Rumor: Pirates Looking at Catching and Lefty Relievers

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports mentions on Twitter that he hears the Pittsburgh Pirates are looking to shore up their catching situation, and add a lefty reliever.

The catching comment is a strange one. The Pirates added Rod Barajas as their starter over the off-season, and look to have Michael McKenry as the backup. It would make sense if they were looking for depth behind those two.

The left handed relief comment makes more sense. The Pirates have a few left handers in camp, but no one is really standing out. The top left hander, Tony Watson, has struggled some this Spring. Daniel Moskos has done well, outside of today’s performance, but for whatever reason the Pirates don’t seem high on him. Then there’s Doug Slaten and Jo-Jo Reyes, neither of whom have really impressed this Spring.

News and Notes

  • I could see Jake Fox being kept over McKenry if he really is a legitimate catcher, because he far outhits McKenry.

    • Jake Fox makes Ryan Doumit look like Johnny Bench.  Jake Fox’s best position in the field is DH.

  • I can buy that they may still be looking for a better hitting backup catcher to Barajas.
    McKenry is not exactly lighting up pitching in the grapefruit league. He’s got one of the lowest averages on the team, in fact.

    The problem is that it’s far too late to be seeking a good hitting catcher. If they are honestly looking for only a small percentage of games, to start only when Barajas is resting, why not go for the recently retired Jorge Posada or Jason Varitek. At least we know they can hit.

  • I think the Bucs expected better performances this spring from guys that are fighting for jobs. They do have Morales as a backup catcher that is just starting to play, I don’t know if he is good enough to back up at the major league level however. When you think about it if McHenry goes down, what do they have left as a backup? Sanchez did a good job behind the plate this spring from what I saw, but he still needs time in the minors to tweek his hitting IMO. There is bound to be some left handers available as cuts and guys teams don’t want to cut but want to trade become available.

  • I can see them going for a lefty reliever as ones they have are unproven.  However, this would probably mean a trade of Juan Cruz, Resop, maybe Meek.  Either get someone who is established as a good lefty reliever or stick with Watson and Moskos.

  • McKenry better hit from the get go if he wants to stay.  You can’t be a non-factor with as many games as he is slated to play this year.  Something will shake out by the end of spring training, it always does.

  • Get a Beimel-type for the pen, allow Watson to sort out his issues in AAA to start the year. Moskos should make the club.

  • If Sanchez and Fryer are both ticketed for AAA, they should be okay. If Sanchez is going to AA, then they could use a catcher for AAA with Fryer. As far as lefthanded relievers, what’s out there better than what they have?