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 Post subject: Re: J. Sanchez, Inge make team
PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 7:24 pm 
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J_C_Steel wrote:
Someone tell me why, after having more than five years to rebuild the Pirates, Neal Huntington has John McDonald and Brandon Inge as bench players for the 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates? Shouldn't the Bucs have younger, better options at this point?

This is disappointing.

Extremely. I think that Hurdle had a ton of input on this. I think that he hates young players. Maybe Huntington does as well, I don't know, but I do know who makes out the lineups, and he kept Ciriaco nailed to the bench two years ago, and did the same to Mercer last year. So now we open the season with two shortstops and a third baseman who are pretty much useless for anything except defense. The starting pitching had better get 7 innings every time out, because there is nobody to pinch hit. Hope we don't end up longing for the days when they could send up Luis Rivas or Bobby Crosby to bat in the sixth.

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 Post subject: Re: J. Sanchez, Inge make team
PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 7:33 pm 
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No. 9 wrote:
While it may be all in good fun to debate whether it is better to have Brandon Inge, Chase D'Arnaud, Jordy Mercer or Ivan DeJesus on the bench to serve as a pinch hitter or to make a spot start every 2 weeks, it is my personal opinion that the debate is not particularly meaningful in the scheme of what will make this team successful or not successful in 2013.

If Pedro Alvarez doesn't meaningfully produce at the plate in April or May, this team is in trouble.
If Starling Marte doesn't materially advance his OBP and make meaningful strides at the plate, this team is in trouble.
If Neil Walker's back is not healthy, this team is in trouble.
If Russell Martin is the second coming of Rod Barajas at the plate, this team is in trouble.
If the planned platoons at 1B or RF result in lousy production, this team is in trouble.
If the starting pitching blows, this team is toast.

This is neither a defense nor an indictment of Huntington. The difference between what Inge brings to the table or DeJesus brings to the table - at least to me - is not worth the worry. Its not going to keep me awake at night. Would I rather have a Lee Lacy and Gary Varsho coming off the bench? Yeah, I would. But . . . what's going to keep me awake at night will be (1) whether Alvarez continues to K at alarming rates; (2) whether James McDonald looks like post-All Star break McDonald; (3) whether Marte turns out to be the real deal; (4) whether some combination of Sanchez, Locke, Gomez and McPherson can man the 4th and 5th spot until Liriano, Morton, Karstens and/or Cole are ready. Those are the issues of concern for me. This other stuff is simply minor background noise.

It concerns me a lot. You have a starting lineup with a lot of question marks, and behind that, basically nothing at all. If Walker goes down, they're dead. If Alvarez goes down, they're dead. If Marte struggles, they're dead. If Snider and Tabata both continue to disappoint, they're dead. Barmes and McDonald are basically the same guy. The only position I feel good about is first base, and that takes a bit of a leap of faith as well, since I have doubts that Jones can repeat, and last season doesn't make you want to rely on Sanchez too much. I'm at the point where I'm wondering if Huntington has any faith at all in his young position players. If not, he's conceding that his drafts have sucked, and that's scary.

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 Post subject: Re: J. Sanchez, Inge make team
PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 8:05 pm 
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Kind of piggy-backing on what #9 is saying...

EVERY team has their share of 'pimples'. That is, players on their roster that make you go, 'huh?' and that their fans hope will never have to see meaningful or prolonged AB's.

For proof of this one need not look further than the injury ravaged Yanks (Juan Rivera and Vernon Wells?! REALLY?!) or, to a lesser extent, everyone not named Giancarlo Stanton on the Marlins.

We're just up in arms about the Pirates' 'pimples' because we see them every day and sleep next to them every night.

While it's easy to agree that the McDonald/Inge signings are *ahem* questionable, the good news is that there will be young 'uns ready to step in, if neccessary, should the S really hit the fan.

So... would it be nice if those young 'uns got more reps, cut their teeth and made the opening day roster? You bet. But it's nice knowing that they're still in the pipeline and provide depth if need be.

The Inge/McDonald/Sanchez acquisitions should NOT break the 2013 Pirates. If they somehow should, we will have bigger problems to argue over than their existence on the roster.

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 Post subject: Re: J. Sanchez, Inge make team
PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 8:20 pm 
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sisyphus wrote:
Barmes and McDonald are basically the same guy.


On the field, yes. Off the field, couldn't be less so. Reports are McDonald can make one hell of a sangwiche and does a killer Groucho impression. :D

But seriously, while it's easy to agree with your analysis and worry just days before opening day didn't we all (most of us anyways) have similar pessimism last year (which proved unwarranted until [late] August)?

This team has holes, for sure, but there's also enough there to make you think they can chase for that bally-hooed third playoff spot for a little while, right?

That will be the excitement of the 2013 Bucs: this is the year we've been waiting for things to 'break' our way and they very well could.

If not, may NH and co. face the wrath of fans---10x stronger than any amount of Aki or Barajas vitriol! :D

Until then, this is all 'pre-game jitters'.

Less than 7 days, baby!

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 Post subject: Re: J. Sanchez, Inge make team
PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 8:38 pm 
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Shades of 1988 we hope?

The young Bucs lineup came out of the gate with solid young starting pitching led by Drabek and Smiley and a lineup that, while not as good as, was competitive with the Mets (Bonilla, Bonds, Van Slyke, LaValliere, Bream) but the bench was still filled with Benny DiSteffano, Junior Ortiz and Rafael Belliard (a great glove but as a pinch hitter? Puh leez?)

Looking at how that team finished. I hope this year's is as good.


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 Post subject: Re: J. Sanchez, Inge make team
PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 8:58 pm 
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No. 9 wrote:
While it may be all in good fun to debate whether it is better to have Brandon Inge, Chase D'Arnaud, Jordy Mercer or Ivan DeJesus on the bench to serve as a pinch hitter or to make a spot start every 2 weeks, it is my personal opinion that the debate is not particularly meaningful in the scheme of what will make this team successful or not successful in 2013.

If Pedro Alvarez doesn't meaningfully produce at the plate in April or May, this team is in trouble.
If Starling Marte doesn't materially advance his OBP and make meaningful strides at the plate, this team is in trouble.
If Neil Walker's back is not healthy, this team is in trouble.
If Russell Martin is the second coming of Rod Barajas at the plate, this team is in trouble.
If the planned platoons at 1B or RF result in lousy production, this team is in trouble.
If the starting pitching blows, this team is toast.

This is neither a defense nor an indictment of Huntington. The difference between what Inge brings to the table or DeJesus brings to the table - at least to me - is not worth the worry. Its not going to keep me awake at night. Would I rather have a Lee Lacy and Gary Varsho coming off the bench? Yeah, I would. But . . . what's going to keep me awake at night will be (1) whether Alvarez continues to K at alarming rates; (2) whether James McDonald looks like post-All Star break McDonald; (3) whether Marte turns out to be the real deal; (4) whether some combination of Sanchez, Locke, Gomez and McPherson can man the 4th and 5th spot until Liriano, Morton, Karstens and/or Cole are ready. Those are the issues of concern for me. This other stuff is simply minor background noise.


EXCELLENT ANALYSIS!

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 Post subject: Re: J. Sanchez, Inge make team
PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 9:16 pm 
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sisyphus wrote:
J_C_Steel wrote:
Someone tell me why, after having more than five years to rebuild the Pirates, Neal Huntington has John McDonald and Brandon Inge as bench players for the 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates? Shouldn't the Bucs have younger, better options at this point?

This is disappointing.

Extremely. I think that Hurdle had a ton of input on this. I think that he hates young players. Maybe Huntington does as well, I don't know, but I do know who makes out the lineups, and he kept Ciriaco nailed to the bench two years ago, and did the same to Mercer last year. So now we open the season with two shortstops and a third baseman who are pretty much useless for anything except defense. The starting pitching had better get 7 innings every time out, because there is nobody to pinch hit. Hope we don't end up longing for the days when they could send up Luis Rivas or Bobby Crosby to bat in the sixth.

I agree wholeheartedly with both of your posts here. Hurdle clearly likes veterans. NH is trying desperately to save his job. This team is probably not going to contend. There is no reason NOT to go with the young guys. And once again the veterans replacing them stink. They wasted an entire year of Mercer's career last season. Of course this is the same group that tried to hold Neil Walker back. If it weren't for an absolute emergency he may never have gotten a chance...or at least his chance would have been delayed. Oh well...on with the Jonathan Sanchez era....


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 Post subject: Re: J. Sanchez, Inge make team
PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 10:13 pm 
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PirateParrot wrote:
sisyphus wrote:
J_C_Steel wrote:
Someone tell me why, after having more than five years to rebuild the Pirates, Neal Huntington has John McDonald and Brandon Inge as bench players for the 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates? Shouldn't the Bucs have younger, better options at this point?

This is disappointing.

Extremely. I think that Hurdle had a ton of input on this. I think that he hates young players. Maybe Huntington does as well, I don't know, but I do know who makes out the lineups, and he kept Ciriaco nailed to the bench two years ago, and did the same to Mercer last year. So now we open the season with two shortstops and a third baseman who are pretty much useless for anything except defense. The starting pitching had better get 7 innings every time out, because there is nobody to pinch hit. Hope we don't end up longing for the days when they could send up Luis Rivas or Bobby Crosby to bat in the sixth.

I agree wholeheartedly with both of your posts here. Hurdle clearly likes veterans. NH is trying desperately to save his job. This team is probably not going to contend. There is no reason NOT to go with the young guys. And once again the veterans replacing them stink. They wasted an entire year of Mercer's career last season. Of course this is the same group that tried to hold Neil Walker back. If it weren't for an absolute emergency he may never have gotten a chance...or at least his chance would have been delayed. Oh well...on with the Jonathan Sanchez era....

I agree with a lot of what you say, but can we please drop the story that they tried to hold Neil Walker back?

He had an OPS of .511 in 19 AAA games in 2007.

He went .242 - .280 - .414 for an OPS of .694 in 2008. He would have been lucky to hit .200 in the majors with numbers like that.

He went .264 - .311 - .480 for an OPS of .773 in 2009, only because he had a great last month of the season. He would have been lucky to hit .220 in the majors with numbers like that.

He FINALLY showed that he could hit AAA pitching and tell a ball from a strike in 2010, and was called up after 43 games.

The Pirates didn't hold Neil Walker back. Neil Walker held Neil Walker back. Once he showed that he didn't suck, he was called up.

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 Post subject: Re: J. Sanchez, Inge make team
PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 10:15 pm 
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PirateParrot wrote:
I agree wholeheartedly with both of your posts here. Hurdle clearly likes veterans. NH is trying desperately to save his job. This team is probably not going to contend. There is no reason NOT to go with the young guys. And once again the veterans replacing them stink. They wasted an entire year of Mercer's career last season. Of course this is the same group that tried to hold Neil Walker back. If it weren't for an absolute emergency he may never have gotten a chance...or at least his chance would have been delayed. Oh well...on with the Jonathan Sanchez era....


If Huntington was making roster decisions to save his job, Garrett Cole wouldn't be starting the year in AAA. Taillon wouldn't be in AA. They'd both be in the rotation. Sorry PP, not buying it.

If Sanchez wasn't in the mix, people would be bitching about Kyle McPherson's "scholarship" and that he didn't do anything in Spring Training to earn a job with the big league club. Now its convenient to argue that Hurdle "likes his veterans" and poor McPherson is being denied a job because of his youth.

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 Post subject: Re: J. Sanchez, Inge make team
PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 2:10 am 
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No. 9 wrote:
PirateParrot wrote:
I agree wholeheartedly with both of your posts here. Hurdle clearly likes veterans. NH is trying desperately to save his job. This team is probably not going to contend. There is no reason NOT to go with the young guys. And once again the veterans replacing them stink. They wasted an entire year of Mercer's career last season. Of course this is the same group that tried to hold Neil Walker back. If it weren't for an absolute emergency he may never have gotten a chance...or at least his chance would have been delayed. Oh well...on with the Jonathan Sanchez era....


If Huntington was making roster decisions to save his job, Garrett Cole wouldn't be starting the year in AAA. Taillon wouldn't be in AA. They'd both be in the rotation. Sorry PP, not buying it.

If Sanchez wasn't in the mix, people would be bitching about Kyle McPherson's "scholarship" and that he didn't do anything in Spring Training to earn a job with the big league club. Now its convenient to argue that Hurdle "likes his veterans" and poor McPherson is being denied a job because of his youth.

I wouldn't be complaining. I'd take a bad young guy over a bad veteran any day. At least McPherson has room to grow.

I simply said that NH MAY be trying to save his job by squeezing out a win or two more with vets. What I truly think is he has no clue whatsoever. And lastly I don't think it is a stretch, based on what we've seen, that Hurdle prefers veterans.

Oh, and why is it that everyone says spring training numbers don't matter(which I agree with mostly) but when McPherson didn't pitch well this spring then it is given as a reason for him not being given a spot in the rotation.


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 Post subject: Re: J. Sanchez, Inge make team
PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 2:50 am 
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Well, this thread really went a lot of different places since I posted it this morning.

I think the key of the outrage and criticism here is (rightfully) Inge. The others are understandable and might actually prove to be correct, but Inge seems pretty inexplicable under all circumstances. With J. Sanchez, it makes sense, it's just a shame that the first half of his ST tryout looked exactly like his season last year, which was a complete fiasco. But you can argue that he ultimately earned the rotation spot over McPherson, and it is after all just a replacement spot until one of two guys get healthy. And who knows, you could get something like a Correia-type deal where for the month or so he's needed, he manages to prevail thoroughly. McDonald, I can concede that it makes sense for the reason bucco fan said regarding the PH situation with Barmes, however I simply refuse to believe that Jordy Mercer couldn't have provided the same value with his defense plus perhaps realistically much better offense.

But with Inge, once again the word "inexplicable" comes to mind. The only positive I can think of is that if Hurdle does his usual thing of going out of his way to remind everyone that the 25th man doesn't exist, at least it will indeed be with Inge who makes appearance very scarcely besides doing his normal thing of letting someone like Mercer completely rot on the bench. But that's over-thinking it, obviously the real reason is that he wants a veteran around. I do agree with the sentiment regarding Hurdle's at this point rather obvious aversion to younger players. And while I agree that it's probably not worth splitting hairs over the overall effects of debating the values of say an Inge/McDonald vs. Mercer/DeJesus for a bench spot, these kinds of move are still very strongly reminiscent of the Church/Crosby/etc etc etc., pick your example type moves of the recent past and seem almost destined to fail from the start.

It's a shame about Hurdle, too. The guy had such a great opportunity to seemingly bring some competence back to the manager position of this team, with being what seems like a genuinely likeable guy on an aesthetic level, and coming of the heels of a total blowhard disaster in Jim Tracy and (pick your adjective for "stoic" or "uninteresting") John Russell. But this is year 3 at the helm, what with the questionable game management such as the infamous bizarre bunting and smallball strategies and obvious biases toward veterans when it comes to allotting playing time and filling out the roster, I can't say that as of now I feel like his legacy will be much greater than those other two. I never knew how much I would at one time feel so nostalgic for Lloyd McClendon.


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 Post subject: Re: J. Sanchez, Inge make team
PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 10:25 am 
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Baseball is a game of Inges. And the Pirates, with "one", lose this particular game.

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 Post subject: Re: J. Sanchez, Inge make team
PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 10:41 am 
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J_C_Steel wrote:
Barrys Dopers wrote:
Have you reviewed the Cardinals bench? Their 2012 ops listed -

Tony Cruz .632, Ty Wigginton .688, Daniel Descalso .627, Shane Robinson .665, Matt Adams .669

Be realistic.


Are you serious?

Look at Matt Adams' minor league numbers:

http://www.milb.com/milb/stats/stats.js ... pid=571431

Yeah. 50 homers the last two years in the minors, hitting at least .300 every year, and an average OPS well over .900. That's a young lefty bat off the bench with power and hit tool pedigree.

Also, Ty Wigginton may not get on base much, but he has some pop.

Finally, the Cardinals don't need as much firepower on the pine because they have a TON of it in their lineup.


Nice job denying fact. And power in the Cards lineup eh? 2012 HR - 170 Pirates, 159 Cards.

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 Post subject: Re: J. Sanchez, Inge make team
PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 10:43 am 
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PirateParrot wrote:
No. 9 wrote:
PirateParrot wrote:
I agree wholeheartedly with both of your posts here. Hurdle clearly likes veterans. NH is trying desperately to save his job. This team is probably not going to contend. There is no reason NOT to go with the young guys. And once again the veterans replacing them stink. They wasted an entire year of Mercer's career last season. Of course this is the same group that tried to hold Neil Walker back. If it weren't for an absolute emergency he may never have gotten a chance...or at least his chance would have been delayed. Oh well...on with the Jonathan Sanchez era....


If Huntington was making roster decisions to save his job, Garrett Cole wouldn't be starting the year in AAA. Taillon wouldn't be in AA. They'd both be in the rotation. Sorry PP, not buying it.

If Sanchez wasn't in the mix, people would be bitching about Kyle McPherson's "scholarship" and that he didn't do anything in Spring Training to earn a job with the big league club. Now its convenient to argue that Hurdle "likes his veterans" and poor McPherson is being denied a job because of his youth.

I wouldn't be complaining. I'd take a bad young guy over a bad veteran any day. At least McPherson has room to grow.

I simply said that NH MAY be trying to save his job by squeezing out a win or two more with vets. What I truly think is he has no clue whatsoever. And lastly I don't think it is a stretch, based on what we've seen, that Hurdle prefers veterans.

Oh, and why is it that everyone says spring training numbers don't matter(which I agree with mostly) but when McPherson didn't pitch well this spring then it is given as a reason for him not being given a spot in the rotation.



The reason for KMac at AAA is largely based on the fact that he has 3 career starts at that level much more than his ST stats. There is little downside to letting him get some more experience while you see what Sanchez has left. Personally, I would have went with KMac, but I can see the other side pretty clearly.

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 Post subject: Re: J. Sanchez, Inge make team
PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 11:14 am 
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Barrys Dopers wrote:
The reason for KMac at AAA is largely based on the fact that he has 3 career starts at that level much more than his ST stats. There is little downside to letting him get some more experience while you see what Sanchez has left. Personally, I would have went with KMac, but I can see the other side pretty clearly.

I just can't see Jonathan Sanchez...period. Hope I get to eat a HUGE plate of crow in a month or two.


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 Post subject: Re: J. Sanchez, Inge make team
PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 1:42 pm 
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Barrys Dopers wrote:
Nice job denying fact. And power in the Cards lineup eh? 2012 HR - 170 Pirates, 159 Cards.


Yeah, let's ignore the fact that the Cardinals had a far better offense and scored 114 more runs than the Pirates. I'm sure that's not relevant.

And let's cut to the chase this way:

Is there any player on the Pirates' 2013 bench that you wouldn't give up for 24-year-old Matt Adams? Anyone? Didn't think so...


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 Post subject: Re: J. Sanchez, Inge make team
PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 1:55 pm 
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J_C_Steel wrote:
Barrys Dopers wrote:
Nice job denying fact. And power in the Cards lineup eh? 2012 HR - 170 Pirates, 159 Cards.


Yeah, let's ignore the fact that the Cardinals had a far better offense and scored 114 more runs than the Pirates. I'm sure that's not relevant.

And let's cut to the chase this way:

Is there any player on the Pirates' 2013 bench that you wouldn't give up for 24-year-old Matt Adams? Anyone? Didn't think so...


Nice strawman you have created, you win :roll:

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 Post subject: Re: J. Sanchez, Inge make team
PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 2:01 pm 
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Barrys Dopers wrote:
J_C_Steel wrote:
Barrys Dopers wrote:
Nice job denying fact. And power in the Cards lineup eh? 2012 HR - 170 Pirates, 159 Cards.


Yeah, let's ignore the fact that the Cardinals had a far better offense and scored 114 more runs than the Pirates. I'm sure that's not relevant.

And let's cut to the chase this way:

Is there any player on the Pirates' 2013 bench that you wouldn't give up for 24-year-old Matt Adams? Anyone? Didn't think so...


Nice strawman you have created, you win :roll:


We're comparing benches, right? Then let's simplify it.

Which bench do you want, the 2013 Pirates' bench or the 2013 Cardinals' bench?

I'll take the Cardinals' pine based primarily on Adams' youth, pedigree, and upside. You?


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 Post subject: Re: J. Sanchez, Inge make team
PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 2:44 pm 
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J_C_Steel wrote:
Barrys Dopers wrote:

Nice strawman you have created, you win :roll:


We're comparing benches, right? Then let's simplify it.

Which bench do you want, the 2013 Pirates' bench or the 2013 Cardinals' bench?

I'll take the Cardinals' pine based primarily on Adams' youth, pedigree, and upside. You?



I'll take the Pirates based on a Gaby/Jones, Tabata/Snider, McKenry. This isn't the point JC, the point is that the Pirates bench is not any weaker than the division favorite. No team has great bench players top to bottom in MLB. The Tigers are going with Don Kelly again.

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 Post subject: Re: J. Sanchez, Inge make team
PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 3:18 pm 
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Barrys Dopers wrote:
I'll take the Pirates based on a Gaby/Jones, Tabata/Snider, McKenry. This isn't the point JC, the point is that the Pirates bench is not any weaker than the division favorite. No team has great bench players top to bottom in MLB. The Tigers are going with Don Kelly again.


I disagree. I believe the Pirates' bench is "weaker" than the Cardinals' bench, and lacks youth and upside. I'll take Adams as a lefty thumper and decent prospect, Wigginton as a decent right-handed stick, Descalso as a young utility guy with some upside, and Cruz as a young backup catcher over the Pirates' McDonald, Inge, Sanchez, McKenry, and Tabata.

I agree it's minor, but it's still quite disappointing to me that, after five years of building up the farm system, Huntington doesn't have a guy like Matt Adams to turn to as a bench option and instead feels like he has to bring in guys like McDonald and Inge...


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