Pirates Discussion: Nine Game Homestand Kick Off

Through 115 games of the 2022 season the Pittsburgh Pirates find themselves in the cellar of the NL Central and currently in a battle for Top 3 odds in the newly created Draft Lottery.

To start the homestand the Pirates will welcome the bottom of the AL East in the Boston Red Sox.

While they’re at the bottom of the AL East, the Red Sox are also floating around .500 and within 4.5 games of a Wildcard spot. All five teams in the AL East have the potential to reach the playoffs this season whereas the bottom three teams in the NL Central are battling for the best draft odds.

Since the All-Star break the Pirates have managed to win six games compared to sixteen losses.

One would hope that the final 47 games of the season would provide some clarity as to the Pirates future vision in the short term. The biggest clarification that has presented itself is that if the Pirates intend to contend in the very near future, then they’ll likely need to seek outside additions by way of trades and the free agent market.

Red Sox @ Pirates

Time: 7:05 PM EST

Pirates Starter: Mitch Keller (4-8, 4.25)

Red Sox Starter: Nick Pivetta (8-9, 4.51)

Keller Notes: Mitch Keller will be making his 21st start on the season and 23rd overall appearance. In his last start Keller had his stretch of six games of reaching at least six innings pitched snapped. From an fWAR standpoint this has been Keller’s most productive season of his career, amassing 1.5 fWAR so far with his rookie campaign in 2019 of 48 IP being second at 1.3 fWAR. If we look at Baseball Reference it agrees that this has easily been Keller’s best season with 1.3 bWAR while 2020 was second with 0.6 bWAR. Baseball Reference did not like Keller’s 2019 season as much giving it his lowest value of his four seasons at -0.9 bWAR.

UPDATE: Ke’Bryan Hayes to the IL. Kevin Padlo gets called up

LINEUPS:

Pirates

Red Sox

1. Tommy Pham LF
2. Rafael Devers 3B
3. JD Martinez DH
4. Alex Verdugo RF
5. Christian Arroyo 2B
6. Eric Hosmer 1B
7. Kikè Hernández SS
8. Reese McGuire C
9. Jarren Duran CF

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bscat

Should we mention the 7 hitless innings (with one walk) by the bullpen?

tedwins

De Jong having quite a year👍

TNBucs

Remarkably, he has our 6th most bWAR behind Hayes, Quintana, Reynolds, Bednar, and Suwinski (and, obviously, 2nd most among active players).

He doesn’t come out looking nearly as impressive using fWAR though, where his xERA, FIP, and xFIP are much higher than his ERA.

So, a good guy to bring back next year but not yet someone to count on as a back-of-the-pen arm.

1979andCounting

The dog days of August, but the Pirates keep pace with Yankees. Yanks lose, are in 2-11 dive. Bucs trying hard to keep up at 2-9.

jon6er

Yeah but the Pirates might be scoring more runs in that time period, lol. Of course that might be as significant as I won S4.00 playing the PA Lottery after spending $10.00 to achieve that result.

docdon385

At least Reynolds showed some kind of emotion. Notice how his manager came leisurely strutting out of the dugout to defend him. Ho, hum.

Regardless of what else the Pirates do to try to improve the team for next year and beyond, this manager has to go. His decisions are bad but his leadership is absent. They need an experienced veteran manager who knows how to teach and lead. That ain’t this guy.

Last edited 1 month ago by docdon385
phieralph

Honestly, how the f*$& is Van Meter STILL here?

chappy

Good to see some fire from Reynolds even though I think that actually was a strike. What he really was mad about was the previous at bat when he should have walked, and perhaps the 1st strike of this at bat.

Last edited 1 month ago by chappy
bucsws2014

With Reynolds being the only MLB bat in the lineup, he can’t take a close pitch like that with bases loaded.

Timbertopper

Can’t like this enough!

PiratePrimate

I’m starting to think they just play prospects the next couple years, figure out what works and then spend some money to fill in holes. Looks like another couple, three years of high draft choices. That’ll take the pressure off Nickles to spend any money for another couple years. Inflation, possible recession, zombie apocalypse, quite a number of reasons Nickles will want to keep the purse strings drawn for awhile.

slider1971

Probably time to send Madrid down as well with 2 first basemen on the roster. If you don’t like Suwinski’s 40% strikeout rate give Swaggerty an actual chance. For the final month of the season I would like to see an OF of Swaggerty, Reynolds, and Suwinski with Mitchell and Allen sprinkled in

PiratePrimate

I like your thinking. Get that man an interview as an asst. gm

mikeschalke

Wow is this offense bad!

bucsws2014

That was and will be the pinnacle achievement of Robby’s career.

1979andCounting

If only our players would develop like Robby has. He was terrible 8-9 years ago and he has greatly improved in his extemporaneous interviews, including knowing the game situations much better than he used to. Really has improved.

bucsws2014

That’s a helluva analysis about interviewing a 10 year old about smelling a baseball.

forkball

Do we really have to wait another 8-9 years?

forkball

Eckersley is really crapping on the Pirates. “a hodgepodge of players” “at least the Royals are playing players that will become major leaguers” … very harsh

docdon385

Unfortunately it’s also very true. The Red Sox announcers aren’t employed by the Pirates so don’t need to play the BS propaganda game the Pirate announcers and network does. The Pirates are an embarrassing bunch of castoffs and never beens with a couple of hopefuls mixed in. Calling them a hodgepodge is probably being kind. An actual honest appraisal of the mess that is the current Pirate team might be refreshing if discouraging.

Last edited 1 month ago by docdon385
Timbertopper

Here’s an Eckersley tweet about the Pirates’ roster construction, payroll, etc: (courtesy Awful Announcing)

  “You talk about a no-name lineup. There’s no team like this. This is a hodgepodge of nothingness. It’s ridiculous. It really is. Pathetic.”

At least the fireworks are getting better…(sigh)

forkball

I actually have thought they have been less forgiving lately.

slider1971

Anyone else a little concerned that Keller is throwing mostly 90-91mph fastballs through 40 pitches? Tired arm perhaps but 90-91 is not the 94-96 he usually throws

AdministrativeSky236

That is concerning to me, he is at a record for starts and innings i think

1979andCounting

BNP you didn’t tell us Padlo does that Urias contortionism in the batters box……ughhh. Hate that. Unless he can hit…..then I might overlook it.

slider1971

We are starting to see the mental lapses we have read and seen from Cruz in the minors. Two pop ups in the last two games that HAVE to be caught and he shanks both. Add in all the non competitive AB’s we have seen lately and you see why he is such a polarizing player

forkball

The one positive lately is that he runs everything out.

1979andCounting

May be a little bad blood in this series. Shelton fired Joey, and brother Alex is over in the other dugout. You know Alex wants to see Rabelo have a bad series.

Wilbur Miller

This is certainly starting well.

1979andCounting

Classic 1st inning by Keller at PNC. Seen this many times.

phieralph

This will probably get lost in here. But the other day, I’m reading the New York Times Sunday paper. Here’s an interesting article about something that happened in Aspen.

A newspaper known as “The Aspen Times” publishes an article about a Russian who has purchased a property below a ski lodge for $76 million. The land was for sale for around $10 million. Local gossip runs amok. The paper then publishes an article about the Russian having ties to the Putin regime, even going as far as saying he is one of the country’s super wealthy oligarchs. Now, here’s the interesting part.

The Russian man sues the paper. For a boatload of cash. How much is never specified in the article. But the paper immediately goes into damage control. As I’m reading, I think, “Yikes, I would hate to be the owner of that paper”. The next paragraph states:

The Aspen Times was bought amongst 50 other local\regional papers across the United States by a company known as Ogden Newspapers a few years ago. The head of Ogden Newspapers is current Pittsburgh Pirate’s owner, Bob Nutting…

Gentleman, we may have just seen next year’s payroll sink.

Anthony

Is this your serious takeaway from the story or just a joke?

Wilbur Miller

So we gotta root for the Russian . . . ?

NMR

Ha! Didn’t Nutting also just sell his ski resorts to a conglomerate out of Aspen?

1979andCounting

Nick Pavetta – RH. Cruz at SS. I’m good with that. And PH for him in late innings if close game if LH comes in from pen. We’ll have Chavis and Allen to hit for him. It isn’t that difficult to maximize what we get from Cruz, and what Cruz gets from us.

hoffmark83

Pirates to call up Roansy Contreras

JimEastTennessee

He has earned the look.

JimEastTennessee

Exactly. While I like Chavis’ athletic ability and flexibility, 5’10” is not going to be a full-time answer, even if he hits 16-20 deep flies a year. Unfortunately for him, his ceiling is a decent bench piece with an OPS of .700-.710

Last edited 1 month ago by JimEastTennessee
robertkasperski

See Clay Holmes has seen his inconsistency rear it’s head again. Had a 7.00 ERA in July and has a 10.80 ERA so far in August. Was hoping that he got that out of his system for his sake.

hoptown

If my records are correct, thru 115 games the Pirates SPs have the following # of wins.
J Quintana. 3.
M Keller. 3.
Z Thompson. 3.
R Contreras 2.
B Wilson. 2.
Everyone else. 0.

CTBucco

Keller has 4 wins, not that it changes your point one iota.

hoptown

One was as an RP.

Wilbur Miller

It’d quite a feat if no SP won 5 on the season.

JimEastTennessee

One of the most under-observed results so far this year. This is ludicrous.

robertkasperski

Could not help myself….. Rick just popped into my head…….

Last edited 1 month ago by robertkasperski
RAS TN

I will get things kicked off here:

“The biggest clarification that has presented itself is that if the Pirates intend to contend in the very near future, then they’ll likely need to seek outside additions by way of trades and the free agent market”.

The Pirates have nothing to offer in trades to make this team better in the near future and there is zero quality FA that would sign with the Pirates now or in the near future…

Have at it…

docdon385

Some of the highest quality free agents probably wouldn’t consider a team like the Pirates because they likely already have made a lot of money and playing for a winner has become more important, but most will go where the best deal is offered. Unfortunately that’s probably not the Pirates, but it could be if ownership wanted it to be. One higher quality free agent pitcher might not be out of the question.

I disagree about the trade issue. The Pirates have a great deal to offer in trades. They’ve stockpiled a lot of highly regarded prospects and, like it or not, are going to have to trade several of them for proven major league players if they expect to contend. That’s one of the main advantages of having a good farm system.

skliesen

Patently false on both counts.

First, Pirates have numerous players who other organizations would love to have, and I’m not counting players like Reynolds, Hayes, Cruz, and Keller. Players like Castro, Castillo, Park, Bae, Triolo, Peguero, and Gonzales all play 2B/SS/3B. Pirates are going to be forced to move on from most of these guys via trade. And they all have various degrees of value.

Second, some guys like Aaron Judge, for example, aren’t coming to Pittsburgh for obvious reasons, but most FA’s will be happy to get paid what they’re worth, and be given an opportunity to start for any of the 30 MLB teams.

If BN/BC and the rest of management were actually interested in competing next year, the current state of the franchise won’t hinder them in any way.

RAS TN

Garbage…first off you have zero idea who if any so-called prospects are wanted by any team just an assumption…Quality FA want to win as much as make their monies and they have zero chance to do either in Pgh…

skliesen

So you’re saying ALL GM’s believe none of the guys I listed have value, and ALL FA’s want to win as much as feeding their family.

Yeah, I’m the one spewing garbage.

AdministrativeSky236

I forget who mentioned it, but i have recently really enjoyed the idea of a prospect swap with the royals. Since they have both vinnie p and pratto ready to go at 1B, i wonder if we could deal some MIF depth plus some lottos for one of them. Just spitballing but peggy or gonzales plus 1-2 ceiling pieces might get their interest

PiratePrimate

I think talk of trading Peguero while Cruz stinks up the joint is a joke.

CTBucco

They won’t be signing an FAs on the upward arc of their careers (since they won’t overpay). They have to hope to find guys on their downside that may have a rebound season or two. There will be more misses (Yoshi) than hits (Quintana) given the probabilities.

1B, C, and pitching are no-brainers to look for help. But will it be productive to sign an OFer? The likelihood of getting above average production is low. So, is it a better use of those innings to sort through the guys in the upper levels of the system (Suwinski, Mitchell, Swaggerty, CSN, etc)?

RAS TN

The problem is when they have a hit they trade that player for some hope and prayer when they should be trying at least to re-up that player for another year or so…

This approach by Pirates alone will keep FA from signing…unless of course, they are just trying to hang on to their baseball career…

Shultzie31

Hopefully we get them from the recycling bin instead of the garbage can… baby steps

skliesen

I’ve long asked for them to stop shopping for FA’s at Dollar Tree, but I truly think Dollar Tree would be a step in right direction. The last few years, they’ve been filling in holes on roster by popping tags at Goodwill.

docdon385

Hey Goodwill’s got some good stuff if you’re willing to look hard enough. The Pirates may have visited Goodwill but usually only to go around the back of the store to their dumpster and grab the Goodwill rejects.

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