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Thread: Pirates giving Pearce another chance

      
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    Default Pirates giving Pearce another chance

    Pirates giving Pearce another chance
    Wednesday, January 12, 2011
    By Colin Dunlap, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
    Peter Diana/Post-GazettePirates utilityman Steve Pearce, "I'm going to try my hardest to make this squad somewhere -- outfield, infield, backup off the bench, it doesn't matter, just somewhere on this squad."BRADENTON, Fla. -- Steve Pearce doesn't need anyone to connect the dots for him.

    "I'm pretty logjammed," he said. "I know that."

    Pearce, the 27-year-old Pirates utilityman, understands what the offseason signing of Lyle Overbay has done to his chances of becoming the major league club's everyday first baseman this season. He also knows what the offseason acquisition of Matt Diaz -- who is slated to share time with Garrett Jones in right field -- does to his chances of playing out there.

    But in a tunneled batting cage of Tuesday's mid-morning shade at Pirate City, before the requisite workouts began, Pearce quietly whacked away during soft toss, while paired alongside Diaz.

    That has been Pearce's method in the opening portion of this weeklong minicamp, and he vows it will be something he will carry through spring training -- he has his mind made up that no one will outwork him.

    "I'm going to try my hardest to make this squad somewhere -- outfield, infield, backup off the bench, it doesn't matter, just somewhere on this squad," Pearce said. "I want to be with this team and I want to help us win."

    Pearce's story is an intriguing one, from that roaring summer of 2007 that began in Class A Lynchburg and culminated with a September call-up to the major league roster to the back-and-forth ride between the Pirates and Class AAA Indianapolis since then.

    Last season started quickly for Pearce in Indianapolis, as he hit safely in 21 of the first 23 games before being called up to the Pirates on May 4.

    That promotion seemed his big break.

    "Things were going good," he said. "I was feeling good at that point."

    It fell apart quickly. On May 14, Pearce felt soreness in his left knee, then he rolled his right ankle 10 days later, was put in the 15-day disabled list and spent the remainder of the season serving out a minor league rehab stint.

    So, where is Pearce viewed by Pirates brass as spring training is about a month away?

    "Steve is going to compete to make our club," general manager Neal Huntington said, as he stood down the right field line and watched a minicamp batting practice session yesterday. "He has the ability to play first and right. ... The maturation process of Steve Pearce is a great story, but unfortunately, when it was all beginning to come together last year at the major league level is when he rolled his ankle."

    Now there is a scar trailing straight up Pearce's kneecap that he showed off yesterday standing just outside the clubhouse at Pirate City. Surgery was performed Aug. 4 to repair the patellar tendon in his left knee; Pearce said he had been playing with pain in his knee for some time. Now, he said he's "about 85 percent" back to full health -- but with a caveat. That 15 percent he's missing is mental, a case of forcing his mind to fully trust his surgically repaired knee.

    "But I'm more confident every single day," he said. "By the start [of spring training] I'm going to be 100 percent, for sure."

    It is a certainty Huntington is going to give Pearce the chance again to impress.

    "Not by any stretch have we given up on Steve Pearce," Huntington said. "Steve Pearce will continue to grow and develop for us whether it is on April 1 this year, in the middle of the summer or into the future. We still like Steve, we still believe in him and we are confident he is going to help us."


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    NOTE -- Right-handed pitchers Kevin Hart and Tyler Yates, both rehabbing from surgery, threw off the mound yesterday for the first time in a while. It was Hart's first time off a mound since surgery in May to repair a torn labrum and Yates' first since October -- he had Tommy John surgery in July 2009 but has had a few setbacks since. Both pitchers threw 25 fastballs with pitching coach Ray Searage monitoring.



    Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11012...#ixzz1AovaAY00
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    Default Re: Pirates giving Pearce another chance

    I don't even want to read this article.

    NH sealed this kid’s fate by acquiring HOF'er Lyle Overbay. This is a team that is looking to build for the future and in the process they stunt the growth of younger players who have a chance to help. When they acquire short term turds they are repeating the failures of the past!

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    Default Re: Pirates giving Pearce another chance

    Quote Originally Posted by PittFaninVa View Post
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    I don't even want to read this article.

    NH sealed this kid’s fate by acquiring HOF'er Lyle Overbay. This is a team that is looking to build for the future and in the process they stunt the growth of younger players who have a chance to help. When they acquire short term turds they are repeating the failures of the past!
    Pearce had already sealed his fate by not being much good. Pearce isn't part of the future, stop trying to put him there now after ignoring him in the past to support your opinion of not liking the Lyle Overbay signing
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    Default Re: Pirates giving Pearce another chance

    I agree with Kipper. Pearce will either get optioned out (I believe he got another one) or released.
    Unless, of course, Overbay blows a knee or something. Then, just maybe, he'll be a platoon 1bman.

    ........

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    Default Re: Pirates giving Pearce another chance

    Quote Originally Posted by Kipper View Post
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    Pearce had already sealed his fate by not being much good. Pearce isn't part of the future, stop trying to put him there now after ignoring him in the past to support your opinion of not liking the Lyle Overbay signing
    From NH....not my words
    The maturation process of Steve Pearce is a great story, but unfortunately, when it was all beginning to come together last year at the major league level is when he rolled his ankle."

    So what does NH do....he goes out and signs a DL type player which basically takes all of Pearce's playing time away.

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    Default Re: Pirates giving Pearce another chance

    Quote Originally Posted by PittFaninVa View Post
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    From NH....not my words
    The maturation process of Steve Pearce is a great story, but unfortunately, when it was all beginning to come together last year at the major league level is when he rolled his ankle."

    So what does NH do....he goes out and signs a DL type player which basically takes all of Pearce's playing time away.
    It's because NH was blowing some media smoke out there. Pearce isn't a long term option. He's not anything more than a bench player at best a career AAAA player. I said this ad nauseam last month and I guess I'll have to state it again ... Pearce stinks. Let's stop using this guy as some sort of solution when it becomes convenient to one's argument. At best, he should platoon with Overbay but overall Overbay is the better hitter at 1B and defensively better, especially for our erratic infield arms. The improvement isn't much but again, Overbay ISN'T blocking a legit long term or even a short term prospect. Overbay isn't blocking anyone that is any good. Let's stop bringing up this argument in order to continue the trashing of signing Overbay. There's something better out there to trash overbay than using a 28 year old bum like Pearce. At least in my opinion If Pearce at the age of 28 pulls out a Neil Walker type of season, Awesome. Well at his age I guess it would be a Garrett Jones type season. I'm not holding my breath

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    Default Re: Pirates giving Pearce another chance

    If Pearce makes the roster he should be platooning with Overbay getting 90% of his PA's against Lefties. It's up to Hurdle to make these platoons work. We don't have a player who can hit lefties and righties in RF or 1B. What we have is the makings of a platoon situation which if managed correctly could bring us MLB average offense from the two positions. Russell exposed players like Jones to too many PA's against lefties and they proved they couldn't handle it.

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    Default Re: Pirates giving Pearce another chance

    Quote Originally Posted by Shaker100 View Post
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    If Pearce makes the roster he should be platooning with Overbay getting 90% of his PA's against Lefties

    you mean Pearce getting 90% of his PA's against lefties......then I would be fine with that but they aren't going to pay Overbay 5 mil to sit on the bench. Look how long they threw Aki out there last year.
    Last edited by PittFaninVa; Jan-12-2011 at 12:04 PM.

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    Default Re: Pirates giving Pearce another chance

    Don't forget Garrett Atkins is in the mix as well. If he shows anything in ST, he'll be the right handed first/third baseman.

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    Default Re: Pirates giving Pearce another chance

    Quote Originally Posted by PittFaninVa View Post
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    you mean Pearce getting 90% of his PA's against lefties......then I would be fine with that but they aren't going to pay Overbay 5 mil to sit on the bench. Look how long they threw Aki out there last year.
    Aki didn't have platoon splits either nor was there a 2B option until Walker established himself over a decent period of evaluation time last year

    On paper you'd think with Overbay's cost that he'd get most of the AB's. Looking at his splits from last season, he had around a 4:1 ratio of AB's righties to lefties. The guy is still going to get 450+ AB's in a platoon.

    assuming that one believes that Huntington also makes out the roster which has been said to be untrue in a couple of chats and such, this decision is up to Hurdle to figure out
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    Default Re: Pirates giving Pearce another chance

    Quote Originally Posted by Kipper View Post
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    Aki didn't have platoon splits either nor was there a 2B option until Walker established himself over a decent period of evaluation time last year

    On paper you'd think with Overbay's cost that he'd get most of the AB's. Looking at his splits from last season, he had around a 4:1 ratio of AB's righties to lefties. The guy is still going to get 450+ AB's in a platoon.

    assuming that one believes that Huntington also makes out the roster which has been said to be untrue in a couple of chats and such, this decision is up to Hurdle to figure out
    kipper....I won't be surprised in the least if Overbay is a complete bust this year at worst and basically a non factor at best.

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    Default Re: Pirates giving Pearce another chance

    Quote Originally Posted by Shaker100 View Post
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    If Pearce makes the roster he should be platooning with Overbay getting 90% of his PA's against Lefties. It's up to Hurdle to make these platoons work. We don't have a player who can hit lefties and righties in RF or 1B. What we have is the makings of a platoon situation which if managed correctly could bring us MLB average offense from the two positions. Russell exposed players like Jones to too many PA's against lefties and they proved they couldn't handle it.
    We have to explore all of these options for sure. As you said, we have split heavy players but with proper platoons we could have some average production at these holes until we develop or come across longer term solutions. combine Diaz and Jones from last season with a little projecting and you have 20-25 Homers and about a .265 BA. Take some load off of Jones from having to hit lefties... that BA could improve
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    Default Re: Pirates giving Pearce another chance

    Quote Originally Posted by PittFaninVa View Post
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    kipper....I won't be surprised in the least if Overbay is a complete bust this year at worst and basically a non factor at best.
    then he's no different than what Pearce is long term. It's still unrealistic to not expect Overbay to put up a 20 homer, .762 season, which is better power than we were getting from Andy Laroche or Lastings Milledge. Basically saying that we improved in a deficient power category at a corner position.
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    Default Re: Pirates giving Pearce another chance

    Quote Originally Posted by Kipper View Post
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    then he's no different than what Pearce is long term. It's still unrealistic to not expect [HIGH-LIGHT]Overbay to put up a 20 homer, .762 season[/HIGH-LIGHT], which is better power than we were getting from Andy Laroche or Lastings Milledge. Basically saying that we improved in a deficient power category at a corner position.
    Well I hope you are right but don't bet your mortgage on it....especially the 20 HRS.

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    Default Re: Pirates giving Pearce another chance

    Overbay put up a .905 OPS vs. righthanders in 2009. Pearce has demonstrated a much higher proficiency against lefties than righties. Last year Toronto exposed Overbay to more lefties and his performance suffered as a result.

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