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Thread: Pirates Notebook: LaRoche going to utility role

      
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    Default Pirates Notebook: LaRoche going to utility role

    Pirates Notebook: LaRoche going to utility role
    Saturday, June 12, 2010
    By Chuck Finder, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
    Peter Diana/Post-GazettePirates third baseman Andy LaRoche on his struggles: "Right now, the way I've been playing, I don't deserve to be starting at third."DETROIT -- Andy LaRoche hit the question squarely.

    "Right now, the way I've been playing, I don't deserve to be starting at third," he said before the Pirates' game Friday night, when Neil Walker took his starting place at third base. "I'm feeling good, but. ..."

    Manager John Russell traces LaRoche's recent woes to chronic back issues that flared last month and caused him to miss most of a week. Some of his problems, however, began before that.

    Since a season-high crest of .333 May 4, he has batted .173 with no home runs and five RBI in 34 games.

    More than that, a fielder once heralded as Gold Glove quality has committed eight errors in his past 26 games at third.

    While Russell sees signs of progress lately both in the field and in LaRoche's plate approaches, LaRoche is starting to take pregame work at other infield spots: He toiled at second base in Washington, and expects to take grounders soon at shortstop and first -- where he played a 2008 game with Los Angeles.

    The main thrust behind what Russell described as an attempt to make LaRoche more versatile: the impending arrival of top-prospect Pedro Alvarez at third base.

    "The obvious reason for me to move is to get him up here," LaRoche said. "Hey, I'm all for it if that's going to help our lineup, which I'm sure it will. If he's playing great, and, obviously, I've been scuffling a little bit lately, he deserves to be up here."

    LaRoche, hitting .151 for June and .190 in May, took extra batting-practice in the Comerica Park cage Friday, returning to the clubhouse soaked in sweat.

    "My swing isn't just the same. I was feeling good before that. Then, it flared up, I missed a few games. I lost it somewhere in there. I'm trying to get it back right now.

    "I'll come out of this soon."

    Tabata rests
    There was no problem with the hamstring that cramped on him late the night of his major-league debut Wednesday. There was no problem with his first late-night big-league charter flight, either. Or anything else.

    Rather, Jose Tabata did not start Friday because Russell gave him the night off. OK, so maybe Detroit's Justin Verlander had something to do with it.

    "Verlander's pitching. Not that I don't' have any confidence, but [his] third game in the major leagues to face one of the best right-handers ..." Russell explained. "Just break him in a little slower. With his leg, just to give him another day. Not to push him. And, with the travel, we got in real late [Friday morning].

    "Jose's going to play pretty much every day. There are going to be times I'll give him days off."

    Brothers-in-law in arms
    Detroit's Don Kelly of Mt. Lebanon and Point Park and the Walker family by marriage started in left field. The Pirates' Neil Walker started at third. It was -- with Walker's parents, brother and sister-in-law also at Comerica Park -- a family affair.

    They played together for about half a month in 2007 with Class AAA Indianapolis, when Kelly played briefly for his hometown team. Otherwise, they played against each other last season in the International League and share so much in common.

    "This is fun," Walker said.

    He teased, "If he takes any hits from me, it might cause some problems."

    In the third inning, with Andrew McCutchen on second base and two out, Kelly ended the inning with a nifty lean-over-the-railing catch of a foul pop to retire his brother in law.

    Buried treasure
    Steve Pearce is expected to play in a game by Tuesday on his nearly month-long rehabilitation from an ankle injury. Russell said: "I'm sure we'll get him to Indy at some point" for a rehab assignment."

    General manager Neal Huntington, on his Pirates.com chat Friday, said some fundamental errors came from Pirates developed elsewhere: "Our fundamental play has been disappointing at times this season. ... It is our expectation that, as we move forward with more players that have been developed within our minor league system, the quality of baseball will continue to improve."



    Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10163...#ixzz0qdbVMe4l
    Are these morons getting dumber or just louder-Mayor Quimby

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    Default Re: Pirates Notebook: LaRoche going to utility role

    General manager Neal Huntington, on his Pirates.com chat Friday, said some fundamental errors came from Pirates developed elsewhere: "Our fundamental play has been disappointing at times this season. ... It is our expectation that, as we move forward with more players that have been developed within our minor league system, the quality of baseball will continue to improve
    ."
    Wow! Talk about a stretch
    Are these morons getting dumber or just louder-Mayor Quimby

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    Default Re: Pirates Notebook: LaRoche going to utility role

    Quote Originally Posted by buccoray61 View Post
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    ."
    Wow! Talk about a stretch
    Stupid organization. Again they had all spring to move people around. Did JR see Doumit miss that ball last night? To blame all other teams in baseball for fundamentals may be the dumbest statement made yet by Huntington who has made several stupid ones last year. This is the man most of you want to continue to run this team? I have never been a supporter but what is happening now is beyond dumb. Does this mean the return of Aki? I mean Neal has said Pedro is not ready and may need at least 5 more years in the minors to equal the output of Laroche and Aki. Does this mean Walker continues at 3rd? Notice the "Back Fatigue" is now the issue just like Morton. What a ****ing joke. Tabata got a rest? He is 21, we already know Church and Lasting Milledge can't hit, now we have a 21 year old needing a rest after 2 games. Plus the base running blunders by Milledge are because the Mets didn't teach him. ****ing other teams screwing with the Pirates, can't believe that. You give JR some tools and look what he does, Him and Neal and Nutting all can go. All of you that defend Nutting, remember that in the next time MLB talks about contraction, because the Pirates will be the first team mentioned to contract. Until this ownership is changed, nothing will change. Neal can bring Pedro up and guess what, even if him, Tabat and Lincoln work out, they won't be more than a .500 team. Nutting's ownership and lack of payroll will eventually lead to the Pirates no longer being part of MLB. It almost happened to the Twins, the Pirates and Marlins are now on the list.

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    Default Re: Pirates Notebook: LaRoche going to utility role

    Quote Originally Posted by rbilak View Post
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    Stupid organization. Again they had all spring to move people around. Did JR see Doumit miss that ball last night? To blame all other teams in baseball for fundamentals may be the dumbest statement made yet by Huntington who has made several stupid ones last year. This is the man most of you want to continue to run this team? I have never been a supporter but what is happening now is beyond dumb. Does this mean the return of Aki? I mean Neal has said Pedro is not ready and may need at least 5 more years in the minors to equal the output of Laroche and Aki. Does this mean Walker continues at 3rd? Notice the "Back Fatigue" is now the issue just like Morton. What a ****ing joke. Tabata got a rest? He is 21, we already know Church and Lasting Milledge can't hit, now we have a 21 year old needing a rest after 2 games. Plus the base running blunders by Milledge are because the Mets didn't teach him. ****ing other teams screwing with the Pirates, can't believe that. You give JR some tools and look what he does, Him and Neal and Nutting all can go. All of you that defend Nutting, remember that in the next time MLB talks about contraction, because the Pirates will be the first team mentioned to contract. Until this ownership is changed, nothing will change. Neal can bring Pedro up and guess what, even if him, Tabat and Lincoln work out, they won't be more than a .500 team. Nutting's ownership and lack of payroll will eventually lead to the Pirates no longer being part of MLB. It almost happened to the Twins, the Pirates and Marlins are now on the list.
    RB, I understand your frustration, do I ever! This current team is horrible. The starting pitching is bad, no power to speak of. For the life of me, I can't even begin to understand the logic of putting Doumit at first, when there is a DH spot available. As far as resting Tabata, that wasn't a bad move. Number 1, he'd be facing one of the toughest righthanders in baseball, and number 2, just because he just got here, doesn't mean he hasn't been playing baseball all season.

    While there are plenty of things to complain about, the bottom line for this current team is most of these guys are placeholders for future players coming through the system. In two years, there may only be 4 or 5 guys from this team still here.

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    Default Re: Pirates Notebook: LaRoche going to utility role

    I am afraid that this might mean they are going to do something stupid with Walker. If they move Walker to third and put Aki at second, that would be maddeningly stupid. Walker is a better second baseman than Aki and a better third baseman than Laroche. However, he is the second baseman of the future for this team. Aki has no future.

    If they're gonna bench Laroche, either put Aki at third (its his "natural" position anyway) or bring up Pedro now.

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    Default Re: Pirates Notebook: LaRoche going to utility role

    Quote Originally Posted by tocchet92 View Post
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    I am afraid that this might mean they are going to do something stupid with Walker. If they move Walker to third and put Aki at second, that would be maddeningly stupid. Walker is a better second baseman than Aki and a better third baseman than Laroche. However, he is the second baseman of the future for this team. Aki has no future.

    If they're gonna bench Laroche, either put Aki at third (its his "natural" position anyway) or bring up Pedro now.
    Pedro will be up very soon. Aki prolly released or traded. Andy a bench role.

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    Default Re: Pirates Notebook: LaRoche going to utility role

    I still think they DL Andy so he can get some work in the minors at other postions. His back issues. Aki stays on the bench he looks to be getting healthy maybe they salavage some trade value for him.

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    Default Re: Pirates Notebook: LaRoche going to utility role

    Quote Originally Posted by indybucfan View Post
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    RB, I understand your frustration, do I ever! This current team is horrible. The starting pitching is bad, no power to speak of. For the life of me, I can't even begin to understand the logic of putting Doumit at first, when there is a DH spot available. As far as resting Tabata, that wasn't a bad move. Number 1, he'd be facing one of the toughest righthanders in baseball, and number 2, just because he just got here, doesn't mean he hasn't been playing baseball all season.

    While there are plenty of things to complain about, the bottom line for this current team is most of these guys are placeholders for future players coming through the system. In two years, there may only be 4 or 5 guys from this team still here.
    To me, you rest him the game after the hamstring cramp, not the second game. What bugged me most is the fact Church took playing time from him, Church is zero part of the future, plus like you said, we had the DH. There appears to be no plan at all, as the whole Laroche, Aki switch comes out of midair. I want Huntington to answer what is the solution at 1st, 2nd, ss, 3rd and now catcher? Is Doumit at first? Is JJ the catcher, Is Jones or Pearce in the picture? Is Aki back in the pitcher? Now three weeks after naming Walker the corner utility player it is Laroche. Doesn't inspire me to know this is the man running the franchise at all. We had all spring training for players to play other positions and it is not hindsight on my part, I questioned it all along, now we are using regular season for try outs, which means zero sense in not having Pedro up here now.

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    Default Re: Pirates Notebook: LaRoche going to utility role

    Quote Originally Posted by Hittman View Post
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    I still think they DL Andy so he can get some work in the minors at other postions. His back issues. Aki stays on the bench he looks to be getting healthy maybe they salavage some trade value for him.
    Yes, "I feel Back Fatigue" coming on. This is because the Dodger Doctors didn't properly condition his back when they had him and if he was in the Pirate orgnization this wouldn't be an issue. My opinion Aki couldn't fetch a bag of used baseballs, he has no business on this team and should be DFA'd as soon as Pearce is ready. Aki playing second only once again delays the development of Walker and makes no sense.


    Signing of 2010 top two draft picks = "We Will" At least now I know what the slogan meant.

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    Default Re: Pirates Notebook: LaRoche going to utility role

    Quote Originally Posted by rbilak View Post
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    Yes, "I feel Back Fatigue" coming on. This is because the Dodger Doctors didn't properly condition his back when they had him and if he was in the Pirate orgnization this wouldn't be an issue. My opinion Aki couldn't fetch a bag of used baseballs, he has no business on this team and should be DFA'd as soon as Pearce is ready. Aki playing second only once again delays the development of Walker and makes no sense.


    Signing of 2010 top two draft picks = "We Will" At least now I know what the slogan meant.
    I think it is Church whose the next to dfA. Tabata,jones,MCcuthen Milledge no need for Church cause they think Doumit should play some 1st. Perace when he comes off the dl will not play much cause he can only plat 1st he hates playing OF>

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