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 Post subject: Karstens
PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 4:15 pm 
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Karstens is a control guy. He throws strikes, works ahead in the count, and does not beat himself with walks.

That said, he just does not have an "out" pitch. He gives up a lot of very hard hit balls, and will give up home runs, given his propsensity to always be around the plate and give up fly balls. He had two great starts after joining the Buccos, and was throwing in the 90's in his first start. That is just not the case in today's game, as he has been around 86-88 mph the entire game. I don't think he has cracked 90 mph so far.

I have seen a bit of Karstens in his prior starts, but this is the first time I have seen him go an extended outing. I am disappointed in what I see, since he is really struggling, giving up a lot of base hits, having the ball ripped off him, and struggled to get the pitcher in the 2nd inning. It took him 10 pitches to finally get the guy.

Today, he looks like an end of the rotation guy, or maybe a long reliever.


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 Post subject: Re: Karstens
PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 4:49 pm 
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I think the first part is the most important part. You are probably right about the rest of the stuff. But I would rather Karstens who gives you a chance to win (4 runs isn't insurmountable in MLB) rather then Snell or Gorzo who can't throw strikes and also get hit pretty hard at least this year.

Karstens might not ever get better, but he is better than we have right now.

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 Post subject: Re: Karstens
PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 5:24 pm 
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bucco boy wrote:
Karstens might not ever get better, but he is better than we have right now.


Karstens is a good candidate for long relief. He throws strikes, can go 5-6 innings and is ideal to come into the game after a guy is pulled in the 3rd or 4th inning.

I know that he pitched an amazing game against the D'Backs. He clearly is a major league pitcher. But he just does not seem like a guy who should be pitching 200 innings for a team. If so, then that team has some deficiencies in the starting rotation ... I know, I know - that describes the Pirates. But I am talking about the next few seasons.


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 Post subject: Re: Karstens
PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 5:25 pm 
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Bucfan wrote:
bucco boy wrote:
Karstens might not ever get better, but he is better than we have right now.


Karstens is a good candidate for long relief. He throws strikes, can go 5-6 innings and is ideal to come into the game after a guy is pulled in the 3rd or 4th inning.

I know that he pitched an amazing game against the D'Backs. He clearly is a major league pitcher. But he just does not seem like a guy who should be pitching 200 innings for a team. If so, then that team has some deficiencies in the starting rotation ... I know, I know - that describes the Pirates. But I am talking about the next few seasons.

I like his curve. I think he's a 4 or 5 starter.

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 Post subject: Re: Karstens
PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 5:36 pm 
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sisyphus wrote:
I like his curve. I think he's a 4 or 5 starter.


He has a plus curve, but did not throw it much today. His good control with his 88-89 mph fastball and good curve make him a major league pitcher, and the type of guy who would make a good pitcher in long relief.

But facing 25 hitters means that he is going to give up a lot of hard hit balls. That is just the way that he throws.


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 Post subject: Re: Karstens
PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 10:40 pm 
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When this trade was made Karstens was the least interesting player to me. However he has changed my mind a bit. I agree with your assessment Bucfan, and had made the same myself. However he chews up innings and finds ways to keep you in the game. That can't be said about a lot of guys(Pirates or other teams). I think he will be a quality 4 or 5 starter. Most definitely on the Pirates as of now he rates ahead of all but Maholm. And even in the future I'd much rather see him out there every fifth day than Zach Duke. Although you could be right about long relief if everything went perfectly for the Bucs next year(yeah right). Snell and Gorzo return to form, Maholm continues to deal, and Olendorf(sp?) and McCutcheon pitch lights out maybe there isn't room for Karstens in the rotation. I wouldn't count on all of that though.


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 Post subject: Re: Karstens
PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 11:01 pm 
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Bucfan wrote:
sisyphus wrote:
I like his curve. I think he's a 4 or 5 starter.


He has a plus curve, but did not throw it much today. His good control with his 88-89 mph fastball and good curve make him a major league pitcher, and the type of guy who would make a good pitcher in long relief.

But facing 25 hitters means that he is going to give up a lot of hard hit balls. That is just the way that he throws.

Maybe. But there are going to be playoff teams with fourth or fifth starters who aren't as good as I expect Karstens to be.

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 Post subject: Re: Karstens
PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 10:24 am 
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A few quick observations, I'm going off the box score as I did not see the game yesterday.

1 - Four straight balls to a rookie in the 2nd. You'd think Karstens was pitching to Dale Murphy, not Daniel. Which leads us to to the next observation........

2 - The first HR was on an 0-2 pitch. You don't need an out pitch on that count. Quite the opposite actually, either Schneider hit a ball that shouldn't have been hit, or Karstens made a big mistake. I'm guessing the latter.

3 - The run scored in the 4th was a result of two singles, the second one coming on a 1-2 count to Schneider.

As a non observer, I'd be inclined to think that Karsten's mistakes were more mental than physical. He can pretty much throw a strike at will, and he obviously is letting the defense make the plays behind him. Perhaps he needs to get better at pitch selection and location when ahead in the count?

An 0-2 homerun to Brian Schneider? Give me a freakin' break!


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 Post subject: Re: Karstens
PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 10:46 am 
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Argentum wrote:
A few quick observations, I'm going off the box score as I did not see the game yesterday.


I'll try to help, as I was there.

Quote:
1 - Four straight balls to a rookie in the 2nd. You'd think Karstens was pitching to Dale Murphy, not Daniel. Which leads us to to the next observation........

2 - The first HR was on an 0-2 pitch. You don't need an out pitch on that count. Quite the opposite actually, either Schneider hit a ball that shouldn't have been hit, or Karstens made a big mistake. I'm guessing the latter
.

Both of these seemed related, believe it or not. In each instance, I noted Karstens working hard to rub his hands, cap etc. For periods here and there, he simply seemed to "slip" on his grip. I could understand, it was hot as all get out and sweating like mad just sitting in 113.


Quote:
3 - The run scored in the 4th was a result of two singles, the second one coming on a 1-2 count to Schneider.

An 0-2 homerun to Brian Schneider? Give me a freakin' break!


This one seemed to fall under the catagory of "Schneider owned him". Going through the lineup, Karstens seemed to be able to control things pretty well, even with his apparent discomfort trying to hold the ball. The exceptions each time through were Schneider and Beltran, who just ripped the ball each time.

ZM

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 Post subject: Re: Karstens
PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 11:12 am 
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Argentum wrote:
An 0-2 homerun to Brian Schneider? Give me a freakin' break!


Even worse, the Met's pitcher (what was his name?) gave up not one but two hits to Jack Freakin' Wilson. What a bum.


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 Post subject: Re: Karstens
PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 11:28 am 
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burghermeister wrote:
Argentum wrote:
An 0-2 homerun to Brian Schneider? Give me a freakin' break!


Even worse, the Met's pitcher (what was his name?) gave up not one but two hits to Jack Freakin' Wilson. What a bum.


I would move Wilson to the four hole, pronto!


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 Post subject: Re: Karstens
PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 11:37 am 
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sisyphus wrote:
Bucfan wrote:
sisyphus wrote:
I like his curve. I think he's a 4 or 5 starter.


He has a plus curve, but did not throw it much today. His good control with his 88-89 mph fastball and good curve make him a major league pitcher, and the type of guy who would make a good pitcher in long relief.

But facing 25 hitters means that he is going to give up a lot of hard hit balls. That is just the way that he throws.

Maybe. But there are going to be playoff teams with fourth or fifth starters who aren't as good as I expect Karstens to be.


I totally agree here. I think everyone knew that we'd be in trouble if Karstens was supposed to be our ace (despite the perfect game bid) when NH's deals were done. If he ends up being the fifth guy a couple years from now, I think we'll be in solid shape pitching wise. The question is if we have enough quality pitchers in our system now to put three or four guys in front of Karstens in a couple years.


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 Post subject: Re: Karstens
PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 11:38 am 
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In a perfect world, he's a 5 who can do long relief as well.

In the Pirate's world, he's a #3 at worst.


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 Post subject: Re: Karstens
PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 11:41 am 
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He strikes me as Josh Fogg with better breaking stuff.

That is a compliment in my world.

ZM

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 Post subject: Re: Karstens
PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 1:16 pm 
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jaybee24 wrote:
I totally agree here. I think everyone knew that we'd be in trouble if Karstens was supposed to be our ace (despite the perfect game bid) when NH's deals were done. If he ends up being the fifth guy a couple years from now, I think we'll be in solid shape pitching wise. The question is if we have enough quality pitchers in our system now to put three or four guys in front of Karstens in a couple years.

Now? No. In the future? Maybe. Our system, until recently, was bereft of pitching talent. Now we have a little in Bryan Morris and the recovering Brad Lincoln. But it's going to be a while before we have enough pitching to push Karstens out of the rotation.

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 Post subject: Re: Karstens
PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 2:00 pm 
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burghermeister wrote:
Argentum wrote:
An 0-2 homerun to Brian Schneider? Give me a freakin' break!


Even worse, the Met's pitcher (what was his name?) gave up not one but two hits to Jack Freakin' Wilson. What a bum.

An idiot could make the point that Wilson's .285 BA is second best on the team (you know, ignoring Gomez). I say this because I almost did. But then I looked at his OPS - .688.

But I do think he's slowly getting better ever since that epic Trade thread.


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 Post subject: Re: Karstens
PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 2:18 pm 
I agree. He's a 4 or 5 starter. The problem is, the Pirates have a full rotation of 4 or 5 starters. They need some some top end guys.

It sounds like the Morris kid could be a top of the rotation guy, which is outstanding. With all the money the Pirates saved by trading Bay, Nady and Marte, they should have money to spend. I'd like to see them make a run at an ace - Harden or Sebathia would be nice.


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 Post subject: Re: Karstens
PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 2:50 pm 
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Elmer wrote:
I agree. He's a 4 or 5 starter. The problem is, the Pirates have a full rotation of 4 or 5 starters. They need some some top end guys.

It sounds like the Morris kid could be a top of the rotation guy, which is outstanding. With all the money the Pirates saved by trading Bay, Nady and Marte, they should have money to spend. I'd like to see them make a run at an ace - Harden or Sebathia would be nice.


I'd never trust an arm that has come from Oakland...Beane has been good at dumping pitchers off only to have them fall apart soon after...

Sabathia would be nice to have, but is unlikely out of the price range of anyone except the Mets, Yankees and Red Sox

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 Post subject: Re: Karstens
PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 3:10 pm 
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yeknom02 wrote:
burghermeister wrote:
Argentum wrote:
An 0-2 homerun to Brian Schneider? Give me a freakin' break!


Even worse, the Met's pitcher (what was his name?) gave up not one but two hits to Jack Freakin' Wilson. What a bum.

An idiot could make the point that Wilson's .285 BA is second best on the team (you know, ignoring Gomez). I say this because I almost did. But then I looked at his OPS - .688.

But I do think he's slowly getting better ever since that epic Trade thread.


Not to start that thread again, but I'm glad he's hitting well now, at least he'll have some trade value going into the offseason. Ok, there, I am really done talking about Wilson now.

Willton, as I see it, the best pitching prospects now consist of McCutchen, Ohlendorf, Morris, and Wilson. (There are probably a bunch others that I'm not familiar with, but those are the ones that come to mind as recent draft signees or trade acquisitions. Feel free to fill in the blanks I left.) Let's say a couple of those guys pan out within the next couple years, Maholm and Karstens stay solid, and one of Snell/Duke/Gorzy can turn it around. That might be better than what we have now, but I agree that it's probably not enough for contention. I think we can see where the focus in the next draft needs to be.

This draft turned out really well, but I'm still bummed about Scheppers getting away. Don't get me wrong, it was the smart decision not to sign him, but it would have made me feel better about the pitching depth in the minors.


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 Post subject: Re: Karstens
PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 8:31 pm 
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The 0-2 pitch to Schneider was a really bad pitch. Fastball, just below the belt, over the outer 1/2 of the plate. That pitch gets ripped.

He lost some "steam" after he gave up that HR. It was not his day. He was not as sharp as he has been on other days. He is not the kind of pitcher who can throw an 88 mph fastball, just below the belt, on the outer half of the plate. Brian Schneider proved that.


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