September Roster Expansion

by battlingbucs | Aug 23, 2013 - 1:11 PM
We are only about a week away from the active rosters potentially expanding to up to 40 players. My question is quite simple who do yo think the Pirates should bring up to help them in the last month of the season?

Here is my take on it:

I believe a contending team should call up at least the following 7 players: a 3rd catcher, a RH bat, a LH bat, a reserve IF, a LH reliever, a RH reliever and a long man to absorb innings in blow out affairs. This isn't to mean these are the only 7 players a team should call up but I think ideally a contending team would call up at least enough players to fill these 7 roles. Now let's look at the Pirates candidates.

Healthy Options On The 40 Man Roster

Alex Presley, Chase d'Arnaud, Andrew Oliver, Jerry Sands, Stolmy Pimentel, Kris Johnson, Andrew Lambo, Vic Black, Brandon Cumpton, Ryan Reid, Russ Canzler, Duke Welker

I think most of the callups are going to come from this group. For me it is tough to imagine any Lambo, Presley or Johnson not getting promoted. On the reverse side the only player here I would categorize as a long shot is Andy Oliver. As for the remaining group I don't expect the Pirates to go insane but I think d'Arnaud might be up to pinch run, one of Sands or Canzler probably Canzler will be up as an extra RH stick for the bench and two of Pimentel, Black, Reid, Welker and Cumpton will be up to reinforce the pitching staff. My early picks for the extra pitchers are Black and Cumpton. Black will be an extra arm for the pen and Cumpton will be here to help give Cole and Locke some extra rest.

Currently Injured Players

Wandy Rodriguez, James McDonald, Jeff Karstens, Michael McKenry, Travis Snider, Phil Irwin, Kyle McPherson

With the recent news surrounding Wandy Rodriguez it would appear that only two of these players will be healthy enough to play in September. Both are currently on rehab stints and both will likely join the team. James McDonald will likely be back as an extra arm and Travis Snider will likely be back as yet another body for the right field situation.

Candidates Not On The 40 Man Roster

Kelly Shoppach, Matt Hague, Ivan De Jesus, Kyle Farnsworth, Jameson Taillon, Gregory Polanco

The above on the only players I see with any shot. The two most interesting names are of course Polanco and Taillion and while I don't give them a... [Read More]
    0 Replies | 5,153 Views

Is Barry Bonds now the definition of a bad guy?

by WVUTimmy | Aug 23, 2013 - 11:10 AM
Ryan Braun apologized for the damage his PED use has done to the game of baseball. I personally don't care. The damage is done. And most of the damage didn't come from his PED use. It came from his deny-till-you-die attitude. It came from him attacking his accusers, proclaiming his innocence despite the evidence, and demonstrating the characteristics of a horrible human being. It came from his Bondsian attitude toward the whole thing. That's right, Bondsian. Barry Bonds, with the help of Roger Clemens, has set the standard for being an a**hole in the game of baseball. To me, Barry is not the Homerun Champion. He will always be the jerk player who could not throw out Sid Bream in the 1992 NLCS. Sid Bream, who was waddling toward homeplate, actually out waddled the arm of the great Barry Bonds.

This year was the first time in almost 50 years that all of the inductees of the Baseball Hall of Fame were dead. The two best known living eligible players, Bonds and Clemens, are considered disgraced drug cheats and who will probably never see HOF induction, as it should be. And as it should be for Braun. I love the game of baseball, and it kills me when players disgrace it. Barry could have overcome his scandal by taking a different path. The path of a man with character. He could have stood up to the facts and admitted his guilt right from the start and apologized. He could then have begun work to rebuild his reputation. He would have eventually been forgiven. People hate cheaters, but they hate hypocrites even more. Now he lives a life of shame. Too bad Braun didn't learn from Bonds' example, now his will share the same fate. Sad, just sad.

Is Barry now the poster boy for PED use? Was Braun's apology too little too late? What do you think?
    10 Replies | 3,006 Views

What's wrong with Jeff Locke?

by Dunio | Aug 23, 2013 - 10:56 AM
After dominating the first half of the season and making the NL All Star team, Jeff Locke appears to be an anti-All Star when he takes the hill now. In Locke's last 5 starts, he's pitched to the 4th inning or less 3 times and pitched 5 2/3 innings twice.

In Locke's last 5 games, he's pitched a total of 22 innings. He's allowed 19 ER, 15 BB, and 37 hits in this time frame.

I'd like to say fatigue is part of the problem given that Locke is very near the most IP for a season in his career. However, his fastball velocity seems consistent with where it was early in the season.

It's hard to say what's going on with Jeff, but the Pirates need to consider placing him on the 15 day DL to try to get him right for the last few weeks of the regular season. I'd be in favor in letting Jeanmar Gomez or Brandon Cumpton make a spot start or two in Locke's absense, but either way - something needs to change.
    16 Replies | 7,948 Views

With the Steelers, "Potential" is Far From "Perfection"

by BnGBlitz | Aug 22, 2013 - 2:19 PM
The Pittsburgh Steelers are half way through their preseason schedule, and to be quite hasn't been pretty. The Steelers apologists are out in full garb as they try damage control for those members of SteelerNation that are contemplating cancelling their "NFL Sunday Ticket" before week 1 just to avoid watching this team for 16 games (because in their minds the postseason is simply laughable). I find myself in the middle of the two sides. I certainly can understand that there is no need to "freak out" or jump to the conclusion that the Steelers will not be successful after two games that mean absolutely nothing. I can also see that what I watched the past 2 games was not pretty. Not pretty in alot of different ways that have all been diagrammed on my site following the preseason games. The one thing that keeps ringing true with me is simple...the Steelers possess a massive amount of "potential", but unfortunately "potential" is far from "perfection" as we have all seen these past two weeks.

When people speak of the Steelers' potential, the first unit that comes to mind are the rookies that are expected to make an impact on this team. Whether its Jarvis Jones potentially starting at Right Outside Linebacker, Markus Wheaton as the slot WR, Le'Veon Bell as the "premiere" RB, or even Shamarko Thomas as safety depth and a special teams ace. All are expected to contribute in one way, shape, or form. All of the above players listed scream of potential. "Sky's the limit" for these young kids that are about to embark on their first NFL season, but the issue with youth, is that inexperience walks hand in hand with it. Relying on these players to play above their years is a tough task to undertake, but its up to the coaching staff to get them acclimated as fast as possible.

The next group that comes to mind, in terms of potential, is the Offensive Line. This is a unit that is young, slender, and fast, but also very inexperienced. When Ramon Foster and Maurkice Pouncery embody the "veterans" of the know you've got a young group. That doesn't mean that they can't play, but as the MNF game vs the Redskins showed...when inexperience creeps into the mind...penalties and blown assignments occur. With this group, thats more often than not. If this line can stay healthy (a HUGE if) and play together for years to come it could be one of the best line's the Steelers have ever seen. Until then, its the... [Read More]
    1 Reply | 2,839 Views

One on One with Pirates Catcher Tony Sanchez

by Dunio | Aug 22, 2013 - 12:38 PM
Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Tony Sanchez was drafted 4th overall in the 2009 draft. He made his major league debut with the Pirates on June 23rd after having a breakout season in AAA Indianapolis where he hit .288 with 10 HR and 42 RBI in only 76 games.

Sanchez has quickly become a fan favorite because of his willingness to interact with fans and his pure candidness on social media outlets like Twitter. In fact, there might not be a better major leaguer to follow on Twitter than @Tony26Montana if you are looking for a blend of major league insight and humor.

Sanchez was gracious enough to spend 15 minutes with me discussing a variety of topics from major league life to teammates and expectations for the remainder of the season.

Justin Dunio: Explain how you felt the first time you were introduced as “Pirates Catcher, Tony Sanchez”.

Tony Sanchez: Its honestly indescribable, there’s nothing like realizing that 15 years of hard work has finally paid off. I understand that I still have a lot to learn and there is much more to accomplish, but no one can ever take that first game away from me. Seeing my face on the jumbo tron as they announced the defensive positions gave me the chills.

JD: When did you realize that a professional baseball career was a real possibility?

TS: Not until after my freshman year of college. I went into BC extremely overweight and out of shape, but still managed to play extremely well all season as a freshman. One day a scout came up to me and asked me how much I weighed. Of course I lied and took off about 15-20 lbs but he still asked me if I was going to work on that for him. That was kind of the point where I realized professional baseball could be a possibility if I got myself into shape.

... [Read More]
    2 Replies | 2,389 Views

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