Proud fans of a 128-year old tradition

It is currently Tue Jul 22, 2014 8:38 pm

All times are UTC - 4 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 29 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Short, Medium, and Long Term
PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2013 11:40 pm 
Offline
 Profile

Joined: Sat Apr 26, 2008 4:26 pm
Posts: 3006
I've been thinking about this post for a few weeks but wanted to wait until our season was over to start putting it into words. Basically it is just a different view of the Go...or Stay thread, only in the context of what our short term, medium term, and long term plans and solutions are, position-by-position. This is me thinking out loud, unencumbered by data. Below I will break down each position by what the vision is in the short, medium, and long term, listing players that are locks, players that are possible solutions, or if it makes sense to look externally. I'm loosely defining short term as Opening Day 2014, medium term as possibilities later in 2014 through 2015, and long term as 2015 and beyond. I have no idea how this will turn out, so let's go...

Outfield
Short Term
Locks: A. McCutchen, S. Marte
Possible Solutions: J. Tabata, A. Lambo, T. Snider

Medium Term
Locks: A. McCutchen, S. Marte, G. Polanco
Possible Solutions: J. Tabata, A. Lambo, T. Snider

Long Term
Locks: A. McCutchen, S. Marte, G. Polanco
Possible Solutions: A. Meadows, J. Bell, J. Jones, B. Barnes

This is one of the biggest offseason decisions- are we happy going into next year with Tabata and Lambo (Snider is also in the mix) as our RF'ers, or do we need to add some depth. It is complicated by the anticipated arrival of Polanco mid-year. On one hand, I'm not convinced I'm ready to hand any of those three a starting job or be comfortable platooning them. On the other hand, Marlon Byrd is probably going to want a significant raise and multiple years, as is anyone on the FA market who would be a likely upgrade from Tabata/Lambo/Snider. So with the depth we have in the OF, is it really a wise use of FA-dollars? But then what if Marte or (God-forbid) Cutch gets hurt? We really don't want those three guys manning two OF positions. A good answer would be bringing someone in who could also play 1st, or even 3rd to give you flexibility when Polanco shows up. Not sure Byrd is that guy.

In the medium term, assuming health, the three of Cutch, Marte, and Polanco makes for a very solid, and exciting, outfield. Long term, we have prospects that could end up being trade bait. But we also have to consider whether they might bump one of the existing guys out of their jobs, leading us to trade one of them instead As much as I like Marte, I kinda have trouble figuring out the best way to use him in the order. His lack of patience does not lend itself to the leadoff role, while he doesn't have the power to hit 3rd or 4th. Batting him down in the order wastes his speed. What do you do with him? Maybe he is the one to get traded if/when Meadows or Bell is blowing the door down. Or, dare I say it, Cutch- he'll be that much closer to FA...and would certainly bring in a haul. If Scherzer and Price can be moved this offseason, I wouldn't rule out Cutch being traded after the 2015 campaign. Of course, one or more of these guys could end up at 1B as well. Isn't it fun to have this much depth?


First Base
Short Term
Locks: No one
Possibilities: G. Sanchez (being generous here), A. Lambo???

Medium Term
Locks: No one
Possibilities: A. Dickerson? G. Sanchez?

Long Term
Locks: No one
Possibilities: A. Dickerson

All that depth we talked about in the OF...1B is, uh, a little less deep. I think it is clear we have to go outside of the organization. DIckerson was drafted as a 1Bman, but I do not believe he spent any time there this year in Altoona, instead playing OF exclusively. That is puzzling, maybe we don't have enough OF depth after all, or maybe they don't think his bat is good enough for 1B, or maybe he is so good at 1B they wanted to teach him a new position to give him more flexibility and thus more value. Regardless, he certainly isn't someone I'm comfortable labeling our 1B of the future, and he certainly isn't a short term answer. The problem is that there isn't much in the way of answers on the FA market either. You could resign Morneau, just for Animal. You could take a gamble that Loney is for real (I think he'll get paid). You could try Corey Hart. You could watch the antics of Mike Napoli at 1B, but NH's emphasis on defense makes that less likely. You could give up your first round draft pick and a ton of money for Morales. None of them really convince me that they are the solution. Abreu makes the most sense, and would certainly be my choice if the Pirates front office believes in him. Do they? If not, I guess we plug in one of the above stopgaps, and maybe one of the OF prospects ends up at 1B and moves through the system quickly.

Second Base
Short Term
Lock: N. Walker
Possibilities: J. Mercer

Medium Term

Lock: N. Walker
Possibilities: J. Mercer, J. Cunningham (haha, ok, not really)

Long Term:

Lock: None
Possibilities: N. Walker, A. Hanson

The Hometown Kid is a perfectly suitable solution for 2B right now, his playoff slump notwithstanding. I am assuming, of course, that we don't go after Cano. Depending on what the club does at SS, I think it would be prudent to give Mercer some AB's against lefties at 2B- not a strict platoon, but he should take more than a handful of starts away from Walker (unless, of course, Jordy becomes our starting SS). Long term, I'm not so sure. He isn't SO valuable that you can't replace him, not to mention his time missed to back problems, which generally do not improve with age. I like the Pirates going year to year with him, and I'm not certain you pay him when he hits free agency. Yeah, Pittsburgher's will be pissed that they don't sign a hometown boy, but unless there's a hometown discount, not sure its the wise thing to do. There isn't a lot in the pipeline- Cunningham had a .660 OPS repeating AA. Chase? Maybe Hanson ends up at 2nd, in which case his bat would play well there and he represents a good long term possible solution. If he sticks at SS, then 2B is quite shallow. Might be a good area to target in trades in a year or so.

Shortstop
Short Term
Lock: None
Possibilities: J. Mercer, C. DArnaud?????

Medium Term
Lock: None
Possibilities: J. Mercer, C. DArnaud?????

Long Term

Lock: None
Possibilities: A. Hanson, J. Mercer

Another known weakness of the club. Mercer would probably be considered a lock were it not for the organization prioritizing defense at this position. Unfortunately, when it comes to free agency, SS stands for Shit Sandwich, because that's what you'll get. Maybe Barmes resigns on the cheap? If not, maybe another glove-first (oh who are we kidding, glove-only) SS comes aboard cheap and Hurdle uses Mercer as his starter with the confidence that we have a defensive replacement for close-and-late situations. Otherwise, FA holds no answers, unless we go the Cuban route and bring on A. Guerrero for about 5 years, $35-40 mil. But even there, scouts don't expect his glove to stick at SS, predicting he'll move to 2B. Maybe a trade is the answer. Profar is probably still untouchable, so I'm not going there, as much as I would like to.

Long term, I know folks are split on whether Hanson will stick at SS, but again, given this regime's preference for defense at that position, if there are questions about his glove at all, I would not be surprised to see him moved to 2B. That leaves SS unsolved long term as well. Like 1B, this is an obvious area for improvement.

Third Base
Short Term
Lock: P. Alvarez
Possibilities: J. Harrison, J. Mercer

Medium Term
Lock: P. Alvarez
Possibilities: J. Harrison, J. Mercer

Long Term
Lock: None
Possibilities: Undefined, maybe P. Alvarez

Look, I am a huge Pedro fan. Hoped and prayed the Rays passed on him on draft day, stayed up with my computer under the blankets through the signing deadline to make sure we got him. I even tuck my ears in my cap now (not really). But I see two career paths for him. He could put it all together, hit .260 with 40 homers a year, and be a true, middle of the order stud. If that happens, Mr. Boras will make sure that he gets paid, and I don't see Pittsburgh having the ability to do that. The other option would be that he doesn't put it all together, continues to post sub-.300 OBP's with great but inconsistent power. That isn't necessarily someone you sign long term, because when their bat speed slows down, you don't have much. Either way, my take on Pedro is to enjoy him while he is here (when he is hitting at least), but to recognize after his 6 years of control are up, he is very likely no longer a Pirate. So I don't consider him a lock for the long term answer. But, for at least the first couple years of our window, he is the guy at 3rd. Jordy or JHay can spell him against lefties (again, assuming Jordy isn't your starting SS). Other options in the system? I got nothin.

Catcher
Short Term
Lock: R. Martin, T. Sanchez
Possibilities: M. McHenry

Medium Term
Lock: R. Martin, T. Sanchez
Possibilities: M. McHenry

Long Term
Lock: T. Sanchez
Possibilities: J. De Jhang, W. Mathieson, R. McGuire

Martin and GoldDigger start the year as our catching tandem. If it was me, I'd increase Tony's workload throughout 2014, both to keep Martin fresh and to get Tony prepared for a likely starting gig (or, more properly, to see if he is a legitimate candidate to be the starting catcher) in 2015. If Tony ends up proving he can take the job, he starts in 2015 and we likely bring in a vet on a short term contract to back him up. Maybe that vet will be Martin. In the long term, we have some depth in the low minors. But catcher is a position of attrition, so I'd be surprised if more than one of them makes the show. I'd also say only McGuire has the bat to move somewhere like 1B, but he is also highly thought of defensively, so he hopefully stays behind the plate. Not worried about catcher.

SUMMARY: This is all being done from the top of my head, so I'm sure there are prospects I've forgotten, or FA's out there that I didn't think of. But from this glance, if I'm NH, my resources are directed at 1B and SS (which I think we all know are our biggest weaknesses). The thing that I found surprising given the hype around our drafting and development is just how thin we are at almost all infield positions throughout the system. Really hadn't given it much thought. Would be nice to have a breakout player or two this year.

In the short term, though, given the money we'll save cutting GFJ and perhaps Gaby loose (also increased TV revenue), I'm all aboard the Abreu train. Dunno what to do about SS. Other than that, our position players are set, unless we want to make some moves around a third outfielder.

An hour of typing is enough. I'll get to pitching in a separate post.


Top
 
 Post subject: Re: Short, Medium, and Long Term
PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 5:17 am 
Offline
User avatar
 WWW  Profile

Joined: Thu Mar 29, 2012 8:29 pm
Posts: 846
Location: Bradenton, FL.
[quote="BBF"]I've been thinking about this post for a few weeks but wanted to wait until our season was over to start putting it into words. Basically it is just a different view of the Go...or Stay thread, only in the context of what our short term, medium term, and long term plans and solutions are, position-by-position. This is me thinking out loud, unencumbered by data. Below I will break down each position by what the vision is in the short, medium, and long term, listing players that are locks, players that are possible solutions, or if it makes sense to look externally. I'm loosely defining short term as Opening Day 2014, medium term as possibilities later in 2014 through 2015, and long term as 2015 and beyond. I have no idea how this will turn out, so let's go...

Long Term
Locks: No one
Possibilities: A. Dickerson

All that depth we talked about in the OF...1B is, uh, a little less deep. I think it is clear we have to go outside of the organization. DIckerson was drafted as a 1Bman, but I do not believe he spent any time there this year in Altoona, instead playing OF exclusively.


...you didn't mention that he played 1B all 2012 season with the Marauders and did an excellent job.

_________________
LetsGoMarauders - Website
LetsGoMarauders - Twitter
GCL Pirates Fan Page

A fan-made, fan-run site to support the Marauders/Pirates.


Top
 
 Post subject: Re: Short, Medium, and Long Term
PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 8:43 am 
Offline
User avatar
 Profile

Joined: Sat Apr 26, 2008 5:06 pm
Posts: 3261
Location: Westmoreland County Pennsylvania
I was thinking more along the lines of domination. How many dominate players does a MLB team have to have to be successful in the playoffs?

And, even more specifically, how many dominate pitchers does a MLB team have to have to be successful in the playoffs? As I look at the Detroit Tigers, they have at least three dominate players...two pitchers (at least) and one position player who would qualify according to my definition of "dominating MLB players"...Verlander, Scherzer, Cabrera...supported by a cast of other very strong pitchers and position players.

And, I like the approach of the Tiger hitters and the Cardinal hitters at the plate. Difficult to strike out...and smart hitting (using all fields). They don't seem to chase bad pitchers outside of the strike zone very often. They make the opposing pitchers work for their outs.

How do the Pirates stack up against teams like the Dodgers, Tigers, Red Sox, and Cardinals who have all reach their league championships this year?

The Bucs have come A LONG way. I'm very proud of what this team has accomplished. But, at the same time, the Bucs have some work to do to go deeper in the MLB playoffs and reach the WS.

They have now some nice pieces in place to go deeper in the playoffs, but the Bucs still need to add some more players...players who have the skills to be considered "dominate"...starting pitchers and position players (RF and 1B). Cole fits the mold (at least for me) to be a dominating starting pitcher. Liriano again has reached that level of domination this season. But, can he do it in 2014?

A great 2013 season. Hopefully 2014 and beyond will even be brighter for the Bucs.

_________________
Image...You can observe a lot by just watching. -Yogi Berra


Top
 
 Post subject: Re: Short, Medium, and Long Term
PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 10:49 am 
Offline
 Profile

Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2012 11:27 am
Posts: 1333
Location: Eastern Shore
Great post, BBF.

Re the outfielders: I consider this year to have been Marte's rookie year. Last season was more about getting acclimated to the Show and learning how to handle the pressure of performing. How well we're going to do in the future depends on how he develops. I'm not too worried about supposedly wasting his speed lower in the lineup if he gets moved down because I think the bigger issue is that we've got to have players on base for Cutch. And Marte batting leadoff is going to get more plate appearances than anyone on the team. And they've got to be better ABs.

I'm guessing Polanco will be the real deal, but even if he does show up in 2014, his rookie year will be 2015 and he'll to face the same issues in 2014 and 2015 as Marte has the past two years. If he's a better player, well, he'll handle the jump better. But I don't think we can count on him for a couple of years yet.

And we've got Cutch. He's the face of the franchise, right? While some teams may be able to get away with even entertaining the thoughts of "re-loading" at some point by trading said face, I don't think the Pirates can do that. Ever. We're still recovering from a 20-year stroll in the wilderness, and we need Cutch to continue to be the leader. And by all accounts, he's the right guy, both from an emotional and a quality standpoint.

Which brings me to Byrd. I think we have to keep him. We can't afford a lot on the FA market, and while I would count myself in the pro-Abreu camp, I really don't think the FO will splash the cash on an unproven player, regardless of what some scouts think. Byrd, on the other hand, even with age and PEDs, came in and performed at the highest level. We don't have a lot of consistent bats in the lineup, but Byrd gave us that. A slump for him was two games. 2. Is there anybody we could get at 1B or RF who can come even close to what Byrd gave us? We had Barmes on $5 million a year, right? I'd make Byrd a two-year $10 million offer and see how much playoff baseball mattered to him.


Top
 
 Post subject: Re: Short, Medium, and Long Term
PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 11:31 am 
Online
User avatar
 Profile

Joined: Sat Apr 26, 2008 5:54 pm
Posts: 6046
Location: Keystone State
I would prefer Byrd back and Tabata be the fourth outfielder and Lambo to be ready to come up when someone goes down.

_________________
The Bucs are going all the way, all the way this year!


Top
 
 Post subject: Re: Short, Medium, and Long Term
PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 12:47 pm 
Offline
 Profile

Joined: Sat Apr 26, 2008 4:26 pm
Posts: 3006
bucco boy wrote:
I would prefer Byrd back and Tabata be the fourth outfielder and Lambo to be ready to come up when someone goes down.


Can't look it up right now, but I think Lambo is out of options. It's Pittsburgh or bust for him.


Top
 
 Post subject: Re: Short, Medium, and Long Term
PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 12:48 pm 
Offline
 Profile

Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2011 10:28 am
Posts: 1063
Short Term aka 2014:

LF Marte
2B Walker
CF Cutch
RF Byrd
3B Pedro
1B Abreau
C Martin
SS Mercer

Backup OF: Tabata - Lambo
Backup SS: Barmes brought back cheap
Util IF: Harrison
Backup 1B: Lambo


Top
 
 Post subject: Re: Short, Medium, and Long Term
PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 4:53 pm 
Offline
User avatar
 Profile

Joined: Tue Apr 05, 2011 5:27 pm
Posts: 1956
If they can nab that Abreu guy it would be huge.

Wouldn't be surprised if we end up dealing a young arm (other than Taillon) for one of our non-OF needs down the road. Definitely if the draft doesn't provide any solutions.



I think it's Lambo or Snider, and with Lambo's ability to play 1B, I think TravSni is gone.



OF: Marte, Cutch, Byrd, Tabata
IF: Gaby/Abreu, Walker, Mercer, Pedro, Barmes
C: Martin, Sanchez
U: Harrison, Lambo

Rotation:
Liriano
Cole
Morton
Burnett? Wandy? Locke? (One of these three will probably not return; Locke is the only one under contract)

Bullpen:
Gomez
Mazzaro
Wilson
Watson
Melancon
Grilli


Top
 
 Post subject: Re: Short, Medium, and Long Term
PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 8:21 pm 
Offline
 Profile

Joined: Wed Apr 24, 2013 6:17 pm
Posts: 2211
Location: Tejas
Lambo has options left, FWIW.

He'll be in the system regardless of how things ultimately shake out (barring a trade of course....could be a sell high candidate depending on how the FO views his season).

_________________
Moneyball Saves.


Top
 
 Post subject: Re: Short, Medium, and Long Term
PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2013 12:19 pm 
Online
User avatar
 Profile

Joined: Mon Jun 16, 2008 4:06 pm
Posts: 1469
I think Marte's medium term future is batting second behind Gregory Polanco. Polanco. Polanco is decent at stealing and probably has, or will have, better plate discipline than Marte. Polanco doesn't seem to have eye-popping power either. Marte will see better pitches hitting ahead of Cutch and that should cut down on his strikeouts. I also like the thought of Marte's bunt attempts with Polanco on second after his lead off double.


Top
 
 Post subject: Re: Short, Medium, and Long Term
PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2013 12:24 pm 
Offline
User avatar
 WWW  YIM  Profile

Joined: Sat Apr 26, 2008 7:24 pm
Posts: 4070
Location: Zelienople, PA
Polanco is not a leadoff hitter folks. Big, stapping guy with powerful legs. If not already, he is over 200 lbs. He is not as listed in the guide anymore. He is growing. There is a reason he is being called Cobra 2.0. He is built like the Cobra with the same tool set.

ZM

_________________
Someone tell Votto... rbis are good


Top
 
 Post subject: Re: Short, Medium, and Long Term
PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2013 12:30 pm 
Online
User avatar
 Profile

Joined: Mon Jun 16, 2008 4:06 pm
Posts: 1469
ZelieMike wrote:
Polanco is not a leadoff hitter folks.
ZM



Neither is Marte :D


Top
 
 Post subject: Re: Short, Medium, and Long Term
PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2013 1:06 pm 
Offline
 Profile

Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2008 10:46 am
Posts: 3484
Location: Economy, PA
Marte's .343 OBP is not that bad and should get better as he matures. With his speed and agressiveness, he's probably the best option we have at leadoff.


Top
 
 Post subject: Re: Short, Medium, and Long Term
PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2013 1:39 pm 
Offline
User avatar
 Profile

Joined: Sun Apr 27, 2008 1:00 am
Posts: 3070
ZelieMike wrote:
Polanco is not a leadoff hitter folks. Big, stapping guy with powerful legs. If not already, he is over 200 lbs. He is not as listed in the guide anymore. He is growing. There is a reason he is being called Cobra 2.0. He is built like the Cobra with the same tool set.


He is 206 lbs, a lot of which stems from the fact that he is also 6'4" tall. That's actually a fairly lean frame for his height, not in the least "big and strapping". In comparison, Parker was 6'5, 230. I wouldn't put so much emphasis on a minor soundbite a scout made on the Parker comparison ... someone merely asked the scout for a comparison between Polanco and fellow hyped prospect Oscar Taveras, and he said that Polanco had more power potential and made a blanket comparison to Parker. Polanco's speed is a big part of his 5-tool set in a way it never was for Parker, and the biggest question about Polanco is whether or not he will have anything other than average power numbers in the majors. So, fun comparison to make, but probably not very realistic.


Top
 
 Post subject: Re: Short, Medium, and Long Term
PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2013 1:40 pm 
Offline
User avatar
 Profile

Joined: Sun Apr 27, 2008 1:00 am
Posts: 3070
Ralphie wrote:
Marte's .343 OBP is not that bad and should get better as he matures. With his speed and agressiveness, he's probably the best option we have at leadoff.


Splits. .460 OBP vs. LHP, .297 vs. RHP.


Top
 
 Post subject: Re: Short, Medium, and Long Term
PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2013 1:46 pm 
Offline
User avatar
 Profile

Joined: Sun Apr 27, 2008 7:01 pm
Posts: 7187
TheShark wrote:
Ralphie wrote:
Marte's .343 OBP is not that bad and should get better as he matures. With his speed and agressiveness, he's probably the best option we have at leadoff.


Splits. .460 OBP vs. LHP, .297 vs. RHP.


So insert Marte in the leadoff spot against lefties and either Tabata (if he's your RFer next season) or Walker against righties. Tabata had an obp of .361 and Walker had an obp of .350 against righties.

_________________
I say keep the $50 and ban him anyway...

For those jumping ship, we'll keep the bandwagon warm for you...


Top
 
 Post subject: Re: Short, Medium, and Long Term
PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2013 1:54 pm 
Offline
User avatar
 Profile

Joined: Sun Apr 27, 2008 1:00 am
Posts: 3070
nad69dan wrote:
So insert Marte in the leadoff spot against lefties and either Tabata (if he's your RFer next season) or Walker against righties. Tabata had an obp of .361 and Walker had an obp of .350 against righties.


Yep, Tabata would be my lead-off hitter if Byrd isn't signed or another RF acquisition isn't brought in.


Top
 
 Post subject: Re: Short, Medium, and Long Term
PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2013 2:01 pm 
Offline
 Profile

Joined: Wed Apr 24, 2013 6:17 pm
Posts: 2211
Location: Tejas
Polanco had more BBs than Ks at AA. I think he's a leadoff hitter for at least 2 years. He's only 21, the power potential is when he's physically mature and fills out the frame. Not present power. You're talking about a guy with maybe 45 present power right now, with the expectation of getting to 60-65 as he matures.

I think best case scenario, based on what scouts have said, you're looking 60-65 hit, 60-65 power, 70-75 speed, 65-70 field, 55-60 arm. That's a beast of a player but he's not a finished product yet.

He's been a pretty consistent on-base machine with 70 speed to boot. Until the power comes (always the last thing) he's a prototype leadoff guy. Then hopefully Hanson pans out.

_________________
Moneyball Saves.


Top
 
 Post subject: Re: Short, Medium, and Long Term
PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2013 8:52 pm 
Offline
 Profile

Joined: Thu Jul 11, 2013 6:02 am
Posts: 24
I have yet to see Polanco play but I can go along with the comparisons to Parker. The Cobra was a five tool player and stole 100 bases in his first six years as a regular, hitting in front of Willie Stargell. He wasn't really your prototypical HR hitter and averaged 22 HR's a year for his career. I would hope to see Polanco developing into a middle of the order guy. A good comparison may be Barry Bonds, who lead off, at the start of his career. :)


Top
 
 Post subject: Re: Short, Medium, and Long Term
PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2013 10:44 pm 
Offline
User avatar
 Profile

Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 12:11 am
Posts: 221
I've seen Polanco play several times. I wouldnt compare him to Parker. He is EXACTLY Alfonso Soriano except from the other side of the plate. Size, demeanor and swing are the same.

Image

Image


Top
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 29 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC - 4 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], Corsair, Google [Bot], Google Adsense [Bot], NSMaster56 and 7 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group  
Design By Poker Bandits