A great day for the Pirates resistance
Pirates fans rejoice! Yesterday was a great day in the Pirates organization. Sure, they are losing for the soon to be 18th season, but I promise you, there is light at the end of the tunnel.
The Pirates signed first round pick– Jameson Taillon and second round pick– Stetson Allie. (Both deals worth $8.5M) If my estimations are correct, they spent a total of $12M in bonuses in the 2010 draft. In the past three years, a total of almost $30 M has been spent in the draft. They were both signed to minor league contracts, despite rumors saying they would be a part of the 40-man roster. GM Neal Huntington said that neither will pitch until the Florida Instructional League in October.
“The last thing we want to do is rush these guys into competition,” Huntington said.
“We’ve got a vision,” Huntington said. “We’ve got a plan. We’re in the midst of executing it.”
There is obviously a lot more work to do. Going into the 2010 season I figured it to be more of a trial and audition season, rather than a fight for the .500 mark. The Pirates need to figure out which players they want to move forward with and which ones will be cut. Is Garrett Jones the real deal? Can Lastings show enough power to play right? Is Doumit the guy we want to continue to be our catcher? Which starters will make it? Who will be the new closer? Etc. Etc. A few of these have been figured out, a lot of them have not. The last 44 games will be the time to figure out who will be a part of the 2011 season.
I believe this year will be rock bottom for the Pirates. They are on pace to lose at least 100 games. But, as you know, you can’t climb back up until you have reached the bottom. I believe 2011 is the turning point. The organization will start to play much, much better and by 2013 (of course, if all goes well) they will be a legitmate team.
I know, your probally thinking, same old story that we hear every year but things are finally being done properly. It’s not a quick fix and it’s not something that will be a result over night. Neil Huntington has done a good job turning this franchise around.
If that wasn’t exciting enough, the Pirates beat the Marlins 7-1. (What is it about PNC Park? The Pirates play extremely well there. The record at home this season is 27-30 where as on the road they are just 13-48.)
“There are certain intangibles there, maybe even things you don’t think about,” Alvarez said. “It’s nice to have the fans behind you, always good to have support like that. But we also need to find a way to feel that comfort level on the road.”
“We’re young, and guys aren’t as comfortable on the road with each ballpark,” Russell said. “They’re used to their home ballpark and how they see the ball. We didn’t hit very well at all on this road trip. Some of it’s youth, some of it’s pitching. We’ve just got to get better. We don’t drive the ball on the road, as far as extra-base hits. You’re just not going to win too many games with three or four singles.”
“We seem to get the key hits more often at home,” said Garrett Jones. “We play good baseball at home and just need to carry it on when we go on the road. It’s something that we’re capable of doing. It’s just a matter of doing it.”
J-Mac continued to be nasty. He needed just eight pitches for a 1-2-3 first inning. It didn’t stop there. McDonald pitched seven innings, gave up just one run on three hits and struck out six.
“As you saw in the last start, when I get a guy 0-2, 1-2, even 2-2, put him away right there, regardless of whether it’s a strikeout or bad contact,” McDonald said. “This was a lot better.”
“I love this guy,” Russell said. “I hated him when he pitched against us. I knew what he could bring. He’s a guy that, when he goes out there, you know he’s going to give you a pretty good start.
“When he got ahead of people, he put them away early — as opposed to them taking a few pitches. In turn, he was able to go a lot deeper in the game.”
The bats were alive as well. The Pirates scored two runs in the first inning, and four times in the sixth inning. Andrew McCutchen hit his 10th home run of the season in the seventh inning. Garrett Jones and Pedro Alvarez each drove in three runs.
News and Notes:
Pirates also signed 15th Round Selection Drew Maggi and 23rd Round Selection Jared Lakind. 27 picks were signed from this year’s draft.
The Pirates are 19-9 all-time against the Marlins at PNC Park, they have outscored the fish 140-107 since 2007.
The Fish currently have a 5-game losing streak here in the Steel City.
Ronny Cedeno received a cortisone shot on Monday. He was fielding grounders and hopes to start swinging the bad again on Tuesday.
Altoona’s Justin Wilson was named the Eastern League Pitcher of the Week on Monday. He went 1-0 with 8 scoreless IP and 11 K’s in one start last week.
Paul Maholm (@Maholm28) tweeted this last night regarding the draft signings:
Great job buccos looks as though we have added some quality arms to the system. Good luck everyone it should be the time of ur life. Go Bucs
Evan Meek’s contusion in his left calf has disappeared after two days of rest and treatment.
“In Houston, it was real tender,” he said, pointing out that the muscle cramps in his landing leg did not allow him to follow through with his delivery. “I just needed a few days for the swelling to go down. I got treatment on it (Monday), and (trainers) said it was night-and-day better.”
Zach Duke’s future -MLBTradeRumors
Today’s Pitching Matchup:
Ricky Nolacso 13-8, 4.39 ERA
Zach Duke 5-11, 5.20 ERA
Nolasco pitched well in his last start against the Nationals going six innings giving up six hits, no runs and struck out eight. He was won four of his last five starts. However, his start against the Cardinals he gave up seven earned on 10 hits through five innings pitched.
Duke has had four quality starts in his last six outings but has only gotten two wins due to lack of run support. Zach has given up just 11 runs in five of them combined. Duke pitched well against the first place NL-Padres his last time out going six innings, gave up two earned on six hits but got the loss.