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Monday, December 5, 2022

Pirates Discussion: Finally Another Win

It took over a week, but the Pittsburgh Pirates finally got back into the win column.

The Pirates are on a path for their second consecutive 100+ loss season. So it was nice to see a big game out of Johan Oviedo and others to break an eight game losing streak.

Oviedo had arguably the best start of his young career, throwing seven shutout innings against the Chicago Cubs. Much like the Pirates, or recent foe the Cincinnati Reds, it wasn’t a very stout lineup, but it’s a step in the right direction. Oviedo threw 71% of his 82 pitches for strikes with his fastball and slider leading the way once again. He topped out at 98.4 MPH and threw the 23 hardest pitches in the game. Over his seven innings Oviedo allowed three hits on the evening while striking out seven. Most importantly, he didn’t issue a free pass.

The offense took an early lead in the game when Diego Castillo hit a sacrifice fly to right field with runners on second and third and one out. From there it was Cubs starter Wade Miley and Johan Oviedo trading zeros until the fifth inning.

Ben Gamel lead off the fifth with a walk when Greg Allen laid down a bunt, which is where things took a turn. Miley fielded the ball and tried going to second base when he errantly chucked it into center field. Miley was then shown holding his back and exited the game with discomfort. With a new pitcher in the game, Jason Delay popped out and then recently promoted Ji-Hwan Bae stepped to the plate and yanked a ball down the right field line for a two-run double and 3-0 lead. Jack Suwinski replaced Castillo with two on and two outs which paid dividends as Suwinski blasted his 18th HR of the season to dead center for a 6-0 lead.

That would end up being all the scoring in the game with Zach Thompson covering the final two innings after Oviedo left. Thompson allowed two hits, a walk, and struck out four batters while the Pirates won 6-0.

Another player of note was Rodolfo Castro going 2-for-4 with a double and RBI after going hitless in the previous two games.

Cubs @ Pirates

Time: 1:35 PM EST

Pirates Starter: Luis Ortiz (0-0, 0.84)

Cubs Starter: Adrian Sampson (2-5, 3.35)

Ortiz Notes: Luis Ortiz looked phenomenal in his previous start against the New York Yankees. Once again topping 100 MPH Ortiz held the Yankees to two runs — one earned — in five innings while striking out five batters. Most impressively is the fact that in two starts Ortiz hasn’t been barreled once in his two starts. It’s extremely small sample size but still a solid effort considering the offense he faced in New York.




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Raised in Cranberry Twp, PA, Jeff attended Kent State University and worked in Cleveland and Pittsburgh, before moving to New Orleans in September of 2012. His background is as an Engineering Designer, but he has always had a near unhealthy passion for Pittsburgh sports. Hockey and Baseball are his 1A and 1B, combined with his mathematical background, it's led to Jeff's desire in diving into analytics. Jeff is known as Bucs'N'Pucks in the comments, and began writing for Pirates Prospects in 2022 after contributing so many useful bits of information in the comment section.


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Wilbur Miller

Pirates claim Miguel Andujar.

I guess this seems inevitable, but Cheringtoon generally prefers guys who hit .150 or so. Andujar doesn’t suck enough to look like a Cheringtoon natural.


i’ve been waiting for this outcome for quite awhile. whether it was claim or trade, i fully expected andujar to be a pirate at some point.

doubt he can hit like he did as a rookie, but who knows.

i’d set him at first and let him go

Wilbur Miller

This bullpen is a disgrace. Since they decided from the start that 100+ losses was A-OK, Cheringtoon was free to spend all year piddling around with his waiver wonders to find some guys worth keeping. Logically, the pen should’ve gotten better over time. Instead, it keeps getting worse. By itself, Cheringtoon’s bungling with the pen proves he has no business working above the tee-ball level.


Can he possibly keep Underwood and Yajure on the 40 man this winter?

Wilbur Miller

Sure. The bar is incredibly low with these idiots. Dumbo thinks Gamel is Al Oliver and they seem to think Underwood is Kent Tekulve.

Last edited 2 months ago by Wilbur Miller

You really do have it in for Gamel… there is quite a number that are worse than him and they are all those prized pickups from all those outstanding trades of actual major league players for that proverbial upside…Sorry, the only upside should be at someone’s head in the FO…

Wilbur Miller

Yeah, there are guys worse than him. That’s where this team sets the bar.

Gamel is fine in the right role, which is 4th OF on a .400 team. On the Pirates, he’s an everyday cleanup hitter. He’s not terrible, like so many of Cheringtoon’s pickups, but he’s a symptom of why this team is terrible.


It may not fair to him, especially because he seems like a good guy (which may explain why Shelton plays him so much), but to me he represents so much that is wrong with this administration. He’s a 30-year-old negative WAR player who is about to be a FA yet he’s gotten the 4th most PAs on the team. The fact that he’s on the team at all at this point in the season makes me question our GM’s plan and the fact that he plays so much makes me question our manager’s ability to identify value.

If we re-sign him, I’m going to need to take a break from PP and anything Pirates-related. I’ll just dive in to World Cup soccer and Grizzlies basketball.

Wilbur Miller

He’s on the team because nobody was interested in trading for him. It’s indicative of how low standards have fallen in Pgh that so many people thought he’d be a trade candidate.

Gamel is a slightly below avg hitter who plays only corner OF and is a little below avg there. That’s not a good player, yet in Pgh somehow he got viewed as a cornerstone. Given the crap the incompetent GM assembled, I never had a problem with him being on the team. What’s bugged me has been Dumbo’s treatment of him and what it says about the team’s incredibly low standards.


Cruz in the 3-hole……is this the first time? That’s where he should stay for his career. But we know Shelton likes to change the lineup daily.


I believe he has been there before. just has been awhile. If Bae or someone with speed is in the lineup I think he stays in 3. If Cruz is the only one with real speed then I don’t mind him in 1. If that is the case then Castro would be your 3. Hoping Bae is in the line up to start 2023


I swear, any optimism that can be mustered for this team sure doesn’t last for long. Good grief!

b mcferren

Sampson is the guy we traded for Happ? good trade

Wilbur Miller

Collins as a Pirate now 1-for-18. I swear if you set out on purpose to find the worst dead weight possible you couldn’t come close to Cheringtoon’s miserable performance. How does he do it?


Well, maybe Nunez will be a keeper at 1b. Davis prob will play several games a year there too consider he will be splitting time at C with Endy.

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Last edited 2 months ago by robertkasperski

Practice for one thing. Why would be my question. He’s actually paying these guys, albeit not a lot, for being awful. Why are Collins, Allen, Gamel and all the former pathetic veteran fill-ins, not to mention a bunch of miserable pitchers, on this team? Minor leaguers from within the system, even ones with no probable future in the majors, certainly couldn’t be any worse and would probably be cheaper. What is he trying to prove?


I guess it’s easy if you have a boss who allows you to publicly state that win and losses aren’t that important.

b mcferren

analytics work both ways

it would not be out of the relm of possibility to use these nerd stats to build a loser and hide the fact that you are doing it on purpose


Wisdom has been a late bloomer, not getting his shot until age 29. Lot of power…..dreaming that our 3rd baseman could have that.


I agree with Walk and disagree with Brown–it would have been better for Ortiz to leave after recording the last out of an inning.


And the buttons that Shelton push seem to have a higher than normal rate of failure.


I am almost positive that we’d be better off if he followed George Costanza’s advice to always do the opposite of what his instinct tells him to do.


Very good outing in any case, and he would have gotten through 5 if not for the errors.


Red alert! Red alert! Here comes the bull pen.


And there goes the bull pen doing it’s usual job. Thanks Shelton, a brilliant decision as usual.


I think hard pitch counts, which supposedly Ortiz was under, are only necessary when you have a manager whose judgement can’t be trusted. There’s nothing magic about the number 80 or 100 or whatever and baseball is better off when managers can use additional information to ensure health without costing the team (or the player’s development–you know Ortiz wanted to finish that inning). But I don’t trust Shelton’s judgement so maybe we do need hard pitch counts.

Wilbur Miller

The problem is, who sets the hard counts for Dumbo? Since there’s no evidence anybody in this org has ever seen a baseball game before, you’ll just have the blind leading the blind.


Shelton already had it scheduled for 80, not one more God forbid.

Wilbur Miller

Yep, another triumph for the idiot GM.


Youngest rotation in MLB = Least Expensive Rotation = Window should be Opening = Moar Spending to fill needs.


I assume the strategy to be aggressive swinging at anything close on the first pitch is coming from Haines and Shelton. Doesn’t seem to be working other than reducing how many relievers we’ll see today.


It seems like for the last 3 months we’ve been watching the Pirates continually watch pitch after pitch go by them for strikeouts so maybe Haines and Shelton finally decided to try something else with a handful of games left, lol.


If luis can throw strikes, any reason to think he wont be a stud?


Top 7 of todays lineup are all interesting/somewhat dangerous at least i feel like. Kind of a fun feeling


The lineup looks good in theory other than catcher and especially first. I’d like to see them send Collins packing and bring up Endy Rodriguez and Mason Martin (I don’t care about the obsession with strike outs because there’s production when he makes contact) for the remainder of the season. It would make the last few games far more interesting and fun.


Yeah, Zack Collins a first round pick in 2016 with 385 mlb at bats is going to break out any day now!


Yeah 8 and 9 are markedly less interesting lol


Well you know Shelton he wants to get two catchers who can’t hit in the game at the same time, lol.

Last edited 2 months ago by jon6er

Much more interesting lineup than yesterday, which probably means we’ll get shutout 😉


Looking at the off-season this year and next, I’m intrigued about teams that may look to tear it down and rebuild their farm system. Specifically I was thinking about teams that matchup well with the Bucs for prospects vs. their needs. Surprisingly, I think the Pale Hose could be in that very position. Guys like Vaughn, Kopech, Crochet, etc. would be good targets. Or Cease if they’re big game hunting (ha!).


Big game today–it will decide the season series against the Cubs (9-9 as of now). Win it, and win at least 1 of 3 from Cincy, and we can at least claim that we won extended series against division rivals. At least I care about things like this even though our GM says I shouldn’t.


The irony of team having “Fan Appreciation Day” today at PNC……


I might even be an Appreciative Fan in ’23 if our defense starts to call out for the ball. So elementary when the OFers don’t call off IFers or other OFers……I think Reynolds is usually the instigator because he’s such a quiet dude.


Luis, Luis day y’all!

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