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 Post subject: Random Tidbits on a boring Sunday
PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2013 6:19 pm 
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Sawchik tweeted some interesting things from Huntington:

* Pitchers ARE on a pitch/innings limit....not only Cole. However, he expects Cole will be on the playoff roster and able to pitch in October if necessary. Was noncommittal on his role and mentioned that skipping starts could happen.

* Grilli had a good reevaluation....would be nice to have him back. Not that the bullpen has been bad, and Grilli was showing some chinks himself, but depth is just huge in baseball, as we've seen.

* J-Mac making some progress, he'll be starting bullpen sessions Monday. IMO, I don't think he's anything other than September depth if he's just starting bullpen stuff now. He might have reached the end of his line with the Pirates.

* Huntington also mentioned that some of the deadline deals that didn't get done could be re-explored in the offseason. Sawchik posited that he could mean Giancarlo Stanton, who many have mentioned the Pirates pursued aggressively.

Other tidbits:

* Reese McGuire was named GCL Player of the Month. He currently has a 368/429/463 triple slash line (892 OPS) with a 9.52% K rate and 8.57% BB rate (10:9 ratio). Unfortunately, the spreadsheet I have can't really calculate wOBA or wRC+ so that's the best I can do with the comprehensive info.

* After a slow start, Austin Meadows has actually overtaken McGuire as the OPS leader on the GCL squad. He has a 291/384/535 triple slash (919 OPS) with a 21.21% K rate and a 12.12% BB rate (21:12 ratio). However, he started his career 3-22 with 8K and 0 BB so it's been a drastic turnaround since then.

* Both Meadows and McGuire have held their own, especially compared to some of the other big HS bats (Frazier, McKinney, Smith, Denney, Ciuffo). For an organization that's gone heavy on pitching (rightfully so), it's nice to see some first round bats make a nice transition....thinking they'll be in WV next year.

And, a mini-blast from the past:

* Rajai Davis is getting some buzz as a waiver candidate. He's a platoon player at this point, but he could MAYBE slip down to the Pirates. He has pretty much no value against righties (51 wRC+) but is really good against lefties (141 wRC+). He's expensive for a 32 year old with value on only the short side of the platoon, but he would be a great fit for the Pirates (and PNC Park), IMO. Not one RFer hits lefties well for us, including Lambo if he comes up. Could be a name to watch, although passing him through 29 other teams could be tough. The price tag and one-dimensional aspect of his ability to contribute gives me some hope, though.

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 Post subject: Re: Random Tidbits on a boring Sunday
PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2013 7:21 pm 
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Normally I don't pay too much attention to the low minors, but I would love to see that Bradenton club with McGuire and Meadows, two number one picks, on it.


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 Post subject: Re: Random Tidbits on a boring Sunday
PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2013 7:54 pm 
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Yeah the new CBA has reinvigorated the GCL.

Usually these top guys would negotiate into August, sign, and then not start their career with a minor league affiliate until the following year. For the HS pitchers that meant NYPL for Fastball Academy and for the hitters that (usually) meant WV. Now with the July deadline we get to see all of the HS hitters (and pitchers) in the GCL. Between Meadows, McGuire, Buckner, and Arbet there's some intriguing bats. Then you have guys like Taylor, Roth, and Kozikowski on the mound.

Big step up from International guys who are just coming over to the States and less advanced HS guys.

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 Post subject: Re: Random Tidbits on a boring Sunday
PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2013 8:06 pm 
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SA, per Rajai: if acquired, are we to assume he'd leadoff for this team, or...?

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 Post subject: Re: Random Tidbits on a boring Sunday
PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2013 8:27 pm 
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I think he could if we wanted him to. 383 OBP against lefties. We just don't have anybody in right who can hit lefties, and he'd be cheaper than making a pass at Alex Rios' bloated contract when he inevitably goes on the wire. He'd be expensive for what his role/value would be, but it's not like the Pirates can't take on payroll and his contract would be up after this season.

I think getting a guy who can hit lefties would be huge for RF...we're getting below average production from the position but all of the current RF guys are producing at an above-average level against righties (plus Travis Snider weighs really heavily into things still). I think giving him a huge OF to work with could utilize the speed well, too. He can still fly, no doubt about it. 31 SB to 3 CS. Don't think a team would want to pay him to be a pinch runner, either.

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 Post subject: Re: Random Tidbits on a boring Sunday
PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2013 8:34 pm 
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Also, speaking of the low-minors and levels that have been helped by the new CBA, the Pirates are sending SEVEN players to the NYPL All-Star game, according to Pirates Prospects. Pretty nice to see so many early returns on a lot of the college picks, although 3 international guys were also selected (Ramirez, Jhang, Espinosa).

College picks are Adam Frazier (SS), Michael Fransoso (SS), Erich Weiss (2B/3B), and Jeff Roy (OF).

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 Post subject: Re: Random Tidbits on a boring Sunday
PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2013 8:55 pm 
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Would Rajai be worth a strictly Righty platoon?

With only 53 games (and counting) left, how often would he really see action?

An intriguing option, just curious on the details.

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 Post subject: Re: Random Tidbits on a boring Sunday
PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2013 9:30 pm 
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NSMaster56 wrote:
Would Rajai be worth a strictly Righty platoon?

With only 53 games (and counting) left, how often would he really see action?

An intriguing option, just curious on the details.


That's the thing, I don't think he'd see a ton of action, so it probably wouldn't be worth it for most teams to pick him up. Right now, we have Tabata and Presley as our options in right and neither are great against lefties. So you figure you bring in Rajai, send Presley down, and you have a solid platoon for a month and (hopefully) into October. Then, Davis is gone since the contract is up after this year.

The contract isn't huge overall, it's 2.5M, but for a guy who would really only fill a very specific hole that's steep. You're talking about maybe 900K or so for 30 AB's (and more if we make October). But, the hole he fills is a hole we have in a big way so he'd be worth more to us than to others most likely.

It wouldn't be like taking on the 17M that's owed Rios over the rest of his contract, I just think it's high enough and he's limited enough that he has a chance to sneak through to us. And if he does, I think it'd be a solid fit. There's been nothing connecting him to anybody, Olney just listed some guys he thought would be put through the waiver wire and had a chance of actually moving and he was the name that jumped out as filling a hole and maybe making it all the way to us.

Figure with the contract up after 2013, the only teams who would put in a claim are contenders. And looking at the contenders, I can't see a team who would want a RF that can only hit lefties. Pirates could definitely use that help though.

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 Post subject: Re: Random Tidbits on a boring Sunday
PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2013 10:05 pm 
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StarlingArcher wrote:
I think he could if we wanted him to. 383 OBP against lefties. We just don't have anybody in right who can hit lefties, and he'd be cheaper than making a pass at Alex Rios' bloated contract when he inevitably goes on the wire. He'd be expensive for what his role/value would be, but it's not like the Pirates can't take on payroll and his contract would be up after this season.

I think getting a guy who can hit lefties would be huge for RF...we're getting below average production from the position but all of the current RF guys are producing at an above-average level against righties (plus Travis Snider weighs really heavily into things still). I think giving him a huge OF to work with could utilize the speed well, too. He can still fly, no doubt about it. 31 SB to 3 CS. Don't think a team would want to pay him to be a pinch runner, either.

Tabata can hit lefties. He's only had 46 at bats against them so far this year. Davis only has 81. When samples are that small, just about any random result is possible. Going by their career numbers vs. lefties there really isn't a great deal of difference.

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 Post subject: Re: Random Tidbits on a boring Sunday
PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2013 10:21 pm 
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StarlingArcher wrote:
NSMaster56 wrote:
Would Rajai be worth a strictly Righty platoon?

With only 53 games (and counting) left, how often would he really see action?

An intriguing option, just curious on the details.


That's the thing, I don't think he'd see a ton of action, so it probably wouldn't be worth it for most teams to pick him up. Right now, we have Tabata and Presley as our options in right and neither are great against lefties. So you figure you bring in Rajai, send Presley down, and you have a solid platoon for a month and (hopefully) into October. Then, Davis is gone since the contract is up after this year.

The contract isn't huge overall, it's 2.5M, but for a guy who would really only fill a very specific hole that's steep. You're talking about maybe 900K or so for 30 AB's (and more if we make October). But, the hole he fills is a hole we have in a big way so he'd be worth more to us than to others most likely.

It wouldn't be like taking on the 17M that's owed Rios over the rest of his contract, I just think it's high enough and he's limited enough that he has a chance to sneak through to us. And if he does, I think it'd be a solid fit. There's been nothing connecting him to anybody, Olney just listed some guys he thought would be put through the waiver wire and had a chance of actually moving and he was the name that jumped out as filling a hole and maybe making it all the way to us.

Figure with the contract up after 2013, the only teams who would put in a claim are contenders. And looking at the contenders, I can't see a team who would want a RF that can only hit lefties. Pirates could definitely use that help though.

The Pirates arent having any trouble hitting lefties. As of a few days ago, they had three players in the top 10 of the NL in OPS vs. lefties. Their team OPS vs. lefty starters is .750. Against righty starters it's .688. A very marginal improvement in the lineup against lefties would be all but meaningless. Where they need help is against righty starters. Get a better bat to replace Jones, or, especially the left handed half of the right field platoon and you'll be making a much more substantial improvement to the lineup. As a bonus, you wouldn't have to see Davis's lame arm out in right field.

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 Post subject: Re: Random Tidbits on a boring Sunday
PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2013 10:30 pm 
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sisyphus wrote:
The Pirates arent having any trouble hitting lefties. As of a few days ago, they had three players in the top 10 of the NL in OPS vs. lefties. Their team OPS vs. lefty starters is .750. Against righty starters it's .688. A very marginal improvement in the lineup against lefties would be all but meaningless. Where they need help is against righty starters. Get a better bat to replace Jones, or, especially the left handed half of the right field platoon and you'll be making a much more substantial improvement to the lineup. As a bonus, you wouldn't have to see Davis's lame arm out in right field.


I'm trying to improve the lefthanded half of the RF platoon. I agree that that's where the biggest issue is. Or yeah, Jones, although he's turned it around recently so I'd give him a shot to maintain it. Plus, not like Davis' arm will be any more noodly than Presley's is.

Walker helps against righties too. Gets either Mercer or Barmes out of there.

Tabata does have a decent career lefty split, BUT, he's also on pace to hit 21 HR's against lefties by the time he's faced them as many times as he has righties (he's hit 7 homers against righties). I don't necessarily know that I trust him to do that, primarily because that's just not his game. So he has of a bit of inflation there, IMO.

I think Davis fixes more than Schierholtz, Rios, or DeJesus would have, personally. Tabata has a 115 wRC+ against righties this year, he's been more than capable. Davis has a 111 wRC+ against lefties for his career and a 117, 126, 113, and 141 going back to 2010.

Edit: I also have no real issue with Tabata and would be fine with just rolling with him every day. Just think if we wanted to upgrade RF at the deadline, we'd do much better to get a guy who tears up lefthanders than to get a guy who is just like Jones/Tabata/Presley and hits righthanders well.

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Last edited by StarlingArcher on Sun Aug 04, 2013 10:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Random Tidbits on a boring Sunday
PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2013 10:39 pm 
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StarlingArcher wrote:
sisyphus wrote:
The Pirates arent having any trouble hitting lefties. As of a few days ago, they had three players in the top 10 of the NL in OPS vs. lefties. Their team OPS vs. lefty starters is .750. Against righty starters it's .688. A very marginal improvement in the lineup against lefties would be all but meaningless. Where they need help is against righty starters. Get a better bat to replace Jones, or, especially the left handed half of the right field platoon and you'll be making a much more substantial improvement to the lineup. As a bonus, you wouldn't have to see Davis's lame arm out in right field.


I'm trying to improve the lefthanded half of the RF platoon. I agree that that's where the biggest issue is. Or yeah, Jones, although he's turned it around recently so I'd give him a shot to maintain it. Plus, not like Davis' arm will be any more noodly than Presley's is.

Tabata does have a decent career lefty split, BUT, he's also on pace to hit 21 HR's against lefties by the time he's faced them as many times as he has righties (he's hit 7 homers against righties). I don't necessarily know that I trust him to do that, primarily because that's just not his game. So he has of a bit of inflation there, IMO.

I think Davis fixes more than Schierholtz, Rios, or DeJesus would have, personally.

Rios yes, Schierholtz or DeJesus? That's just ridiculous. The left handed half of a platoon gets three or four times as many plate appearances, and the gaps between our lefty RFs and Schierholtz or DeJesus is huge in comparison to the 30-odd points of OPS between Tabata and Davis.

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 Post subject: Re: Random Tidbits on a boring Sunday
PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2013 10:41 pm 
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We don't need anyone's rejects!

Snider/Tabata and Jones/Sanchez are doing okay. Yeah, we could get more production, but we are winning with what we have. Snider, Tabata, Jones, Sanchez, and even Presley have all gotten some pretty big hits for us. If you could land someone like Giancarlo Stanton, then you do it. But unless we are getting a substantial upgrade, I go with what we have!

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 Post subject: Re: Random Tidbits on a boring Sunday
PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2013 10:48 pm 
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sisyphus wrote:
StarlingArcher wrote:
sisyphus wrote:
The Pirates arent having any trouble hitting lefties. As of a few days ago, they had three players in the top 10 of the NL in OPS vs. lefties. Their team OPS vs. lefty starters is .750. Against righty starters it's .688. A very marginal improvement in the lineup against lefties would be all but meaningless. Where they need help is against righty starters. Get a better bat to replace Jones, or, especially the left handed half of the right field platoon and you'll be making a much more substantial improvement to the lineup. As a bonus, you wouldn't have to see Davis's lame arm out in right field.


I'm trying to improve the lefthanded half of the RF platoon. I agree that that's where the biggest issue is. Or yeah, Jones, although he's turned it around recently so I'd give him a shot to maintain it. Plus, not like Davis' arm will be any more noodly than Presley's is.

Tabata does have a decent career lefty split, BUT, he's also on pace to hit 21 HR's against lefties by the time he's faced them as many times as he has righties (he's hit 7 homers against righties). I don't necessarily know that I trust him to do that, primarily because that's just not his game. So he has of a bit of inflation there, IMO.

I think Davis fixes more than Schierholtz, Rios, or DeJesus would have, personally.

Rios yes, Schierholtz or DeJesus? That's just ridiculous. The left handed half of a platoon gets three or four times as many plate appearances, and the gaps between our lefty RFs and Schierholtz or DeJesus is huge in comparison to the 30-odd points of OPS between Tabata and Davis.


A platoon has nothing to do with the handedness of the batter. It's just about pairing together a guy who doesn't hit a certain handedness with a guy who can and vice versa. Usually it's lefty-righty/righty-lefty, but some guys have reverse splits and between the high relative HR totals against lefties and the K%/BB% numbers he has, he looks like a reverse split candidate.

It's a bit redundant to have a lefthanded batter and a righthanded batter who hit the same handed pitcher well. They need to upgrade the RF position with a guy who can hit lefties. They're getting fine production from Tabata against righties, bringing in another guy who only hits righties well doesn't fill a "hole".

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 Post subject: Re: Random Tidbits on a boring Sunday
PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2013 10:53 pm 
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StarlingArcher wrote:
A platoon has nothing to do with the handedness of the batter. It's just about pairing together a guy who doesn't hit a certain handedness with a guy who can and vice versa.

It's a bit redundant to have a lefthanded batter and a righthanded batter who hit the same handed pitcher well. They need to upgrade the RF position with a guy who can hit lefties. They're getting fine production from Tabata against righties, bringing in another guy who only hits righties well doesn't fill a "hole".

You are basing Tabata's performance against lefties on less that 50 at bats this season and ignoring the fact that he has been better against lefties over the course of his entire career. That makes about as much sense as me pointing to Saturday's game and saying that Tabata would average a triple and a homer in every game for the rest of the season.

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 Post subject: Re: Random Tidbits on a boring Sunday
PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2013 10:58 pm 
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I'm merely operating under the assumption that Tabata won't maintain his current HR pace against lefties. His average against righties is better, as is his OBP (barely, but it is). The main differentiator is the slugging, which I think is inflated by his 21 HR pace.

I hope he does, but power isn't his forte so I'm not going to think he'll continue his pace. Or, if he does, that his righthanded HR pace won't increase with it.

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 Post subject: Re: Random Tidbits on a boring Sunday
PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2013 11:04 pm 
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So Rajai vs. L's, Tabata vs. R's, Presley down and Snider...emergencies only (when rosters expand)?

That could work. As you point out, the fact that Davis is a FA makes it a low-risk investment.

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 Post subject: Re: Random Tidbits on a boring Sunday
PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 1:57 am 
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Corsair wrote:
Normally I don't pay too much attention to the low minors, but I would love to see that Bradenton club with McGuire and Meadows, two number one picks, on it.



..Amen from your keyboard to our field in Bradenton. I would love for them to skip right the Bradenton in 2014 and I think we could use them.

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 Post subject: Re: Random Tidbits on a boring Sunday
PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 2:38 pm 
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NSMaster56 wrote:
So Rajai vs. L's, Tabata vs. R's, Presley down and Snider...emergencies only (when rosters expand)?

That could work. As you point out, the fact that Davis is a FA makes it a low-risk investment.


Yeah, it was just some random spitballing due to boredom/procrastination from the long study sessions for an examination.

We get solid production top-to-bottom against righties. Our 7th best hitter against righties in the normal lineup is Starling Marte (101 wRC+). We get terrible production from the SS position against righties, but we aren't going to get a solid SS off the waiver wire. Adding Walker was huge. He's tied with Pedro for best production against righties, so replacing either Mercer or Barmes with him was a big boost for us.

Against lefties, we get exceptional production from Cutch, Marte, Sanchez, and Mercer. But, we have more holes there. RF is weak, 2B/SS (wherever Mercer doesn't play) is weak, 3B is weak. Would be nice to shore up those spots, and I feel like a Rajai Davis would do that more than Presley. I'm not sure how to feel about Harrison, either....he's mashing lefties but don't know if he'll come close to sustaining it.

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 Post subject: Re: Random Tidbits on a boring Sunday
PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 4:36 pm 
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Not to be overly picky but . . . when Sundays can be characterized as "boring" after the completion of a complete game dominating performance by Burnett which pushed the Bucs back to 23 games over .500, and less than 24 hours from the conclusion of what may have been - at least to my enjoyment of the game of baseball - one of the most satisfying victories of 2013, I like it. I like it a lot.

If such stretches of success become ho-hum and boring, we are in for a long stretch of being happy fans.

;) :)

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