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 Post subject: Polanco
PostPosted: Sun Dec 22, 2013 11:22 am 
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Anybody think there is a remote possibility that he makes the team out of spring training? He is really tearing up the Dominican Winter League. Would the arbitration clock issue alone preclude this possibility?


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 Post subject: Re: Polanco
PostPosted: Sun Dec 22, 2013 11:55 am 
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No. He'll do his time in AA or AAA and come up when he has nothing left to prove like Marte did.


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 Post subject: Re: Polanco
PostPosted: Sun Dec 22, 2013 12:38 pm 
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No.

I don't recall a Pirate skipping AAA since Jose Castillo, and I definitely don't see anyone doing so under the watch of Huntington and his staff. Polanco has been promoted aggressively (the jump to AA last year) and they clearly think his bat is well enough advanced, but nothing that would suggest skipping the high minors in such a fashion. He does have an advantage over previous top hitting prospects like Marte however in the sense that he actually has excellent plate discipline. With the year Tabata had last year, they'll be as patient as need be with Polanco. I don't know that I'd even say a mid-season promotion next year is a guarantee (though obviously a strong possibility), no chance he skips AAA altogether to matter how the Dominican League or ST play out.


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 Post subject: Re: Polanco
PostPosted: Sun Dec 22, 2013 1:34 pm 
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JollyRoger wrote:
No. He'll do his time in AA or AAA and come up when he has nothing left to prove like Marte did.

Has very little to do with 'proving something' and much more to do with keeping him an extra year.


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 Post subject: Re: Polanco
PostPosted: Sun Dec 22, 2013 1:43 pm 
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Dr. Phibes wrote:
JollyRoger wrote:
No. He'll do his time in AA or AAA and come up when he has nothing left to prove like Marte did.

Has very little to do with 'proving something' and much more to do with keeping him an extra year.


Maybe but I still think that the best players see the field, regardless of the extra year at the end. Who's to say that they wouldn't sign him through his arb/early FA years anyway if he proves himself at the ML level?


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 Post subject: Re: Polanco
PostPosted: Sun Dec 22, 2013 10:42 pm 
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I was thinking he had more AAA experience than just 9 ABs at the end of the year. Yeah, probably not. But we are looking at a bat there that can really make a difference in this offense when he gets it going. My next question is, where does he bat, and who might move around in the order because of his being there?


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 Post subject: Re: Polanco
PostPosted: Sun Dec 22, 2013 11:23 pm 
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I think they'll keep him down until summer. He's probably the next extension candidate so I'd think they might value that extra year if they want to offer a Cutch type of deal in terms of FA years bought out.

Scouts who saw him last year seemed to feel that he was ready last year if the Pirates wanted to rush him. He's putting up a nice Winter League, which is roughly equivalent to AAA, maybe slightly tougher. Lots of AAAA types in that league.

I have no idea where he'll hit. Mostly because I can't predict Hurdle. Based on the numbers he should lead off, though. Much better K rate than Marte and has been a walk machine for the past year and a half including in the summer league. The speed is more or less equal.

Marte's K rate just terrifies me up top because it automatically cuts drastically into his average and he gets on base way more than he should due to the HBP numbers. If those drop his usefulness plummets.

Long-term I think he drops down in the order but until he grows into his body and taps into the power potential I think he's probably best suited at leadoff.

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 Post subject: Re: Polanco
PostPosted: Mon Dec 23, 2013 2:15 am 
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StarlingArcher wrote:
I have no idea where he'll hit. Mostly because I can't predict Hurdle. Based on the numbers he should lead off, though. Much better K rate than Marte and has been a walk machine for the past year and a half including in the summer league. The speed is more or less equal.

Marte's K rate just terrifies me up top because it automatically cuts drastically into his average and he gets on base way more than he should due to the HBP numbers. If those drop his usefulness plummets.


Completely agree with all of this and was going to make a similar post. He has shown excellent plate discipline (walked the exact same number that he struck out in AA) and the OBP speaks for itself. Not to mention that I have always hated the Marte lead-off experiment due to the K rate and especially after least year in which the HBP were an essential part of his ability to get on base. So, it would be my preference for Polanco to bump Marte out of that spot, at least initially (of course, I would also like to see Tabata leading off before the Polanco promotion).

I think Hurdle's line-up configurations aren't so much that he's a traditionalist but that he isn't afraid to switch it around constantly. I mean, he is a traditionalist in the sense of general line-up archetypes, but it seems like Marte leading off and McCutchen third are the only constants he never changes and Alvarez/Walker/Martin can be interchangeable depending on the day. For that reason I could just as well see Polanco being plugged in at no. 2, for example.


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 Post subject: Re: Polanco
PostPosted: Mon Dec 23, 2013 11:42 am 
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Follow up question then- can Marte eventually bat in the middle of the lineup? We need someone to break up the lefties a bit.


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 Post subject: Re: Polanco
PostPosted: Mon Dec 23, 2013 2:27 pm 
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I also say no way he starts the season in the majors. In addition to the other reasons, I think the Pirates are dead set on giving Snider another opportunity early next year.


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 Post subject: Re: Polanco
PostPosted: Mon Dec 23, 2013 7:12 pm 
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Doesn't really warrant a new thread, but somewhat on topic in relation to future OF options - Jerry Sands was claimed off waivers by Tampa today. No surprise that he would be scooped up by another team since he was DFA'd a few weeks ago with the Volquez signing. I was really optimistic about him at the time of the Hanrahan trade, even though his numbers in the high minors had obviously been inflated due to previously playing in the PCL. He was absolutely terrible in AAA last year, and is probably just a low end AAAA-type at this point. And to think he was the best prospect that came over in that trade, while Melancon, Pimentel and DeJesus Jr. (even though he's now a FA) were three of the brightest spots of the organization last year.


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 Post subject: Re: Polanco
PostPosted: Mon Dec 23, 2013 8:20 pm 
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TheShark wrote:
Doesn't really warrant a new thread, but somewhat on topic in relation to future OF options - Jerry Sands was claimed off waivers by Tampa today. No surprise that he would be scooped up by another team since he was DFA'd a few weeks ago with the Volquez signing. I was really optimistic about him at the time of the Hanrahan trade, even though his numbers in the high minors had obviously been inflated due to previously playing in the PCL. He was absolutely terrible in AAA last year, and is probably just a low end AAAA-type at this point. And to think he was the best prospect that came over in that trade, while Melancon, Pimentel and DeJesus Jr. (even though he's now a FA) were three of the brightest spots of the organization last year.


Dejesus jr. Signed with someone else (Baltimore?) as well.


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 Post subject: Re: Polanco
PostPosted: Mon Dec 23, 2013 10:57 pm 
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I think the Pirates plan to keep Polanco down long enough to avoid super 2 status, and to force him to prove himself at AAA over half a season. That is, they hope that they don't need him to play at the big league level before then, and they hope that he forces his hand mid-season.

That said, if Tabata struggles (possible) or is injured (likely) and Lambo isn't an adequate replacement (also possible), and GP is tearing up Indy...well, I get the sense that NH will bring him to the big club when needed. I say that in part because GP is likely a candidate for an early contract buying out his arbitration years anyways, so it may only cost the club a couple million or so if he is super 2. If RF is holding them back and getting him up here earlier puts us in the race for the division crown, I think the FO will be able to justify those extra dollars.


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 Post subject: Re: Polanco
PostPosted: Mon Dec 23, 2013 11:50 pm 
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I think Jaff Decker will get an opportunity, too.


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 Post subject: Re: Polanco
PostPosted: Tue Dec 24, 2013 11:52 am 
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I think the pecking order is Snider, Lambo, Decker. And by the time Decker would get his shot, Polanco will be here.

Of course if we don't sign a first baseman that would open things up.


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 Post subject: Re: Polanco
PostPosted: Thu Dec 26, 2013 3:15 pm 
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Good to see GP earn MVP honors of the winter leagues. Highest OPS as well. He also missed some time in the league. Sickness, family related stuff. Good to hear on the MVP, quite a talent.

I think the bucs gain that extra year by simply waiting a few weeks into April. It'll be interesting to see when they think he's ready. He's close.


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 Post subject: Re: Polanco
PostPosted: Sat Dec 28, 2013 11:55 am 
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BBF wrote:
I think the Pirates plan to keep Polanco down long enough to avoid super 2 status, and to force him to prove himself at AAA over half a season. That is, they hope that they don't need him to play at the big league level before then, and they hope that he forces his hand mid-season.

That said, if Tabata struggles (possible) or is injured (likely) and Lambo isn't an adequate replacement (also possible), and GP is tearing up Indy...well, I get the sense that NH will bring him to the big club when needed. I say that in part because GP is likely a candidate for an early contract buying out his arbitration years anyways, so it may only cost the club a couple million or so if he is super 2. If RF is holding them back and getting him up here earlier puts us in the race for the division crown, I think the FO will be able to justify those extra dollars.

Pretty much expresses my thoughts. Keep him in AAA for the experience against better pitchers and see his progress. I don't worry so much about RF for now because I think Tabata is more than just a place holder and once GP comes might have proven his trade value and could be better shopped.

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 Post subject: Re: Polanco
PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2013 7:10 pm 
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BBF wrote:
I think the Pirates plan to keep Polanco down long enough to avoid super 2 status, and to force him to prove himself at AAA over half a season. That is, they hope that they don't need him to play at the big league level before then, and they hope that he forces his hand mid-season.

That said, if Tabata struggles (possible) or is injured (likely) and Lambo isn't an adequate replacement (also possible), and GP is tearing up Indy...well, I get the sense that NH will bring him to the big club when needed. I say that in part because GP is likely a candidate for an early contract buying out his arbitration years anyways, so it may only cost the club a couple million or so if he is super 2. If RF is holding them back and getting him up here earlier puts us in the race for the division crown, I think the FO will be able to justify those extra dollars.

They have a lot of options to run through before they're forced to bring up Polanco ahead of plan.

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 Post subject: Re: Polanco
PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 3:06 pm 
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TheShark wrote:
StarlingArcher wrote:
I have no idea where he'll hit. Mostly because I can't predict Hurdle. Based on the numbers he should lead off, though. Much better K rate than Marte and has been a walk machine for the past year and a half including in the summer league. The speed is more or less equal.

Marte's K rate just terrifies me up top because it automatically cuts drastically into his average and he gets on base way more than he should due to the HBP numbers. If those drop his usefulness plummets.


Completely agree with all of this and was going to make a similar post. He has shown excellent plate discipline (walked the exact same number that he struck out in AA) and the OBP speaks for itself. Not to mention that I have always hated the Marte lead-off experiment due to the K rate and especially after least year in which the HBP were an essential part of his ability to get on base. So, it would be my preference for Polanco to bump Marte out of that spot, at least initially (of course, I would also like to see Tabata leading off before the Polanco promotion).

I think Hurdle's line-up configurations aren't so much that he's a traditionalist but that he isn't afraid to switch it around constantly. I mean, he is a traditionalist in the sense of general line-up archetypes, but it seems like Marte leading off and McCutchen third are the only constants he never changes and Alvarez/Walker/Martin can be interchangeable depending on the day. For that reason I could just as well see Polanco being plugged in at no. 2, for example.


Marte leading off wasn't really an experiment. There was just nobody else to do it. Everyone knew he wasn't a true lead off hitter. I've been saying since the start of last season that this teams biggest need offensively is a true lead off hitter. Everyone talks about power power power but look at the lineup. We have power. Nobody is ever on base in front of them.


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 Post subject: Re: Polanco
PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 5:08 pm 
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Which is one reason I like Tabata. He gets on base.

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