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Morning Java: Rotation riddles

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

>> The TribLIVE Radio show will resume its 2 p.m. Wednesday rotation after a six-week hiatus for travel to Sochi, baseball and basketball.

Special in-studio guest will be Jason Kutney, CEO of the Riverhounds, on the week of their season opener Saturday in Orlando. He’ll talk about that and the three quality players just loaned from the Houston Dynamo, their MLS affiliate.

One of those is 23-year-old Jason Johnson, who did this as a rookie last season for Houston …

Johnson, a Jamaican native, was the 13th overall pick in the MLS Superdraft and, really, will be here only because the Dynamo is a perennial power and loaded with vets.

>> The Penguins stay with the Western theme and host the Coyotes tonight at Consol. Josh Yohe reports.

Lee Stempniak works — hard — to fit in, by Yohe.

Our WPXI-TV Subway Final Word panel wondered aloud about the Penguins’ post-Sochi performance:

Here’s TribLIVE’s Penguins page.

Here’s Coyotes news from the Arizona Republic, and I’ll call special attention here to Mike Smith’s ugly leg injury last night at the Garden. That’s no small issue. He’s Phoenix’s best player at any position, and they immediately looked like a different team without him.

Here are official game highlights on

>> The Steelers sign another free agent — ho hum, right? — by adding Arthur Moats as linebacker depth. Alan Robinson reports from the NFL owners’ meetings in Orlando.

If Moats doesn’t ring your bell, maybe his famous ringing of Brett Favre’s bell will do it:

That, of course, ended Favre’s consecutive-games streak.

The Steelers still have holes to fill, by Robinson.

Mark Cuban thinks the NFL is flirtin’ with disaster, by Robinson. Some really interesting thoughts in here.

>> Terrelle Pryor wants out of Oakland. Hardly an original thought.

Here’s TribLIVE’s Steelers page.

>> Clint Hurdle rolled out his rotation for the Pirates’ first few games, but it’s all dependent on Francisco Liriano pitching without incident today in a sim game. Rob Biertempfel reports from Bradenton.

If Liriano’s groin holds up, he’ll pitch the first and fifth games, pushing Edinson Volquez back to the sixth. That should tell you a couple of things:

1. Hurdle’s got this all mapped out for Liriano to be the horse. Which he just might have to be, given the low volume of 200-inning ledgers of everyone else.

2. They’ll buy Volquez every day, every side session, every video session they can before sending him out there. And when they do … it’ll be against the Cardinals.


Throw into the mix, too, that Jeff Locke is looking like he could — that’s could — be ready. If Locke gets in there in the opening week, whether for Liriano or someone else, and he pitches better than Volquez, it won’t take long for our first hot-button topic.

Here’s TribLIVE’s Pirates page.

Here’s Cubs news from the Chicago Tribune.

Here are official game highlights on

>> Mike Hull, Penn State linebacker out of Canon-Mac, will move to the middle next season. Chris Adamski reports from State College.

>> Thank you, as always, for reading.

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.


  1. theplanisworking says:

    When I saw Jason Kutney was the opening topic this morning, I got excited.
    Because now I can say ….


  2. theplanisworking says:

    Interesting read this morning about the top CF’s in the game.

    Also nice to see Frank not screw the pooch with the Kiner patch announcement.
    Baby steps Frank, baby steps. Actually I could use some of Frank’s “good stuff” to get rid of this flu I have…….

  3. Brandie says:

    Looks like the Steelers are really trying to to sign personnel to get after the quarterback. Let’s hope Mr. Moats has plenty more slobber knocking, bell ringing (in a good clean way) hits in his arsenal.

    As far as the Penguins and Coyotes…YEE HAH!

    It was great reading that Stempy is becoming more comfortable playing with Captain Crosby Sweater on the top line. Sometimes I forget that playing with Crosby is about rhythm, timing, anticipation, and balance. It looks like Mr. Shero got a gem in Stempy. Let us hope he does not get misused.

    Crossing my fingers for the recovery of Liriano’s groin. Perhaps it can get its own Twitter account to provide daily updates on its status or are we talking Convenience List?

    Hope you feel better soon Planley Roper (Homage to Three’s Company) .

  4. bpn8pitt says:

    I liked the Moats signing. ST has been an issue for awhile. Wonder if they will try to find a bona fide HR return man, in the draft?

    I don’t know if the NFL is gonna fall apart in ten years like Cuban says, but I’m pretty sure the NBA isn’t taking its place. Honestly, the one sport I know that’s grown in my lifetime is hockey. I’m not saying it will ever be as big as the NFL or MLB, but I think Cuban and Silver better pay it some mind. Don’t see any of these other leagues with a team that’s lost 25 straight now do you?

  5. JAL says:

    JAL’s I Fooled You This Time Morning Links


    1- MLB Transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    3 BFFL’s 2014 Pirates Stats Spreadsheet

    4 Pirates Prospects Spring Training Tracker

    BLOGS and such

    5—Pirates Prospects

    First Pitch: Could Travis Ishikawa Actually Win the First Base Job?

    Update On Wei-Chung Wang and His Chance To Make Brewers

    6 Bucs Dugout

    Pirates, Diamondbacks have discussed Didi Gregorius trade

    7 Rumbunter

    Pittsburgh Pirates 2014 Preview: The Road to the World Series

    The Questions Around The Pittsburgh Pirates

    Pirates Trade Rumors: Why Diamondbacks SS Didi Gregorius?

    8 Green Weenie

    Pitching Depth Taking Hits, Lineup, Notes…

    9 SaberBucs

    How Much Difference Would a New First-baseman Make?

    Tony Sanchez Doesn’t Have to Make the Opening Day Roster

    10 Pirates 101

    Pittsburgh Pirates’ Jordy Mercer Vs. Arizona Diamondbacks’ Didi Gregorius

  6. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 ESPN Magazine

    Q&A with Andrew McCutchen

    12 KDKA

    Colin Dunlap: Feeling Apprehensive About Pirates

    13 City of Champions

    Pittsburgh Pirates Being Understandably Cautious With Top Pitching Prospect Jameson Taillon

    14 Pirates Site

    If Liriano returns to full strength, Bucs’ rotation is set

    15 Beaver County Times

    Ishikawa could win a surprise spot with Pirates

    16 USA Today

    Prospect watch: Polanco will fit nicely in Pirates OF

    17 BBC Football

    Manchester United fans experiencing difficulties in defeat

    18 Sports on Earth

    The Birds To Beat

    19 Fangraphs

    2014 Positional Power Rankings: Right Field

    2014 Positional Power Rankings: Left Field

    The Myth of Six Years of Team Control

    20 Baseball Prospectus

    NL East 2014 Preseason Preview

  7. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    2014 NFL Draft: Compensatory picks announced, Steelers receive three additional picks

    Arthur Moats described as ‘back-up outside linebacker’ by Steelers web site


    22 Bloomberg Stats Insight

    Champions League Projections – How do Chelsea & Man Utd rank post-draw?

    23 BBC Football

    Manchester United fans experiencing difficulties in defeat

    24 World Soccer

    Second highest scoring clasico of the decade


    25 Pensburgh

    Monday Pens Points: Vokoun May Play In Regular Season

  8. Jandy says:

    Ewww flu…bummer….keep it to yourself. But feel better!

  9. JoeyBats says:

    Loved the fact that the Steelers got 3 COMPENSATORY picks yesterday…..

    1:15 (No. 15 overall)
    2:14 (No. 46 overall)
    3:COMP (No. 97 overall) for Mike Wallace
    4:18 (No. 118 overall)
    5:17 (No. 157 overall)
    5:COMP (No. 173 overall)
    6:16 (No. 193 overall)
    6:COMP (No. 215 overall)
    7:15 (No. 231 overall)

    Now….the important part……CHOOSE WISELY Messers. Colbert and Tomlin!

    I would prefer they go game breaking receiver in selection #1…assuming Mike Evans is off the board (Eric Ebron TE, N.Carolina…not sure if Mr. Benjamin – Fla St is…. worth the #15 pick). Mr reasoning is that Ben still needs help in the middle of the field and Red Zone for us the become an elite offense……

    Then go DEFENSE…DEFENSE …the next 4-5 picks! :-)

  10. bpn8pitt says:

    I said yesterday I thought Lewis was worth a 4. But maybe they can use a few to move up.

    I with you on Ebron too. He’s grown on me. Just not sure if he will block the way they like their TEs to. But he would be nice target in the red zone. Him, heath dual TEs. Single back bell. Play action, roll Ben out….i miss you football. You too, fantasy football.

  11. Stuart says:

    The “Final Word” link is like too many things, “all Steelers, all the time”.


  12. Stuart says:

    P.S. Mark Cuban is a smart guy, and just possibly a seer.


  13. Thundercrack says:

    A Rays pitcher was suspended 50 games. He tested positive for Boldenone. It is a steroid developed for vet uses. For horses

  14. Well, at least the Pirates will be able to get in their exhibition game with the Blue Jays today after yesterday’s rainout. Actually, we got a few showers last night here in Daytona Beach though nothing like they got on the west coast yesterday.

  15. Jandy says:


  16. Jandy says:

    Howdy Stu…I wish I had just a bit of Cuban’s money …

  17. NMR says:

    I’m down for turning Edinson Volquez into friggin Seabiscuit if that’s what it takes.

  18. JAL says:

    The following players have been optioned to the minor leagues:

    Jaff Decker (Indianapolis)
    Jared Hughes (Indianapolis)
    Andrew Lambo (Indianapolis)

    The following non roster invitees were transferred to minor league camp:

    Zack Thornton
    Adam Wilk
    Chris Dickerson
    Jay Jackson
    Daniel Schlereth
    Robert Andino
    Omir Santos
    Michael Martinez

  19. Karen22 says:

    WOW – so much for the Lambo platoon. That’s kinda sad…

  20. Milo Hamilton says:

    All Andrew Lambo had to do this spring was register a pulse.

    DK: That’s exactly right. But what you can’t ignore — spring stats being unimportant and all — is when a guy is flat-out dying right in front of you. I described the beginnings of that in the Lambo column from Fort Myers, but I can’t imagine anyone would have foreseen he’d just never, ever hit the ball.

  21. Thundercrack says:

    A couple of hits and he would have made the team. I thought he fielded the position fine.

  22. Karen22 says:

    True, Milo. Sad that he didn’t take advantage of the opportunity.

  23. Arriba Wilver says:

    Sounds like Colin knew what he was talking about.

  24. Arriba Wilver says:

    All together now: Spring Training Means Nothing!


  25. Very sad. But he’ll get opportunities. He can work out his hitting problems with no pressure at Indy.

    Like Arnold said, he’ll be back.

  26. Andrew says:

    Apparently Lambo was cut from Major League camp.

  27. I got chewed for saying “nothing”. Should say “very little”. And that’s only to guys that it means very little to, like Cutch, Martin, Cole et al. Wonder if Lambo and the above list concur with nothing or very little.


  28. Andrew says:

    Should have reloaded the blog.

  29. And now, it’ll be Gabby Sanchez everyday, although he doesn’t hit right handed pitching much.

  30. Thundercrack says:

    AW, the FO is working feverishly to plug that leak.


  31. Thundercrack says:

    I hope he does come back Lucky. I was rooting for him.

  32. Karen22 says:

    Me, too, Thunder.

  33. The Amish down here (and probably other places) have an item they give for joint problems such as RA and the like. It’s called Corta-flex. The bottle that it comes in is marked “not for human consumption”. They give it to their horses, but tell people to take it, too. I guess humans aren’t people.

    I don’t know if it’s Boldenone or not, but I wouldn’t take it or let my wife take it.

  34. Milo Hamilton says:

    Now it’s time for a re-enactment of the Bill Robinson trade with Travis Ishikawa starring as Dave Augustine.

  35. Ishakawa may see some time. His name wasn’t on JAL’s list above.

  36. Jandy says:

    me three. this stinks.

  37. Karen22 says:

    Travis has to be added to the 40-man…I’m sure he will. DID take advantage of his opportunity.

  38. Arriba Wilver says:

    Wonder how many more cuts they have to make?

  39. Milo Hamilton says:

    I look at this differently than some of you. Andrew Lambo, what a stiff. A major league job handed to him on a silver platter and he couldn’t even do the bare minimum. You don’t win with guys like that.

    But let’s not bury the lede here. He’s not to blame for the situation they find themselves in.

  40. Jandy says:

    From Wikipedia:

    “Boldenone was synthesized in an attempt to create a long-acting injectable methandrostenolone (Dianabol), but in reality boldenone acts nothing like methandrostenolone. It has a very long half-life, and can show up on a steroid test for up to 1.5 years, due to the long undecylenate ester attached to the parent steroid. Trace amounts of the drug can easily be detected for months after discontinued use.”

    So, who’s a dumb azz for using it???

  41. Lambo had 69 plate appearances to lead the Bucs this spring but got only 4 hits. Too bad.

  42. Jim S. says:

    @Frankie’s Busted Groin. I love it, Brandie.

  43. Karen22 says:

    ALL singles…:(

  44. NMR says:

    Mike Carp will be a Pirate by Saturday.

  45. Jim S. says:

    I assume that’s the plan, Lucky. They still don’t exactly have a solidified position at 1b. Maybe they think Andrew needs to just get some ABs in Indy and get back on track, before coming up.

  46. Milo Hamilton says:

    Think Mr. Locke’s minor league start will be well attended today ?

  47. Milo Hamilton says:

    I think they’re currently at 31 including Chris Stewart.

  48. Nate83 says:

    I guess this puts away the notion that scholarships are just handed out or for that matter the top 25 don’t come North. I still like Lambo and think he could have an impact eventually but I think this is the right move. He has only had a little over 400 at bats above AA.

  49. NMR says:

    Maybe by the Diamondbacks. Boston has at least 7 pitchers that are better than him.

    Cherington-Huntington will work something out. Again.

  50. Arriba Wilver says:

    I heard he had a couple of hard hit foul balls. ;-)

  51. JAL says:

    and Stewart will start the season on the DL

  52. NMR says:

    Just cross your fingers and pray Grady Sizemore doesn’t snap an ankle getting out of his car this morning.

  53. Jim S. says:

    Bowden says Scherzer turned down 6 years and somewhere in the neighborhood of $145 – $150 million from the Tigers.

    Well, he listened to his agent. If he pitches great again this year, he stands to get even more than that. If he doesn’t pitch as well, he may not. If he doesn’t stay healthy, he definitely won’t get anywhere near that much, and he’ll regret turning down the deal for the rest of his life. And, his agent will move on as he always does. Pretty risky turning down 9 figures if you ask me.

  54. Milo Hamilton says:

    I can’t trade Locke right now anyway. Too many questions with their starting pitching.

  55. AJS says:

    I’m with you Milo. An early career drug suspension, traded to the Bucs, bashes the ball around in Indy, finally is basically given a roster spot to lose and goes 4 for 69?

    I’ll give him one more shot to earn his way back to the bigs by playing lights out in Indy again. But if when he does resurface in Pittsburgh he performs like he did this spring, I’m done.

  56. Jim S. says:

    There were also those 2 good cage sessions the week before last.

  57. Nate83 says:

    This assumes he got cut because of spring training stats alone. Maybe he looked terrible in practice and wasn’t making good contact in the batting cage. He didn’t exactly play well in Winter Ball either. He is still young. A majority of us didn’t even have him on the radar at this point last year.

  58. NMR says:


  59. Milo Hamilton says:

    Or re-open his twitter account.

  60. NMR says:

    Clint says he barreled the ball up real well off the tee.

  61. Nate83 says:

    I think he will get about half of the at-bats against righties. I see Gabby getting the other have giving him the majority of the platoon. He will have a decent opportunity to prove that he can be the everyday first baseman. Actually all 3 men have an opportunity to show what they can do. None of them have a defined career path at this point.

  62. Jandy says:


  63. Nate83 says:

    I don’t think it’s a given that a trade will be made to fill the first base spot but I think it’s better then a 50/50 chance.

  64. Arriba Wilver says:

    I think you’re over reading this, Nate.

  65. Andrew says:

    Let us hope so because the White Sox had the 3rd worst production from the firstbase spot, worst from DH. Baltimore had the 2nd worst performance form DH and Ishikawa got 20 PAs from those teams.

  66. Arriba Wilver says:

    So, you think he would have been sent down if he hit good in Spring Training? C’mon, Nate. As Milo said, he didn’t have to do much.

  67. theplanisworking says:

    He turned down $25 million a year.
    He BETTER have another great year.
    That is a lot of jack to be walking away from.

    And, not the same way someone walks away from a Subaru……….. :)

  68. NMR says:

    If Ishikawa DOES make this team, it has to be all on Clint Hurdle’s judgement. I feel like he will have had to have seen SOMETHING different about Ishikawa this spring.

    It is beyong asinine to give Ishikawa a roster spot and take at-bats away from Gaby Sanchez because of 20some spring training at-bats. Just absolutely zero statistical logic. Zero.

  69. Jandy says:

    ZING~! lol

  70. NMR says:

    That’s not what Nate said.

  71. Brandie says:

    Make that @The Real Frankie’s Busted Groin. Don’t want any imitators!

  72. Milo Hamilton says:

    Ronny Cedeno was just released. If we get him & the gregarious Didi Gregorious we can have 4 shortstops. No firstbasemen. but 4 shortstops.

  73. theplanisworking says:

    NMR, you were right from yesterday……………………… there is one of the questions answered pretty quickly.

    I don’t know what to make of Lambo taking the collar on the 1B job. I do feel bad for him, but looking back at it, it does seem pretty ill-conceived. I would rather him stink in ST, rather than the regular season.

    Maybe he will be a call-up later this season.

  74. cosmo says:

    read somewhere he wants an 8 year deal, Yikes!

  75. Jandy says:

    Oh My!!

  76. Jandy says:

    Greedy so-and-so!

  77. theplanisworking says:

    That would be one heck of a shift!!
    Good thing we don’t have AJ anymore to complain about it……………

  78. Jandy says:

    No casting aspersions on Frankie’s groin!!!!!

  79. Milo Hamilton says:

    Ty Wigginton also cut. Now that you can’t kill the catcher anymore there’s simply no use for the guy.

  80. NMR says:

    Boras is an awful lot like a real estate agent. Real estate agents that have a given “territory” will often try to get more money for one home so that comparables for the next home that comes on the market will be higher.

    Reports said that he’s trying to use the Kershaw and Tanaka contracts as new baselines for Scherzer, wheres the Tigers were using Cole Hamels from 2012.

    Also, Scherzer apparently has some kind of insurance policy on his arm, which makes the injury concerns for him moot.

  81. Arriba Wilver says:

    No, but it would have to be true to make his point accurate, wouldn’t you agree? I mean, if he hit good he would have been on the 25 man, so Spring Training matters, at least for Lambo.

  82. cosmo says:

    Aren’t the Tigers stockpiling SS as well

  83. theplanisworking says:

    Alright, last one of the year, I promise.

    As I might have mentioned once or twice before, New castle won a State basketball Title this past weekend. No news there. However, what did the team do last night to celebrate?

    Go to a restaurant? Nope.
    Go to a banquet? Nope.
    Play video games at a coach’s house? Nope.
    Go to an assembly/pep rally? Nope.
    Cause mischief? Nope.

    They went across the state line to a Barnes and Noble Bookstore, signed autographed pictures, and read stories to underprivileged children. I don’t know if this was set up ahead of time, or was set up Sunday, but that is how they spent 90 minutes last night.

    1st pic is the signing of autographs, 2nd pic is very small, but shows the players on a table reading to the group.

    Sometimes we can learn many lessons from our children……. if we only bother to look.

  84. NMR says:

    Exactly. Spring Training matters for some. Bryan Morris, Travis Snider seem to certainly have benefitted.

    Nate specifically referenced the arguments around here that have been about Spring Training statistics mattering.

  85. Arriba Wilver says:

    And out of the four, only one or two whose names we can spell.

  86. Wayward Eer says:

    Locke or Cumpton to Arizona for the SS Didi G who gets passed through to the Mets with a spare relief pitcher for Ike Davis. Just a thought although these type of deals never seem to work in spring training.

  87. Arriba Wilver says:


  88. Arriba Wilver says:

    I wish my real estate agent did that.

  89. NMR says:

    Basically, did Andrew Lambo get cut because he didn’t produce a given stat line?

  90. Milo Hamilton says:

    Edinson Volquez scratched from his start tomorrow, replaced by Brandon Cumpton. Convenience List awaits ?

  91. Andrew says:

    I going to assume the roster is not set. I understand sending Lambo back to AAA, you control him long term thus have an interest in developing him. But Ishikawa the big half of a platoon, that screams short term, like a week.

  92. NMR says:

    Ha, I had a coworker whose home was on the market for more than a year because of this.

    Cost him more in carrying costs than the difference of what he ended up taking and what his realtor was asking.

    I could probably turn that into some strange baseball analogy but the whole idea was pretty dumb of me to begin with.

  93. Arriba Wilver says:

    He was responding to me joking that Spring Training matters. And neither I nor Lucky talked about statistics. What’s your point? These posts aren’t stand alones.

  94. NMR says:

    In that case, why Ishikawa at all? I’d rather carry an 8th good reliever than a 2nd marginal 1B-only position player.

  95. theplanisworking says:

    Love me some convenience list action……….. I foresee great things. :)

  96. Arriba Wilver says:

    To use your logic, that’s not what I said.

  97. NMR says:

    Just backing up my boy Nate. But how bout we nip this in the bud before Tigers Bullpen II begins? ;)

  98. Milo Hamilton says:

    They’ll probably have him get his innings in against minor leaguers & not run the risk of getting bombed against a major league team. That’s if you consider the Twins a major league team, of course.

  99. Arriba Wilver says:

    He DID get cut because of his performance or lack thereof in Spring Training.

  100. Andrew says:

    Tanaka the new baseline, good luck with that. Giving eight years contracts to pitchers is making assumptions on knowledge about injuries that no one has, but I guess that revenue has to go somewhere.

  101. NMR says:

    The irony is that he actually showed very good contact skills, which was everyone’s biggest worry heading into camp.

    I think he just puckered a bit too much.

  102. Lad 9 says:

    If we add Ronny Cedeno, two things would happen. My blood pressure would go so high that there would be whistling come out my ears, and assuming we added Didi (which I doubt), we would still only have three shortstops.

  103. NMR says:

    Seems odd considering the progress he made in his last start.

  104. Milo Hamilton says:

    I might have missed the point. They’re probably showing off Cumpton.

  105. Thundercrack says:

    You keep saying that. But not only did Lambo have to hit but he had to field a new position. As I could see he did one of those things this Spring.

  106. cosmo says:

    Pens recall Megna, guy must feel like a Yo-Yo, up and down up and down.

  107. Arriba Wilver says:

    I’m good with that. ;-)

  108. Lad 9 says:

    Plan I have been inncomunicado for a while, but let me offer my belated congratualtions on the PIAA title. I consider this team one of the best I have ever seen on and off the court. They are an extremely classy bunch with a great and just as classy coach. I salute them and you! Way to go Canes!

  109. You’re four, young lady.


  110. cosmo says:

    good point, Trade bait?

  111. theplanisworking says:

    He lives !!!

  112. Jandy says:

    Take it outside, boys ;)

  113. Jandy says:



  114. Jandy says:

    I’m happy to see him back, tho. he’s a hustler!

  115. Jandy says:

    Awesome, classy, stuff, Planimal.

    Lad, good to see you, friend!!!!

  116. theplanisworking says:

    We noticed. ;)

    Thanks Lad. I know you got to see them up close, so you can appreciate what I am saying.
    They did themselves, the town, and others very proud.
    May not see the likes of them for a long time to come.

  117. Arriba Wilver says:

    You trying to stir something up? We already made peace. ;-)

  118. Baywatch says:


  119. NMR says:

    I’m sure we could’ve come to a perfectly reasonable difference of opinions over a beverage or two, but these debates just do not translate over the interwebs.

    Lesson learned!

  120. Jim S. says:

    I think sometimes you just have to know when a deal is pretty darn good, and not worry so much about the possibility of it being a little better next year if everything goes right.

    Maybe he wants to pitch somewhere else other than Detroit.

    Bowden also speculated that Sherzer thinks he is now better than Verlander, and just won’t accept a dime less. If that is the case, Boras would not have had to do any convincing to get him to wait it out.

  121. Jandy says:

    haha yinz kill me :D

    I’m a pot stirrer from way back, AW, as if you didn’t know :)

    NMR, believe it or not, I caught the humor 0=)

  122. Milo Hamilton says:

    Volquez will throw in extended spring training prior to making his start April 6th (oh yipee, I get to see it in person) against the Cardinals. There’s nothing wrong with him. Other than he stinks.

  123. Baywatch says:

    Hey Milo! I disagree with you that Lambo is a STIFF. The guy is making progress. Look at it like this. Before last year, he was a former loser, who when with the Dodgers was immature enough to … well, he got busted with it! Then up and down after he comes over to us. But I’ll say he made a step in getting his mind right last year, and it showed up in his approach, and in the PRODUCTION department … yeah, minor leagues, but still a step in the right direction.

    He’s not perfect, he still has issues – as we all do – but he’s no longer a loser, and he never was a STIFF. And I’m gonna give him a PULSE PLUS for taking on a new position and making great strides around the bag.

  124. Baywatch says:

    Thanks, Milo. What a pal. I just upchucked a cup full at the thought of Ronny Cedeno coming back!

  125. Jandy says:

    Clean it up!!! ;)

  126. Baywatch says:

    Good Morning, All … and DK! DK, you get a big hug and my Creative ‘Complishment Of The Day Award for this …

    ” … he just might have to be, given the low volume of 200-inning ledgers of everyone else.” 200-inning ledger! Did you coin that?

  127. Baywatch says:

    I’ll never get these keyboard keys back to normal before the wife gets back home!!!!

  128. Baywatch says:

    Milo, that sounded like a bit from Rodney Dangerfield!

  129. Jandy says:

    Uh-oh..better hide then!!!!

  130. Naterosboro says:

    Pittsburgh Steelers ‏@steelers 11m

    The ink just dried. @LanceMoore16 has officially signed his contract to join #SteelersNation!

    Lance Moore now a Steeler. I would’ve preferred the CotchMan back, but Moore is a suitable replacement.

  131. Jim S. says:

    It could be they feel Lambo is pressing big-time right now and would be of no use in Pgh in April. If so, maybe they feel a month at Indy could get him right again. Then, he can come up in May ready to go. I’m not saying it will work, but it could be what they’re thinking.

    I’m sure there’s a lot of pressure you put on yourself when a big league opportunity presents itself. Some guys don’t sweat it, but others do.

    And, maybe they still have their eye on Carp.

  132. Wild Bill says:

    Good morning, All. Now that I’m caught up on reading everybody’s comments today, I feel bad for Lambo and hope we haven’t heard the last of him – in the ‘burgh or elsewhere. Seems like a nice kid.

    Plan, when you come back down to earth from the state title…aw, never mind, just ride the wave!

    The NFL has problems, but the NBA has Cuban. The NBA lost me years ago, and I see no reason to care any further with recent developments. Their tanking teams are about to load up with underachieving kids who couldn’t win games in the NCAA tournament? What a watered down product for the price!

    I’m getting itchy to see the Sweet Sixteen. This is when things get really good.

  133. NMR says:

    @Jim – clearly just an excuse to hold back his service time til Super 2 has passed. ;)

  134. Baywatch says:

    AND on that note, a quick update on how we’re faring in my BUCCO BLOGGERS Bracket Challenge: DAMON in first place in the 73rd percentile … Me & COSMO mired in the cellar in the 37th and 22nd percentiles, DISRESPECTIVELY.

    STIFFS we are, I tell ya!

  135. Andrew says:

    More likely that Cumpton is Plan B if Liriano cannot go.

  136. NMR says:

    I find it odd that they haven’t been pairing Volquez with Russ Martin.

    He was visibly frustrated with Tony Sanchez during his last start, and the one before that against the O’s.

  137. cosmo says:

    I knew I shouldn’t have picked all of those teams that lost.

  138. Baywatch says:


  139. cosmo says:

    Rays have released Eric Bedard.

  140. Baywatch says:

    Now THERE’S a guy with a slow pulse!

  141. Baywatch says:

    (But an upgrade over Volquez!)

  142. Arriba Wilver says:

    That is strange. But Tony was AJ’s, Liriano’s and Morton’s catcher in their rehabs, I think. Maybe too much Dan Fox?

  143. Nate83 says:

    I heard Lambo got sent down to delay his Super 2 status.

  144. Nate83 says:

    Darn it NMR, I didn’t scroll down and see your comment before I made mine.

  145. Nate83 says:

    Kershaw has done it for 4 consecutive years. If Boras thinks Scherzer is the equal to Kershaw he is insane. Sherzer may not even be the best pitcher on his team.

  146. NMR says:

    Good point about those other guys.

    Seemed like Volquez getting paired with Tony was more coincidence, just how the days off ended up falling. But I certainly did not pay enough attention to tell you that for sure.

  147. Damon says:

    That isn’t going to last long (Damon in 1st) because Kansas lost already for me. Definitely a weird bracket this year!

  148. Milo Hamilton says:

    I think you had a typo there. I think you meant to say “now there’s a guy with NO pulse”.

    Hey Bay !

  149. Arriba Wilver says:

    Check out bpn on the next thread. Playing games again. ;-)

  150. Baywatch says:

    Hey, Milo! No, actually, those were always CLINT’S kind words for Bedard! But I’m sure he was being gracious!

  151. Milo Hamilton says:

    Vic Black looks like he’s coughing up a roster spot with the Mets. 22 baserunners in 8 innings this spring.

  152. Milo Hamilton says:

    Sounds like they could use a reliever. Wonder what they have to trade ? :)

  153. Nastynate82 says:

    C’mon Milo. Bury the guy cause he has a bad spring? He hit over 30 homers last yr so he deserved the opportunity. Even tho he didn’t seize it doesn’t mean he’s a stiff and worthless going forward.

  154. NMR says:

    22 baserunners in 8 innings sounds about right.

  155. Lad 9 says:

    Hoping to be a little more regular on here, but the new position is a bear. They have no respect for my lunatic time any more!

  156. NMR says:

    Ha! I give the kid credit. He’s obviously trolling, and it took me til yesterday to figure it out.

  157. Jandy says:

    Vitale out of the line-up, Pyatt back in.


  158. Thundercrack says:

    Maybe Volquez was visibly upset because his pitching stunk

  159. Thundercrack says:

    I saw one of the ST games on tv and Black was wild

  160. Arriba Wilver says:

    He still thinks the Pirates are losing money because they aren’t exercising their (nonexistent) $1 mil buyout.

    2 can play this game. :-D

  161. Arriba Wilver says:

    Tell Dan Fox.

  162. NMR says:

    After blowing a fastball past Carlos Beltran for strike three once he shook off Sanchez twice?

    Yeah, I’m sure you’re right TC.

  163. bpn8pitt says:

    Nope. Just hoping in a month, when the conversation turns to ” Why in the hell did they sign Volquez, the worst pitcher in the NL in 2013 and try to go with Lambo at first “….you and your boy Wilver defend it.

    Knowing you, you will shoot holes in all the other guys they could have picked up.

    I honestly think they should have kept Jones now instead of pissing away 5 million on Volquez. We’d actually have some power on the bench too.

  164. Damon says:

    Never ends….per Yohe:

    Evgeni Malkin is out 2-3 weeks with a foot injury

  165. Jandy says:


  166. hap2009 says:

    Gneo out 2-3 weeks with foot injury…

  167. cosmo says:

    That must be why Megna was recalled!

  168. Jandy says:


  169. Arriba Wilver says:

    Has the conversation ever turned away from why in the hell did they sign Volquez in the first place? Certainly not here and not you. Almost every post you make, even about Lambo, is about why in the hell did they sign Volquez. Now you’re talking about Jones in relation to Volquez.

  170. Andrew says:

    You said it!

  171. Naterosboro says:

    While I’m excited for the Bucs to start the season, I’m a little underwhelmed at the prospect of Travis Ishikawa making the 25man. I understand he’s done better than Lambo this spring, and probably the best thing for Andrew is to start the year at AAA, but, again, underwhelmed.

    It just makes it all the more headscratching when Kendrys Morales is still a free agent, and the Pirates have money to spend.

    At least Michael Martinez didn’t make it. So, silver lining and all……..

  172. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    Underwhelmed (though wisely used by a certain blogger here) would be an understatement.
    There’s less than a week for GM Neal Huntington to show up from an extended winter hibernation.

    Now that Lambo is out of the picture, Ishikawa is the the new thrifty buzz name.
    If the Pirates are a contender, the FO needs to ante up and get a real first baseman.
    As usual…..This is cheaply ridiculous.

  173. Naterosboro says:

    I will give management some credit though. They had a right to try and find Lambo a spot, given the amount of power he showed last year (and has shown at times thruout his pro career). They gave him a shot, and he hasn’t grabbed it by the horns, so to speak. So, they’re starting him at AAA.

    A few people likened this situation, and fairly so, to the experiment that was Jeff Clement a few years ago. Management does seem to have learned a bit from that situation, with the sending of Lambo to AAA.

    Had they not, Lambo could’ve been 0fer-the-Spring (he’s 4fer) and he’d have come north….

    So I’ll give credit.

  174. Arriba Wilver says:

    You’re talking about Thunder using it wisely, right?

  175. Jandy says:


  176. hockeymonster says:

    Good thing I didn’t spend 500 bucks on tix for that game…whew…close one.

  177. hockeymonster says:

    Chicago game I mean.

  178. Naterosboro says:

    See, I don’t think Lambo is “out of the picture” though, at least not in the eyes of our management. I think they’re going to give him some time to get worked out at AAA with an eye of calling him up. Ishikawa is a placeholder. I think Gaby now gets the majority of ABs at 1B to start the season (yes, even against RHPs). This setback for Lambo I think gives Gaby the chance to win the starting, everyday 1B job if he can have a strong April/May.

    I still think they want him [Lambo] in the platoon with Gaby, or even for his bat to win the job outright.

    Just hasn’t happened as quickly as they’d like.

    I guess I can understand now why they’re not pursuing (or at least not reported) Morales harder.

    Now, if Ishikawa and Lambo are both struggling, and Gaby can’t lock down the job on his own, I think you’ll see them pursue a trade.

    Barring something crazy (injury or performance-wise), don’t look for the Bucs to “fully” address this issue until June (May earliest, and that’s if players [G.Sanchez, Lambo & Ishikawa] are really struggling).

  179. Arriba Wilver says:

    :THWAP: back to you.

  180. Arriba Wilver says:

    I don’t think hardly anyone thinks this means he’s out of the picture.

  181. bpn8pitt says:

    I dont agree. The whole reason you swung the deals for Byrd and Morneau last year, is that you werent happy with your 1B/RF situation. You win 94 games and are a step away from the NLCS.

    Now your saying they deserve credit for going with another team’s busted prospect?

    Everybody likes to point at Lambo’s age and say he’s just 25. But doesnt he fall in the Tony Sanchez category? Seven years in pro ball and you get beat out by Travis Ishikawa when you are practically handed the job?

    I do not understand. If anything they deserve a heap of criticism for taking a step back, instead of seizing momentum and adding to this team with MAJOR LEAGUE TALENT!!!

    Kid has show absolutely no power against anything above AAA to include Winter Ball.

    Jerry Sands and Travis Snider 2014.

  182. Naterosboro says:

    No doubt, just trying to maybe ease Daq’s concerns when Kendrys Morales is still a FA on opening day, or we don’t trade for 1 of the stooges we’ve been linked with this offseason.

    I think I did a pretty good job, if I may say so myself ;-)

  183. Arriba Wilver says:

    Sorry, Nate. I should have followed the narrative. My bad.

  184. NMR says:


  185. Naterosboro says:

    The Pirates will never (barring a change in ownership) pay “the going rate” on the open market for FA Power Hitters. Kind of in the same mold of top-of-the-rotation SPs.

    I think they have every right to try and get Lambo’s bat in the lineup.

    If you have a guy in your organization that can potentially provide you with 20-30 HRs, wouldn’t you try that option first before you look for outside options? Especially when you then can control his cost for maybe 6 years (let’s face it, finances are always a part of the discussion with the Bucs)?

    I can understand that we’d all like to have “solid” options at all positions, but the reality is that there will probably always be some question marks starting the season, for many, if not all, clubs.

    That’s why you have trades midseason for the playoff push. Injuries or performances dictate that you try and shore up your roster for a run at a title (or sell to try and build for the future).

  186. JoeyBats says:

    unfortunately I don’t think there enough ROIDS & synthesized agents on planet earth to help him :-(

  187. Naterosboro says:

    And I was giving them credit for starting Lambo in AAA due to him not performing so far this spring, not for not signing a MLB-caliber starting 1Bman and going with an unproven “younger” player.

    I think it shows that they had a plan, plan didn’t go according to plan, so now they’re adapting.

    As I said earlier, only a few short years ago we saw this kind of thing with Jeff Clement, only he was brought north, and given a month in the majors to figure things out.

    While it may not be “light years”, I think it shows they come a little ways in their processes.

  188. Naterosboro says:

    My avatar is a daily reminder of the men that run this org. and how strikingly handsome they are. Well, at least Bob Nutting anywhooos, with that shirt halfway open and all…..

  189. Jandy says:

    Thanks a lot, Nate, I just lost my lunch blech!

  190. Naterosboro says:

    No need for apologies. This is baseball [talk]. There’s no apologizing in baseball [talk]!

  191. Naterosboro says:

    :-) HAPPY FACES!

  192. Jandy says:


  193. NMR says:

    Perfect amount of chest hair exposed.

  194. Nate83 says:

    bpn I can tell you without any doubts that AW and NMR will do no such thing. When and if the Pirates decide to pull the plug on this experiment or even earlier then that most that are “defending” Volquez will agree that it was a bad move. Most “defending” him are not even a fan of the move right now. They are just willing to let the entire process play out before making a final judgment.

    I personally did not like the move but understand changing the guys mechanics doesn’t happen over less then 18 innings of spring training games. If Volquez eventually gets cut it doesn’t prove anyone right or wrong because I haven’t seen anyone say that they thought the Volquez signing was awesome and guaranteed the guy will turn it around. For what it’s worth no buyout exist. I don’t know where that information came from but I’ve seen nothing about it.

  195. BillyBaduka says:

    He is, I like him too.

  196. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    Bonsoir Nutting!

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