with Brad. I don’t think the pen is purgatory. It’s better than getting along with your life’s work or staying in AAA most of your career, or being on the CL working things out.

  137. Jandy says:

    Lucky and OshKosh, I don’t know how anyone can think they’re not funny…those guys are gut-busting hilarious!
    And Mom was straight-laced, but even she saw their humor.

    Sometimes simple humor is best!

  138. Kentuck Knob,

    You’re Baptist! You don’t believe in purgatory anyway!!

  139. nate83 says:

    Groat

    You are probably correct. National media always goes out of their way to throw verbal bouquets the Pirates way. I’m sure former GM’s and guys who spend a good portion of their week talking to team scouts know less then you.

    Why not relax and let this all play out. It’s essentially industry standard to have 18 year olds take 4 years to reach the majors and have them on a 60-70 pitch count or less their firs year/year and a half. Cole will be here quickly as he should be and Taillon will be a year behind.

  140. Oshkosh b’gosh,

    Your Dad was right! And I think he’s great! Tell him that this weekend.

    And I think your wife is great too, as long as she thinks you are moronic along with the stooges!

  141. Jandy says:

    Groat, Nate, and NMR not butting in here, but I read this earlier and it applies to your conundrum:

    Check out JAL’s link under #4 – The Thing the Pirates Organization Does Best

  142. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Groat,

    What did I ever do to you that you’d call me a Baptist? Did I call you a doctor or lawyer or something like that? You’re right, I don’t believe in purgatory, therefore, the pen ain’t it. Love your reference to it, though. All us non-Catholics use it to describe someplace nobody wants to be and we don’t even believe in it.

  143. JohninOshkosh says:

    Groat:

    You don’t exactly have to be Clarence Darrow to convince my wife that I’m moronic.

  144. RobertoForever says:

    Buster Olney apparently was talking with Clutch earlier this week, gathering his own info, and not parroting what he was hearing.

    He even defended the Pirates and said they could compete with a poor offense. His stat to defend them? The Nats are 24th in runs scored, yet have the 2nd best record in the NL.

    So in two days, Tom Verducci and Buster Olney are trying to convince people that this year’s Pirates are for real.

  145. Nate the Wide Receiver,

    Those national TV guys spend more time putting on make-up than they do talking to Minor League scouts. Ask Dejan.

    Just a couple days ago, folks here were complaining how little coverage the ‘stormin’ to 1st Place’ Pirates were getting nationally. If the talking heads don’t know enough to talk about the major league Pirates, how can they talk intelligently about our minor league operations?

    My complaint is not about necessarily Cole and 18 year old Taillon, but this year’s 21 year old Taillon———and all those 19 year olds drafted 4 and 3 and 2 years ago who have not advanced above Bradenton or West Virginia (4 years, just like you said), in part because they pitch 3 and 4 innings an outing. How can a player develop without playing. I agree with Iverson!

    Strasburg was drafted at the same age and status as Gerrit Cole . . . . . and he was in the Majors by now! Cole is still in A ball. Cole’s teammate is in AAA, about to be promoted to the Diamonbacks!

  146. JAL says:

    I enjoyed the Three Stooges movie, better than I expected.

  147. I like Tom Verducci. I think he is a terrific writer and I enjoy his production.

    However, Verducci is the color commentator on Fox’s #4 baseball broadcast team and he was in town to do the game last Saturday. That’s why he had firsthand info on the Bucs, the production interviews and notes.

    I doubt he would have written a word on the Pirates if he had not been present here.

    And if the Pirates lose 3 in a row, or fall 4 games back, you won’t hear anything else about the Bucs for a long time.

  148. NMR says:

    @Groat

    I shared your exact same opinion of Lincoln…in 2010. This is the third go-round, same cast, same story. *spoiler alert*

    I absolutely agree with you on starter being more valuable. Most teams don’t like to waste 1st round draft picks on middle relievers.

    As for innings, Jeff Locke pitched 139 for the Braves in ’08, 126, 143, and 169 for the Pirates in ’09, ’10, and ’11.

    Bryan Morris pitched 95 with the Dodgers/Pirates in ’08 and 133 in ’09.

    Martin Perez, Texas Rangers top pitching prospect ranked one in front of Taillon in ’11 pitched the same exact amount of innings as Taillon did in A ball.

    This idea that the Pirates baby their pitchers relative to the rest of the league is overblown.

  149. NMR says:

    Groat, come on man! Strasburg is already on his first reconstructed elbow!

    Gotta be able to come up with a better example than that.

    Butt in any time, Jandy.

    I don’t think anyone, including the Pirates, has found the solution to arm injuries, but the facts presented in the article you and JAL linked don’t lie.

  150. nate83 says:

    Just because his teammate is about to be promoted doesn’t mean that is the correct thing to do. Taillon is still just now 2 years removed from high school. If he arrives in the second half of 2013 I think that is appropriate. I have trouble questioning the evaluating/handling of pitchers from a managment team that is currently producing one of the top team ERA’s in the majors and I’m not sure but probably the best team ERA in AAA. I think we will have to just agree to disagree on this one.

    For what it is worth I hate ESPN and that wasn’t the media outlet where I heard and read about the Pirate’s being given credit for the handling of their minor league teams. I also have not seen much in terms of DK questioning the Pirates progressing pitchers through their system.

  151. JRay3 says:

    Well closing in on game two of the series with Baltimore tonight and it does not appear on paper that the pitching match-up will be in our favor.

    Kevin Correia toes the rubber and on the year has given up 11 HR’s in 63 IP that is a HR every 5.2 innings. He has allowed more than double the amount of HR’s as any other pitcher on the staff (Lincoln, Bedard, Resop and Morton have given up 5).

    Couple that with an Orioles team that hit three last night to raise their season total to 85 HR’s on the year and this match-up is frightening.

    If there was ever a game for the Pirates to display the offense in heading towards a turn around, tonight would be a great night for it. And please somebody tell me Jody Mercer is playing SS tonight, thanks.

  152. JohninOshkosh says:

    The O’s have their own ongoing consistency issues with Matusz. Good night to beat up on him. I think he is starting. I know there was an issue after bunting a ball into his nose (just ask AJ about that).

  153. nate83 says:

    JRay3

    Always good information. Thanks.

  154. Jandy says:

    Groat & NMR, forgive me for using a hockey analogy, but I’m sure promoting players should be done in a structural way. No doubt allowances have to be made, but within reason. AHL players are never rushed to the NHL, even if the need is there. That only causes problems with development. I’m sure baseball is the same. Hence I pointed out that article of JAL’s above. So, I have to say I don’t think it’s a good idea to rush young players up and cause them issues down the road.
    Now I am going to go hide for a while again!

  155. Jandy says:

    JRay, maybe Correia is due for a good outing then. One can hope.

  156. JAL says:

    Matusz was hit in the face during a bunt drill last night (fouled a bunt off his face–sound familiar?) and may not start, if he is pushed back O’s may start Eveland or Arrieta.. Matusz did not pitch well last time out so might not be that tough.

  157. NMR says:

    Regardless, its awesome to have pretty much exclusive baseball conversation even though the blogs main topic and column du jour is on football.

    Not hatin’, just don’t care a wink about the Steelers right now.

  158. RobertoForever says:

    @John

    Haha, I missed that tidbit on that bunt to the nose of Matusz. Wonder if the crowd will loudly gasp when he is up and squares to bunt, lol

  159. JAL says:

    In Euro 2012 Portugal 3 Denmark 2 in very entertaining game. Next up another WWII battle, Germany vs Netherlands

  160. RobertoForever says:

    @JAL

    If Matusz ends up out for 15 days, will that mean that the Orioles have a CL?

  161. LuckyNKentucky says:

    My vote goes to Eveland to start. Hope Buck agrees.

  162. JohninOshkosh says:

    @Roberto:

    Yeah, he was practicing bunting for the upcoming interleague games at NL parks. Wonder how the Orioles feel about installing the universal DH!

  163. JohninOshkosh says:

    I think the O’s are waiting to see how he does in pregame warmups before making an announcement.

  164. RobertoForever says:

    @John

    Probably like pitchers about as much as the Nats moving into the area, lol. Was just checking out the tweets from the Baltimore Sun. Still nothing from them on Matusz today.

  165. JRay3 says:

    @ Jandy – fingers crossed, one would think he is also pitching for his spot in the rotation as well. Decisions looming when Karstens is able to come back from DL, what move/decision will be made with Morton and the AAA arms knocking loudly on the door.

  166. National Mart of Records,

    Your argument on Brad Lincoln is well thought out. We just disagree I guess.

    I was surprised that you brought up Martin Perez of the Rangers in your argument against more pitching for Taillon. Sure they rank beside one another in Baseball America Top 100. And, sure, Martin Perez and Jamison Taillon are the same age.

    However Perez has pitched around 70 innings at AAA this year, while Taillon has thrown somewhat less than that in A ball. Perez spent last season at AA and AAA.

    Me and Nolan Ryan disagree with you about babying pitchers.

  167. RobertoForever says:

    I would vote for Arrieta. Just demoted to bullpen, so his psyche is scrambled. Plus he’s a righty, so more of our power would show up.

    Or Matusz pitching at 75%. Any of those work, lol

  168. nate83 says:

    Groat

    Very good point about Nolan Ryan. However he is not the norm in terms of that thought process. That doesn’t mean you or him or wrong just that it isn’t the more common way of handling pitchers.

    Ryan threw 253 pitches in one game that went 11 innings. That really is an amazing stat that no picture would come within 100 pitches of in todays game.

  169. nate83 says:

    oops pitcher. A picture probably would come up exactly 253 pitches short of that record.

  170. Bizrow says:

    @nate83, does that include college pitchers? ;-)

  171. Nate the Wide Receiver,

    I did not used to like Nolan Ryan. I called him a .500 pitcher. I thought of him as someone who would pitch just good enough to lose. I called him a Blyleven! Then I got to see him pitch once in Anaheim Stadium.

    The Angels scored a run in the 9th. Ryan struck out 14 and won 1 – 0. And he was throwing better in the 9th than he was at the start of the game.

    I like Nolan Ryan. I hope his pitching philosophies stick in Ranger Land.

  172. LuckyNKentucky says:

    There are good arguments both ways on pitch counts. Bob Gibson would probably side with Ryan in that he could throw hard all night and pitch the next day. But our own Daniel McCutchen hasn’t been the same same since the Jerry Meals game when he threw 92 or whatever and is on the real DL right now. (can’t remember what it was for).

  173. nate83 says:

    I don’t think. I would have to check but I think I saw somewhere that someone pitched well over 300 either in college/minors or before actual pitch counts where tracked.

  174. Bizrow says:

    I think I’ve seen recently some college pitchers getting abused up in the 170-180 range, and then being thrown back out there with fairly short rest. The College World Series is when you usually hear about it.

  175. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Left oblique strain for Daniel. Not arm related.

  176. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Biz,

    Wasn’t Brad Lincoln over-used at Houston? Supposedly the reason for his surgery and longer time to develop.

  177. nate83 says:

    I actually lean more towards Nolan Ryan’s thinking on a major league level. I watch a lot of Tiger’s games here in Toledo and with the exception of Verlander, Leyland drives the fans around here crazy with the way he handles replacing pitchers. It was nothing for an elite pitcher to have 10 complete games a year and 130 pitches in a game in the 60′s and 70′s. It would be interesting to see how many injuries to starting pitchers there was back then compared to now. I don’t think it would be much differant but maybe it was.

  178. Jandy says:

    Haven’t heard from buggee today…just sayin…

  179. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Nate,

    I believe you’re right. Seemed like they just ended their careers when they got hurt back then. Survival of the fittest. (No Darwin on here, either, I pray). But there were a ton more complete games then and the bullpen was where you went to end your career or be like Elroy Face. Uncle Bob can help us out on this, but I believe you’re absolutely right.

  180. NMR says:

    Groat,

    I used Perez as an example because even though he is of the Nolan Ryan Balls Out pitching program, he threw the exact same amount of innings as Taillon when comparing levels.

    Also, don’t be so sure that every pitcher can magically follow the same principles as one of baseballs most gifted arms:
    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/824078-texas-rangers-is-nolan-ryans-pitching-philosophy-wearing-out-their-arms

  181. JAL says:

    MLB pitchers used a pitch a ton of innings, Cy Young went over 400 innings several seasons during his 22 year career.

  182. RobertoForever says:

    For lineup tonight, pretty normal

    Presley
    Walker
    Cutch
    Jones DH
    McGehee
    Alvarez
    Tabata
    McKenry

    If its a LHP, Jones getting the AB’s against 1 of the 2 lefties, after a string of all those righties may be indicative that he will continue to get everyday AB’s, even when the matchup isnt necessarily ideal.

  183. NMR says:

    Using the elite of elite physically gifted players like Nolan Ryan, Justin Verlander, and Bob Gibson as examples makes absolutely no sense.

    Does the education system use Stephen Hawkings study techniques on high schoolers?

    Throwing a baseball is a physical gift. Nolan Ryan and Justin Verlander could’ve been brought up in any system and still throw the way they do.

    There’s a middle ground between Nolan Ryan and this false implication that Pirates pitchers only throw 3 innings a start. Thats where probably 90% of minor league pitching instruction lies.

  184. RobertoForever says:

    Arrieta pitching tonight. RHP so scratch any significance on Jones.

    Talk about pushing Matusz till Friday

    DK: What’s Arietta’s first name?

  185. LuckyNKentucky says:

    NMR,

    Taillon didn’t even get a win until late in the season last year because he never went past 4 innings. 3 innings may be shrinking it, but they are pretty stringent on the farm with those pitch counts. Besides, aren’t these guys elite, physically-gifted players, too?

  186. NMR says:

    Lucky

    Not nearly to the level of those arms that people usually list.

    Also, refer back to the Rangers prized pitching prospect who pitched the exact same number of innings in A ball as Taillon.

    The Coonelly/Huntingdon regime might be more expressive of their policies, but none of what they do is original or different than other places in baseball.

    In my opinion, it just feels that way as Pirates fans because we never had it before. Draft, minor league system, power arms, long toss, pitch counts, etc…

  187. Isn’t Arietta’s first name Dejan?

  188. LuckyNKentucky says:

    NMR,

    You are correct, sir.

  189. NMR says:

    My theory on arm injuries is that their more related to strain than repetition.

    Look at the number of releivers who get injured and the number of innings they pitch vs releivers two decades ago.

    Todays releivers pitch significantly less innings with significantly more injuries. They’re trained to pitch at max effort for short bursts knowing they won’t be out their for more than an inning.

    Starters fall into a similar category, with their expected workload reduced by the same bullpens who are using 2, 3, 4 picthers a game.

  190. NMR says:

    @Lucky

    Wouldn’t it be great if Cole ends up having one of those coveted arms? I read that he was a workhorse for UCLA. Velocity stayed high through late innings.

    I hope the Pirates don’t hold him back.

  191. LuckyNKentucky says:

    NMR,

    It would be great if Cole, Taillon and Heredia all fell into that category. We’ll know in a couple years.

  192. RobertoForever says:

    Yes, I believe Groat has it correct. Jake Arrieta. Sorry for the delay.

  193. RobertoForever says:

    Ants marching

    ……………………………

 
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