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Thread: Dejan on the Pirates offense

      
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    jnn123's Avatar
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    Default Dejan on the Pirates offense

    I just saw this post over at PG+. He really couldn't be more wrong on many of these points.

    > Some readers might recall my oft-stated view that Adam LaRoche was a poor fit for the Pirates based on the notion that they are the last franchise that can afford a second-half producer, given their miserable history.

    Well, in that same spirit, maybe it's not too late for this team to have something of a shakeup on offense.

    No, I'm not going to pile on Lyle Overbay just yet, not when he's still hitting better than three other regulars.

    And no, I'm not going to come close to suggesting any of the younger players have reduced roles. That would be insanity in the context of the Pirates' plan.

    But there has to be something.

    It's inexplicable to me that Ryan Doumit is sitting on the bench despite swinging a hot bat from both sides. It's hard for me to grasp Garrett Jones being cooled off not by opponents but by the Pirates pushing an unnecessary platoon with an unproductive Matt Diaz. It's not making much sense to me that Alex Presley is hitting like Tony Gwynn in the minors right now and not getting a chance.

    And, going back a bit, it's still not easy to figure out how a team that went into the offseason publicly declaring its need to upgrade the shortstop position did nothing of the kind. Neal Huntington's excuse for not getting one -- that the industry isn't overloaded with above-average shortstops -- does not mix with the reality of the shortstops who were available, nor with the reality that shortstops remain available every day through trades.

    The status quo isn't helping the offense, and neither are excuses for failing to address a critically important position.

    Before long, it will be too late, and the Pirates yet again will feel comfortable in trading off pieces rather than putting forth an effort to compete now. Only this time, it won't be nearly as easy to pin it all on the players or coaching staff.
    There are 5 issues he mentions:

    First: Overbay really isn't hitting better than 3 other regulars. I'm not really sure who the 3 he's talking about are, but there are really only two: Alvarez and Cedeno. Regardless, getting Overbay's production from 1B is always a huge issue. That's the position with the biggest offensive standards in the league, yet it has been among the worst for the Pirates for the second year in a row. You just can't get away with getting nothing out of that position. Teams have been successful while getting little out of the SS position, but it's extremely difficult when you're not getting anything from first base. Unless you're getting elite production from the rest of the position players it's a really tough weakness to overcome. He's also played very poorly defensively, which is tougher to explain. I would expect him to improve a bit in that regard, but we'll see.

    Second: Doumit. It's true that he's hit well this year, and they could possibly play him a bit more often. The issue is that his success could very well be due to the limited playing time. Doumit had struggled two years in a row as a regular catcher. Keeping him fresh may help him as much as anything. The Pirates announcers also noted the other night that the team wants Snyder catching the "challenging" pitchers defensively. It's also worth noting that Snyder hasn't performed poorly at all. When he's been in the lineup it's not like he's been the weak link.

    Third: Jones. Calling the platoon "unnecessary" is ridiculous. Jones was one of the biggest problems with the offense last year, particularly in the second half. He made it clear that he should not be on the field against lefties. In 2010 he hit .220/.261/.360. In 2009 he hit .208/.243/.455. This year he's 1/11. Diaz has been unproductive, but he has a track record that's several years long. He only has 30 plate appearances vs. lefties this year. He should improve at some point. Even if he doesn't, Jones should still be platooned with someone.

    Fourth: Presley. I'm not entirely sure how I feel about this. If you do bring Presley up then what's his role? He's not going to play over Tabata, he's not going to play over McCutchen, he's not going to play over Jones. As a lefty you can't throw him in a platoon with Jones. He ends up in the Xavier Paul role, which Paul may actually be better suited for. He's a better base runner and has a better defensive skillset. I guess you could move Overbay out, Jones to first, and stick Presley in right. I know they don't like Jones at 1B, but it might be an upgrade.

    Fifth: Cedeno. Dejan mentions that Hutington said there aren't many above average SS available, which Dejan says isn't true. I don't know who he thinks could have filled that role, though. Jason Bartlett isn't an upgrade, Brendan Ryan isn't an upgrade, Orlando Cabrera isn't much of an upgrade. JJ Hardy was probably a better option, but he's only played 10 games this year. He mentions that players were and are still available every day, but doesn't say who they are. It's pretty easy to say they should have and could have upgraded without offering a realistic solution.

    The whole article seems to be based on the idea that there are easily available fixes, but I don't see anything that's likely to be much help.

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    jnn123's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dejan on the Pirates offense

    Another Doumit note: His hitting well this season is really the result of a 4 start stretch (May 4- May 10). Going into that May 4 game he was hitting .235 with an OPS in the mid-600s. The way people have shifted their opinions on Doumit after 4 games is crazy. All offseason and through April no one wanted him on the team. Now he needs to be playing every day.

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    Default Re: Dejan on the Pirates offense

    Quote Originally Posted by jnn123 View Post
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    First: Overbay really isn't hitting better than 3 other regulars. I'm not really sure who the 3 he's talking about are, but there are really only two: Alvarez and Cedeno. Regardless, getting Overbay's production from 1B is always a huge issue. That's the position with the biggest offensive standards in the league, yet it has been among the worst for the Pirates for the second year in a row. You just can't get away with getting nothing out of that position. Teams have been successful while getting little out of the SS position, but it's extremely difficult when you're not getting anything from first base. Unless you're getting elite production from the rest of the position players it's a really tough weakness to overcome. He's also played very poorly defensively, which is tougher to explain. I would expect him to improve a bit in that regard, but we'll see.

    The Pirates are absolutely getting killed offensively from their corner infield positions. These spots are traditional power positions,and between Overbay and Pedro,the Pirates have gotten 3 Hrs and 12 doubles.
    Are these morons getting dumber or just louder-Mayor Quimby

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    Default Re: Dejan on the Pirates offense

    It's the corner infield. They're giving us no power, no run production whatsoever. Overbay gets on base, but he's not hitting for power. Pedro isn't hitting for anything. When was the last time he recorded an RBI? It has to be WEEKS ago. You can live with your other positions struggling, but you're not going to win many games without at least decent power production from the corner infield positions. We have had next to none.

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    Default Re: Dejan on the Pirates offense

    McCutchen .235 Tabata .226 Jones .242 Walker.286 Overbay .224 Alvarez .210 Snyder .271 Cedeno .232
    ================================================== ========
    That's yesterday's Pirate starting lineup. How can any team expect to win with those numbers? Alvarez last had an RBI on April 23rd (7 total). Overbay has 8 RBIs in the last 30 days. That's quite a production coming from the corners. Of course Tabata has 8 RBIs, Jones has 13 and Diaz has 5. So adding up all of the corner positions nets a whopping 41 RBIs. Walker, Doumit/Snyder have 45 RBIs between them. In fact, Walker has 22 by himself. This team is just plain bad and the statistics support this.

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