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Thread: What Now?

      
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    Default What Now?

    Even 'though this team is struggling, I think the product on the field has the highest upside of any team since the championship teams of the early 90's. I am actually more optimisitic than I have been in a long, long time.

    The clear exception, of course, is the starting pitching. If I were a scout, I'd tell any manager of the opposition to just sit back, take some looks at the Pirate starters for the first AB, and then get ready to fire away in your second look. Furthermore, run! Most of them are so slow to the plate that second base is there for the taking. What you have is a collection of soft tossing, pitch-to-contact, slow delivery, bottom-of the-rotation-at-best-pitchers.

    The new management seriously overestimated the rotation and it has screwed up their plan mightily. They were counting on Ohlendorf to be the stopper, and he is either still injured, or not that good after teams have scouted him for a year. They thought Morton would have tons of upside, and he is a friggin mental case. Duke and Maholm are what they have been. And the acquisitions for "depth"; someone should be embarassed by that!

    I keep trying to figure out how they get out of this mess, and the only thing I can come up with is acquiring pitching in the free agent market, a much hated enterrpise by many because of the cost and the risk. What other options does the team have? If they don't solve the starting pitching problem, the whole plan colapses.

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    Default Re: What Now?

    I think you nailed it with the starting pitching. Although the team has been lousy in all aspects, the starting pitching is the killer.

    I see causes for optimism with Morton and Lincoln.

    Charlie Morton has "ace" stuff. He pitched a great game the other night. He's really our best hope here. If he holds it together and returns quickly, he's our ace. Lincoln has shown flashes. He has pitched a few great innings sandwiched between bad innings in each of his starts.

    Bryan Morris has an outside shot a earning a spot in the rotation next spring. That certainly would be a cause for optimism.

    Maholm, in spite of his horrid start the other night is pretty reliable. Karstens is a gritty pitcher and gets it done with smoke and mirrors but he usually gets it done.

    I cannot see any reason to be optimistic with Duke or Ohlendorf. They are what they are and thats not very good, IMO.

    Another problem is that when we do get an occasional good pitching performance from a starter it goes to waste - like Karstens the other night.
    Last edited by tocchet92; Jun-26-2010 at 09:45 AM.

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    Default Re: What Now?

    Quote Originally Posted by buccoman View Post
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    Even 'though this team is struggling, I think the product on the field has the highest upside of any team since the championship teams of the early 90's. I am actually more optimisitic than I have been in a long, long time.

    The clear exception, of course, is the starting pitching. If I were a scout, I'd tell any manager of the opposition to just sit back, take some looks at the Pirate starters for the first AB, and then get ready to fire away in your second look. Furthermore, run! Most of them are so slow to the plate that second base is there for the taking. What you have is a collection of soft tossing, pitch-to-contact, slow delivery, bottom-of the-rotation-at-best-pitchers.

    The new management seriously overestimated the rotation and it has screwed up their plan mightily. They were counting on Ohlendorf to be the stopper, and he is either still injured, or not that good after teams have scouted him for a year. They thought Morton would have tons of upside, and he is a friggin mental case. Duke and Maholm are what they have been. And the acquisitions for "depth"; someone should be embarassed by that!

    I keep trying to figure out how they get out of this mess, and the only thing I can come up with is acquiring pitching in the free agent market, a much hated enterrpise by many because of the cost and the risk. What other options does the team have? If they don't solve the starting pitching problem, the whole plan colapses.
    SP's are definitely a mess. I was checking out the Bullpen numbers a little bit last night and despite this or that, they are simply way over worked because of the SP's. Our BP has pitched more Innings than any other in the league and they've provided decent numbers outside of a fairly bad BB/9 rate. Pretty much the SP's aren't getting it done.

    Nobody on the staff has done anything to get excited about. Maholm was doing the "best" out of anyone despite numbers that suggest he was getting lucky with his ERA (poor BB rate, H/9 rate, WHIP, K/9). Ohlendorf has nose dived badly in the month of June in every category and it's a big nose dive, Duke has as well, Karstens isn't really an option outside of a #5 spot starter long term ...

    Yup, SP's have been bad but they've been much worse than usual. Actually, Maholm's line after being blown out in the last game is about where his career line is. Duke is pitching pretty much to his career line. We just don't have much SP talent and none that is going to be on the way relatively soon either. Lincoln is going to take a while to adjust since he's looked overmatched.

    I'm with ya buccoman. I'm excited about the bats and the potential there ... down the road when they get more experience. Starting Pitching is tough to get excited over right now. If Charlie Morton can rebound and if Ohlendorf can pitch back up to potential and expectations (he needs to get his velocity back up), maybe more optimisim ...
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    Default Re: What Now?

    The thing is, though, that in my opinion this has been the problem for the Pirates. Which is also to say the least extremely frustrating. The Pirates have had hitting in the past and yet have had no pitching. This starting pitching staff needed career years across the board to keep us from sniffing 100 losses...and they certainly are having career years...years at their terrible career averages.

    The thing is that with a young team you nee pitching. Its how virtually every successful small market, young ball team succeeds. You surround the young hitters with good pitching to bail them out and in return when the pitching fails you have youngster with enthusiasm and talent to come to the pitching's rescue.

    The Pirates pitching simply is not talented enough to be able to even give our guys the chance. How many games have we led and then lost? We might not be scoring the most runs in the majors, but we're scoring and getting leads that the pitching staff simply cannot hold.

    I talked about his when we were over at the Trib...Duke's insane hit numbers....those numbers have bled over to the whole staff. You simply cannot give up as a pitching staff a BAA around .290 and have success. Period.

    The quickest way to dishearten the youth of a team is to throw them into a mess like this. Where even their best efforts go for not as their pitching allows 10+ hits a game and loses virtually every lead its given.

    Some have mentioned Lincoln and Morton as potential bright spots. I will not lie...I bought in to Charlie Morton. He's got an electric fast ball and good complimentary pitches. He's not an ace. The rest of his stuff is possibly average...maybe above average and he has a plus fastball. But either way we dont need him to be an ace...we just need someone who can have an ERA for a full season in the 3's with good K-BB numbers and a low H9. That's what this team needs right now. His stuff makes him a candidate to do that above most for sure. His head, on the other hand, is what you have to worry about. Hopefully he figures it out...but Snell also had a lot of talent.

    Lincoln? Im not convinced at all. I do not see him as any more than a backend of the rotation starter...the injury has sapped his velocity...he's got little movement on the fastball which makes his other pitches easier to hit as well. He's gotten away with using junk in the minors, but has struggled--because of his poor fastball--to get the same results in the majors. I see him continuing to struggle...hopefully I am wrong.

    The Pittsburgh Pirates as an organization need to make pitching the focus. They haven't had good pitching for years and in my opinion that's a BIG reason for their demise. They gotta get their top 2 draft choices signed this year...they gotta get their best pitchers developed that they have now...and they need to start churning out Tampa Bay and Oakland type pitching systems. Until they do you'll see the Pirates struggle to have a winning season.
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    Default Re: What Now?

    I'm still a proponent for and will continue to be, a proponent for going outside the organization for a starting pitcher. If there is a young starter on the market with a couple years control left, we should be talking to them about him. I'm also for signing a free agent in the off season.

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    Default Re: What Now?

    What has Lincoln done to suggest that he is a competent strating pitcher?

    He has no special talent or even a fast ball int he mid 90's.

    I know he's only pitched a handful of games, but what can excite people about his performance, that he hasn't committed hari-kari?

    No wins, no decent ERA, and no stunning SO numbers. I not just dumping on him because he's a Pirate rookie, but what am I missing?

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    Default Re: What Now?

    I am in agreement on going outside the organization to get a couple of starters. With the offensive potential that is in place, it is time to bring in some pitching that can make some of these leads stand.
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    Default Re: What Now?

    Who do you trade? McCutchen? Who replaces McCutchen in center?

    How much do you offer a FA to come to Pittsburgh, aside from a trade?

    Is this situation called "between a rock and a hard place?".

    The Pirates could get an overpaid Ben Sheets kind of guy. Who else would sign with the Pirates?

    Having said all that, there has to be a pitcher or two that thinks the Pirates could be a launching pad, or relaunching pad for their career's development. Who could that pitcher be?

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    Default Re: What Now?

    Quote Originally Posted by CROSSBONES View Post
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    Who do you trade? McCutchen? Who replaces McCutchen in center?

    How much do you offer a FA to come to Pittsburgh, aside from a trade?

    Is this situation called "between a rock and a hard place?".

    The Pirates could get an overpaid Ben Sheets kind of guy. Who else would sign with the Pirates?

    Having said all that, there has to be a pitcher or two that thinks the Pirates could be a launching pad, or relaunching pad for their career's development. Who could that pitcher be?
    Here is a high ceiling youngster they may have missed out on. Would the risk have been worth 6 million a year for 5 years compared to paying a veteran free agent? He will debut in the bullpen this year but had decent numbers in AAA as a starter in his first season of professional baseball mainland.

    http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/379361...s-player_news/

    Tough call but they are one of the teams looking at a Mexican 15 year old with 4 'plus' pitches. Dude is 6'4" at age 15. First day teams can sign International free agents is July 2nd, next Friday.

    http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10153/1062457-63.stm

    This kid sounds like he could be had for 2 or 3 million possibly. After that sign Taillon & Allie. Hope they progress rapidly in the minors.

    I think the buccos are at least 4 to 5 years away from having what it takes going on on the MLB level if they just wait for the minors to feed their big league club to a championship level. The answer could be sign one ace pitcher or trade some prospects and one current big leaguer for a high end starting pitcher which scares me due to Huntingtons track record evaluating MLB talent.

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