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 Post subject: Alex Dickerson Traded
PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 3:27 pm 
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Pirates trade Alex Dickerson to the Padres for outfielder Jaff Decker and pitcher Miles Mikolas.

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/pittsburgh_pirates/

There are links to all of those players' stats at the link I provided.

Decker is the same age as Dickerson (23) and bats from the left side. He looks to be a bit more advanced that Dickerson, spending last year at AAA with a cup of coffee with the Padres last season. He has a little pop, but is no power hitter. I like that he can take a walk. He's played a lot of center field, but is primarily a left fielder. Looks like a candidate for fourth or fifth outfielder, at batting left handed is a bonus with all of the righties that are on the big league roster.

Mikolas looks like he's a typical AAAA righty bullpen guy. He has 27 appearances with the Padres, 25 of them in 2012. He'll be 25 next year. Despite being 6'-5" and 215 pounds, he doesn't seem to have a power arm, and you know how Huntington likes his power arms, so he'll probably spend most or all of next year at Indy.

Looks like a good deal to me. Dickerson will probably end up with some sort of a major league career, but his lack of plate discipline and middling power will restrict his value as a first baseman. I like Decker a bit better as a hitter, and his outfield defense probably far outstrips Dickerson's. In any event, it's not a BIG deal.

The Pirates designated two players for assignment to make room for the new guys: Garrett Jones and Kyle McPherson. Jones is no surprise; they obviously had no intention of going to arbitration with him, and they're probably thinking that nobody else will want to do that either. I don't know what McPherson's designation means. It could be that they've decided that his arm problems are chronic, or it could be that they think nobody will claim him. We'll see what happens.

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 Post subject: Re: Alex Dickerson Traded
PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 4:40 pm 
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Decker is a local guy here. He was a former 1st round pick for the pads. His dad runs a club team program in Peoria. Don't know a thing about the other guy... 8-) 8-) 8-)


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 Post subject: Re: Alex Dickerson Traded
PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 5:38 pm 
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So now Gaby, and Lambo, are our only two first basemen above A ball. Hopefully they are prepping for a move to acquire a capable MLB 1B.


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 Post subject: Re: Alex Dickerson Traded
PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 6:25 pm 
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Dr. Phibes wrote:
So now Gaby, and Lambo, are our only two first basemen above A ball. Hopefully they are prepping for a move to acquire a capable MLB 1B.

Everybody who can afford a first baseman's mitt is a potential first baseman for the Pirates, especially if he can hit left handed. It's just not that tough a position to fill defensively, especially for guys who already have infield experience. There may be an occasional outfielder or catcher who just can't manage to handle ground balls, but they are few and far between.

I think that they are still looking for a lefty first baseman, but there aren't very many exciting names out there. You can pretty much see that by their flirtation with Berkman. When you're looking at him, decent first basemen are thin on the ground out there.

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 Post subject: Re: Alex Dickerson Traded
PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 6:44 pm 
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I hope they roll the dice on Lambo. Numbers aside, he didn't appear to be overmatched at the plate and he hit some balls hard.

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 Post subject: Re: Alex Dickerson Traded
PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 6:59 pm 
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sisyphus wrote:
Dr. Phibes wrote:
So now Gaby, and Lambo, are our only two first basemen above A ball. Hopefully they are prepping for a move to acquire a capable MLB 1B.

Everybody who can afford a first baseman's mitt is a potential first baseman for the Pirates, especially if he can hit left handed. It's just not that tough a position to fill defensively, especially for guys who already have infield experience. There may be an occasional outfielder or catcher who just can't manage to handle ground balls, but they are few and far between.

I think that they are still looking for a lefty first baseman, but there aren't very many exciting names out there. You can pretty much see that by their flirtation with Berkman. When you're looking at him, decent first basemen are thin on the ground out there.


Maybe Josh Bell will get a new 1B mitt under his Christmas tree this year. Too much running in the OF for a man with dinged knees.


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 Post subject: Re: Alex Dickerson Traded
PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 7:14 pm 
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James Loney, come on down.


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 Post subject: Re: Alex Dickerson Traded
PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 9:23 pm 
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I kind of considered Andrew Lambo to be our next Garrett Jones, so hmm. Still, Sanchez/Lambo at first to start the season does not look good.


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 Post subject: Re: Alex Dickerson Traded
PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 9:24 pm 
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Decker seems like the prototypical NH guy.

Former top-100 prospect. Derailed by injuries/lackluster play. Brought in on the cheap (relatively speaking).

Keep buying those lotto tickets, Neil.

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 Post subject: Re: Alex Dickerson Traded
PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 10:14 pm 
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Leway512 wrote:
Still, Sanchez/Lambo at first to start the season does not look good.

Why not? Sanchez raked lefties at .333/.448/.539, for an OPS of .987. His OPS ranked second in all of major league baseball for 1st baseman with more than 100 plate appearances vs. left-handers.

http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?p ... &sort=10,d

Lambo hammered RH pitching last year in the upper minors. He is 25, bats left-handed, and has legitimate power.

If he hits .250/.290/.420 with 18 HR's, then he and Sanchez will combine to give the Pirates acceptable production at 1st base. I would think that the two would combine for 20+ HR's, 80 RBI's, and an OPS in the area of .785 to .800.

Last year, among 30 major league teams, 15 had a 1st baseman with 250 plate appearances or more post an OPS better than .785. In other words, if Lambo and Sanchez post a combined .785, they are league average at worst.


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 Post subject: Re: Alex Dickerson Traded
PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 10:22 pm 
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Mikolas' average fastball in 2012 was 93 mph, and last year 94 mph. He can deal. He is also a huge ground ball pitcher, with a ratio of almost 2-1 ground balls to fly balls.

Guy that can deal in the mid-90's and induces ground balls? Okay, I'm interested.

Also, Decker can get on base like it's going out of style. 2012 was lost to injury, but apart from that year, he has posted OBP's of .513, .442, .374, .383, and .381. His minor league stats remind me a lot of Robbie Grossman.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/minor ... cker001jaf


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 Post subject: Re: Alex Dickerson Traded
PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2013 9:58 am 
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Bucfan wrote:
Leway512 wrote:
Still, Sanchez/Lambo at first to start the season does not look good.

Why not? Sanchez raked lefties at .333/.448/.539, for an OPS of .987. His OPS ranked second in all of major league baseball for 1st baseman with more than 100 plate appearances vs. left-handers.

http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?p ... &sort=10,d

Lambo hammered RH pitching last year in the upper minors. He is 25, bats left-handed, and has legitimate power.

If he hits .250/.290/.420 with 18 HR's, then he and Sanchez will combine to give the Pirates acceptable production at 1st base. I would think that the two would combine for 20+ HR's, 80 RBI's, and an OPS in the area of .785 to .800.

Last year, among 30 major league teams, 15 had a 1st baseman with 250 plate appearances or more post an OPS better than .785. In other words, if Lambo and Sanchez post a combined .785, they are league average at worst.


Lambo's done nothing at an MLB level. Gaby isn't an every day player, nor is he a legit power hitter. First base is a power position. And we've been platooning at first base since Adam LaRoche....just kind of tired of seeing it. Not like we're the only team with this problem, but still, it be nice to have a legit every day power hitter at first base.


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 Post subject: Re: Alex Dickerson Traded
PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2013 10:47 am 
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Bucfan wrote:
Leway512 wrote:
Still, Sanchez/Lambo at first to start the season does not look good.

Why not? Sanchez raked lefties at .333/.448/.539, for an OPS of .987. His OPS ranked second in all of major league baseball for 1st baseman with more than 100 plate appearances vs. left-handers.

http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?p ... &sort=10,d

Lambo hammered RH pitching last year in the upper minors. He is 25, bats left-handed, and has legitimate power.

If he hits .250/.290/.420 with 18 HR's, then he and Sanchez will combine to give the Pirates acceptable production at 1st base. I would think that the two would combine for 20+ HR's, 80 RBI's, and an OPS in the area of .785 to .800.

Last year, among 30 major league teams, 15 had a 1st baseman with 250 plate appearances or more post an OPS better than .785. In other words, if Lambo and Sanchez post a combined .785, they are league average at worst.


Lambo deserves a chance to play, but that chance should be in RF platooning with Tabata. We should acquire a 1B via FA and platoon him with Gaby. That way, if injury occurs to said FA, Lambo can play 1B. If we go with the Lambo/ Gaby platoon, and Lambo gets injured, who are you playing at 1B? Gaby full time? That would be very bad.

Once Polanco arrives, then decisions need made. But, I would rather have too much talent, then not enough.


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 Post subject: Re: Alex Dickerson Traded
PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2013 11:33 am 
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Lambo is a tough call because he could produce spectacularly or fail spectacularly.

But I agree keep him in right, because we have Tabata, Polanco, and the new guy as other options. We can't go into the season with Lambo as the only left-handed first baseman.


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 Post subject: Re: Alex Dickerson Traded
PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2013 1:14 pm 
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(1) Lambo has not done much at the ML level because he has not played. Polanco and Taillon have done less than Lambo at the ML level.

That means what exactly?

(2) If a player is hurt, he does not contribute. A GM cannot make a roster with 2 major-league level starters at each spot, particularly a team with budget constraints.

(3) Lambo at 1B means he can play, if producing, when Polanco arrives. Lambo in RF means he is on the bench when Polanco arrives.

(4) Sanchez' lack of production comes against right-handers only. He simply destroys left-handers:

  • 2009 - 1.167 OPS
  • 2010 - .925 OPS
  • 2011 - .901 OPS
  • 2012 - .729 OPS
  • 2013 - .987 OPS
  • Career - .895 OPS with 19 HR's in 495 AB's

The idea that there is some mythical first-baseman available, who will give more production than Sanchez and Lambo, is simply not true. Any everyday 1st baseman the Pirates obtain will be via trade, and he will need to produce at least 25 HR's, an OBP above .340, slugging over .450, an OPS north of .790, etc.

That player would have to include more than one year of control.

That player would cost the Pirates a significant minor league prospect or prospects - Kingham and Bell, something like that.

Looking at the choices, I much prefer giving Lambo a chance.


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 Post subject: Re: Alex Dickerson Traded
PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2013 1:59 pm 
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Lambo has no future in our OF. I don't think it does anything to help his development to play him there.

He needs a shot, though. No doubt. Former top prospect, only going to be 25, had a huge year in the upper minors playing in 2 pitcher friendly parks.

If he's good enough to stick, it won't be in the OF so no point playing him there.

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 Post subject: Re: Alex Dickerson Traded
PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2013 2:26 pm 
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Bucfan wrote:
(1) Lambo has not done much at the ML level because he has not played. Polanco and Taillon have done less than Lambo at the ML level.

That means what exactly?

(2) If a player is hurt, he does not contribute. A GM cannot make a roster with 2 major-league level starters at each spot, particularly a team with budget constraints.

(3) Lambo at 1B means he can play, if producing, when Polanco arrives. Lambo in RF means he is on the bench when Polanco arrives.

(4) Sanchez' lack of production comes against right-handers only. He simply destroys left-handers:

  • 2009 - 1.167 OPS
  • 2010 - .925 OPS
  • 2011 - .901 OPS
  • 2012 - .729 OPS
  • 2013 - .987 OPS
  • Career - .895 OPS with 19 HR's in 495 AB's

The idea that there is some mythical first-baseman available, who will give more production than Sanchez and Lambo, is simply not true. Any everyday 1st baseman the Pirates obtain will be via trade, and he will need to produce at least 25 HR's, an OBP above .340, slugging over .450, an OPS north of .790, etc.

That player would have to include more than one year of control.

That player would cost the Pirates a significant minor league prospect or prospects - Kingham and Bell, something like that.

Looking at the choices, I much prefer giving Lambo a chance.


I'd sign Morneau to platoon with Gaby, and have Lambo/Tabata platoon in RF until/if Polanco is ready. Morneau didn't crank any HR's for us, but his OBP was very good and he is a good fielder. Depends on what it would cost, obviously, but I would have no problem with Morneau. He had a .323 OBP last season. I'll take someone that gets on base every 3 plate appearances.


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 Post subject: Re: Alex Dickerson Traded
PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2013 8:25 pm 
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Leway512 wrote:
Bucfan wrote:
Leway512 wrote:
Still, Sanchez/Lambo at first to start the season does not look good.

Why not? Sanchez raked lefties at .333/.448/.539, for an OPS of .987. His OPS ranked second in all of major league baseball for 1st baseman with more than 100 plate appearances vs. left-handers.

http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?p ... &sort=10,d

Lambo hammered RH pitching last year in the upper minors. He is 25, bats left-handed, and has legitimate power.

If he hits .250/.290/.420 with 18 HR's, then he and Sanchez will combine to give the Pirates acceptable production at 1st base. I would think that the two would combine for 20+ HR's, 80 RBI's, and an OPS in the area of .785 to .800.

Last year, among 30 major league teams, 15 had a 1st baseman with 250 plate appearances or more post an OPS better than .785. In other words, if Lambo and Sanchez post a combined .785, they are league average at worst.


Lambo's done nothing at an MLB level. Gaby isn't an every day player, nor is he a legit power hitter. First base is a power position. And we've been platooning at first base since Adam LaRoche....just kind of tired of seeing it. Not like we're the only team with this problem, but still, it be nice to have a legit every day power hitter at first base.

Nobody claims that Gaby is an every day player; he's the short half of a platoon first baseman, and against lefties he most certainly IS a legitimate power hitter, as his .539 slugging percentage against them shows.

You're right, Lambo has done nothing at the MLB level. After all, he's never had the opportunity to do anything at the MLB level. One upon a time Andrew McCutchen had done nothing at the major league level. Same goes for every player in the history of baseball. McCutchen has more than double the home run rate in the majors than he had in the minors. Lambo hit 32 home runs in the minors last year. It's time to see if he can be productive at the next level. I'd rather then ran him out there against righties than bring in another proven has been-stiff with a beautiful slow motion swing like Morneau. If Lambo doesn't work out, then go to option B.

There is no such thing as a power position. You take power from anywhere you can get it, and the Pirates had quite a lot of it last year. They finished fourth in the NL while playing half of their games in the ballpark where right handed power goes to die. I expect that they'll get plenty next year as well. There is nobody in their lineup who is incapable of a 15 HR season with the exception of maybe Tabata. Lack of power is not the Pirates weakness offensively. Too many out machines like Barmes, Snider and Jones (not to mention Alvarez, who at least makes up for his poor on base skills with massive power), THAT'S their problem.

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 Post subject: Re: Alex Dickerson Traded
PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2013 8:28 pm 
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Dr. Phibes wrote:
I'd sign Morneau to platoon with Gaby, and have Lambo/Tabata platoon in RF until/if Polanco is ready. Morneau didn't crank any HR's for us, but his OBP was very good and he is a good fielder. Depends on what it would cost, obviously, but I would have no problem with Morneau. He had a .323 OBP last season. I'll take someone that gets on base every 3 plate appearances.

I'd sign Morneau to sweep out the clubhouse, because he no longer has the bat speed necessary to hit major league pitching.

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 Post subject: Re: Alex Dickerson Traded
PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2013 8:35 pm 
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sisyphus wrote:
There is no such thing as a power position. You take power from anywhere you can get it, and the Pirates had quite a lot of it last year. They finished fourth in the NL while playing half of their games in the ballpark where right handed power goes to die. I expect that they'll get plenty next year as well. There is nobody in their lineup who is incapable of a 15 HR season with the exception of maybe Tabata. Lack of power is not the Pirates weakness offensively. Too many out machines like Barmes, Snider and Jones (not to mention Alvarez, who at least makes up for his poor on base skills with massive power), THAT'S their problem.


I was just about to post on the Jones Gone Thread about getting rid of Tabata. He is slower than when he arrived and got bigger. Maybe next year is his power year? He'll be 25 and getting into his prime years. Maybe Tabata's muscles will finally put a few more in the bleachers. At his contract, it doesn't hurt to let him play and see what happens.

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