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 Post subject: The Pirates' bullpen
PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2013 12:50 pm 
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I have seen a number of teams play this year, courtesy of MLB.tv, and have witnessed a lot of later-inning pitching changes for teams with extremely high payrolls, and which are supposed to be very good.

I will say that among MLB teams I have seen, the Pirates have one of the best bullpens in the league. For example:

The Angels, with their $128 million payroll, have Scott Downs as their number 1 L-hander out of the pen, and Dane De la Rosa as their number 2 R-hander. Downs would possibly not make the Pirates pen ahead of Wilson and Watson, and De la Rosa would probably supplant Mazzarro.

The Dodgers, with their $220 million payroll, feature Paco Rodriguez as their number 1 lefty out of the pen. Again, having seen him, he would not make the Pirates over Wilson or Watson. The Dodgers also feature a superb righty in Jansen and a very good arm in League .... but not as good as Melancon and Grilli both in terms of "stuff" and performance so far.

The Yankees and their $200 million payroll feature David Robertson and Mo as their end-game pitchers. Very solid - you can't say no to Mo. But having seen Robertson and comparing him to Melancon, I go with Melancon. Further, Boone Logan is a good arm, but after that? Logan would be battling the Buccos two power-arm lefties for a spot.

The Phillies and their $170 million payroll? All I can say is I prefer the Pirates' pen, and Charlie Manuel agrees. That is why he brings his infield in in when LEADING by a run in the 8th inning. He knows if the Buccos tie the game, advantage Pirates due to the superior pen.

The Tigers and their $148 million payroll? Please ... they have to bring Jose Valverde back from the dead to improve their pen.

The Red Sox and their $140 million payroll? Let me ask you this - on the current Pirates team, if Hanrahan was added in place of Jeanmar Gomez, where does he fit? He does not replace Melancon or Grilli, IMO. His high BB rate does NOT compare favorably to Melancon and Grilli. Their best L-hander is Andrew Miller. No contest - Wilson and Watson have as good "stuff" and better control.

The Giants' ($136 million) two lefties are Jeremy Affeldt and Javier Lopez. Affeldt is certainly very good, but depth in the pen matters. It is not just the Pirates who are getting a lot of IP from their pen. Romo is superb, so no dispute that he rocks. Casilla is good, but not better than Melancon so far, and he does not feature a 94-mph cutter that destroys bats and leads to routine grounders. Advantage - Pirates.

The White Sox ($119 million) pen is the first one that I think can compete, with Reed, Santiago, Thornton, and Lindstrom. But the tie goes to the Pirates since the Sox also have Donnie Veal in their pen, and in the event of a tie, the tie goes to the team that does not have Donnie Veal in the pen.

The Blue Jays and their $117 million payroll rely on Darren Oliver as their go-to lefty, and Casey Janssen to finish games. Pirates have a better pen than that.

So you get the point. As Pirates faithful have noted, Huntington can put together a very solid pen on a budget, and has certainly done so yet again, featuring a FA, a guy acquired in an excellent trade (where he dealt part of his own pen), and two lefties from the system.


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 Post subject: Re: The Pirates' bullpen
PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2013 1:20 pm 
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and it would be even better if Bryan Morris were allowed to contribute (or Black or Welker for that matter).

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Well NH did get Cutch signed, but what have you done for me lately?


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