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 Post subject: Re: It's Official -- Walker Activated, Mercer to AAA
PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2013 4:17 pm 
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Oh and one more thing Brown was interviewed by MLB network and the two topics were Martin's injury/his return table and the homerun power the bucs have displayed lastly. He credited it to contributions from Clint Barmes and the likes which is true, Barmes has been putting over the fence lately. But there was no mention of Mercer who hit 3, 3, in a week since his promotion.

That's more than McDonald will hit all season. There's no reason this club needs a defensive minded player off the bench. Barmes has the durability to play every game this season. This club needs a bat off the bench when there's a good to great chance the barmes is struggling and the bucs are in need of runs. That replacement of offensive oppritunity isn't coming from ole McDonald had a farm.


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 Post subject: Re: It's Official -- Walker Activated, Mercer to AAA
PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2013 4:19 pm 
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No. 9 wrote:
Free Steve Pearce!
Free Matt Hague!
Free Jordy Mercer!


Remember who we wanted them to replace?

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 Post subject: Re: It's Official -- Walker Activated, Mercer to AAA
PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2013 4:28 pm 
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If Mercer were from the Dominican, and admitted he had fudged his real birthday and in fact he was 38 years old, and it turned out he could not hit a lick, I suspect the Pirates would hire a private jet to get him back with the major league team.


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 Post subject: Re: It's Official -- Walker Activated, Mercer to AAA
PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2013 4:33 pm 
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J_C_Steel wrote:
What are the Pirates getting from McDonald that makes him worth keeping with the PBC over Mercer? Enlighten me.


I have. Multiple times.

Its in the way the roster is comprised and the way McDonald is being used. The Bucs want Barmes because of his glove. It is clear that they value the glove over the bat for the SS position. McDonald will get a rare spot start at SS but, for the most part, he will get splinters in his ass unless (1) there is a double switch which results in a pitcher taking Barmes' spot and McDonald taking the pitcher's spot or (2) Hurdle pinch hits for Barmes and needs to replace Barmes' glove at SS.

McDonald is on this team for defensive purposes. That's what this club values right now out of its SS. McDonald has seen only 2.5% of this team's plate appearances. It is, by far, the fewest of any player that made the team out of camp and that includes guys like Tabata, Snider and Walker who have spent time on the bench injured. Like it or not, the Bucs want a "defense first" SS. They structured their roster in a manner which ensures that a "glove first" SS will be on the field at all times. They are not structured to beat the other team to death by scoring a ton of runs. They are structured to have superior defenders at SS, C, CF and, at worst, a league average defender at 2B.

You can disagree with the premise of a "defense first" SS. That's fine. I agree that premise can be debated. But . . . if you take the premise as a "given" . . . and you are given the choice . . . who plays defense for you in crunch time - Mercer or McDonald. I submit that anyone who is paying attention picks McDonald over Mercer - when it comes to defense.

Now . . . I submit that if you want to debate the issue of strongest roster construction while wanting to maintain a "defense first" SS . . . a far more interesting debate exists as to whether Mercer should take Inge's slot. Inge isn't going to play SS. Inge is going to speall Alvarez. Inge is going to spell Walker. Inge is going to play a bit of RF and LF. Maybe Mercer could take those spots. But then we get inot the esoteric argument of intangibles and we all know who the statisticains come down on that issue.

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Obsessive proponent of situational bunting and 2 strike hitting approaches, reflexively pro-catchers calling good games and tasteless proponent of the value of a RBI.


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 Post subject: Re: It's Official -- Walker Activated, Mercer to AAA
PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2013 4:43 pm 
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No. 9, McDonald isn't being used. That's the point I'm trying to make. Yes, maybe a little more while Walker was on the dl, in which McDonald did absolutely nothing for this club. When Walker and Barmes are healthy that have the durability to play 95% of the year. Neither player should ever be double switched for, Walker because of his offensive pop, Barmes because of his glove.

Again I'll make the argument that Mercer at 26 is no longer a prospect that needs everyday playing time, as the PBC claims. He adds more to the club than McDonald ever will. Defensively and offensively.


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 Post subject: Re: It's Official -- Walker Activated, Mercer to AAA
PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2013 4:59 pm 
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Now Mercer will go back to AAA dejected and pissed off and hit like crap for 3 weeks and the naysayers including Hurdle and NH and some here will say 'see, he still had stuff to work on, he wasn't ready'.....


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 Post subject: Re: It's Official -- Walker Activated, Mercer to AAA
PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2013 5:05 pm 
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buccosfan77 wrote:
No. 9, McDonald isn't being used. That's the point I'm trying to make. Yes, maybe a little more while Walker was on the dl, in which McDonald did absolutely nothing for this club. When Walker and Barmes are healthy that have the durability to play 95% of the year. Neither player should ever be double switched for, Walker because of his offensive pop, Barmes because of his glove.


Bases loaded, bottom of the 8th. Bucs down 1. Tabata and McKenry on the bench. Barmes due up.
You pinch hit for him?
Who plays shortstop in the top of the 9th?
You take the lead, McDonald comes in as the SS, Grilli comes in to close. Leave McD in the 8th slot.
You tie the game, change pitchers, restructure lineup so that McD is furthest away from hitting.
Still trailing, same story as before.

Management wants defense. The 25th roster spot is rarely used for pinch-hitting. The flexibility to pinch hit for a weak hitting Barmes while maintaining defensive superiority is this team's priority.
buccosfan77 wrote:
He adds more to the club than McDonald ever will offensively.
Agree wholeheartedly.
buccosfan77 wrote:
He adds more to the club than McDonald ever will defensively
Disagree vehemently.

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Obsessive proponent of situational bunting and 2 strike hitting approaches, reflexively pro-catchers calling good games and tasteless proponent of the value of a RBI.


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 Post subject: Re: It's Official -- Walker Activated, Mercer to AAA
PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2013 5:43 pm 
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Agree to disagree. Defensively McDonald maybe, maybe. Its minimal. Tabata, Sanchez, whoever hits for Barmes then the club should take its chances with Mercer at short in the bottom half. What if Grilli blows the save and it goes extras where the glove and bat are both needed? Bottom of the 11th runner on second with two outs, tied up and a walkoff in site. Who do you want up? McDonald or Mercer? We can go at this all day.

WAR is still a stat for bench players as well. I have a feeling Mercer would add a couple more wins over McDonald during the course of the year as a bench player and fill-in when Barmes or Walker needs rest.

Again the statement by the PBC that Mercer needs more playing time to be groomed as the future shortstop is wash. They've had time for that and that time has passed. I personally hope there is more of an upgrade over Barmes in the future not named Mercer or Chase D.


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 Post subject: Re: It's Official -- Walker Activated, Mercer to AAA
PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2013 6:04 pm 
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No. 9 wrote:
Now . . . I submit that if you want to debate the issue of strongest roster construction while wanting to maintain a "defense first" SS . . . a far more interesting debate exists as to whether Mercer should take Inge's slot. Inge isn't going to play SS. Inge is going to speall Alvarez. Inge is going to spell Walker. Inge is going to play a bit of RF and LF. Maybe Mercer could take those spots. But then we get inot the esoteric argument of intangibles and we all know who the statisticains come down on that issue.


THAT IS THE POINT. Have you read my posts on this topic?

Leave Barmes as your defense-first starting shortstop. Fine. But keep Mercer as his back-up and give him the Inge super-utility role. You can give Mercer 2-3 starts per week by allowing him to spell Barmes, Walker, and Alvarez. His bat has more upside than Inge's, and I'm still not sure McDonald even uses a bat. McDonald is utterly REDUNDANT because the Pirates already have a defense-first shortstop.

There is simply no need for this team to keep BOTH Inge and McDonald. Period. And I think, deep down, you agree.


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 Post subject: Re: It's Official -- Walker Activated, Mercer to AAA
PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2013 6:07 pm 
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No. 9 wrote:
Bases loaded, bottom of the 8th. Bucs down 1. Tabata and McKenry on the bench. Barmes due up.
You pinch hit for him?
Who plays shortstop in the top of the 9th?
You take the lead, McDonald comes in as the SS, Grilli comes in to close. Leave McD in the 8th slot.
You tie the game, change pitchers, restructure lineup so that McD is furthest away from hitting.
Still trailing, same story as before.

Management wants defense. The 25th roster spot is rarely used for pinch-hitting. The flexibility to pinch hit for a weak hitting Barmes while maintaining defensive superiority is this team's priority.


We know. We all think that's dumb. You don't keep a guy on your bench to play a good shortstop for an inning or two. Mercer can play a decent enough shortstop for two innnings in that scenario, and add FAR MORE VALUE with his bat.


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 Post subject: Re: It's Official -- Walker Activated, Mercer to AAA
PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2013 6:42 pm 
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Don't get the mercer move either.


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 Post subject: Re: It's Official -- Walker Activated, Mercer to AAA
PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2013 6:56 pm 
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Jordy Mercer is facing the PBC's equivalent of solitary.

FREE JORDY MERCER!


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 Post subject: Re: It's Official -- Walker Activated, Mercer to AAA
PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2013 7:11 pm 
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J_C_Steel wrote:
There is simply no need for this team to keep BOTH Inge and McDonald. Period. And I think, deep down, you agree.


Nope. Deep down, I think that this is much ado about nothing. Whether its Inge/Mercer, Mercer/McDonald or McDonald/Mercer, I really don't think that it will have an impact on the W column. I think that the Bucs may win a game or two because of Mercer's bat and that they may lose a game or two because of Mercer's range, arm or failure to turn a key double play. Similarly, they may lose a game or two because McDonald can't get a key hit and that his glove may save a game or two because of superior defensive play.

The Bucs are thinking that he can make a larger contribution defensively by preventing runs in the late innings and the cost of his lack of offensive production is worth the defensive benefit. They must also see that the cost of Mercer's defense is not offset by the benefit of his offense.

In my eyes, I'm not clamoring for Mercer to take ABs from either Walker or Alvarez. And . . . Inge has 3.4% of the team's plate appearances (44/1320) and McDonald has 2.5% of the team's plate appearances (33/1320). I'm not convinced that getting Mercer 3.4% of Pirate plate appearances is going to be a big deal.

Now . . . if the Bucs had to choose between Mercer and McDonald as a starter . . . I'm advocating Mercer. No doubt. But . . . in a limited role . . . meh. I see it pretty much as a push.

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Obsessive proponent of situational bunting and 2 strike hitting approaches, reflexively pro-catchers calling good games and tasteless proponent of the value of a RBI.


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 Post subject: Re: It's Official -- Walker Activated, Mercer to AAA
PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2013 7:31 pm 
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No. 9 wrote:
J_C_Steel wrote:
There is simply no need for this team to keep BOTH Inge and McDonald. Period. And I think, deep down, you agree.


Nope. Deep down, I think that this is much ado about nothing. Whether its Inge/Mercer, Mercer/McDonald or McDonald/Mercer, I really don't think that it will have an impact on the W column. I think that the Bucs may win a game or two because of Mercer's bat and that they may lose a game or two because of Mercer's range, arm or failure to turn a key double play. Similarly, they may lose a game or two because McDonald can't get a key hit and that his glove may save a game or two because of superior defensive play.

The Bucs are thinking that he can make a larger contribution defensively by preventing runs in the late innings and the cost of his lack of offensive production is worth the defensive benefit. They must also see that the cost of Mercer's defense is not offset by the benefit of his offense.

In my eyes, I'm not clamoring for Mercer to take ABs from either Walker or Alvarez. And . . . Inge has 3.4% of the team's plate appearances (44/1320) and McDonald has 2.5% of the team's plate appearances (33/1320). I'm not convinced that getting Mercer 3.4% of Pirate plate appearances is going to be a big deal.

Now . . . if the Bucs had to choose between Mercer and McDonald as a starter . . . I'm advocating Mercer. No doubt. But . . . in a limited role . . . meh. I see it pretty much as a push.


You're missing (or ignoring) the benefit of giving Mercer, whom Huntington said was a candidate to start at shortstop for the Pirates in 2014, additional big-league playing time and rewarding him for his good play both in the majors and in the minors. It's worth something for a team to reward its younger players with time with the big club instead of giving PT to veterans of limited value who have no future with the ball club.

Also, keeping two defense-first infielders seems like complete overkill. You can't tell me that the value to the PBC of Mercer eating into both Inge's and McDonald's at-bats would be off-set by the allegedly better defense those two bring to SS, 2B, and 3B. The evidence isn't there. It's not like Mercer is fielding with a brick in his hand. He's a steady, reliable defender.

Simply put, it's better for the Pirates to keep Mercer over McDonald, both this year and definitely for the future.


Last edited by J_C_Steel on Mon May 13, 2013 8:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: It's Official -- Walker Activated, Mercer to AAA
PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2013 7:34 pm 
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N.B. -- Your argument that John McDonald receives only 2.5% of the Pirates' plate appearances basically supports my argument. Hurdle's trying to hide McDonald and keep him from actually, you know, coming to bat. He wouldn't have to do that with Mercer, who would be more capable with the stick and still able to make spot starts at SS, 2B, and 3B.


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 Post subject: Re: It's Official -- Walker Activated, Mercer to AAA
PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2013 7:39 pm 
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J_C_Steel wrote:
NSMaster56 wrote:
Questionable (to say the least), but unsurprising, decision.

The fact that this is currently the biggest news/problem the Pirates have though, it's alright.


I knew someone would come with the "it's not that big of a deal" argument. You win.


It's not that 'this isn't a big deal'.

More along the lines that it feels better to be dissecting the minutae of a potential 81+ win team than shifting through the shambles of a 60 win one.

To be even more precise, it's nice to be (justifiably) arguing over the two-ish wins which a JMac2/Mercer swap might cost the Bucs when those two wins might actually matter.

J_C_Steel wrote:
And you're generally correct, but I have a problem with the message and the fact that, in however small of a way, the Pirates are a weaker team because of this move.


Absolutely. Anyone who says JMac2 over Mercer makes sense might be crazy, but is plain wrong.

J_C_Steel wrote:
The Pirates' biggest problems seem to be: (1) overuse of the bullpen, and (2) inconsistency from Pedro.


Also valid analysis of what seems to be the Bucs other achilles heel (achilles' heel/achilles heels? :? :D ) right now (although 'overuse' of bullpen could also be adjusted to 'misuse' of bullpen).

To the 2013 Bucs, the SS conundrum may very well be the biggest deal, but there appears to be a potential solution. If such is the case, it's alright... for now.

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Last edited by NSMaster56 on Mon May 13, 2013 7:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: It's Official -- Walker Activated, Mercer to AAA
PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2013 7:39 pm 
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Lets not forget McDonald was traded to the bucs for cash and a player to be named later because of Chase's season ending injury. He was traded here for depth. Tells me the bucs had plans to retain Chase and not Jordy at the big club level at some point.

Low and behold in the end Jordy received the oppritunity and made it count with solid numbers at the plate and a solid defensive game.

McDonald was traded here for depth and obviously a bat that doesn't make up enough for his defensive play. Add the fact Arizona didn't think he was worth much and folks you have your 25th man on the roster.

Might as well just have 24.


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 Post subject: Re: It's Official -- Walker Activated, Mercer to AAA
PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2013 7:51 pm 
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No. 9 wrote:
I'm disappointed in this move solely because it is going to lead to microscopic analysis of every plate appearance by Barmes and Inge and every fielding opportunity by McDonald.


Surely you meant to add: ...'moreso' ? :D

IA Pirate wrote:
All the Pirates are doing is setting themselves up for failure... The Pirates say they are grooming [Mercer] for 2014...what if he fails? There is no safety net. The Pirates will scramble to piece together a vital position in the infield.

There is no pressure this season. Next season the keys to the car are his. If he struggles the Pirates are screwed.


The sad reality is that such appears to be the case no matter what. That is, ever since the Barmes signing (if not [long] before), 'who plays SS' was going to be a glaring need/problem.

The Bucs haven't had a reliable SS option since Jumpin' Jack Flash. They haven't had a reliable and productive SS since Jay Bell.

Alen Hansen is years away, if he ever plays SS. We don't need to rehash the Sano discussion. Less of an argument is the potential Taillon over Machado case (and yes, Machado is playing 3B, but it's not as if he couldn't have played SS---he wouldn't be the first bat>glove SS experiment).

Overall the Bucs have been SS deficient for some time and don't seem to have a long-term plan (although since SS is such a scarce position, so what team really does?).

The scary thought here, which is actually terribly defendable, is that in 2014 (and beyond) Clint Barmes may still be around (as a backup, but still).

We might as well get used to these type of discussions, because they're probably not going away for a few years.

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 Post subject: Re: It's Official -- Walker Activated, Mercer to AAA
PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2013 8:01 pm 
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No. 9 wrote:
Whether its Inge/Mercer, Mercer/McDonald or McDonald/Mercer, I really don't think that it will have an impact on the W column. I think that the Bucs may win a game or two because of Mercer's bat and that they may lose a game or two because of Mercer's range, arm or failure to turn a key double play. Similarly, they may lose a game or two because McDonald can't get a key hit and that his glove may save a game or two because of superior defensive play.


Even if that were the case, it should be a moot point as there was never any point to the JMac2 acquisition to begin with.

The Pirates, be it NH/Hurdle/the FO, have created this ridiculous situation by refusing to use their best internal option from day one.

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 Post subject: Re: It's Official -- Walker Activated, Mercer to AAA
PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2013 8:06 pm 
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We could look at this way. The bucs had an oppritunity to get Sano, they didn't. Had a chance at Machado, chose another talented player. The depth is there on the mound. Those two top draft picks have certaintly worked out and are progressing nicely. Pitchers sometimes take longer to reach the majors. I'd rather have it that way as a fan and worry about the position player later.

I have a feeling either this year or next the bucs are going to land a talented shortstop upgrade and it wont come from a player currently in the PBC system.

Its all good.


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