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Thread: Can Andy LaRoche Become the Pirates' Next Jack Wilson?

      
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    Default Can Andy LaRoche Become the Pirates' Next Jack Wilson?

    Found this at Bleacherreport, so take it with a grain of salt....
    -----------------------------------
    Can Andy LaRoche Become the Pirates' Next Jack Wilson?
    by Tom Au
    Written on March 19, 2010



    I was never a fan of Andy LaRoche's brother Adam, and sharp-eyed readers may have noticed my tepid acceptance of Andy in the past.

    But in one respect, the younger LaRoche is already "Jack Wilson," which is high praise coming from yours truly. That is, in terms of "citizenship."

    He spent half an hour giving the "grand tour" of PNC Park to a boy in wheelchair. That was above and beyond the call of duty and will generate enormous goodwill for the Pirates, both for the one incident and for the many similar ones that are likely to follow.

    The BASEBALL problem is, LaRoche may find himself out of a steady job if and when Pedro Alvarez comes to third base, perhaps late this year. Far from being roadblocked by players in FRONT of him (as he was in Los Angeles), LaRoche is now threatened from BEHIND.

    But instead of trying to stand in Alvarez's way, Andy has apparently done everything possible to facilitate the minor leaguer's coming to the majors.

    A possible second position for the good-fielding LaRoche is second base. But that spot looks crowded, with Delwyn Young and Akinori Iwamura already slated for that spot. Not to mention that Josh Harrison, who was acquired last year in the trade of starter Tom Gorzelanny, might be ready in two to three years.

    Conceivably, the Pirates might free up a spot for LaRoche in 2011 by not renewing Iwamura's contract, before Harrison is ready, but that would be a short-, not long-term solution.

    But the Pirates have one glaring weakness in the infield. That is shortstop, which, yes, happens to be Jack Wilson's old position, following his trade last year to Seattle for two advanced prospects.

    If LaRoche can actually play second base, he might be viable at shortstop. Both positions are "up the middle," on either side of second base. The shortstop is taxed more because there are more right-handed batters, who tend to "pull" the ball to the left side of the field. But a double-play combo that goes 4-6-3 isn't much different from one that goes 6-4-3.

    Like Wilson, LaRoche is a liability at the plate (although to a lesser degree), and like Wilson, his superior fielding makes up for it, with a little to spare. Unlike Wilson, he is not playing as critical a position, which is to say that he is not scoring points for a position adjustment.

    It would be a tough adjustment, but if he can make it, LaRoche could make a real contribution at shortstop. Ronny Cedeno is an even greater liability at the plate than Wilson, and unlike Wilson he seems to offer no defensive premium (relative to his position). By replacing Cedeno here, LaRoche might be able to upgrade the position in at least one, possibly both, counts.

    Another possibility for LaRoche that might add up to a full-time job (almost, anyway), is that he could platoon at ALL THREE positions. He might sub for Alvarez at third against particular pitchers, for Cedeno against high-scoring teams against whom hitting is at a premium, and at second base against particular lineups.

    Andy LaRoche has done, and will do, a lot for the Pirates, both on and off the field. It's about time that the Pirates think about what they can do for him.

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/3...xt-jack-wilson
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    Default Re: Can Andy LaRoche Become the Pirates' Next Jack Wilson?

    Tom Au might be the only person thusfar I've read that thinks that highly of Josh Harrison .

    All Andy Laroche needs to do is 2 things this year...

    Hit for Average amongst 3B (which would be .264 going by 2009 using a simple team average base and finding 15th in MLB)

    Hit for Average Power Amongst 3B (which would be between 18-21 using the same concept as I did for Avg.).

    Do those 2 things and you then force the Pirates to find a spot for you because the Pirates shouldn't want to give away a plus defensive player that brings in average offensive production for his position heading into his main prime years.

    I think Andy can accomplish those goals and exceed the batting average increase especially if the thumb was what held him back until about August last season. Andy finished with a .258 BA and 12 HR's. The BA isn't far off of that .264, the Homers are, but you figure that 8 of those 12 came in the last 2 months of the season last year and 18-21 is a possibility.

    What Tom Au doesn't mention is that IF Andy Laroche produces like a corner player, the Pirates main emphasis might be on 1B and putting Pedro there, not because Pedro stinks defensively at 3B but because it gives us our best offensive/defensive possibilities.

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    Default Re: Can Andy LaRoche Become the Pirates' Next Jack Wilson?

    It's a nice thought, but there's no way in Hell that Luigi moves to SS.

    Just IMHO.
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    Default Re: Can Andy LaRoche Become the Pirates' Next Jack Wilson?

    Quote Originally Posted by NKySteeler View Post
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    Found this at Bleacherreport, so take it with a grain of salt....
    -----------------------------------
    Can Andy LaRoche Become the Pirates' Next Jack Wilson?
    by Tom Au
    Written on March 19, 2010



    I was never a fan of Andy LaRoche's brother Adam, and sharp-eyed readers may have noticed my tepid acceptance of Andy in the past.

    But in one respect, the younger LaRoche is already "Jack Wilson," which is high praise coming from yours truly. That is, in terms of "citizenship."

    He spent half an hour giving the "grand tour" of PNC Park to a boy in wheelchair. That was above and beyond the call of duty and will generate enormous goodwill for the Pirates, both for the one incident and for the many similar ones that are likely to follow.

    The BASEBALL problem is, LaRoche may find himself out of a steady job if and when Pedro Alvarez comes to third base, perhaps late this year. Far from being roadblocked by players in FRONT of him (as he was in Los Angeles), LaRoche is now threatened from BEHIND.

    But instead of trying to stand in Alvarez's way, Andy has apparently done everything possible to facilitate the minor leaguer's coming to the majors.

    A possible second position for the good-fielding LaRoche is second base. But that spot looks crowded, with Delwyn Young and Akinori Iwamura already slated for that spot. Not to mention that Josh Harrison, who was acquired last year in the trade of starter Tom Gorzelanny, might be ready in two to three years.

    Conceivably, the Pirates might free up a spot for LaRoche in 2011 by not renewing Iwamura's contract, before Harrison is ready, but that would be a short-, not long-term solution.

    But the Pirates have one glaring weakness in the infield. That is shortstop, which, yes, happens to be Jack Wilson's old position, following his trade last year to Seattle for two advanced prospects.

    If LaRoche can actually play second base, he might be viable at shortstop. Both positions are "up the middle," on either side of second base. The shortstop is taxed more because there are more right-handed batters, who tend to "pull" the ball to the left side of the field. But a double-play combo that goes 4-6-3 isn't much different from one that goes 6-4-3.

    Like Wilson, LaRoche is a liability at the plate (although to a lesser degree), and like Wilson, his superior fielding makes up for it, with a little to spare. Unlike Wilson, he is not playing as critical a position, which is to say that he is not scoring points for a position adjustment.

    It would be a tough adjustment, but if he can make it, LaRoche could make a real contribution at shortstop. Ronny Cedeno is an even greater liability at the plate than Wilson, and unlike Wilson he seems to offer no defensive premium (relative to his position). By replacing Cedeno here, LaRoche might be able to upgrade the position in at least one, possibly both, counts.

    Another possibility for LaRoche that might add up to a full-time job (almost, anyway), is that he could platoon at ALL THREE positions. He might sub for Alvarez at third against particular pitchers, for Cedeno against high-scoring teams against whom hitting is at a premium, and at second base against particular lineups.

    Andy LaRoche has done, and will do, a lot for the Pirates, both on and off the field. It's about time that the Pirates think about what they can do for him.

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/3...xt-jack-wilson
    So Tom thinks Josh Harrison is the heir apparent at 2nd base. He's probably the only one on earth who thinks that.

    As for a Laroche move to SSÖ.just because he can play 3rd doesn't mean he can play SS. SS is by far the hardest position to play in the infield. I havenít heard even a mention of Laroche getting time at SS. Where did this come from? Laroche has practiced at 2nd in fall instructionals thatís about it. Even if he were to switch to 2nd (which is a possibility) that doesn't mean he can play SS. In fact most 2nd baseman are players who can't cut it at SS.

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    Default Re: Can Andy LaRoche Become the Pirates' Next Jack Wilson?

    Quote Originally Posted by PittFaninVa View Post
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    So Tom thinks Josh Harrison is the heir apparent at 2nd base. He's probably the only one on earth who thinks that.

    As for a Laroche move to SSÖ.just because he can play 3rd doesn't mean he can play SS.
    ....

    I gotta agree... But as I said; "take it with a grain of salt." ... Just another article in my attempt to get some "fresh" stuff posted each day...

    I'll admit that I have sorta "discarded baseball" in recent years, but the birth of our board has rejuvenated my interest... Boy, it is hard to get good stuff on the Buccos while living in Cincy...
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    Default Re: Can Andy LaRoche Become the Pirates' Next Jack Wilson?

    Quote Originally Posted by NKySteeler View Post
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    ....

    I gotta agree... But as I said; "take it with a grain of salt." ... Just another article in my attempt to get some "fresh" stuff posted each day...

    I'll admit that I have sorta "discarded baseball" in recent years, but the birth of our board has rejuvenated my interest... Boy, it is hard to get good stuff on the Buccos while living in Cincy...
    The best source for Pirate info is the beat writer for the Post Gazette Dejan Kovacevic.

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    Default Re: Can Andy LaRoche Become the Pirates' Next Jack Wilson?

    Quote Originally Posted by NKySteeler View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    ....

    I gotta agree... But as I said; "take it with a grain of salt." ... Just another article in my attempt to get some "fresh" stuff posted each day...

    I'll admit that I have sorta "discarded baseball" in recent years, but the birth of our board has rejuvenated my interest... Boy, it is hard to get good stuff on the Buccos while living in Cincy...
    All of it is a good source for conversation. You never know what works and what doesn't. You could post something from Pfiv's brother, Dejan but it doesn't neccessarily mean it wil be a conversation piece. It could read as "knew that already" which happens quite often

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    Default Re: Can Andy LaRoche Become the Pirates' Next Jack Wilson?

    Quote Originally Posted by NKySteeler View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    ....

    I gotta agree... But as I said; "take it with a grain of salt." ... Just another article in my attempt to get some "fresh" stuff posted each day...

    I'll admit that I have sorta "discarded baseball" in recent years, but the birth of our board has rejuvenated my interest... Boy, it is hard to get good stuff on the Buccos while living in Cincy...
    I know what you mean! I live north of Indianapolis and like you I'm surrounded by Reds fans!

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    Default Re: Can Andy LaRoche Become the Pirates' Next Jack Wilson?

    Quote Originally Posted by indybucfan View Post
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    I know what you mean! I live north of Indianapolis and like you I'm surrounded by Reds fans!
    Look at the bright side-you're getting the inside scoop on "Dusty's Boys". And you have the 2nd half of the season to look forward to, the part where Marty Brennaman rant about the poor FO the Reds have. Between endless references to Elvis and golf, of course.
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    Default Re: Can Andy LaRoche Become the Pirates' Next Jack Wilson?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kipper View Post
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    All of it is a good source for conversation. You never know what works and what doesn't. You could post something from Pfiv's brother, Dejan but it doesn't neccessarily mean it wil be a conversation piece. It could read as "knew that already" which happens quite often
    He ain't heavy he's my brother......

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    Default Re: Can Andy LaRoche Become the Pirates' Next Jack Wilson?

    Look at the bright side-you're getting the inside scoop on "Dusty's Boys". And you have the 2nd half of the season to look forward to, the part where Marty Brennaman rant about the poor FO the Reds have. Between endless references to Elvis and golf, of course.


    Marty Brennaman....uuuuuggghhhhhhh.

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    Default Re: Can Andy LaRoche Become the Pirates' Next Jack Wilson?

    Quote Originally Posted by indybucfan View Post
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    I know what you mean! I live north of Indianapolis and like you I'm surrounded by Reds fans!
    Reds fans...yikes....hate them worse than Bengals fans...or is it Bungles....or Bungholes....???

    Kinda cool being here in Chicago...ppl make fun of me when I say I'm a Bucco fan...then they shut up when I ask them about their last WS title...heehee

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    Default Re: Can Andy LaRoche Become the Pirates' Next Jack Wilson?

    Quote Originally Posted by williamjpellas View Post
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    Look at the bright side-you're getting the inside scoop on "Dusty's Boys". And you have the 2nd half of the season to look forward to, the part where Marty Brennaman rant about the poor FO the Reds have. Between endless references to Elvis and golf, of course.


    Marty Brennaman....uuuuuggghhhhhhh.
    He's easier to listen to than Lanny was; I think the single best thing the FO has done so far is to let Lanny go and bring in Tim Neverett.
    Hidden Content Jacket photograph motifed baseball board game of Epoch Inc. Epoch is putting "Sunday vs Magazine Baseball Boar Game" on the market collaborated with charactors of Weekly Shounen Sunday and Weekly Shounen Magazine now. MAJOR's hero Goro Shigeno (茂野吾郎)'s character card will be sold in the future.

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