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<![CDATA[Pittsburgh Sports Forum - Pittsburgh Steelers, Penguins & Pirates Message Board & Blog - Bucco's Talk]]> http://www.pghsportsforum.com/forum/ The Pirates Forum main Discussion Message Board for Pittsburgh Pirates Blogs, Discussion, Contests, Rumbunter Podcasts, Minor League News, Videos and More! en Sat, 13 Feb 2016 00:21:06 GMT vBulletin 60 http://www.pghsportsforum.com/forum/images/misc/rss.png <![CDATA[Pittsburgh Sports Forum - Pittsburgh Steelers, Penguins & Pirates Message Board & Blog - Bucco's Talk]]> http://www.pghsportsforum.com/forum/ Pittsburgh Pirates Podcast Rum Bunter Rum Bunter Podcast Pittsburgh Pirates,Baseball,MLB,Buccos yes Ryan Vogelsong http://www.pghsportsforum.com/forum/showthread.php/18442-Ryan-Vogelsong?goto=newpost Sat, 06 Feb 2016 21:07:59 GMT Complete silence, no one notice his signing or just totally unimpressed? Complete silence, no one notice his signing or just totally unimpressed? ]]> dekks http://www.pghsportsforum.com/forum/showthread.php/18442-Ryan-Vogelsong no PSF Fantasy Baseball 2016 - Who is in? http://www.pghsportsforum.com/forum/showthread.php/18440-PSF-Fantasy-Baseball-2016-Who-is-in?goto=newpost Sat, 06 Feb 2016 03:06:49 GMT Who is in for 2016? Please let me know the draft can be set and all that. The Fantasy Baseball part of the ESPN website is undergoing their annual... Who is in for 2016? Please let me know the draft can be set and all that.

The Fantasy Baseball part of the ESPN website is undergoing their annual maintenance so I cannot send out an email yet to the teams. i will do so as soon as they get done.

One other topic of discussion is the lowering of starts limit. It is tough to meet it when you have to carry 127 pitchers. LOL

Any thoughts?


Teams in for 2016: (Will update as everyone comes on board).

1. BDeff (automatic as he is league founder - deleting him would delete the league)
2. KWConchs
3. Sluggermatt Steelers ]]>
Pirate Fan in KW http://www.pghsportsforum.com/forum/showthread.php/18440-PSF-Fantasy-Baseball-2016-Who-is-in no
Battling Bucs : State By State Bucco History Part VIII http://www.pghsportsforum.com/forum/showthread.php/18438-State-By-State-Bucco-History-Part-VIII?goto=newpost Fri, 05 Feb 2016 16:39:15 GMT This is the continuation of my ATP (All Time Pirates (http://www.pghsportsforum.com/forum/forumdisplay.php/21-The-Pirates-Forum)) series but I have... This is the continuation of my ATP (All Time Pirates) series but I have opted to change the name to make it a little more obvious what is covered in the topic. As a quick recap this is a running series of mine that digs into the Pirates past and takes a look at it from various different angles. This particular exercise is looking at it from the player's place of birth. Each US state, the District of Columbia and each foreign country will be investigated in the attempt to build a team. For more specifics check out the introductory post here.

In part VIII I will continue looking at the Pirates pitchers by place of birth and this focus on class E locations. Class E location are places that have enough players to fill out the starting 5 but not enough players where anyone has to be cut from the presented group of 13. There are 20 locations here in all making this a very lengthy post.

Rotation and Relief Ace
#1: AJ Burnett
#2: Preacher Roe
#3: Hank Robinson
#4: Tony McKnight
RA: Jimmy Zinn

SP: Bert Maxwell
RP: Jack McMahan

Notes: Burnett and Roe form an impressive one-two punch atop the Arkansas rotation. Iím sure everyone is familiar with Burnett so Iíll spend some time on Roe instead. Roe pitched for the Pirates primarily in the World War II days when of course the game was a bit different thanks to so many players fighting in the war. He spent four years with the club with the first two being excellent seasons and the last two not being so good. After leaving the Pirates he went on to have a nice career with the Brooklyn Dodgers. Robinsons pitched for the Pirates early in the 20th century for two years and provides a good middle of the rotation arm whoís rate numbers compare favorably to the top two in the rotation. Taking up the 4th spot is Tony McKinght who pitched briefly for the Pirates in 2001. He was roughed up but is the best choice in a bad lot. Zinn pitched for the Pirates in the 1920s so his role as a reliever is much different than how we think of it today but he was solid in his role posting roughly league average rates while with the Pirates.

The bench obviously doesnít have much. Maxwell started one game for the Pirates back in 1906 and though he pitched 8 innings he allowed 6 runs. McMahan made a few relief appearances for the Pirates in 1956 and was roughed up to the tune of a 6.08 ERA.

Rotation and Relief Ace
#1: Bob Steele
#2: Ed Bahr
#3: Erik Bedard
#4: Lefty Wilkie
RA: Chris Leroux

SP/RP: Fred Osborne
SP/RP: Harry Fisher
RP: Dave Wainhouse
RP: John Axford
RP: Dave Pagan
RP: Dave Davidson

Notes: Atop the rotation Steele and Bahr each pitched for the Pirates for two seasons in the nineteen teens and 1940s respectively. Both pitchers were decent for the Pirates but far from spectacular. Steele was the more consistent of the two posting two roughly league average seasons while Bahr had a great first season and a poor second one. In the third spot we have what is sure to be a familiar name to a lot of Pirate fans in Erik Bedard. Bedard pitched for the Pirates in 2012 and at that time had the history of a very good pitcher who just couldnít stay healthy. He lived up to that reputation with the Pirates pitching well until suffering an injury and from that point on he proved largely ineffective. The drop off from the 3rd to the 4th rotation spot isnít huge as Lefy Wilkie was a below average, but still useful starter for the Pirates back in the early 1940s. In the relief ace role is another fairly modern player in Chris Leroux but it is understandable if you donít remember him as he was a fairly nondescript reliever for the Pirates from 2010-2013.

On the reserve side we have Fred Osborne who is actually also a bench outfielder for the Canadians but he was also a part time pitcher despite awful results. Dave Wainhouse was Lerouxís primary competition for relief ace as he was the only other reliever with more than 20 innings, but he got hit around hard making it no real race at all. Axford and Davidson are from the current century, but pitched only briefly with the Pirates. Pagan also only had a cup of coffee with the Pirates and Fisher pitched 18.1 innings but was pretty bad in that time.

Rotation and Relief Ace
#1: Rich Gossage
#2: Johnny Lindell
#3: Mark Huismann
#4: Frank Papish
RA: Mark Melancon

Notes: There is a slight problem with the staff ace of the Colorado rotation and that is namely that Gossage never actually started a game for the Pirates. The choices here are obviously limited though and Gossage is a significantly better pitcher than the actual starting options and that combined with the fact he started 29 games the year before his season with the Pirates makes him a deserving candidate for the top spot. Lindell is an interesting story but is also the only thing the Colorado team has resembled a competent starting pitcher. Lindell spent most of his career as an outfielder but after his hitting sharply fell off in 1950 and he was sent to the minors he reinvented himself as a knuckleball pitcher. After a successful 1952 season the Pirates signed him as a pitcher where he pitched respectably posting a 4.71 ERA which wasnít that much above league average. His hitting skills were still there though as the Pirates frequently used him as a pinch hitter. At this point the rotation descends into craziness. Number 3 starter, Mark Huismann, never started a game for the Pirates pitching 8 relief innings across 7 appearances and posting a 7.88 ERA. In the 4th spot Frank Papish actually started one game for the Pirates while pitching in relief in three others but in total he pitched just 2.1 innings and had a mind boggling ERA of 27. Mark Melancon we are of course all familiar with and heíll take the job of relief ace where Iím sure heíll be leaned on heavily.

Rotation and Relief Ace
#1: Steve Blass
#2: Joe Conzelman
#3: Morrie Critchley
#4: John Lamb
RA: Jared Hughes

SP: Tom Parsons
SP/RP: Jack Leary

Notes: Blass proved to be an easy choice for Connecticut staff ace. He started 231 games for the Pirates and the rest of the Connecticut born players started 16 combined. His overall stat line with the Pirates actually isnít that impressive as it shows a roughly league average pitcher but as most know control problem at the end of his career and struggles early in his career greatly affect those numbers. At his peak he was a very good starting pitcher. In the second slot is Joe Conzelamn who was primarily a relief pitcher for the Pirates from 1913-1915 but did start 12 games easily the second most of all the eligible pitchers. His raw ERA of 2.92 looks terrific but this was during the dead ball era and that was actually below average for the time period. Critchley is an interesting number 3 starter. He pitched one game for the Pittsburgh Ball Club all the way back in their inaugural year of 1882 and in that game he threw a complete game shutout. Lamb never actually starter a game for the Pirates but was a relief pitcher for the team in the early 70s. His numbers are nothing special but he gets thrust into the rotation due to the lack of appeal from the other options. Coming out of the bullpen we have current Pirate, Jared Hughes.

Amongst the reserves Tom Parsons started one game for the Pirates back in 1963 lasting 4.1 innings and allowing 6 runs. Jack Leary made three pitching appearances (two starts) for the Pirates but due to him being a starting position player for the Connecticut team was ineligible for a regular pitcher role. Not that it mattered much as Leary was knocked around to the tune of a 6.75 ERA during his Pirates pitching career.

Rotation and Relief Ace
#1: Luis Tiant
#2: Lino Donoso
#3: Cholly Naranjo
#4: Orlando Pena
RA: Tony Menendez

SP: Yoslan Herrera
RP: Pedro Ramos
RP: Jose Contreras

Notes: Luis Tianat had a very good career but it was primarily with the Indians and Red Sox. By the time the Pirates picked him up in 1981 he was 40 years old and clearly past his prime. Even so he made 9 starts for the Pirates that year and proved to be a useful back of the rotation starter which is enough for him to ear the title of ace on this Cuba team. In the second spot Donoso pitched for the Pirates in 1955 (with a brief appearance in 1956) and served in a swingman role starting the occasional game. He didnít do much in the role but he wasnít a total disaster either which is enough to make his the number 2 in this rotation. Cholly Naranjo served a similar role to Donoso the following season, 1956, starting a handful of games but primarily pitching in relief. His numbers were marginally better than Donosoís but in roughly 40% of the innings pitched so he finds himself third in the rotation. In the final rotation spot Orlando Pena never started a game for the Pirates but did have starting experience prior to joining the team in 1970. Due to the very poor showing of the only other pitcher to start a game for the Pirates this proved to be enough to claim the final spot even though his numbers werenít all that great either. In the relief spot is Tony Menendez who pitched for the Pirates in 1993 he only threw 21 innings and is easily forgettable but thatís still enough to be the top bullpen arm.

The reserves donít offer much. Yoslan Herrera is the lone player to have started a game thatís not in the rotation and that is because over 5 starts he posted an ERA of 9.82 which is too bad to justify even putting on this poor staff. The two relievers on the bench, Ramos and Contreras, combined for 11 innings pitched and surrendered 9 earned runs between them.

Washington D.C.
Rotation and Relief Ace
#1: Bob Barr
#2: Dick Lanahan
#3: Billy Taylor
#4: Johnny Welch
RA: Brendan Donnelly

Notes: Barr played for the Pirates way back in 1883 and served as both an outfielder and a pitcher. As an outfielder he managed to make the bench for one of the Class F teams. His primary function with the Pirates though was as a pitcher where he threw in 26 games (starting 23 of them). His numbers werenít good but he leads all DC pitchers in innings pitched and his ERA is quite comparable to the rest so he sneaks out ace status. Dick Lanahan pitched for the Pirates in the early 40s primarily as a relief pitcher but he did start 8 games and his 4.35 ERA is the best on the staff and is just a bit worse than league average for his era. Billy Taylor actually won a starting spot in the lineup of the eastern United States team but seeing as Washington DC did not have its own lineup he is allowed to be part of its rotation. Like the rest of the staff he wasnít particularly good posting a 5.80 ERA but he did throw 132 innings. Johnny Welch pitched 9 games for the Pirates, starting 1, back in 1936 and while his raw numbers are better than Taylorís his limited 22 innings pitched makes him the 4th starter. Brendan Donnelly pitched for the Pirates to end his career in 2010. He wasnít good at all with the Pirates but he did have a good stint with the Angels prior to joining the Pirates. Some may remember him since it wasnít long ago but he did only pitch 30 innings and as far as relievers go was fairly forgettable.

Rotation and Relief Ace
#1: Eddie Solomon
#2: Elmer Riddle
#3: Erskine Mayer
#4: Brandon Cumpton
RA: Matt Capps

SP: Tully Sparks
SP: Jimmy Barthmaier
SP/RP: Jim Bagby
SP/RP: Tom Cheney
RP: Hugh Casey
RP: Jim Dunn
RP: Sherry Smith

Notes: This is an interesting rotation as there isnít much separating the ace from the fifth starter. Solomon is the nominal ace and he pitched for the Pirates from 1980-1982 and threw a team high 274 innings while spending most of his time in the rotation. His Pirate career ERA of 3.58 was roughly league average for his time period. Riddle pitched for the Pirates in the early 1940s and his performance was largely similar to Solomonís as he threw 265.1 innings and had an ERA right around league average. In the third spot we get Erskine Meyer who is an interesting case as his numbers look the best but he pitched during the dead ball era so his numbers actually arenít anything special. Cumpton is a more modern player who everyone should be familiar with and his numbers have him a bit below league average though his peripherals show him as a bit better than that. He sneaks in as the 4th starter. As the relief ace the staff has Matt Capps who pitched for the Pirates from 2005-2009 and served as a very solid closer for the team during his final 3 years with the team.

Tully Sparks is the most notable omission from the starting rotation and there is very little separating him from the rest but his playing era of pre 1900 was just enough to drop him out of the rotation. Bagby and Cheney are the other notable names as each pitched at least 50 innings with the Pirates but neither of them were that effective. Of the rest of the crew, Casey threw 38.2 largely ineffective innings while the others had basically just a taste of the majors while with the Pirates.

Rotation and Relief Ace
#1: Claude Hendrix
#2: Larry McWilliams
#3: Joe Bowman
#4: Roy Sanders
RA: Tom Sturdivant

SP/RP: Don Songer
RP: Johnny Hetki
SP: Larry Foss
SP/RP: Chick Brandom
RP: Claude Willoughby
RP: Bill Burwell
RP: Del Lundgren
RP: Kyle Farnsworth

Notes: Hendrix and McWilliams form a solid 1-2 punch atop the rotation with Hendrix being a right hander from the dead ball era and McWilliams being a lefty from more modern times (1980s). Hendrixís numbers are of inflated due to the era but he was still an above average arm and McWilliams was up and down being a very good starter his first three years with the Pirates and very bad during his last two. Joe Bowman split his time between starting and relieving for the Pirates in the late 30s and early 40s and though he wasnít great he was still a useful arm that sucked up 600+ innings which is good enough for the third starterís job. Sanders had a much shorter Pirates career than the top 3 pitching just one season in 1918 splitting his time between starting and relieving but it was a solid season earning him the 4th and final spot in the rotation. Sturdivant pitched for the Pirates in the early 60s and actually started in about a third of his appearances so he isnít a typical relief pitcher but he was slightly better than average with the Pirates and gives the staff a decent arm to turn to.

Amongst the reserves Songer played for the Pirates in the 20s and Hetki played for them in the 50s and it really came down to a judgement call to leave them out in favor of Sanders and Sturdivant. Chick Brandom was great for the Pirates posting a 0.94 ERA but in only 57.2 innings. The rest pitched only briefly and with the exception of Farnsworth werenít really effective in their limited action.

Rotation and Relief Ace
#1: Wally Hebert
#2: Howie Pollet
#3: Shane Youman
#4: Len Yochim
RA: Red Swanson

RP: Mule Watson

Notes: Hebert is an interesting player as he rose quickly threw the minors debuting with the St Louis Browns in 1931 at just 23 years old. He spent three season with the team pitching rather poorly and then spent the next 9 years down in the PCL playing primarily for the minor league team the San Diego Padres. After the 1942 season the Pirates selected him the Rule V draft and as a 35 year old he has the best year of his career posting a 2.98 ERA over 184 innings. He then decided to retire after the season. In the #2 spot we have Howie Pollet who pitched for the Pirates for 4 seasons, 1951-1953 and then again in 1956. In that time period he pitched 378.2 innings easily the most on this staff but his ERA of 4.59 was reminiscent of a back of the rotation starter slotting him behind Hebert.

Some of the more crazy fans may recall Shane Youman as he is a relatively recent pitcher having just played for the Pirates in 2006 and 2007 where he served as a swingman for parts of those two years. This was at the tail end of the era of elevated offense so his 5.13 career Pirates ERA isnít as bad as it first appears but its still not good. The 4th starter, Len Yochim, pitched for the Pirates in 1951 and then again in 1954, he appeared in just 12 games (starting 3) and was shelled to the tune of a 7.62 ERA. In the bullpen the team has Red Swanson who pitched for the Pirates for three seasons during the 1950s. In the first two of those three years he only got brief time and pitched poorly. In his third season he spent the year serving as a swingman (starting 8 games and pitching in relief 24 times) and pitched respectably well. The sole reserve is Mule Watson who pitched for the Pirates in 1920 and in 5 games totaling 11.1 innings he allowed 11 ER, 15 hits and 7 walks.

Rotation and Relief Ace
#1: Irv Young
#2: Chummy Gray
#3: Bob Vail
#4: Harvey Cushman
RA: Ryan Reid

Notes: There isnít a whole lot of playing experience for the Pirates in this group. The ace of the staff Irv Young leads the way with 89.2 innings pitched for the Pirates. He played for the Pirates for part of the 1908 season starting 7 games and coming out in relief in another 9. His performance that year was very solid with an ERA of 2.01. In the second slot in the rotation, Chummy Gray threw 70.2 solid innings for the Pittsburgh Ball Club all the way back in 1899. The depth in the rotation drops off from there as Bob Vail threw just 15 innings for the Pirates over 4 appearances (1 start) in 1908 and had an ERA of 6. Bringing up the rear in the rotation is Harvey Cushman who threw 25.2 innings for the Pirates back in 1902 and was roughed up to the tune of a 7.36 ERA. Relieving this rotation made up entirely of players from 100+ years ago is a modern arm in Ryan Reid who made a handful of appearances for the Pirates back in 2013.

Rotation and Relief Ace
#1: Vic Willis
#2: RandyTomlin
#3: Nick Maddox
#4: Brownie Foreman
RA: Denny Neagle

SP: Mike Bielecki
SP/RP: Sam Frock
SP/RP: Red Oldham
SP/RP: Joe Muir
RP: Dave Johnson
RP: Tim Drummond

Notes: Heading the Maryland rotation is Hall of Famer, Vic Willis. Now Willis is primarily a Hall of Famer thanks to his Boston Beaneater days but the 4 years he spent pitching for the Pirates (1906-1909) were on a rate basis on par with his 8 with Boston. He racked up 1,209 excellent innings during that time. In the second spot is a more modern pitcher in Tomlin who pitched for the Pirates from 1990-1994 and was consistently an above average arm. In the third spot is another pitcher from the Pirates early days in Nick Maddox who played four season with the Pirates (1907-1910) throwing more than 600 innings and posting an ERA of 2.29 which was a bit better than average for his time period. Brownie Foreman is a pre-1900 arm and he threw just a bit over 200 innings while with the Pirates in 1895 and 1896. Coming out of the bullpen will be Denny Neagle who was actually slotted as the #3 starter in this rotation but moved to the bullpen due to a lack of quality arms for that position. Neagle played for the Pirates from 1992-1996 and spent his time fairly evenly between the rotation and bullpen so he is easily qualified for this job.

Of the reserves, Mike Bielecki is the most notable as he pitched for the Pirates during the mid 1980s and was a decent back of the rotation arm. Sam Frock and Red Oldham were competing for the RP spot before Neagle moved to the pen and Oldham had the playing time while Frock had the numbers but in a small sample. Of the remaining 3, Joe Muir is the only with significant playing time having thrown over 50 innings for the Pirates in the early 1950s. Johnson and Drummond had just brief stays with the Pirates.

Rotation and Relief Ace
#1: Joe Gibbon
#2: Paul Maholm
#3: Vinegar Bend Mizell
#4: Guy Bush
RA: Fred Waters

SP: Claude Passeau
SP/RP: Laurin Pepper
RP: Mike Smith
RP: Freddie Toliver
RP: Donnie Veal
RP: Matt Skrmetta

Notes: Gibbon and Maholm give the Mississippi rotation a solid top 2. Gibbon pitched for the Pirates in the early 1960s serving as both a swingman and mid rotation starter. Maholm played for the Pirates from 2005-2011 and was a stable presence in the rotation through those poor years. Neither pitcher is really a top of the rotation type arm but both are good starters who more often than not will give their team a chance. In the third spot Mizell is another pitcher from the early 60s having played with the Pirates from 1960-1962. His initial season with the club was good but the next two didnít go so well. Over all he makes for a decent back of the rotation option. Bush played for the Pirates in 1935 and 1936 and serves as both a starter and relief pitcher. During that time he was a useful arm if not much more than that. Coming out of the pen is Fred Waters who pitched for the Pirates briefly in 1955 before getting an extended look the following year. He made an occasional start but was primarily a relief pitcher and while his results were very good he did have a bit of a control problem.

Looking at the reserves Larin Pepper is the only one with significant playing time having pitched 109.2 innings over four seasons (1954-1957) but he was consistently hit hard to the tune of a 7.06 ERA. Claude Passeau made one start for the Pirates in 1935 surrendering 4 runs in 3 innings. Mike Smith pitched for the Pirates in 1989 and Toliver in 1993 both performed decently but received just a hair over 20 innings a piece. Donnie Veal is probably a fairly familiar name as he was a Pirates Rule V pick prior to the 2009 season and while the arm was there the results just werenít.

Puerto Rico
Rotation and Relief Ace
#1: Ramon Hernandez
#2: Juan Pizarro
#3: Luis Arroyo
#4: Roberto Hernandez
RA: Javier Lopez

SP: Jonathan Sanchez
SP/RP: Omar Olivares
RP: Javier Martinez

Notes: There is an obvious problem here and that is the rotation is comprised solely of relief pitchers. Being generous Pizarro and Arroyo could be called swingmen but thatís probably pushing it. The bottom line is there just wasnít competent starting pitching available are so the relievers will be asked to pick up the slack. The staff ace Ramon Hernandez was an excellent relief pitcher for the Pirates from 1971-1976 and he appeared in 263 games not starting a single one. Pizarro pitched for the Pirates in 1967, 1968 and then again in 1974. He did start 11 games over those seasons but appeared in relief 58 times and averaged just a hair over 2 innings per appearance. He wasnít an exceptional pitcher either posting roughly league average numbers. Arroyo is a similar story to Pizarro he pitched for the Pirates in 1956 and 1957 starting 12 games and appearing in relief 60 times however his numbers were a bit below the league average mark. Finally in the 4th spot is Roberto Hernandez who like Ramon in the top spot never started a major league game and in fact averaged last than an inning per appearance in his one season with the Pirates (2006). Coming out of the bullpen is Javier Lopez who ironically is the only player of the ďstartingĒ five not have recorded a save for the Pirates. He pitched part of the 2010 season with the Pirates posting excellent numbers.

The reserves speak to why the rotation is so odd. Jonathan Sanchez and Omar Olivares each had a higher percentage of games started than anyone in the actual rotation but both performed very poorly with the Pirates. Iím sure most of us remember Sanchezís debacle in 2013 and while Olivares stint with the Pirates in 2001 wasnít that bad it still wasnít good. The other reserve Javier Martinez pitched for the Pirates in 1998 where he was largely just another arm in the bullpen.

Rhode Island
Rotation and Relief Ace
#1: Harry Salisbury
#2: Max Surkont
#3: Chet Nichols
#4: Joe Trimble
RA: Clem Labine

Notes: Salisbury played for Pittsburgh in their inaugural season, 1882, and was basically the staff ace starting 38 games and throwing 335 innings. Its tough to judge much from numbers this long ago but his 2.63 ERA was right in line with the league average. Surkont played three seasons with the Pirates in the mid 1950s but only had significant innings in the first two. In his first season he was a solid mid rotation type starter but in his second he pitched rather poorly. In the third spot in the rotation is Chet Nichols who actually never started a game for the Pirates but over the course of the 1926 and 1927 seasons appeared in 11 games and averaged over 3 innings per appearance. He was far from good posting a 6.37 ERA over those innings. In the 4th spot is Joe Trimble who was actually used primarily as a starter in his lone season with the Pirates, 1957, but his results over the 19.2 innings he spent with the team werenít good to the tune of a 8.24 ERA. Filling the relief ace role for Rhode Island is Clem Labine who was with the Pirates for part of the 1960 seasons and basically all of the 1961 season. Labine was superb in his debut campaign with the Pirates posting a 1.48 ERA over 30.1 innings but was much more average in his full season with a 3.69 ERA over 92.2 innings.

South Carolina
Rotation and Relief Ace
#1: Kirby Higbe
#2: Tom Colcolough
#3: Billy O'Dell
#4: Spades Wood
RA: Bill Landrum

SP/RP: Morris Madden
RP: Steven Jackson
RP: Daniel Moskos
RP: Roy Mahaffey
RP: Britt Reames
RP: Freddy Sale

Notes: Higbe played for the Pirates from 1947-49 spending the final two years primarily as a relief pitcher but he was a starter for most of the 1947 season. While with the Pirates he was a solid pitcher both in the rotation and out of the pen. The rotation kind of crumbles at this point. Tom Colcolough pitched for the Pirates in the 1800s back when the game of baseball looked vastly different so his ERA of 6.29 canít be taken at face value but it certainly wasnít good. Billy OíDell has an ERA that doesnít look awful at 4.44 but he pitched for the Pirates in 1966 and 1967 which was a golden age for pitching so in reality it too was rather bad. Spades Wood continues the trend of poor pitchers filling out the rotation by posting a 5.61 ERA in the early 30s. The rotation is obviously rough but Bill Landrum gives the South Carolina squad a good relief ace with three solid seasons, 1989-1991, in which he led the Pirates in saves.

Steven Jackson and Daniel Moskos are relievers of more modern vintage. Moskos is remembered due to being a 1st round pick whereas Jackson is largely forgettable. Moskosís raw numbers actually were quite decent with a 2.96 ERA. Madden played for the Pirates in the late 80s and Mahaffey in the late 20s but they both filled the same basic role as long reliever and both did a rather poor job at it. The final two reserves Reames and Sale barely got a taste of action while with the Pirates with 7.1 and 1.0 innings pitched respectively.

Rotation and Relief Ace
#1: Red Lucas
#2: Jim Weaver
#3: Erv Brame
#4: Ed Whitson
RA: Bryan Morris

SP/RP: Jason Davis
SP: Bob Long
SP: Phil Irwin
RP: Bonnie Hollingsworth
RP: Chris Zachary
RP: Bernie Walter

Notes: Tennessee produced a sneaky good lineup in the hitter section and their pitching staff is a similar story. Lucas and Weaver head the rotation and their time on the Pirates overlap with each having played for the Pirates in the mid 1930s. The pair posted amazingly similar results with Lucas having an ERA of 3.77 and Weaver an ERA of 3.76. Weaver missed a fair amount of bats for his day whereas Lucas was a control pitcher. Lucas gets the mod as the ace entirely because he pitched an extra 170 innings.In the third spot Erv Brame actually has the most innings on the staff and pitched for the Pirates just a couple of seasons before Lucas and Weaver however his results werenít as strong and he slots in better as a back of the rotation type. Whitson pitched for the Pirates in the late 70s and posted solid numbers but spent most of his time as a relief pitcher (he only started 9 games) which is why he slots behind the rest of the staff. Coming out of the pen is Bryan Morris who Iím sure most are familiar with. He pitched for the Pirates from 2012-2014 and despite a bit of a walk issue he seemed to usually get the job done.

The reserves donít offer much help. Jason Davis pitched for the Pirates in 2008 but was easily forgettable. Hollingswoth (1922) and Zachary (1973) pitched sparingly during one season for the Pirates. Bob Long made a handful of starts for the Pirates in 1981 and Phil Irwin made one in 2013. Bernie Walter pitched a lone inning back in 1930. Aside from Walterís scoreless frame, Zachary was the only one to perform well and that was in only 12 innings.

Rotation and Relief Ace
#1: Manny Sarmiento
#2: Jeanmar Gomez
#3: Tony Armas Jr.
#4: Wil Ledezma
RA: Romulo Sanchez

RP: Miguel Garcia
RP: Deolis Guerra
RP: Jose Ascanio

Notes: Staff ace Sarmiento pitched for the Pirates in 1982 and 1983. He spent his first season split between starting and relieving but his second entirely in relief. Overall he started just 17 games but his strong performance in that time, 3.25 ERA, is enough for him to sit atop this staff. In the second spot sits Jeanmar Gomez who is sort of a lite version of Sarmiento as he too spent two seasons with the Pirates (2013 and 2014) pitching mainly out of the bullpen and posted solid numbers during that time (his 3.28 ERA is almost exactly the same). Armas represents a steep drop off in the third spot. Armas joined the Pirates in 2007 and had a very rough year supporting an ERA over 6 in 97 innings split between starting and relieving; he only gets the third spot because he is the only remaining pitcher to have made start for the Pirates. Ledezma never started a game for the Pirates but had some previous starting experience elsewhere. He pitched for the Pirates briefly in 2010 and ERA was awful, but he did have very solid peripherals. Coming out of the bullpen will be Romulo Sanchez who pitched for the Pirates in 2007 and 2008. His numbers werenít awful but he was a fairly nondescript middle reliever.

There isnít much to see amongst the reserves. Miguel Garcia pitched for the Pirates from 1987-1989 but only pitched 18.2 innings total. Deolis Guerra played for the Pirates during the most recent season and did ok right up until his final appearance but is another fairly forgettable relief pitcher. Jose Ascanio came over in the same trade as Josh Harrison and at the time Ascanio appeared to have the highest upside but unfortunately he was never to overcome his injuries. All 3 pitchers posted poor numbers in their limited action with the Pirates.

Rotation and Relief Ace
#1: Bruce Kison
#2: Ed Brandt
#3: Joe Dawson
#4: Ty Taubenheim
RA: Evan Meek

SP/RP: Dana Eveland
RP: Dave Hamilton
RP: Jeff Zaske
RP: Duke Welker
RP: Lou Tost
RP: Jim Mosolf, Travis Snider

Notes: Kison was with the Pirates for most of the 70s and was part of both World Series Championship teams. He compiled 1,266.1 innings in that time with most of it coming as a solid middle of the rotation arm. He isnít an all time great but he is very stable, dependable arm atop this rotation. Brandt and Dawson are a decent pair of arms in the middle of the rotation that pitched for the Pirates a few seasons each ion the late 30s and late 20s respectively. Brandtís performance with the Pirates was especially good while Dawson was more a league average type but they each threw under 300 innings. At the back end of the rotation Ty Taubenheim made one lone start for the Pirates in 2008 but it was a decent one going 6 innings and allowing only 2 runs. In the relief ace spot is Evan Meek who spent parts of 5 seasons (2008-2012) with the Pirates with the middle 3 seasons being very good ones out of the bullpen.

Dave Hamilton is the only reserve with more than 10 innings pitched for the Pirates. He threw 26.1 innings for them back in 1978 and was a decent reliever for them that year. Dana Eveland is the only reserve to have started a game and he started just one appearing in 3 back in 2010 and pitched very poorly. Zaske and Welker each just got a cup of coffee but neither allowed a run. Tostís allowed 1 run in 1 inning of work and Mosolf and Snider were position players who were each tasked with making one pitching appearance.

West Virginia
Rotation and Relief Ace
#1: Wilbur Cooper
#2: Max Butcher
#3: Earl Francis
#4: Rick Reed
RA: Jeff Wallace

SP: Jock Menefee
SP: Stan Fansler
SP: John Scheneberg
SP/RP: Jake Hewitt
RP: Sheriff Blake

Notes: Sitting atop the West Virgina rotation is Wilbur Cooper who is probably one of the better pitchers in Pirates history. He played with the Pirates from 1912 all the way through 1924 collecting a franchise record 202 wins over 3,199 innings. Max Butcher also spent a long time with the Pirates from 1939 through 1945 pitching over 1,100 innings. He was a very good pitcher for the Pirates giving this staff an excellent 1-2 punch. Francis is a clear step behind the top 2 but was still a decent pitcher for the Bucs in the early 60s. Bring up the back of the rotation is Rick Reed who pitched for the Pirates in the late 80s/ early 90s. He didnít perform too well but is the best of the remaining choices. Wallace is one of the few relievers available for West Virginia and he played for the Pirates from 1997-2000 and largely held his own.

Amongst the reserves, Menefee pitched for the Pirates in the 1800s and was useful but not much more than that. Fansler started 5 games for the Pirates in 1986 and did a rather solid job. The rest of the reserves, Schenberg, Hewitt and Blake pitched fewer than 15 innings apiece with varying results.

Rotation and Relief Ace
#1: Zane Smith
#2: Pink Hawley
#3: Burleigh Grimes
#4: Kris Benson
RA: Rich Loiselle

SP: Russ Bauers
SP: Paul Wagner
SP/RP: Paul Miller
SP/RP: Lou Manske
RP: Les Bartholomew
RP: Jack Taschner
RP: Bert Husting
RP: Fred Hayner

Notes: This is a very good rotation with little separating the top 3 starters. Smith the defacto ace is the more modern guy having pitched for the Pirates in the early 1990s. He pitched at an above average level and was a top of the rotation arm. Hawley pitched for the Pirates way back in the 1800s and was one of the Pirates better pitchers from that era. Grimes is a bit more recent having pitched for the Pirates in three different stints from 1916-1934. He is actually a Hall of Famer but that is primarily due to his time with the Brooklyn Robins. He wasnít a slouch for the Pirates either though. Kris Benson was a #1 overall pick and while he didnít live up to the hype he was still a solid pitcher for the Pirates for 5 seasons around the beginning of the 21st century. Rich Loiselle spent 6 years with the Pirates from 1996-2001 and was just an average reliever but in his rookie season, 1997, he was a great closer for the surprising Freak Show team.

Amongst the reserves Bauers and Wagner are two really fine starting pitcher options who just couldnít crack this rotation. Bauers was a solid middle of the rotation type who just lost out to Benson while Wagner was more of a back end type. Paul Miller performed decently as a swingman in the early 1990s but the rest of the reserves struggled in limited action.

Power Rankings
20. Washington D.C.
The pitching talent here is just non-existent. They are barely able to cover the minimum number of players needed and the ones they do have have thrown very few innings and the ones they have simply werenít good. There isnít one single average type pitcher here and they would even be stretched even as back of the rotation types.

19. Cuba
A minor step up from Washington DC here thanks almost entirely to Luis Tiant who gives the staff one solid back of the rotation type. The innings are few here as well but there is a little bit of depth, even if that depth isnít particularly good. Outside of Tiant the rotation is weak and not even completely filled with starters.

18. Maine
With just over 200 innings thrown Maine has the least amount of innings thrown by any team in this class. The complete absence of anyone behind the top 5 and the lack of innings really harm this staff but they do have two respectable arms in Young and Gray. They arenít top of the rotation material but they are reasonable starting options for this class.

17. Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico could put together a decent bullpen but unfortunately this exercise calls primarily for a starting rotation and the Puerto Ricans are lacking there. The starting staff doesnít have any truly terrible arms but the fact that there are two relievers and two spot starters masquerading as a rotation is quite a blow to this staff. The lack of quality depth also doesnít help.

16. Venezuela
Sarmiento and Gomez gives the Venezuelans a respectable top two in the rotation, but there is very little behind them in the rotation, pen or depth departments. The team is also forced to carry a reliever in the rotation which of course is another serious blow. The top two manages to buoy this team slightly but there needs to be more to rise any higher.

15. Rhode Island
The Rhode Island staff has some positives in the staff ace and relief ace positions but the weakness of the back of the rotation and the fact they have no one behind them holds the team back. Harry Salisbury is a legitimate middle of the rotation arm and Clem Labine is a very solid arm coming out of the bullpen but they arenít enough to overcome the other shortcomings.

14. Colorado
Similar story to Rhode Island in that there are only 5 guys with two solid stand outs. The stand outs are Gossage and Melancon. Gossage is unfortunately forced into the rotation which robs a lot of his value but he handled the roll earlier in his career so it might not be a complete loss. The back of the rotation really kills this squad but Melancon is the best relief ace in the class so they do have that going for them.

13. South Carolina
The starting 5 for South Carolina is in the same mold as the two teams ranked just below them. They have an ace who is roughly a league average starter in Kirby Higbie and a good solid relief pitcher in Bill Landrum. The rest of the rotation is lacking a bit but it is a minor step up from the previous two thanks largely due to more experience. The South Carolina squad also has the advantage of actual reserve options.

12. Louisiana
Louisiana doesnít have much depth with only 6 pitchers on the roster but they start off with a solid staff ace in Wally Hebert whoís main flaw is he only has 184 innings pitched. Behind him are starters that while they arenít middle of the rotation quality both are good enough to be back of the rotation options. The 4th starter position is weak but the relief ace position is solid. Basically Louisiana's strength is being able to field a competent staff almost the whole way through.

11. Canada
Steele and Bahr gives Canada a good 1-2 punch of mid rotation arms and is the real strength behind Canadaís solid placement in the 11th spot. The back of the rotation is definitely weak but they both at least have 100+ innings and werenít total disasters so thatís a plus in this class. The relief ace position and the depth arenít the greatest but like the back of the rotation it is at least not completely awful.

10. Connecticut
Connecticut is heavily buoyed by the presence of Steve Blass. Blass may not have the overall numbers of a top of the rotation pitcher but he had some well documented struggles at the end of his career and some not as well documented struggles at the beginning but the middle was very solid. Having a pitcher who threw 1500+ innings is a big boon to a team in this class and is enough to barely squeak Connecticut into the top 10 team almost on its own. There is a solid #2 behind Blass and the 3 and 4 are fine but lacking innings so the rest of the staff is capable but Blass is certainly the driving force here.

9. Georgia
There are 5 legitimate rotation options in Georgia making them the first team without a true weak spot in the rotation. The problem is all 5 of the options are better suited for the 3rd or 4th spots rather than a top two. The team even adds a solid relief ace in Matt Capps. The lack of a quality top of the rotation option and weak depth with the exception of the 5th starter is what holds this group back.

8. Washington
Bruce Kison gives Washington a reasonable top of the rotation arm which is what gives them a slight edge over the Georgia squad. The depth behind him is solid with two quality arms in the 2nd and 3rd spots but the 4th spot is unfortunately weak with a pitcher who severely lacks experience. Evan Meek gives them a solid relief ace though.

7. Tennessee
As I said in the write up Tennessee is again a deceivingly good group for their class. There is no clear defined ace but the group is deep in good options and all the starters have some reasonable amount of time of experience. Not much separates them from Georgia and Washington but their top two of Lucas and Weaver are slightly better than the others.

6. Mississippi
Mississippi has a good trio atop the rotation in Gibbon, Maholm and Bend Mizell. Ideally one of them would be more suited to the ace role but the top three is legitimately good and should keep the team in many games. The 4th starter position is a bit weak and relief ace is just average for the class but the strength of the top 3 is enough for a solid 6th pace ranking.

5. Arkansas
There is a distinct jump in quality starting with the Arkansas squad. Overall the team is built similar to the Mississippi squad in that they have a strong top 3 but their top 3 is actually significantly better. Burnett, Roe and Robinson is an excellent trio and while McKinght (4th starter) and Zinn (RA) are question marks the strength of the top 3 is good enough. What holds this group back from going higher is actually the lack of depth beyond the top 5 as there are only 2 pitchers both with limited action.

4. West Virginia
Having one of the best pitchers in Pirates history in Wilbur Cooper is a big boon to the West Virigniaís squad ranking. The group behind Cooper is fine with quality 2nd and 3rd starters but it is really Cooper that puts this group this high in the rankings. With all that being said the starting 5 for West Virginia is probably hair behind the starting 5 for Arkansas but there is actual bench depth here which makes the difference.

3. Kansas
It goes without saying Kansas has some legitimate high end depth with Hendrix, McWilliams and Bowman being an excellent 1-2-3 punch atop the rotation but that 1-2-3 combination is probably behind both Arkansas and West Virginia. What gives Kansas the slightest of edges is a strong 4th starter and relief ace coupled with the second best reserve depth in the class.

2. Maryland
There exists a small yet clear divide between the top 2 teams in this class and the others. All 5 pitchers is Marylandís starting 5 posted an ERA over the course of their Pirates that was better than league average for their time and they are the first to do that while having all their pitchers throw a reasonable amount of innings (Washington accomplished the feat but their 4th starter threw just 6 innings). The staff ace Vic Willis may be the second best pitcher in this class behind only Wilbur Cooper. Behind him Tomlin and Maddox form an excellent 2-3 punch that is at least equal to any weíve seen so far and the guys behind them in the 4th starter position and relief ace role give them enough to push them all the way up into 2nd place.

1. Wisconsin
Staff ace Zane Smith doesnít necessarily stand out when compared to all the others but he is plenty good enough to compete with the group and probably is one of the 5 best in this class. The rotation behind Smith consists of Hawley, Grimes and Benson who all threw at least 750 innings with the first two being legitimate top of the rotation types themselves and Benson being a solid mid rotation arm. Admittedly Rich Loiselle in the relief ace role is a bit of a weak spot but the strength of the rotation is enough to raise them to the top spot. The starting 5 is a hair better than Marylandís but what really separates Wisconsin from the rest is the presence of two starters amongst their reserves, Bauers and Wagner, who would legitimately be in any other rotation and would head probably over half of them. ]]>
battlingbucs http://www.pghsportsforum.com/forum/showthread.php/18438-State-By-State-Bucco-History-Part-VIII no
Kipper : Can Francisco Cervelli Getting In Shape Help His Injury Issues? http://www.pghsportsforum.com/forum/showthread.php/18436-Can-Francisco-Cervelli-Getting-In-Shape-Help-His-Injury-Issues?goto=newpost Thu, 04 Feb 2016 23:53:07 GMT
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I've been following Francisco Cervelli on Twitter and Instagram and it's really stuck out how much work he's putting into his offseason training program. Is he doing more than in past years? I'm not sure, but he appears to be putting in the work this off-season which is always good to see..

For Francisco Cervelli it's GREAT to see, and for multiple reasons.

The first reason is that he's not exactly in great shape for an athlete expected to play 110-130 games a year. He isn't very muscular and not very cut. Comparing him with Russel Martin it is night and day, but he has great hair according to the Fan Girls.

Physically he reminds me of another Pirates player (former player) who earned the social media nickname "Moobs" for his physique - Neil Walker.

As Cervelli turns 30 to start the season, it is beyond time to start thinking about the body. He's heading into the latter part of his prime years and he's hitting an age that requires one to start taking care of their body more. After what appears to be neglect in the weight-room, it is great to see Cervelli hitting it hard this off-season.

The second reason is that it is a contract year for him. It is debatable whether the Pittsburgh Pirates should sign him to the 3 years $39 million proposal that he's asking for. He has just 1 full season under his belt at the MLB level that he has played in more than 100 games. He's got Hand, Concussion and Hamstring injuries from the past. Can he stay healthy enough to earn that contract or does he need to prove in 2016, that he is worth that money first? The Pirates don't exactly have $13 per year to burn on an injured player. Getting into good shape and staying healthy is a must for Cervelli if he wants that contact.

It is also debatable if an unproven player entering his 30's with a history of injuries is worth $3 million per year less than what Russell Martin signed for. It won't be debatable if he can't stay healthy.

The benefit to extending Cervelli now is that barring some injury to highly regarded prospect, Elias Diaz, Cervelli won't be a Pittsburgh Pirate in 2017. He shouldn't be. Elias Diaz is our current future at Catcher and you don't block a 25/26 year old catcher for a player that will be 31 for the 2017 season... Unless you're David Littlefield, but those days are long gone and we're producing winning seasons by making smart baseball decisions. However, if Cervelli stays healthy and has a good season, he will command some noise in the Off-Season trade market. 2 years worth of control, can buy you a good prospect or 2. It might be worth the investment.

Oh, but the "Fan Girls" will cry when the Pirates trade him in the Off-Season. When you sign a guy to a multi-year extension, you usually expect them to be here for the duration of that contract, not have them be traded. There will be a revolt on the North Shore by the fan girls losing their crush like we haven't seen in Bucco Nation. The last Fan Girl crush that was here was Garrett Jones and he thankfully got bad enough by the end that his performance made him unattractive!

The 3rd reason is because his body is now the biggest investment that he can make, no matter what uniform he puts on. He's a good, nice like-able guy. I had the pleasure of interviewing him when he first got here. I'm rooting for his success. It doesn't cost money to get into great shape, it costs time and determination, something that Francisco Cervelli is putting a lot into this offseason.

That's good news for the Pittsburgh Pirates and Francisco Cervelli
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Kipper http://www.pghsportsforum.com/forum/showthread.php/18436-Can-Francisco-Cervelli-Getting-In-Shape-Help-His-Injury-Issues no
Kipper : #Pirates Acquire Lefty Jesse Biddle from Phillies in a Trade http://www.pghsportsforum.com/forum/showthread.php/18432-Pirates-Acquire-Lefty-Jesse-Biddle-from-Phillies-in-a-Trade?goto=newpost Wed, 03 Feb 2016 18:20:30 GMT The Pirates this morning acquired Lefty prospect Jesse Biddle in a trade this morning that sends the Phillies for RH reliever Yoervis Medina. Medina... The Pirates this morning acquired Lefty prospect Jesse Biddle in a trade this morning that sends the Phillies for RH reliever Yoervis Medina. Medina is a 27 year old fringe major leaguer. We lost nothing

Jesse Biddle was once a consensus top pitching prospect in the minors, posting ridiculous K/9 numbers of around 10 in AA. Then it went south and lead to the Tommy John surgery he underwent this past fall.

He'll have to be part of the Pirates 40-man rotation and will miss the entire 2016 season rehabbing

Biddle was selected in the first round in 2010 out of high school. At 6'5", 235 pounds, he's a big lefty.

Once he comes out of Tommy John's surgery, he could be an intriguing arm at the top of the Pirates minor league system, especially as a Lefty. ]]>
Kipper http://www.pghsportsforum.com/forum/showthread.php/18432-Pirates-Acquire-Lefty-Jesse-Biddle-from-Phillies-in-a-Trade no
Kipper : #Pirates Release NEW Spring Training Hats For 2016 http://www.pghsportsforum.com/forum/showthread.php/18427-Pirates-Release-NEW-Spring-Training-Hats-For-2016?goto=newpost Thu, 28 Jan 2016 19:05:35 GMT Attachment 5857 (http://www.pghsportsforum.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=5857) Not bad at all. The Pirates along with the rest of MLB... Click image for larger version. 

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Not bad at all. The Pirates along with the rest of MLB released their Spring Training gear. A lot of teams released a new jersey but the Pirates apparently are using their Black jersey;s that they use during the regular season. An odd decision, but one not worth posting photos of
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Kipper http://www.pghsportsforum.com/forum/showthread.php/18427-Pirates-Release-NEW-Spring-Training-Hats-For-2016 no
Battling Bucs : State By State Bucco History Part VII http://www.pghsportsforum.com/forum/showthread.php/18418-State-By-State-Bucco-History-Part-VII?goto=newpost Mon, 18 Jan 2016 20:12:40 GMT This is the continuation of my ATP (All Time Pirates (http://www.pghsportsforum.com/forum/forumdisplay.php/21-The-Pirates-Forum)) series but I have... This is the continuation of my ATP (All Time Pirates) series but I have opted to change the name to make it a little more obvious what is covered in the topic. As a quick recap this is a running series of mine that digs into the Pirates past and takes a look at it from various different angles. This particular exercise is looking at it from the player's place of birth. Each US state, the District of Columbia and each foreign country will be investigated in the attempt to build a team. For more specifics check out the introductory post here.In part VII I will begin looking at the Pirates pitchers by place of birth. First up are the class F locations which in terms of pitchers means locations where 4 or fewer pitchers were born. This covers 27 of the 67 locations to have produced at least one pitcher. The staff assembled will consist of 4 starting pitchers and one relief ace. Beyond those 5 there will be 8 additional pitchers selected to showcase each location's depth. Since these locations obviously don't have enough pitchers to build a 5 man staff on their won I have divided them into three subregions. There is an international team formed of everyone born outside the USA, a far west USA team formed of everyone born in a state that tocuhes the pacific, or is in the northwest or southwest. The last group is the remained of the USA. The lines I draw for this distinction are very arbitrary and were done to try to keep teams fairly even in terms of number of options. For the record the only states I have found to not have produced at least 1 Pirates player (either position player or pitcher) is the state of Nevada.


Columbia: Ernesto Frieri
England: Danny Cox, Al Lawson, Tom Brown
Ireland: Pete Daniels, Jocko Fields, Irish McIlveen
Japan: Jeff McCurry, Masumi Kuwata, Hisanori Takahashi
Netherlands: Bert Blyleven, Rick VandenHurk
Panama: Ed Acosta
Russia: Victor Cole
Scotland: Jim McCormick
South Korea: Chan Ho Park
Virgin Islands: Al McBean

Rotation and Relief Ace
#1: Bert Blyleven
#2: Al McBean
#3: Jim McCormick
#4: Danny Cox
RA: Chan Ho Park

Pete Daniels, SP
Al Lawson, SP
Victor Cole, SP/RP
Jeff McCurry, RP
Masumi Kuwata, RP
Hisanori Takahashi, RP
Rick VandenHurk, RP
Ernesto Frieri, RP

Notes: The top of the rotation features Blyleven who is a very nice ace for this group of international players. Al McBean spent the majority of his Pirates career as a relief pitcher but did start 75 games which is easily second of all eligible players on this team and he should slot in nicely into the second spot in the rotation. McCormick isnít a terrible player to have in the third spot in your rotation but the talent is clearly starting to fall off for the international squad. Cox in the 4th spot actually never started a game for the Pirates but he had plenty of starting experience before joining the Pirates and considering the quality of the other options he is the best choice. Releif ace Chan Ho Park only pitched sparingly for the Pirates but he was solid in his time here which is enough to earn him the job.

Amongst the reserves Daniels, Lawson and Cole are the only ones who actually started a game for the Pirates. Daniels started 4 games and Lawson 2 and both were pretty bad at it with ERAs of 7.07 and 9.00 respectively. Cole split his time between starting and relieving and was non-awful and will be asked to start if Danny Cox canít handle the expanded role. Amongst the relievers McCurry has the most experience pitching over 80 innings but wasnít good while with the Pirates. Kuwata, Takahashi, VandenHurk and Frieri were all terrible with the Pirates with Takahashi having the best ERA of the bunch at 8.64. Of the pitchers who missed the team Tom Brown and Jocko Fields were actually fielders who were called upon to make sparse appearances and Ed Acosta and Irish McIlveen only got into a handful of games apiece in which they pitched awfully.

Far West USA
Alaska: Dave Williams, Shawn Chacon
Arizona: DJ Carrasco, TJ Beam, Jaff Decker, Tim Wood
Hawaii: Steve Cooke, Brian Fisher, Tyler Yates
Idaho: Vern Law, Jason Schmidt, Ralph Erickson
New Mexico: Aaron Thompson
Oregon: Jim Rooker, Cliff Chambers, Brian Burres, Lyle Bigbee
Utah: Elmer Singleton, Logan Easley, Red Peery

Rotation and Relief Ace
#1: Vern Law
#2: Jim Rooker
#3: Jason Schmidt
#4: Cliff Chambers
RA: DJ Carrasco

Steve Cooke, SP
Dave Williams, SP
Brian Fisher, SP
Shawn Chacon, RP
Elmer Singleton, RP
TJ Beam, RP
Tyler Yates, RP

Notes: Vern Law is one of the best pitchers in Pirates history so of course the team is in terrific hands at the top of their rotation. There is depth behind Law as well as Rooker and Schmidt form a solid middle of the rotation. In the 4th spot there was a close completion between Chambers and Cooke and I wavered on my selection right up until the end. It is really too close to call but Chambers gets a slight edge thanks mostly to his ability to pitch deeper into games. For the relief ace the competition wasnít quite as heated as Carrasco was nothing more than a dependable middle reliever for one season while with the Pirates.

On the bench Cooke has already been covered and will serve as the 5th starter should one be needed. Also in reserve Williams and Fisher provide some more solid SP depth and could easily serve as back end options should the need arise. Chacon and Singleton also have a bit of starting experience but were primarily used as relief pitchers for the Pirates but both struggled with control. Beam and Yates never started a single game with the Pirates and while Beam has artificially decent numbers with the Pirates neither really performed well. Of the players left off the team Jaff Decker was of course a position player asked to pitch and Lyle Bigbee pitched well but in a sample of only 8 innings. Of the rest Burres was primarily a starter who got hit around hard and the others were relievers who pitched sparingly and for the most part got shelled in their limited innings of work.

Rest of the USA
Delaware: Ian Snell
Minnesota: Carmen Hill, Joe Bush, Paul Giel
Montana: Jeff Ballard
Nebraska: Jason Christiansen, Mike Zagurski, Marty Lang
New Hampshire: Jeff Locke, Bob Smith, Leon Chagnon, Walt Woods
North Dakota: Frank Brosseau
South Dakota: Lou Koupal, Terry Forster
Vermont: Ed Doheny

Rotation and Relief Ace
#1: Carmen Hill
#2: Ed Doheny
#3: Ian Snell
#4: Jeff Locke
RA: Jason Christiansen

Joe Bush, SP
Leon Chagnon, SP/RP
Terry Forster, SP/RP
Lou Koupal, SP/RP
Paul Giel, RP
Bob Smith, RP
Jeff Ballard, RP
Frank Brosseau, RP

Notes: Compared to the other 2 Hill is a weak ace but that doesnít mean he is a bad pitcher. Hill pitched for the Pirates back in 1910s and 1920s and was consistently an above average arm. In the second spot Ed Doheny is a throwback to the beginning of the 20th century, when pitching complete games were the norm. He was good compared to his peers but itís hard to know how well heíll translate to the more modern game. Snell and Locke represent the more modern era and are both pitchers probably nearly everyone reading this are familiar with. Both could you leave you scratching your heads due to their inconsistency but as back of the rotation options they both will do for this squad. As a relief ace Jason Christiansen is the best any of these 3 teams have to offer and he should do an excellent job anchoring the pitching staff.

Amongst the reserves Joe Bush is the only other regular starter and while he was good with the Pirates he just doesnít have the playing time to compete with the top 4. The team also has three swingmen in the bullpen in Chagnon, Forster and Koupal who started roughly a sixth of their appearances with the Pirates and they should make for solid innings filler as needed. None of them were good but they werenít disasters either. Amongst the relief pitchers Bob Smith is a very solid second arm behind Christiansen but the talent drops off after him. There were only three pitchers who didnít make the team and they all pitched 6 innings or less with an ERA of 15 or greater.

Power Rankings
3. International
Itís tough to deny Blyleven gives this squad a very good top arm in the rotation but the rest of the staff around him doesnít hold up their own weight. A middle rotation of a guy who probably should be a bullpen arm and another player who is a below average pitcher is not a great combination. Add in a 4th starter and relief ace who barely pitched for the Pirates and very little depth beyond those 5 and you have the weakest group in the class.

2. Rest of the USA
The top of the rotation is a bit weak relative to the other two but Hill is good enough to give them a chance and the rest of the rotation, though it doesnít have any superstars has solid enough arms to keep them in the game. Christiansen is the best relief pitcher on any of three squads and gives this squad a boost in that area, but what separates them from the international squad is that they have better depth to call upon.

1. Far West USA
Having Vern Law atop their rotation gives this team a huge boost over the other two and when you combine that with a staff that runs legitimately 5 deep in average or better starting options and has a decent relief ace to go along with it there is just no competition in this class. On the down side the depth is lacking especially in the relief corp but that isnít enough to prevent them from claiming the top spot in the class. ]]>
battlingbucs http://www.pghsportsforum.com/forum/showthread.php/18418-State-By-State-Bucco-History-Part-VII no
2016 Pirates Prediction Contest http://www.pghsportsforum.com/forum/showthread.php/18417-2016-Pirates-Prediction-Contest?goto=newpost Mon, 18 Jan 2016 16:18:24 GMT As some of you may know but I'm guessing a lot don't the past couple of years I have ran a Pirates prediction contest over on the Pro Sports Daily forum. Its been a fun little game and has generated a bit of traffic over there. I've been thinking recently and I want to expand it to this board if I can get enough participation.

The traditional set up is an individual competition where I present a set of questions before the season begins, you answer and I throughout the season occasionally prorate the results and update who is currently leading. I still plan on doing that this year regardless of participation level but I want to add a second competent to the competition that would serve as a match between the two boards.

In an ideal world there would be two 5 person teams and each month one player would answer questions regarding the four areas of the Pirates (infield, outfield, rotation, bullpen) and of the team itself. This would rotate on a monthly basis and from April through August each player would get a turn at each section. September would then feature a bit of a playoff between the two sides in a format that I'm still working on.

Basically want I want from this post is to know who would be interested in competing in the individual and/or team competitions. Just as a side note this isn't something that would require a huge commitment. The individual portion would be a one time thing with around 15 questions and the team competition would be a once monthly thing with about three questions per participant.

Both boards have been a little stagnant recently and I thought this could be a fun way to try and breathe a bit of life back into them.

Just let me know if you are interested. Thank you. ]]>
battlingbucs http://www.pghsportsforum.com/forum/showthread.php/18417-2016-Pirates-Prediction-Contest no
Kipper : #Pirates Have Agreed to Terms with Cervelli, Melancon, Hughes and more.. http://www.pghsportsforum.com/forum/showthread.php/18411-Pirates-Have-Agreed-to-Terms-with-Cervelli-Melancon-Hughes-and-more?goto=newpost Fri, 15 Jan 2016 19:38:38 GMT The Pirates have agreed to terms & avoided arbitration with:

Francisco Cervelli
Jared Hughes
Jeff Locke
Jordy Mercer
Mark Melancon
Tony Watson

More to come on what each is receiving ]]>
Kipper http://www.pghsportsforum.com/forum/showthread.php/18411-Pirates-Have-Agreed-to-Terms-with-Cervelli-Melancon-Hughes-and-more no
Kipper : #Pirates Avoid Arbitration with Jordy Mercer for 1 yr/ $2.075 million http://www.pghsportsforum.com/forum/showthread.php/18409-Pirates-Avoid-Arbitration-with-Jordy-Mercer-for-1-yr-2-075-million?goto=newpost Fri, 15 Jan 2016 18:00:58 GMT The Pirates and Short Stop Jordy Mercer agreed on a 1 year contract today for $2.075. Considering the Pirates lack of options for the 2016 season,... The Pirates and Short Stop Jordy Mercer agreed on a 1 year contract today for $2.075. Considering the Pirates lack of options for the 2016 season, this was pretty inevitable. ]]> Kipper http://www.pghsportsforum.com/forum/showthread.php/18409-Pirates-Avoid-Arbitration-with-Jordy-Mercer-for-1-yr-2-075-million no Kipper : #Pirates Sign Minor League Reliever Trey Haley http://www.pghsportsforum.com/forum/showthread.php/18408-Pirates-Sign-Minor-League-Reliever-Trey-Haley?goto=newpost Fri, 15 Jan 2016 01:59:09 GMT The Pirates signed RHP minor leaguer Trey Haley to a 1 year contract. A power arm in the pen, he's never pitched at the MLB level but posted decent stats between AA-AAA in 2015 with a 2.45 ERA.

The knock on Haley is that he struggles with command. His walk rate per 9 is up in the 6's.

At 25-26 years old, he'll be given a chance to earn a spot on the roster in Spring Training ]]>
Kipper http://www.pghsportsforum.com/forum/showthread.php/18408-Pirates-Sign-Minor-League-Reliever-Trey-Haley no
Battling Bucs : State By State Bucco History Part VI http://www.pghsportsforum.com/forum/showthread.php/18407-State-By-State-Bucco-History-Part-VI?goto=newpost Thu, 14 Jan 2016 18:30:53 GMT This is the continuation of my ATP (All Time Pirates (http://www.pghsportsforum.com/forum/forumdisplay.php/21-The-Pirates-Forum)) series but I have... This is the continuation of my ATP (All Time Pirates) series but I have opted to change the name to make it a little more obvious what is covered in the topic. As a quick recap this is a running series of mine that digs into the Pirates past and takes a look at it from various different angles. This particular exercise is looking at it from the player's place of birth. Each US state, the District of Columbia and each foreign country will be investigated in the attempt to build a team. For more specifics check out the introductory post here.

In part VI I will be covering position players from what I call class A locations. There are only two of these locations, California and Pennsylvania and both of these states have over 100 players to pool from. The player pools are so large that I actually opted to form two teams for each state. The top team still gets it pick of 15 players leaving the remainder available for the B squad. The B squad teams will not be part of the final rankings as that is meant to just compare state to state.

California Ė B Team
Nyjer Morgan, CF
Al Martin, LF
Dick Stuart, 1B
Craig Wilson, RF
Steve Buechele, 3B
Jack Shephard, C
Dick Cole, 2B
Tim Foli, SS

Chris Stewart, C
Adam LaRoche, 1B
Jim Nealon, 1B
Tommy Sheehan, 3B
Sam Khalifa, SS
Gene Clines, OF
R.J. Reynolds, OF

Notes: Morgan doesnít have much power but he has some solid OBP skills and is a good base runner so he should slot in well at the top of the lineup. Martin is another player like Morgan in that he is a good OBP guy that can run the bases well but unlike Morgan he has some pop in his bat though of course his defense is very poor especially compared to Morgan. Stuart and Wilson provide the middle of the order with some serious pop and its telling that these guys couldnít crack the ďAĒ team. Buechele is another solid bat that gives the lineup some depth. Spots 6 through 8 are occupied by weaker hitters who generate value mainly with their gloves.

On the bench Stewart serves as the backup catcher and it has been decided Craig Wilson will serve as the 3rd catcher so the team opts to carry two reserve 1B who are both very solid hitters. In the infield Sheehan gives the team another decent bat off the bench while Khalifa is primarily there for his glove. The two outfielders are also solid hitters who continue to add incredible depth to this B team.

Pennsylvania Ė B Team
Ed Abbaticchio, 2B
Tony Piet, 3B
Joe Harris, 1B
Tom McCreery, LF
Roy Thomas, CF
Billy Earle, C
Jimmy Sebring, RF
Frank Shugart, SS

Danny Kravitz, C
Willie Clark, 1B
Tom O'Brien, 1B/OF
Lou Bierbauer, 2B
Joe Battin, 3B
Bones Ely, SS
Cal Abrams, OF

Notes: Abbatchio is a very strong hitter with good OBP skills and should do a good job setting the table for the rest of the order. Piet was actually a 2B for the Pirates but he played a lot of 3B elsewhere and he was clearly a better option than the other candidates so he bats second. Harris is the one guy in the lineup with plus power and slots in nicely in the 3 hole and while McCreery isnít a power bat heís another very good hitter in the cleanup spot. The trend of solid hitters with little power continues throughout the rest of the lineup as 5-8 are filled with league average or better hitters who possess very little power but have a knack for getting on base.

Kravitz doesnít have much going for him as he is a weak bat with average defense but the catcher position is weak. Clark, OíBrien and Abrams provide three nice bench bats for the team to rely on as pinch hitters. The infield trio of Bierbauer, Battin and Ely canít hit all that well but are all exceptional defenders and should compliment the starters who are all good hitters but average defenders at best.

Jason Kendall, C
Bob Elliott, 3B
Bary Bonds, LF
Brian Giles, RF
Gus Suhr, 1B
Vince DiMaggio, CF
Freddy Sanchez, 2B
Jack Wilson, SS

Don Slaught, C
Fred Carroll, C
Jason Thompson, 1B
Bob Bailey, 3B
Pete Coscarart, 2B/SS
Bob Skinner, 1B/OF
Wally Westlake, OF

Notes: These are truly the big boy lineups. A catcher hitting lead off may not be a typical occurrence but its something Kendall did with some frequency and with his good OBP skills and surprisingly solid base running ability he makes for a fine lead off man. Eliott in the 2 hole is another very solid hitter who along with Kendall should do a great job setting up the heart of the order. Speaking about that heart of the order Bonds and Giles form a deadly duo of excellent well rounded hitters that are going to terrify every pitcher they face. Beyond them Suhr and DiMaggio are two more solid hitters that give the lineup scary depth 1 through 6. Rounding out the order you see the one weakness of this California juggernaut and thatís the middle infield, but really the combo of Sanchez and Wilson is nothing to sneeze. Sanchez is a very solid contact oriented hitter who plays a good second base and Wilson though his bat is a bit weak is an excellent defensive shortstop.

On the bench Slaught and Carroll are two tremendous reserve catchers who will be used liberally to keep Kendall fresh. Both players are solid hitters and they will be used on occasion to pinch hit as well. Thompson is a terrific backup 1B and just narrowly lost out to Suhr for a starting spot and that was primarily due to the longevity of Suhr. Like the catchers Thompson will be used heavily to help keep Suhr fresh. The depth continues as Bailey is also a very good player who in addition to playing 3B can play the OF and help out at shortstop in an emergency. Coscarat is by far the worst player on the team and even he is a solid player who should be able to spell Wilson with little drop off as both are similar hitters with Coscarat being a slightly better than average fielder. Skinner and Westlake are yet two more players the team can rely for good depth and though the drop off between them and Giles and Bonds will be noticeable both were in the running with DiMaggio for the last starting spot.

Most of the notable exclusions have already been covered on the B team but even with two squads there were some decent players who missed out. Xavier Nady had a couple nice years with the Pirates and is a very solid 1B/OF but neither team had the room for him. Mike Diaz is a utility player who played catcher, first base and the outfield for the Pirates all while hitting at around a league average rate and he too was left out. Babe Dahlgren was a solid 1B who recorded 1,250 PA for the Pirates the most by any California player to miss both squads. The list goes on and on but it just shows how deep in talent this state really is.

Elmer Smith, LF
Jim Russell, CF
Honus Wagner, SS
Frank Thomas, RF
Bill Robinson, 1B
Don Hoak, 3B
Calude Ritchey, 2B
Ed Ott, C

Joe Sugden, C
Side Bream, 1B
Neil Walker, 2B
Dick Groat, SS
Clyde Barnhart, 3B/OF
Bill Hinchman, 1B/OF
Adam Comorosky, OF

Notes: That California lineup is tremendous but this Pennsylvania lineup which by and large features players from an earlier era is just as good. Leading off Smith is probably the best Pirates player from the 1800s and he has legitimate speed on the bases and is an OBP machine. Russell is basically a slightly worse version of Smith as while he is still a good hitter he isnít at his level and he is probably a bit over-matched in center field but this team doesnít really have an ideal fit there but his bat does play. In the three hole is Honus Wagner the best player in franchise history. The man can do it all including playing terrific defense at shortstop; there is a reason his statue is at the main gate after all. Frank Thomas and Bill Robinson arenít complete hitters but they provide a solid source of power for the middle of this lineup. Hoak is a very good ball player who doesnít really stand out in any one area but is solid across the board being a good hitter and a good defender. Ritchey in the 7th spot is known more for his glove than bat but he was a very solid hitter in addition to being an elite defender. Ott in the 8th spot catching is a bit uninspiring compared to the rest of the lineup but the catcher position is a real weak spot for Pennsylvania and Ott is by far the best of the bunch and is a still a solid option in the 8 hole.

On the bench Sugden is easily the worst player on the team but aside from Ott is the only other Pennsylvania born catcher to have significant time spent with the Pirates. He isnít a black hole by any stretch, though as he still managed to post an 85 wRC+ in over 1,000 PA with the Pirates all while being an average defensive catcher. Bream narrowly lost out to Robinson for the starting 1B job and will still see a lot of action as Robinson will likely be used to spell at 3B and the OF at times plus the team will want Bream in there against tough RHP seeing as he is left handed and Robinson is right handed. Walker and Groat form a terrific backup middle of the infield with Groat being a reserve despite having an MVP on his resume and Walker is a better hitter than Ritchey but canít compete with the excellent glove. Hinchman is a great player who lost out by an eyelash to Russell for a starting outfield spot and that was primarily because Russell had some center field experience and the team was in need of one of those. Barnhart is a solid bench piece who is actually the player who will see the least use on the team but that is more a comment about the rest of the squad than him. Finally Comorosky might seem like an odd choice as his hitting skills donít compare well with a lot of the players on the B squad but one of this squadís weaknesses is bound to be the defense in the outfield and Comorosky though not a stud out there is a solid defender capable of hitting decently and that was enough for him to eek out the final roster spot.

The most significant exclusions from both teams is probably a middle infield pairing of Fred Dunlap at 2B and Billy Cox at shortstop. Both players are solid defenders with roughly league average bats making their exclusion a tough thing to do. If it wasnít for the focus of defense on the B team bench they would have likely slotted in there. Danny Murtaugh a weak hitting strong gloved 2B has the most plate appearances of anyone to fail to make either team at 1,434. As with California the snubs list could go on for a while but I will cut it off here.

Power Rankings
4. California Ė B
The B squad for the state of California isnít a bad team but the lineup just doesnít have the depth necessary to be able to hang with the others in this group. Stuart and Wilson are a great 1-2 punch in the middle of the order and it speaks volumes of how good the A squad is that they couldnít crack that squad but the talent around them just isnít enough. As a squad of their own the California B team would likely be competitive with the Class C teams and near the top of the Class D rankings.

3. Pennsylvania Ė B
It should be relatively obvious that the bottom 2 squads were going to be the ďBĒ squads. The lineup for the PA B squad is insanely deep featuring 8 hitters that all average or better but the defense is a little weak which causes the bench to lean in a more defense oriented direction which of course weakens the pinch hitting options. The team edges out the California B squad thanks to its depth but obviously there isnít enough high end talent here for it to be competitive with the A squads.

2. Pennsylvania
Iíve been back and forth on which team to rank 1 and which to team to rank 2 and honestly Iím still not sure if this is correct. The Pennsylvania squad has two clear weaknesses one being the lack of a true center fielder and the other being the need for a bit better catching depth. Those two weaknesses do nothing to take away from how tremendous this team is but itís enough to keep them from claiming the top spot by a hair.

1. California
As I mentioned the difference between Pennsylvania and California is razor thin and I still havenít made up my mind about who has the better lineup but I like the California bench just a bit better and that gives them a slight advantage. The primary weakness for the California squad is the lack of depth and high end talent in the middle infield but the rest of the team is strong enough to place them in the top spot in the highest class there is. ]]>
battlingbucs http://www.pghsportsforum.com/forum/showthread.php/18407-State-By-State-Bucco-History-Part-VI no