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Wednesday Wakeup Call: Thirteen

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

>> The Wednesday column is about the Pirates’ patchwork rotation … and how it got that way.

>> Meanwhile, in the big glass box Uptown, the clock struck 13

628x471

Yes, 13

dt.common.streams.StreamServer.cls

As in, 13

The goaltenders get it done, as Rob Rossi reports, but Marc-Andre Fleury is down. One would think Tomas Vokoun was going to get the nod Thursday against the Jets, so this might end up being moot. But, obviously, given the clear blow to the head, the Penguins would do very well to err on the side of caution.

Our #TribHKY team’s video report from Consol …

>> Here again is yesterday’s TribLIVE Radio show podcast featuring James Neal of the Penguins and the Winnipeg Free Press columnist Gary Lawless.

Here, too, is video of the opening segment about why Jarome Iginla isn’t necessarily a good fit anymore, complete with Bruce Boudreau’s head on a stick …

>> I’ll visit with the TribLIVE Radio cast again this afternoon at 1:30. We’ve got live video streaming from the studio now, by the way. If you’re on a laptop, just open the player and click WATCH rather than LISTEN.

Author: Dejan Kovacevic

Dejan Kovacevic, a lifelong Pittsburgher, is an award-winning sports columnist for Trib Total Media covering the Steelers, Penguins, Pirates, Pitt and, recently, his fourth Olympics in Sochi, Russia. He also appears on WPXI-TV's 'Subway Final Word’ and hosts a weekly show on TribLIVE Radio. For 2011, he was named one of the country's top four columnists by the AP Sports Editors. For 2012, he was named one of the country's top three columnists by the National Headliners. For 2013, he was named the state's top columnist by the Keystone Press Awards and top columnist in Western Pennsylvania by the Golden Quills.

Comments

  1. Mizery says:

    First!!!!

    Penguins at thirteen and the Pirates digging through their own trash to get a rotation together. At least the Penguins will play until June so I don’t have to pay attention to the Pirates. Dejan needs to write that book because I have a feeling the Pirates are even more dysfunctional than what we fans think. Which is hard to imagine.

  2. Michael DEPitt says:

    GO Hens 1st UWV now NC
    Next Kentucky, then Uconn, then manwoman

    DD is sooo much better than any female (and most players M or F) that I’ve ever seen

    Elena http://twitter.com/De11eDonne

    Go Hens

    ps there is a Newark, De listed in the DK blog

  3. Ghost says:

    “Penguins at thirteen and the Pirates digging…” for twenty-one.
    (If DK’s lede was bait, I have bitten.)

  4. Mizery says:

    It would be a better fictional headline if that 21 represented the winning streak the Pirates will have starting In April.

  5. Trey says:

    Russel Shell transferring?

  6. 21sthebest says:

    Apparently that’s what WPIAL insider tweeted.

  7. John Lease says:

    I miss Brian Burress….

  8. Drew71 says:

    I miss Chris Jakubauskas

    Your turn

  9. Thundercrack says:

    I miss Dana Ev……. no, not going to do it. I can’t go anywhere near there.

  10. Thundercrack says:

    “Jeff Karstens was wisely brought back at a lower rate, but his recent shoulder trouble should have ensured contingencies.”

    I believe those contingencies were Locke, McPherson, and Morton & Cole in June.

  11. Thundercrack says:

    I’m a bit surprised that today’s column wasn’t about Michel Therrien

  12. JAL says:

    JAL’s Centerfield Morning Links

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a0R5orBZis8

    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/

    4 Pittsburgh Pirates 2013 Spring Training Tracker

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/st2013

    BLOGS and such

    5—Pirates Prospects

    Gerrit Cole vs Jameson Taillon at Pirate City

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/03/gerrit-cole-vs-jameson-taillon-at-pirate-city.html

    Creating Space on the 40-Man For Sanchez and Inge

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/03/creating-space-on-the-40-man-for-sanchez-and-inge.html

    6 Bucs Dugout

    Jonathan Sanchez, Brandon Inge make Pirates

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2013/3/26/4148508/jonathan-sanchez-brandon-inge-make-pirates

    7 WHYGAVS

    Why did the Pirates trade a draft pick for Gaby Sanchez, but not give one up for Kyle Lohse?

    http://www.whygavs.com/pittsburgh-pirates/march-2013/why-did-the-pirates-trade-a-draft-pick-for-gaby-sanchez-but-not-give-one-up-for-kyle-lohse.html

    Brandon Inge and Jonathan Sanchez are officially Pittsburgh Pirates

    http://www.whygavs.com/pittsburgh-pirates/march-2013/brandon-inge-and-jonathan-sanchez-are-officially-pittsburgh-pirates.html

    8 Exponent Telegram

    WVU hopeful for deal with New York-Penn League

    http://www.exponent-telegram.com/sports/article_a21f00f2-9694-11e2-a9e7-001a4bcf887a.html

    9 Rumbunter

    Poor Pitching In Spring Training Is A Pittsburgh Pirates Staple

    http://rumbunter.com/2013/03/26/poor-pitching-in-spring-training-is-a-pittsburgh-pirates-staple/

    Pirates Keep Brandon Inge On Roster, But Why?

    http://rumbunter.com/2013/03/26/pirates-keep-brandon-inge-on-roster-but-why/

    10 Green Weenie

    Bucs Fall Behind Early, Go Down 6-3 To Jays

    http://oldbucs.blogspot.com/2013/03/bucs-fall-behind-early-go-down-6-3-to.html

  13. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 Portland Press Herald

    Steve Solloway: Maybe Reid between the lines

    http://www.pressherald.com/sports/maybe-reid-between-the-lines_2013-03-27.html

    12 Bleacher Report

    Predictions for Every MLB Team in April

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1577939-predictions-for-every-mlb-team-in-april

    13 Sports Illustrated

    Young stars and balanced teams move the game into a new era

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/mlb/news/20130326/mlb-season-preview/

    14 KDKA

    Colin Dunlap: Karstens Injury Leaves Pirates In Real Bind

    http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2013/03/26/colin-dunlap-karstens-injury-leaves-pirates-in-real-bind/

    15 City of Champions

    Pittsburgh Pirates Season Preview: Looking at the Second Basemen

    http://cityofchampionssports.com/2013/03/26/pittsburgh-pirates-season-preview-looking-at-the-second-basemen/

    16 Bradenton Herald

    Recap: Toronto vs. Pittsburgh

    http://www.bradenton.com/2013/03/26/4454695/recap-toronto-vs-pittsburgh.html

    17 Sweetspot

    Cardinals no lock to make the playoffs

    http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/34097/cardinals-no-lock-to-make-the-playoffs

    18 PBC SITE

    Sanchez settles after early runs in final spring start

    http://pittsburgh.pirates.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130326&content_id=43330636&vkey=news_pit&c_id=pit

    Hurdle eager to unwrap another season of baseball

    http://pittsburgh.pirates.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130325&content_id=43290502&vkey=news_pit&c_id=pit

    Sanchez turns focus to pitch count with job secure

    http://pittsburgh.pirates.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130326&content_id=43340756&notebook_id=43343774&vkey=notebook_pit&c_id=pit

    SPORTS WEBSITES

    19 Baseball Prospectus

    Why Turning 30 is So Much Better if You Don’t Play Baseball

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=19976

    20 Fangraphs

    Positional Power Rankings: Relief Pitchers (#1-#15)

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/positional-power-rankings-relief-pitchers-1-15/

    Positional Power Rankings: Relief Pitchers (#16-30)

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/positional-power-rankings-relief-pitchers-16-30/

  14. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Steelers defensive depth chart: A post-free agency look at the Steelers roster

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/3/26/4148220/steelers-depth-chart-defense-nfl-free-agency-draft-roster

    Steelers Offensive Depth Chart: post-free agency look at the Steelers roster

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/3/26/4148178/steelers-depth-chart-2013-roster-free-agency-nfl-draft

    22 Steelers Depot

    - Florida A&M Now Has Three Former Steelers Players On Their Coaching Staff

    http://www.steelersdepot.com/2013/03/florida-am-now-has-three-former-steelers-players-on-their-coaching-staff/

    Soccer(football)

    23 Daily Telegraph

    Sir Alex Ferguson says he expected title race to be much tighter as rivals lag far behind Manchester United

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/manchester-united/9955107/Sir-Alex-Ferguson-says-he-expected-title-race-to-be-much-tighter-as-rivals-lag-far-behind-Manchester-United.html

    24 World Soccer Daily

    World Soccer Daily: 10 stories you need to read, 26th March, 2013

    http://www.worldsoccer.com/uncategorized/world-soccer-daily-10-stories-you-need-to-read-26th-march-2013

    PENGUIN BLOGS and NHL Links

    25 Pensburgh

    Keys to the Penguins’ Winning Streak

    http://www.pensburgh.com/2013/3/26/4143536/keys-to-the-penguins-12-game-winning-streak

  15. JAL says:

    Centerfield John Fogerty 1985 Lead singer of CCR, Fogerty had a hit with this song in his solo career. The album was his first after taking a 9 year break from music.

  16. Drew71 says:

    I don’t blame you.

    Besides.

    You were thinking of Hayden Penn anyway.

  17. Drew71 says:

    I wonder if Arriba still wears his Yoslan Herrera jersey.

  18. Drew71 says:

    Why? Can he pitch?

  19. tdb1977 says:

    I miss JVB

  20. Jandy says:

    He’s definitely not soff

  21. Drew71 says:

    I figure two or three more posts until we get to the Indian pitchers.

  22. Jandy says:

    I’m very glad the Pittsburgh Penguins aren’t run by the people who run the Pirates.

  23. radio wave says:

    I am confused about the starting rotation. They say they do not need a fifth starter for a couple of weeks. But when they get to Los Angeles, although only the first a picture will have enough rest to pitch in LA. If Sanchez pitches a game in LA Burnett pitches a game in LA who’s going to pitch the third game in LA?

  24. Jandy says:

    Ray Searage

  25. Thundercrack says:

    We could use those two guys

  26. JAL says:

    I will quibble with the article on band aids

    There were many who wanted Karstens back, including many, Dejan included, who thought the Pirates should have tendered him. That would doubled his current salary. Yes, everyone knew he was fragile but I don’t think anyone thought he would not be ready to start the season. Karstens usually wears down mid-season. What they planned was having him as the 4th starter.

    Jonathan Sanchez was a mess early but pitched much better late. Even yesterday he pitched well but let down by defense, two misplayed balls in the first. He was terrible last season but pitched well in the range of a number 4 starter the 3 previous seasons. It is reasonable to think last season was an aberration.

    Jeff Locke threw 34 innings last season with an ERA right on the line for a number 5 starter. This spring he has an ERA of 3.38 so, even though he has had some bad outings he has been effective overall this spring.

    The plan was AJ, Wandy, JMac, Karstens, and Locke or McPherson to hold the line until Liriano and then Morton were ready. Having Sanchez as possible stand in was a good move, not a bad move. He was good risk signing.

    Sure it would have been nice to have picked up one more solid starter.

    As for drafts, the 2009 pitchers are not looking good but still early on later drafts for prep pitchers. From 2010 both Taillon and Kingham are moving forward, From 2011 Cole, Holmes and Glasnow are all showing potential.

  27. JAL says:

    They will need a fifth starter April 7 in LA

  28. Pat4PGH says:

    Another great win by the Pens! Hope Fleury is okay; that was an ugly hit…

    My concerns with the Pirate starting pitchers are:

    . Highly unlikely that AJ will repeat last years performance. His age and historical inconsistancy trouble me.

    . Wandy is a 0.500 pitcher; anyone expecting better than that needs to be prepared for disappoinment. Besides he is short

    . JMac is ….well, JMac. What will he bring to the mound this year?

    . Sanchez and the others are all huge question marks, reaches (down for a AAA/AAAA guy) to over achieve, or coming off injuries. Sould not expect too much from them.

    Anyway, hope I am wrong!

    I just don’t see reasons to get excited here. And this team is unlikely to outscore many other than the Astros.

    Thinking 72 wins……

  29. Morning Sports-fans!!
    The Window is happy to be back for 2013, and has the very first OVER / UNDER of the year ready!!
    This line will stay open until Sunday evening, and as always this is just for fun and entertainment purposes.

    Total number of Pirates Victories in 2013
    LINE is 81.5
    Maximum “wager” is 250 units. All “wagers” must be divisible by 5.

    Anyone can play, and everyone should try!
    What’ll ya have? What’ll ya have?

    **Also new for this year, The Window is on twitter @TheBuccoWindow, feel free to follow**

  30. Karen22 says:

    LOL, Drew! :)

  31. Karen22 says:

    DITTO!

  32. Karen22 says:

    The upcoming season feels like a disaster in the making from here. I would like to be wrong about that. So glad we have the Penguins to fill in for awhile as a distraction. That said, I’m pretty worried about Fleury.

  33. Karen22 says:

    Hey, Playoffs!! Glad you’re back! And sadly, I’m wagering ALL 250 on the UNDER. And I want to be wrong!

  34. Jandy says:

    Nice win last night, Karen. I just hope the Flower is ok.

  35. JohninOshkosh says:

    First “wager” of 2013:

    150 on the OVER, por favor
    Thanks for doping this again.

  36. NMR says:

    Well said, JAL.

  37. JohninOshkosh says:

    Doing. Stupid auto correct.

  38. NMR says:

    This seems to be a common theme.

    My question is if this season feels like a disaster, what the heck was anyone thinking about last year?

    The 2013 opening day rotation, even with Sanchez, is better than starting the year with Bedard, Burnett, McDonald, and Correia.

    Is it that expectations are higher, which causes bad news to be magnified?

  39. How about Ian Snell?

  40. NMR says:

    The team started last seaosn with a four man rotation, no?

    Burnett, Morton, and Karstens were all on the DL if I remember correctly.

  41. radio wave says:

    At playoffs put me down for 200 on the under. I agree with Karen, I hope I am wrong I am not optimistic.

  42. Ditto. That’s the longest post I believe I’ve ever seen from JAL.

  43. Jandy says:

    hey, I’m gonna join this wager stuff. AND I’m going “ALL IN”. Mother Theresa says 250 on the over.

  44. JAL says:

    Just thought the Sanchez a mess early line was meaningless. Like saying AJ was a mess early in his first start last season. Loaded the bases with no outs. Then got out of that and pitched 7 scoreless innings.

  45. gregenstein says:

    Been missing TJ Beam for quite some time now…

  46. JAL says:

    Pirates cut from MLB camp: McPherson, Mercer, Presley, Pie,
    Reid, Zagurski, Mazzaro, May and Paulino.

  47. gregenstein says:

    Bedard, Karstens, McDonald, and Correia were the opening rotation men.

    http://www.jimmycoverdale.com/2012/04/pittsburghs-25-man-roster-set-for.html

  48. JAL says:

    Here is your 25 to start season

    rotation: Burnett, Rodriguez, McDonald, J. Sanchez and Locke.

    bullpen: Grilli, Melancon, Hughes, Watson, Wilson, Leroux, Gomez.

    bench: Tabata, McKenry, McDonald, Sanchez/Jones, Harrison with Inge like to DL

  49. TJ says:

    I can’t believe they cut Pie. Who doen’t like Pie?

    Sounds like a Pirates marketing dream come true. Pie day at PNC.

  50. JAL says:

    and, of course, the starters–Walker, Barmes, Alvarez, Martin, Marte, McCutchen, Snider

  51. JAL says:

    cake lovers do not like Pie

  52. TJ says:

    Call me realistic and put me down for 250 on the UNDER

  53. TJ says:

    Kind of like Pirates fans not liking NH

  54. Don’t forget Tony Armas Jr.

  55. Glad to be back.
    YOU GOT IT!!

  56. pirates1fan says:

    Locke has won it. I understand what Dejan is saying in his article today, but I agree with JAL that there is a little to much being made of it at this point. I think A.J. and Wandy will be just fine, J-Mac could be an ace if he can be consistent. He is kind of like Pedro Alvarez of the pitching staff. And, not that I don’t like Jeff Karstens, but all I can remember right now is Dejan jumping down NH’s throat when he questioned Karsents durablity last year. Well, looky hear, another injury. And Sanchez is a proven starter, even with the issues he has had, so maybe he can find that again. I guess we will see.

  57. Thundercrack says:

    I’ll miss him more now that he is an Astro and they aren’t in our division anymore.

  58. Patrick says:

    Myself, my wife, pets, entire extended family and 30 or so fake accounts I can make up will all take the under for 250.

  59. Thundercrack says:

    Great points JAL.

    The starting rotation ain’t great, but it may be even more important that the bullpen does well – especially long-relief.

    And the other side of the equation is that the offense has to improve from last year.
    Higher on-base %, drastically cut down the K’s, more walks. More runs.

  60. tdb1977 says:

    The WINDOW is wide open. Let’s see what I can come up with. Hmmmm… 250 great units on the the Over!

  61. buffalo_bob says:

    150 on under, please

  62. Naje says:

    in the style of so many here: +1 … and a big +1 at that…well said, JAL, and exactly what I was thinking.

    Everyone, led by DK, clamored and shouted when Karstens wasn’t tendered… there was a reason for all that noise from both sides. But no one could have anticipated another injury to Karstens before the season started. If you want to criticize all that pitching they drafted, well, fine. Just make sure you praise it when the top talent comes to the big team, too.

  63. I agree with sending McPherson out. He has more upside from what most people say. He can use some time in AAA to work out some things. What are we gonna do with Jeanmar?

  64. Patrick says:

    I think expectations are a big part of it, yes. Maybe some of it has to do with a perception that BMTIB didn’t do enough this offseason to continue any momentum. Not enough effort from ownership that could have gotten them past the late season malaise that has sabotaged the last 2 seasons.

    I’m not really saying they did or didn’t, just that i think there is a feeling that the FO didn’t do enough.

    But really, it’s as simple as year 21. People are understandably fatalistic. There is a very vocal group of Pirates fans that have been and always will be optimistic and hopeful. They are in the minority.

  65. pirates1fan says:

    I think he will be primarily long relief, spot starter if needed. Leroux could also go two or three innings if you needed him to, so at least they have some guys with length in the pen.

  66. Don’t trump our confused, misguided opinions with truth/facts, JAL!

    What will we have to complain about?

  67. JuniataKid says:

    I’m probably in the minority here (and on the rest of the planet for that matter), but I’m not worried about the pitching this year. Yes, a lot of question marks, and no, I can’t really explain it, but I don’t think pitching will be the problem. I’m expecting a shaky April but look for the rotation to be solid after all the pieces sort themselves out.

    That being said, I don’t think they’ll hit worth squat.

  68. I like Leroux in relief. Long or short. He can throw some smoke for an inning or an out or go 2 or 3 like you say.

  69. Arriba Wilver says:

    I agree, JAL. The only quibble I would have with your quibble is the reports out of Piratefest were that the Pirates’ brass was suggesting that Karstens had some arm or shoulder trouble at that time. That was in addition to his history of wearing down. The Sanchez point did jump out at me, though.

  70. Arriba Wilver says:

    John—you must have been thinking of my bets last year.

  71. Hey JAL and other baseball freaks!

    What do you make of Dejan repeatedly saying Gerrit Cole needs to stay at AAA until mid-June to get an extra year of service. That is incorrect!!

    A Major League season is considered 181 days long. If Cole stays 2 weeks at Indy, he would come in at 172 days or less, but give Bucs the whole rest of the season + 6 more complete seasons.

    The mid-June date only matters about Super Two arbitration status. Is Dejan protecting Bob Nutting’s money here by insisting on Cole waiting until mid-June? That would make this decision totally a $$ decision rather than a “seasons of control” issue, which Dejan keeps painting it?

    What think ye?

  72. Bizrow says:

    Have always missed Jason Bay

  73. Thundercrack says:

    Wow, how good would Kevin Corriea look in the Pirates’ rotation now?!

    :-)

  74. gregenstein says:

    Sanchez, Liriano, and Karstens were the only guys “brought in” via free agency to help with starting pitching depth. 2 of them have an injury history as thick as War & Peace. The 3rd was one of the worst pitchers in both leagues last year.

    I won’t argue much about the drafts, but all I can say is that it feels like they should have more depth by now. They intentionally didn’t spend on MLB payroll in 2009, 2010, and 2011 just so they could invest those resources into the draft. 5 full years is pretty much a generation in a farm system, and yet we’re still saying the same things we said back when he was hired…the best ones are in A ball and 2-3 years away…not much in the upper levels…

  75. Bizrow says:

    There are like, people, that run the Pirates???

    They usually look just in free fall to me….

  76. Dom says:

    That is worse than what I’d thought it be.

    Who is the McDonald on the bench?

  77. Dom says:

    I remember now. It’s the guy from Az. John McDonald.

  78. Bizrow says:

    Yes we do ;-)

  79. stuart66 says:

    All 250 simoleans on the over please. Question will this tie in to the gameday over/under? will there be a Game day over/under?

    Stuart

  80. Bizrow says:

    Playoffs, thanks again for doing this.

    So I can make my first stupid bet of the season…..

    250 nuke nuggets on the OVAH, please

    Although, I might as well have taken the nuggets outside and just burned them…. ;-)

  81. Naje says:

    +1…

  82. Need someone to be the long reliever and starter-in-waiting in case a starting pitcher eats bad clams the night before a start or gets hit by a grounder on his pitching hand in the 1st inning.

    Jennmar is stretched out more than Leroux, and Huntington has said repeatedly that HE THINKS Leroux loses his effectiveness after 2 innings and is better served as a reliever.

  83. Junie the Kidd,

    Please send me a pair of your pitching-positive glasses. Mine are broke!

  84. Bizrow says:

    Has there been any word on 40 man roster moves yet, or are they waiting till Sunday?

  85. Thundercrack says:

    I think DK should be tarred & feathered.

    Or be forced to sit next to Drew during a ST game.

  86. Arriba Wilver says:

    I agree . . . to a point. Realistically, if Cole is as advertised, and he gets Super 2 status, he WILL be out of the Nutting price range a year sooner, so we will have him a year less either way.

  87. NMR says:

    No better than Jonathan Sanchez or Jeff Locke.

  88. Naje says:

    Dejan…
    Did you get to watch the US-Mexico match last night after the Pens game? Great result for the USMNT.

    DK: I did. I was moved by the history and implications by most certainly not by the execution. My God, this country needs a creative midfielder.

  89. JohninOshkosh says:

    Like Mitzie Gaynor, call me a cockeyed optimist, but I think Sanchez will do just fine. Not that it means much but he has thrown a no hitter in the majors. The Giants, who know a thing or two about pitching, were once pretty high on him. The Royals thought enough of him to trade Melky Cabrera for him. He must have some innate stuff or he has been successful in fooling several major league scouts. I also have a lot of faith in Searage. Most teams in the majors have little in talent and fervent hope for their 4th and 5th guys.

    Then again, I once was excited about Bedard so what do I know?

  90. YOU GOT IT!!
    This will be the only OVER / UNDER running until the regular season starts. Once the regular season starts, there will be daily lines for each game. This line will not “pay out” until the end of the season.

  91. THREE lefties in starting rotation . . . . . . . that’s real good at PNC!

  92. TJ says:

    Any one happen to watch the replay of the “shhh” game from the Stanley cup year on Root sports the other night? Man that was an amazing game against the flyers.

    But the one thing that stood out to me was Guerin/Crosby/Kunitz.

    Despite adding Morrow I still think the Pens should go after Iginla if they have a chance. I love Dupuis but it just seemed so different with Guerin commanding some respect when he had the puck. Can you imagine the lines if they did add Iginla?

    Kunitz-Crosby-Iginla
    Morrow-Malkin-Neal
    Cooke-Sutter-Dupuis

    That would be something to watch

  93. Makes sense. I hope Jeanmar pitches like he did the last couple outings.

  94. JAL says:

    Groat, you are correct. The June date is for Super 2 status, not control. If they bring him up after 20 days the 2013 season will not count a full season so his clock would not start until 2014. He would have 4 years of arbitration instead of 3 and thus be more expensive.

  95. NMR says:

    Well said, Patrick.

    And let me be clear, I’m not arguing this sentiment at all. It is whatever people feel it is.

    Just wondering myself why I see it differently, at least relative to the season they just had. Thank for the response.

  96. pirates1fan says:

    Have to agree with that.

  97. NMR says:

    Thanks, greg.

  98. Drew71 says:

    Alright. Forget the Indians. I hope they sign a couple of guys from Belgrade so we can see more of those Rule The World comments from You Knowacevic Who.

  99. pirates1fan says:

    Haven’t heard anything. May be a Sunday thing, but who knows.

  100. Drew71 says:

    TJ Beam never actually existed.

  101. Karen22 says:

    You are brave, Jandy…and I HOPE you are right and I’m not!

  102. gregenstein says:

    Dejan isn’t incorrect the way he’s painting it. You are correct that they gain that year if he stays in the minors for 2 weeks. You are also correct that he’d be a Super Two if called up in late April-mid June. This, in effect, is the same thing as being a free agent to Bob Nutting.

    There’s no “effing” way Bob Nutting & Co. are going to pay Gerrit Cole his 4th year arb salary. So, while technically they’d have that year of control, his salary that year would basically be huge if he’s truly an ace.

    In short, calling him up prior to June 15th-ish does nothing to extend Gerrit Cole’s time as a Pirate. They’d be trading him to the Yankees or Red Sox or Dodgers 1 year earlier than they would if they brought up after June 15th-ish. What Dejan could be doing is saying they need to keep him in AAA to add another year of AFFORDABLE control.

  103. Karen22 says:

    I don’t think he “won” anything. Got it by default and will have to work his tail off to stay in the rotation.

  104. Thundercrack says:

    I would take Corriea over Sanchez and Locke.

    He might be able to be the 4th and 5th starter and have better results than those other two. :-)

  105. Dom says:

    I miss Bonds, Bonilla, Van Slyke, and Drabek.

  106. Thundercrack says:

    Karstens was tipped off to the FO’s “suggestions” and went on twitter to dispute any injury and declared himself as healthy.

    See how coy the FO is. Drive all other suitors away, drive the price down, sign the pitcher.

    Oh…but wait…the pitcher still landed on the disabled list.

  107. gregenstein says:

    Only if they don’t suck. 2 of them have a very high potential suck factor.

  108. Oshkosh b’gosh,

    From what I saw at Bradenton, I agree with you wholeheartedly. In the bullpen Sanchez throws like a $10 million man.

    The only measurement not available in the bullpen is from the neck up———for reference, see Charlie Morton, Erik Bedard, JMac 1st Half vs. JMac 2nd Half, Ian Snell, Oliver Perez.

    I personally think Pirates should install a Psychiatrists coach in the Bullpen before starters warm up. Bob Nutting could bring a used one from Seven Springs!

  109. TJ says:

    Weren’t they high on that Alderson kid we got for Sanchez who I think is 26 and in AA

  110. Really. He was terrible at times.

  111. NMR says:

    What pitchers did the team have five years ago in A ball? None.

    Trade guys like Morton, Karstens, and Locke have had mixed results and the ’08/’09 drafts were hitter/HS pitcher heavy.

    This gap in talent is what happens when the few drafted college pitchers (J. Wilson, Vic Black) turn out to be relievers and your projectable high school arms don’t project.

  112. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    I know everyone’s talkin Buccos today but just have to throw in my hockey notes from last night since I actually got to see the whole game. Not being pessimistic, just always looking for ways to improve. A 13 game winning streak doesn’t mean a whole lot in the end if it’s not in the playoffs. And per the team’s head honchos, we’re not just aiming for the President’s Trophy this year.

    -Fleury’s been outstanding. Vokoun seems to have recovered very well. Easy to see in a 13 game streak that will never make ESPN because it isn’t basketball taking place in Miami.

    -I cringed at the Despres move. It BETTER only be a paper move until the 3rd.

    -Tyler Kennedy wasn’t scratched. I cringed again.

    -Tyler Kennedy fought. I laughed.

    -I gave Tyler Kennedy props for getting that wraparound attempt on net. Then I second-guessed myself.

    -Tyler Kennedy laid his biggest hit of the season on his own unsuspecting goaltender. I wanted to fight Tyler Kennedy.
    (Sorry, but if Gionta meant for that to happen then Cooke meant to hurt Karlsson.)

    -James Neal needs to get his Shiitake together.

    -There is no good reason whatsoever that Glass is ever in any way shape or form on the ice. Period. I liked his PK at the beginning of the season. I’m way over it now.

    -There is no good, logical, justifiable, reasonable, acceptable, condonable, defensible, excusable or otherwise sane reason to give Tyler Kennedy more playing time than Beau Bennett or Joe Vitale. None. Whatsoever. At all.

    -This Disco insistence of relying on some of these guys is going to burn us in the playoffs. If anyone thinks a guy like Michel Therrien or Claude Julienne-pepper can’t figure out a way to exploit the deficiencies of Glasses and Kennedys and Adamses (Oh my), they’re in for a surprise. (Not tryin to hate on Adams. He’s just not as effective as he once was)

  113. Kevin says:

    I miss Oliver Perez.

  114. Kevin says:

    ya definitely that. I miss 1st half McCutchen.

  115. Dejan has written this at least 3 times, including a complete column and has never once used that modifier.

    I need Milo here to join me so we could sing this in harmony——”Why, O why, is Dejan protecting Bob Nutting’s money?!”

  116. Drew71 says:

    Radio, you are right.

    We counted games yesterday and established that they do not need a 5th starter during the first and third time through the rotation, but do for April 7, which is in the midst of the second time through.

    If they chose to pull a guy up from Indy or the bullpen to handle April 7 without formally naming him as the fifth starter, that means they do not need to establish a fifth starter until April 16, the fourth time through the rotation. At which point they will regularly need a fifth. (Me to, watching him.)

    So those first two-plus weeks (handling April 7 as a spot start) provide breathing space to see if:
    - one of the injured guys is ready and if not,
    - Locke or McPherson starts to earn it, at least if they continue their competition in Indy

    If neither of these things happen by mid April, considering Sanchez is also a huge question mark, they are in big trouble.

  117. NMR says:

    You’re basically saying you choose the devil you know not the devil you don’t.

  118. TJ says:

    Brad:

    Couldn’t agree more on a lot of what you said.

    I will say this though; it makes it a lot harder for guys like Therrien to exploit the Pens when the Pens are actually scoring more than one goal a game. Once a team gets behind more than one goal they have to abandon their own style of play in order to get back into it. So while its likely that we will still see the likes of Glass, TK and Adams I think their ice time will diminish and hopefully we will start scoring some more.

  119. Pat4PGH says:

    Brad, don’t always agree with you, but this assessment is great! Hopefully, Shero is working a trade sending several of the Oh My Boys on their way in exchange for a true PKer! Kennedy’s biggest hitthismyear takes out the Flower…..double oye

  120. JohninOshkosh says:

    Looking at the projected 4 and 5 guys for the division rivals.

    Cubs: Scot Feldman and Carlos Villanueva. Don’t plan the ticker tape parade down Michigan avenue just yet.

    Brewers: Willy Peralta and Chris Narvesoon. Plan to drink a lot of MGD’s on those days.

    Cardinals: Jaimie Garcia and Shelby Miller. Plan to “arch” your back straining to see balls fly over the fences.

    Reds: Homer “three homerun” Bailey (thanks, Milo) and Mike “five finger discount” Leake. Probably the best 4 and 5 guys in the division. Not even as hot as Cincinnati chili. Nuff said.

    I think the Pirates can roll with those guys.

  121. Arriba Wilver says:

    Yeah, Im thinking they can’t have it both ways. Were they just lying?

  122. Drew71 says:

    It is almost time when our opinions become moot (and if you’re lucky, in my case, mute).

    This will all play out under our noses.

  123. JohninOshkosh says:

    *three run Homer Bailey* Blew the joke.

  124. Thundercrack says:

    A bit. But I feel more comfortable with Corriea getting to and through the 6th inning….and keeping the team somewhat in the game. He seems like less of a risk of burning out the pen than those other two.

    But I am trying to be hopeful of Sanchez based upon his recent outings

  125. Indian Brad,

    I was willing to overlook the Tyler Kennedy man-crush you seem to have——do you see him walking down the street, passing by your office window, driving the other way when you are in your car, delivering pizza to your neighbors, staring at your wife/date/mother?!

    However, busting on Dan Bylsma for projected failure when he is in the midst of a 13-game winning streak means I must call you out!!!

    Let’s wait to see how the NHL Coach of the Year coaches in the Playoffs when Pens get to the Playoffs. Regular season means you must roll 4 lines, with the talent Shero has provided.

  126. absolute59 says:

    I miss Ollie Perez

  127. Well, you are on Central Time.

  128. Arriba Wilver says:

    Yeah, like Maholm, Duke and Gorzo.

    Wait . . . :-)

  129. Kevin says:

    *closes eyes whilst shaking head* 250 on the over, please!

  130. Jandy says:

    Karen, I figure if we preach all in, I should be ALL IN :)

  131. Jandy says:

    Make sure they are YELLOW tinted ;)

  132. 21sthebest says:

    “I would take Corriea over Sanchez and Locke.”

    Well you better check out the Bill James projections which apparently have meaning. Locke is projected to have a slightly better ERA than Correia, although in different leagues and ballparks, but Locke is only projected by James to pitch 69 innings so I guess James is projecting an injury.

  133. Thundercrack says:

    Can Bill James pitch?

    I was going to ask if Bill James was stretched out to be a starter, but I didn’t want to go there.

  134. He’s probably projecting that Locke will get “projected” back to Indy sometime during the season.

    Should be an interesting summer.

  135. Bizrow says:

    Yes they were, Alderson was a former No. 1 pick, hence, NH’s fatuation with him.

  136. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Groat,

    I admit my man-crush for Peanut Kennedy (see yesterday’s semi-incoherent mental skit) can be excessive. Sometimes. I just personally don’t care much for the one-dimensional players that focus entirely on offense like Kennedy, Kessel and Ovechkin. I didn’t like that they resigned him 2 years ago. Just haven’t changed my opinion on him. And his overall play this season has been bad.

    I’m not really busting on Disco. I’ve acknowledged he does extremely well in the regular season. Just basing a projection on trends and tendencies I’ve seen over the last several years in the playoffs (historian, just how I roll). My point about the talent available is that I think he has better options available right now than what he’s using.

    Bennett’s played very well in my book and deserves more responsibility. He hits, plays D, finishes checks consistently and has playmaking ability that Peanut will never have. Vitale showed some really good stuff recently and has been benched. Same’s been going on with Despres all year in favor of guys like Engelland (who I do really like, but was much better last season).

  137. Also have positive potential success factor!

    The divide between success & suck is not great!

    Look at Pedro: either homerun or strikeout

  138. I’d take Maholm right now. And Zach Duke is on the Major League staff of the World Series favorite.

    And Gorzo is in the starting rotation in Oshkosh b’gosh land.

    How can they be having success elsewhere?!!?!

  139. 21sthebest says:

    With a respectable 4.04 ERA, I guess James is projecting Locke gets replaced by Liriano/Morton.

  140. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    And in the end, I think the whole makeup may change drastically over the next week or so because of trades, so much of this stuff might be moot soon anyway. I’m thinking mainly Iginla will have that effect unless SugarRay has another big time winger lined up that we haven’t really heard about.

  141. Arriba Wilver says:

    If the goal is to win as many games as possible this year, I would take Correia over Locke as the 5th starter every day of the week, and twice on Sundays. L

  142. absolute59 says:

    Joining Karen all 250 on under 81.5

  143. Milo Hamilton says:

    This country needs to ignore soccer then maybe it will go away.

  144. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Pat,

    I’m not even sure they need to be traded. Well, if Glass was sent walking for a bag of onion rings I wouldn’t lose any sleep.

    I just hope Neal gets his groove back soon. It’d be nice to see it before Malkin gets back.

  145. Arriba Wilver says:

    I was thinking circa 2008, the first of the glorious BMTIB’s years.

  146. Milo Hamilton says:

    After the no hitter I feel bad calling him that.

  147. Bizrow says:

    Creative midfielder.

    Is that kinda like a short stop?? ;-)

  148. More likely the scenario.

  149. Drew71 says:

    Homer Bailey’s 2012: 13-10, 3.68 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 208 innings

    Mike Leake’s 2012: 8-9, 4.58 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 179 innings

    Names may be funny but for fourth and fifth starters, the numbers are not.

  150. I had forgotten that. Selectively.

  151. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    I’d take that lineup. I’d even consider Bennett instead of Cooke. At least for a go-round. Bennett/Cooke-Vitale-Adams 4th.

  152. Milo Hamilton says:

    I completely missed it, I had a football game. Never saw a pitch. I got home turned on the TV & wondered why they were showing Homer’s post game press conference.

  153. JohninOshkosh says:

    Yes. I will put it away. Actually, a fine pitcher.

  154. Drew71 says:

    Wonderful. And with Thunder(um)Crack, we have a theme going

  155. Milo Hamilton says:

    Oh no. Don’t do that. Once dubbed, it stays ! :)

  156. Drew71 says:

    250 under, please

  157. Arriba Wilver says:

    I’m actually cautiously optimistic about Sanchez. And if he fails, I’ll blame my misplaced optimism on Groat.

  158. JoeyBats says:

    Hoka Hey everyone!

    All the jokes have been made above.
    .
    (stating the unfortunate OBVIOUS)
    .
    When pitchers like Jeanmar Gomez make your opening day roster…..it is going to be a lonnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnng season! :-(

  159. I am, also. I blame it on Groat, too. I thought Sanchez should have been pitching in minor league games and they were wasting valuable ST time on him in the ML games, but what do I know? I wanted Brad Lincoln more than AJ last season.

    Guess that’s why I’m here in the ministry and not in the FO of some baseball club sommerz. (“somewhere” in KY-speak).

  160. John Lease says:

    Jeanmar Gomez makes me sad.

  161. Drew71 says:

    My problem isn’t Sanchez. And I’m also not gonna freak out on the Front Office if he fails. That was a no-risk / chance-of-some-reward acquisition.

    I am already freaking out about Locke and McPherson.

    Other than Blue Blood draft picks, can these guys develop anyone?

  162. Arriba Wilver says:

    You’re preaching to the choir . . . so to speak. :-)

  163. John Lease says:

    You mean the same Homer Bailey who no-hit the Pirates?

    I was there… :(

  164. That certainly is not a real question-question is is Drewmeister?

    More of a statement-question, right?

  165. John Lease says:

    Why Jeanmar? WHY! I can’t take it. Aren’t there enough bums in our own system, why do we need to import bums?

  166. Milo Hamilton says:

    At least you can say you saw a no hitter ?

  167. Jandy says:

    pass around the bailey’s!

  168. Jandy says:

    it’s Drewtorical

  169. Jandy says:

    Boooo!

  170. Milo Hamilton says:

    I had a shot a few weeks back called an Irish Breakfast, tastes like pancakes. I believe it had Bailey’s in it. Anyone ever had one ?

  171. Jandy says:

    Brad, I have to admit, I agree with you on TK, and not just because he KO’d Fleury. He’s been the epitome of suck, and for the $2m he’s paid, it’s awful I’d much rather see Vitale out there. He’s good at faceoffs and I think the PK too. Let HIM play. And he’s less money. Depres will be back up, and he had BETTER play more tha Engo. I’m a huge Engo fan, but right now, he’s just not cutting it. With Morrow, Glass becomes expendible.

  172. Jandy says:

    My daughter mentioned she had one…tasted like maple syrup. I can’t say I have had the pleasure.

  173. tpbco says:

    The trade for Murray reduces the need for Engelland. If he is not included in a trade, I look for him to be in the owner’s box on game nite. He is a good depth 7th/8th Dman for playoffs on this current roster.

    Agree absolutely on Bennett, I’ve been surprised how well he has played, including the physical side.

    Despres, IMO, is a sightly different story. He has played well and shown his potential. And yes he does, on occasion, throw a couple of good solid checks. But there is no real physicality to his game (and size) and I thought his game against philly was the weakest one in quite a while. I don’t really want to say timid, but he shrank, rather than stood up in that game and I think that’s what is holding them back with him and why Engelland has played against the physical teams. I see him back on the roster ASAP, but I do not see him seeing the ice much in the playoffs, barring injuries. I see the decision being between him and Eaton for the 6th spot, he would dress if they dress 7.

  174. JHadar says:

    True — but it’s easy to understand the pessimism after the last two seasons. If things would work out that we have a five game lead with ten to go in late September there will be a faction of fans expecting a ten game losing streak to complete a trifecta of collapses. That’s what that kind of seasons does.

  175. Milo Hamilton says:

    I was with a group that when we get together to watch the Pens we do a shot every time they score. It was the 7-6 game at Montreal.

  176. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    My Irish History in the 60′s final exam is ready if anyone wants to take that :-)

  177. Patrick says:

    I’ve always wondered about this.So much of baseball is mental. In essence its the same game we have all played since we were kids. Just with more details. more things to pay attention to. Even more than that, what makes some players thrive on some teams and wilt on others?

    And lets not even talk about ‘Steve Blass syndrome”.

    But really, what is it about the Pirates? What would make a player, any player want to play for the Cardinals rather than the Pirates, even if the money was the same? Is it just a better work environment? Is it just not having to pay for soda in the clubhouse? A better hot tub?

    I guess I’ve wondered if the Pirates woes arent somehow connected to ownership not knowing how to treat or handle professional ball players as anything other than employees.

    Does that make sense?

  178. Pucknutz says:

    Your preaching o saintly one has converted this old fart- I am ALL IN!
    But…… UNDER- WAY UNDER !

  179. Dom says:

    I don’t understand the issue with Jeanmar. I know he isn’t a credible starter but we’re using him in relief.

  180. Nice, Patrick. That would make for a nice column on your site.

  181. 21sthebest says:

    You should have seen yourself thunder away at Kendrick.

  182. Drew71 says:

    That, or maybe it was the doping and crack going on around here this morning.

  183. Milo,

    I called on you above (around 9:30 or 9:40 above——I HATE this new style where we have trouble referring back to something) to join me in a singing duet!

    Warm up your voice!!!

  184. Patrick says:

    Nobody would take Kennedy. Or Engelland. Or Adams. Every team already has a few of these guys. Some worse than ours. They simply don’t have any value to anyone.

    Trading them isn’t going to happen. If you sent Engelland or Adams through waivers they *might get picked up.

  185. Is it true that Irish exams are 100 % potatoes and whiskey?

  186. Naje says:

    Agree…

  187. Drew71 says:

    Seriously though. I would feel better about the organization if one of the AAA guys, Locke or McPherson, had stepped up to earn the 4th spot than Sanchez.

    If you flip the situation…
    - Assume Locke had pitched moderately alright, as Sanchez did
    - Assume Sanchez bombed

    Same (but reversed) net result to the rotation, but it would have said better things about the organization if a development project – rather than a long shot flier – delivered.

  188. 21sthebest says:

    The article doesn’t say but I wonder if he got in on the first ballot.

  189. Arriba Wilver says:

    Magnificent!

  190. JohninOshkosh says:

    I’m Norwegian. I don’t believe we have a HOF. Thor has not been enshrined.

  191. Naje says:

    I like Bradley in the midfield… a lot. He’s a poor man’s Andrea Pirlo… but they have no one connecting with him. I wish we had the 2009/2010 version of Landon Donovan available. I’d pair him and Bradley in the middle (or Donovan on right side and Jones in the middle) and then let Dempsey play a withdrawn attack spot with Altidore or some other speedster. But really, I like Bradley’s poise and control quite a bit. Neat to see him develop Pirlo’s style/precision with passes.

  192. Patrick says:

    This is where my understanding of baseball really comes up far behind everyone else’s here. The many different types and levels of free agency is really confusing, and I never really understood the point of most of it. Type A/Type B..super 2…determining arbitration eligibilty by days of service, unless innings pitched x plate appearances is greater when divided by their daily calorie intake on Fat Tuesday…

    So many “if this then that” scenarios. It really places teams who struggle with payroll to make determinations and base future plans on performance that is a complete unknown.

  193. Drew,

    Very insightful! I’m impressed!

  194. Drew71 says:

    Don’t be. It’s the dope

  195. Drew71 says:

    Really? I was going for Annoying

  196. Milo Hamilton says:

    I’ll sing it with you Groat. Cole should be kept down until & only until they guarantee themselves that 7th year. Unless of course things are going swimmingly up here. What I don’t want to hear is all the “Super 2″ crap. The thing to remember with Cole is that he’s a Boras client. There will be no McCutchen-like contract buying out free agent years. Boras clients become free agents the 1st day they’re eligible.

    And besides, he’s going to be the next general manager’s “problem” anyway.

  197. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    No but the cooking certainly can be!

  198. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    With Emilio Estevez, Glass becomes expendable :-)

  199. Arriba Wilver says:

    From your lips . . .

  200. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    +

    What about Beowulf?

  201. Arriba Wilver says:

    I mean, from your keypad . . .

  202. Patrick says:

    Lol. Thanks. Ive made about a dozen so far about baseball and they have recieved…a tepid response…. to say the least.

    Baseball is a tough sport to write about in this town, or online really. Those who don’t know and don’t care.

    Those who DO know about baseball are tough to appeal to. And anyone left in Pittsburgh that cares to go searching for baseball to read about usually has their own blog anyways :D lol

  203. Pat4PGH says:

    With madman Stark in charge of player development and the entire minor league operatons, NO They cannot develop anyone!

    One needs coaching, not mind games to develop, and there is little down there thanks to Neal and Kyle et al……

    Worrying about how Stark is gonna try to mess with Cole’s head; to valuable to let Stark near him. Maybe Boras will get after Stark……..

  204. Many times over the years.

  205. Jandy says:

    LOL Puckers, I didn’t see your post last night until this morning…and I commented on it. Don’t know if you saw it.

  206. T.S. says:

    More inexplicable Pirates final ST cuts. How does Jeanmar Gomez make this club while Felix Pie gets sent down? Neal the knucklehead, that’s how.

  207. Jandy says:

    amen!

  208. Jandy says:

    ewwwwwwww

  209. Dom says:

    I’d rather have Gomez over Pie. Pie hasn’t played since 2011 and hasn’t had a homer since 2010.

  210. Jandy says:

    well, I was going for the win ;)

  211. JAL says:

    Apples and Oranges–Gomez a pitcher, Pie an outfielder. The pitchers cut were Reid, Zagurski, Mazzaro, which one would you take over Gomez?

  212. We need you on that wall, AW!

  213. Jandy says:

    Nah, it’s just the Drewtoric ;)

  214. T.S. says:

    Gomez is garbage. Period.

  215. Jandy says:

    Oh Lord, I’d have been out cold lol

  216. T.S. says:

    Zagurski. If you’re forcing me to choose.

  217. Jandy says:

    Dayum, I was looking for work on Fleury and I found this:

    The Pittsburgh Penguins have recalled defenseman Simon Despres from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League, it was announced by executive vice president and general manager Ray Shero.

    The Penguins also announced that they have placed defenseman Kris Letang on injured reserve with a lower-body injury.

    Despres, 21, has appeared in 24 regular-season games this season for Pittsburgh, notching two goals, five assists and seven points while posting a plus-10 rating that places second among NHL rookies.

    The 6-foot-4, 215-pound Despres has collected assists in each of his last two games with Pittsburgh. Despres has also been a plus or even player in 20 of his last 21 games (+14 during stretch).

  218. NMR says:

    Brian Morris.

  219. Joni says:

    Thor transcends the need for induction in a HOF. He has a day named after him, “Thursday”.
    Take that, Beowulf!

  220. If they’re gonna be used the same way, I agree, but Jeanmar is out of options and Morris isn’t. Shame.

  221. Did Letang play last night?

  222. Bizrow says:

    Letang broke a toe??

    Or so its being reported

  223. Pucknutz says:

    As a matter of fact I did. Us old farts watch out for each other.
    Can’t see to well but keep watchin! lol

  224. 21sthebest says:

    Zagurski looks like he eats lots of pies.

  225. Arriba Wilver says:

    +1

  226. Jandy says:

    OshKosh mentioned this yesterday I think, I had to look to see who Fleming was. Regadless, 62 is WAY too young…
    -Lightning assistant coach Wayne Fleming passed away following a lengthy battle with brain cancer. He was 62.

  227. Jandy says:

    Yes he did Spunky, but he wasn’t his usual self. He’s on IR now.

  228. Jandy says:

    he also re-aggravated the groin injury.

  229. NMR says:

    Agreed.

    You can make the Jonathan Sanchez argument because he clearly has the potential to be good.

    Not sure Jeanmar could ever say the same. For the $1m+ Hurdle just gave Inge for his veteranosity, the team could’ve signed a decent reliever.

  230. Dom says:

    Why is Gomez so bad? His numbers aren’t that poor.

  231. Jandy says:

    You know, cuz it’s hard to beat the Drewmeister at his own Drewtoric ;)

  232. NMR says:

    I don’t understand how people can be putting more stock into McPherson’s spring training performance than his actual, you know, MAJOR LEAGUE performance.

    The guy obviously needs more time. Most guys with just three AAA starts do.

    As for Locke, he is what he is. A back of the rotation starter, at best. He pitched exactly like that this spring training.

    It seems like people don’t just want the team to produce capable starters out of non-blue chip prospects, they want to be blown away by what the team has done with non-blue chip starters.

  233. JohninOshkosh says:

    Yet another reason I enjoy reading this blog. Not everyday you see “Take that, Beowulf!” in print. Well done, Joni!

    Beowulf and Ulysses should be removed from the Western Canon and deposited in the Incomprehensible Hall of Fame. Thank God for Cliff Notes. Never have two novels imposed such misery on students than those two.

    Ha en fin dag!

  234. Arriba Wilver says:

    You seem to keep wanting to shift the blame from Neal to Hurdle. Isn’t Neal still the GM? Can’t Neal say no? If not, he shouldn’t be GM.

  235. JohninOshkosh says:

    Cancer sucks!

  236. 100 % right!!

    I cannot understand why Dejan keeps presenting the obviously incorrect, contrary view.

    Expecting the “parsing words” argument soon.

    Keeping Cole down until Mid-to-late June instead of bringing him up April 13 only deprives Pirates of his services for 2 to 2 1/2 months.

    It does not lengthen by ONE DAY Cole’s stay here as a Pirate, with Boras as agent!

  237. I must confess: I like the way the ball comes our of Jenmar’s hand. Tall. Good release. Little excess motion.

    Why did Indians give up on him? Head?!?!?!

  238. Iceman says:

    I agree with alot of what you say here, but not everything. I have actually been liking TK’s play for the last two weeks. I see glimpses of what made him decent a couple years ago. With the new additions, I would love to see him move to the fourth line and provide that line with someone who can actually score. I also thought that right before his fight, TK through some really good body checks. These checks are what led to the Canadiens getting upset and initiating the fight.

    Glass has been a disappointment. He does have the most checks on the team, but those checks often put him out of position and he is a turnover machine. I think he becomes the odd man out among the forwards.

    I also think that some of what DB has done with BB is good. Bennett has a history of injury and his weight is still down from the flu. By limiting his minutes now, they are allowing him to get up to speed with the NHL game, but also reduce his risk of re-injuring that wrist. Last think Bylsma wants to do is end up with his top forward prospect hurt long term. They need this kid now and in the future.

    Hate that they had to send Despres down, but I don’t know any better options right now. They may have to do the same with Bennett if Malkin comes back before the trade deadline.

    Here are my thoughts for lines moving forward:

    Dupuis – Crosby – Kunitz
    Neal – Malkin – Morrow
    Cooke – Sutter – Bennett
    Kennedy – Vitale – Adams

    Orpik – Martin
    Letang – Murray
    Niskanen – Despres (or Eaton. Hard to bench a guy when the team hasn’t lost when he plays)

    This leaves the scratches as: Eaton\Despres, Jeffrey, Glass, Bortuzzo, Engelland.

    I think for now, once the trade deadline comes along, they have enough salary cap to keep all these players and I am satisfied with the line-up.

  239. Iceman says:

    Maybe not such a terrible thing. This allows the team to bring back Malkin without having to send Bennett back down to WBS.

  240. Jandy says:

    ehhh….I like what Letang does. The team will miss him.

  241. Jandy says:

    Yes indeed, OshKosh, it’s a dirty work :(

  242. Jandy says:

    *word

  243. John Lease says:

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/g/gomezje01.shtml

    You tell me. 38 starts, and declining production in the majors. He does have some upside just because he is young, there is a chance he can improve. But is he really an upgrade over Locke, McPherson, and any other guy they can drag out of AAA?

    He’s also shown nothing in spring training, other than being a favorite of Neil. That alone makes me HIGHLY suspicious of him.

    And when Quincy Latimore turns into an all-star, I’m REALLY going to be bummed. Although I doubt that happens…

  244. Arriba Wilver says:

    And he’s cute

  245. Drew71 says:

    NúMinoR, that last paragraph is your interpretation of my comments, not what I said. Not what i meant. If someone said THAT, i would disagree with them, too.

    I don’t expect major breakouts from guys like McPherson and Locke.

    I expect progress by at least one of them. Rather than the regression I saw this spring.

    I expect “ok” from at least one of them, maybe to the level we saw from Sanchez, not the pass-over-for-Sanchez regression.

    There. That’s what I want…

    “Ok”. “Progress”. Just from ONE of them.

    Disagree with that if you wish, which is fair game, rather than something I did not say and did not mean.

  246. 21sthebest says:

    I’m thinking it was the results.

  247. Jandy says:

    The politically correct term is “eye candy”
    ;)

  248. Lad9 says:

    Playoffs

    Would love to jump through The Window this year. I hope Aunt Minnie has plenty of cause to open it this year too. I will put 250 units on.. the over!

    Thanks for doing this.

  249. Iceman says:

    I like what he does too, but based on his history I think he pushes himself too hard. It is about this point in every season that he ends up hurting something (usually a pulled groin) and my thought is that is related to how much he plays and the way he plays. I’m ok with him getting some rest for the next week to allow himself to heal and get ready for the playoffs.

  250. Jandy says:

    Iceman, you are so right. Tanger does push hard (like Crosby) and he plays so many minutes that sometimes he just needs a rest. Let him sit and let him heal. But dadgummit, play Depres!

  251. JHadar says:

    On paper, and yes that’s a serious qualifier, this squad looks better than what we started with last year. Pitching depends on which versions of some of these guys show up, still a huge hole at shortstop, including the back-ups, catcher had to improve by being impossible to get worse. Maybe the same true at shortstop. Starters generally should be improved by age/experience and being together again — more ups than downs, but impossible to name names at this point. Bench also improved by being next to impossible to be weaker than last season.

    The division is improved by subtraction of the Astros. Of course the other teams don’t have to play them either. Leaving several questions: Is this enough improvement to offset what the other four clubs have done? Was the play before or after the collapse the fluke, or was it all an extreme example of “regression to the mean”? Other than Cole is their help at Indianapolis? Can Marte and Alvarez come up to expectations? What will an injury-free Sanchez be like?

  252. Arriba Wilver says:

    +1

  253. JHadar says:

    Yes, we get to sleep in an hour longer in the morning and stay up later at night, too.

  254. JHadar says:

    Hated Ulysses, loved Beowulf.

    When I was in high school the Adam West TV series was on — and so we called him Batwolf. Made the whole thing make sense.

  255. JHadar says:

    Since someone above was actually complaining about OBVIOUS humor let me just say that I’d rather have whipped cream over pie.

  256. JRay3 says:

    @ Playoffs by 2012 – glad to see the window back, I hope to continue where I left off from last year.

    I truly want to believe this year is the year, however the pitching staff out of the gates leaves a lot to be desired. The Bucs have had success in the opening half of the past two seasons will that continue this year with a shaky 3-5 at least until June?

    Baseball prospectus has us at 78 wins, Vegas says 77.5 I will go with the odds here.

    Give me 250 on the UNDER and I will cross my fingers this year’s team proves me wrong.

    Thanks and Go Bucs!

  257. Jandy says:

    ZING!!!!!!

  258. Drew71 says:

    Is that what they mean by toe up?

  259. JMB says:

    250 on the under, please.

    Thanks!

  260. NMR says:

    Huntington gets bashed time and time again for “group think”, not listening to other opinions, and thinking he’s always right.

    You’re advocating for him to INCREASE those traits?

    And to be clear, I shift the blame to Hurdle when it pertains to veteran playing time decisions only, and only because he has absolutely shown to be biased.

  261. NMR says:

    Sorry for not getting back to you…

    Very, very fair comment, Drew. And I apologize. I also don’t like when people interpret comments in a manner in which they weren’t intended.

    With that being said, I do have to disagree with you, or at least what you call “progress”.

    Jeff Locke was hurt last year by two things, big innings and the long ball.

    This spring he’s given up just one home run and no more than 2 earned runs in a given inning while posting a sub-4 ERA.

    If there was any “progress” to be measured in ST, shouldn’t adressing your biggest weaknesses fit that description?

  262. Jason81 says:

    I’ll go with 250 on the UNDER.

  263. cosmo says:

    welcome back window.

    I’ll have 250 on the over.

  264. tmp444 says:

    Great to have you back, Playoffs.

    No hope springing eternal this year — 250 on the UNDER.

 
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