Pirates Discussion: Future Depth

Envision for a moment that Ben Cherington uses this off-season to assemble a competent MLB club. There are different scenarios of how each of us believe that roster could look like, but overall we’ll imagine it’s a roster worth watching.

This is similar to one of the first Discussion articles I wrote, and Monday’s discussion got me thinking about it again. What will the Indianapolis Indians roster look like to begin the 2023 season?

The Pittsburgh Pirates have had a varying degree of success from the ensemble of rookies that have seen playing time in 2022. What I’m interested in seeing is how the Triple-A roster is filled out with the current year’s version of Kevin Padlo, Drew Maggi, or Josh VanMeter. Who will be the Jared Eickhoff, Bryse Wilson, or the carousel of relievers?

When you hear those names, you think of once prospects that saw success in the minors, yet have struggled to find a role in the MLB. They’ve also been the first called upon players once a spot opens up on the 26 man roster whether by injuries or struggles.

The Pirates roster now has a collection of rookies and prospects that would appear to be finding themselves sliding into those roles. Your Diego Castillo, Jack Suwinski, Cal Mitchell, Tucupita Marcano, and even Rodolfo Castro. You have pitchers in Johan Oviedo or Luis Ortiz who could use a little more refining.

These are all players that now have big league experience under their belt. Cal Mitchell was one of the best hitters in the International League, and would be top five in OPS if he was still qualified, but may just not be exactly ready NOW. That isn’t to say they couldn’t still blossom into everyday players, but they aren’t there right now at this moment. Castro seems to be finding his footing a little more and may work himself into the conversation in spring.

The next man up mentality is going to require players seeing success in the majors and sustaining success if the Pirates are to be competitive and REMAIN competitive. It could also make the Triple-A roster very intriguing to watch throughout the entire season with prospects we still have a little emotional bias towards.

Pirates @ Yankees

Time: 7:05 PM EST

Pirates Starter: TBD

Yankees Starter: Nestor Cortes (10-4, 2.70)

LINEUPS:

Pirates

Yankees

1. Aaron Judge (R) RF
2. Anthony Rizzo (L) 1B
3. Gleyber Torres (R) 2B
4. Josh Donaldson (R) 3B
5. Giancarlo Stanton (R) DH
6. Oswaldo Cabrera (S) LF
7. Harrison Bader (R) CF
8. Isiah Kiner-Falefa (R) SS
9. Jose Trevino (R) C

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john.benedict

Two reasons Crowe is retained at least thru 2023

1. INNING eater as they prepare for another possible tanking

BUT THE REAL REASON? (Easy now not everyone at once)

2.Josh Bell for Wil Crowe and Eddie Yean

XMAS EVE 2020

We stole not one but two top 10 P prospects from the Nats who at the time had worst farm in all of baseball, completely depleted

OK, take your mulligan BC then swallow the stubborn pill, sack shelts before another arm is shut down, pls for once in three years quit playing grapefruit baseball in the summer

ENDY the LOSING

PEACE OUT

tdbpci

Nobody wants to talk about Cruz and his 3 walks?! Isn’t that as many as he has all year? Lol

TNBucs

I was just hoping he’d get the third of the three true outcomes last night. Maybe tonight.

bucsws2014

Bob Walk mentioned something about Crowe’s late inning splits in passing last night, so this morning I took a look.

Crowe 7th inning: 21G, 17.2 IP, 1.02 ERA
Crowe 8th inning: 30G, 21.0 IP, 5.25 ERA
Crowe 9th inning: 17G, 14.0 IP, 8,36 ERA

Appears he’s not totally useless as he’s generally done well in middle innings (4th thru 7th). But before or after that, he stinks to high heaven.

Cobra

Great breakdown. You’d think a competent MLB manager witnessing 35 innings of Crowe in the 8th and 9th might notice this as well

robertkasperski

Most of those 8th and 9th innings were due to Bednar on the IL and others sucking as bad or worse than Crowe.

TNBucs

I saw that with his splits too, but there is also some confounding–almost all of the appearances in the 7th and earlier happened in the first part of the season and almost all of the appearances in the 8th and 9th, especially the 9th, have happened in the second half of the season. So it may be that he got off to a hot start but just isn’t good now no matter when he pitches. That could be due to overuse–at the halfway point of the season he led all relievers in MLB in batters faced and he’s been bad since then. Maybe those two things are just coincidental but regardless, Shelton needs to move off his mindset that Crowe is a late-inning reliever.

AdministrativeSky236

I agree that crowe got overused and needs to be out of the late innings, though I dont know that we should get rid of him next year. With some health we should have guys that can hold down the late innings, so I dont see a problem giving him a run in lower leverage outings again to start the year and see how that goes

TNBucs

Yes, I think he shouldn’t be de-rostered this offseason but that he also shouldn’t be given a spot–make him show in ST that his stuff is back to where it was. Or give him a spot but with a very short leash. His body of work, though, isn’t better than guys like De Jong, Peters, Underwood, Stout, Banuelos, Ramirez, … guys that we think should have to earn a spot next year. The only difference is in first impressions from the first couple of months of the season or the fact that we traded a decent player to get Crowe or the Happy Crowe Day thing 🙂 or something.

Shultzie31

Only the pirates…

robertkasperski

Good news is Bednar should be back in a couple of days ……

1979andCounting

We saw some bad baseball and bad managing tonite from both sides, mixed in with some quality plays and hitting. But what Shelton did in the 9th is inexcusable. Not even anyone warming in the pen? Wth is Marin and Meccage doing? Get Manny or Dejong or Yajure up!!!! Crowe got 0 outs. There was no way you stay with him as the house crumbles around this team.

skliesen

You speak as if DS cares about winning. Has he managed the team that way yet in 3 years?

AdministrativeSky236

I am demoralized

jon6er

In good Pirate baseball news VanMeter is on the ‘Development List’.
/s

docdon385

Try putting yourself in the position of a player on this team (Hayes, Reynolds, Castro or most anyone else) who laid it all out there and then had to sit and watch while your so-called manager simply allowed this to happen without lifting a finger to even try to stop it.

Demoralizing and probably unnecessary with any effort at all from your supposed leader. Clearly your manager doesn’t care so why should you? Sunflower seeds? Why not? Cell phones? Why not? Care whether the team wins? Why?

Cobra

A culture of losing and losers

1979andCounting

And we are licking our chops at how Bob is going to start spending on FA’s! Who the hell is going to sign with BC this winter?? The same 0 war replacement players we always sign……the reclamation projects……the waiver claims……and the vicious circle continues.

Wilbur Miller

I keep saying this — There’s a cost when you make it so plainly obvious to the players that you don’t care whether you win games. There’s a level of determination needed in pro sports that goes beyond just “trying to win.” It’s totally absent from ownership and management on the Pirates, and it’s absent from the players, too. It’s why they keep losing games like this. Losing is acceptable.

TNBucs

Yeah, to not even have someone warming up when Crowe let the first three batters reach says pretty clearly that losing is acceptable. I wonder if he really is as popular with his players as Mackey and Brown and others claim he is. He’s made it clear, though, that he has favorites and you don’t play based on merit, so who is going to speak out?

Wilbur Miller

Crowe shouldn’t have been in there to begin with. His ERA since the beginning of June is 5.44. All the evidence shows he shouldn’t be closing games, so of course he’s the guy Dumbo just has to have.

TNBucs

Going into tonight, Crowe had allowed a .769 OPS since the start of July. Whether it was overuse or that he’s just not a major league pitcher, he’s been terrible for months now yet because he had a good run for the first couple of months, nothing is going to change Shelton’s mind about how Crowe should be used. And I’m sure all we’ll hear is “Crowe didn’t execute his pitches…” Poor decision making, blame the players, no accountability by the supposed leader.

ironmike56

This is what I find most disgusting about his post-game glib remarks……he invariably blames the pitchers for every RBI producing hit. Didn’t execute the pitch. Then it’s on to “we’re young but we battle ever night.” Never…”I screwed up.”

forkball

Management, show the young guys that you really do want to win!!!

TNBucs

Cherington’s smug “it’s not about wins and losses at this point” sends the wrong message to the young guys. But I guess that’s the only way he can justify keeping Shelton.

Last edited 13 days ago by TNBucs
Anthony

If the roster construction were different, then I would agree. But with this group, it really isn’t about the wins and losses.

ironmike56

Cherrington is increasingly expansive and defensive in his Sunday shows. I believe the 2 Nuttings are not happy with the embarassing national stories.
BC is feeling the pressure.

PirateRican21

I hate to overreact after a game, but Crowe needs to go, it was a nice story early on, now he’s back to what he’s always been.

Last edited 13 days ago by PirateRican21
1979andCounting

I already came to that conclusion, if we are serious about improving the BP, neither Crowe nor Underwood are here next year. Not that Beede is the answer, but I hope he clears waivers. Stephenson and Holderman and Manny look like keepers.

AdministrativeSky236

Agree with holdermann and manny, not sure about stephenson as i just see him similar to beede who also has good stuff and had a strong start here with a poor track record. Underwood can go but crowe could stay for lowest leverage innings i guess

TNBucs

You can take out this game and it’s still hard to make a case that he deserves a spot in ’23. The only thing that gets him the spot is some weird idea that he’s our backup closer regardless of what the stats say.

patrick_kelly

Well, that was the most Piratey loss I can think of. Please for the love of God fire Shelton.

deash

Shelton needs to go. That kind of mismanagement is ridiculous.

bucsws2014

Like I said earlier, keeping Ramirez in for a 2nd inning seemed the best option…

forkball

How could they put poor Crowe into that situation …

PirateRican21

Ok, I didn’t mind the Judge homerun, but for fucks sakes…. He

chappy

Everybody, I mean, everybody, knew that was how it was going to end. Pathetic. Why leave him out there? At least make an attempt to win the game.

TNBucs

Crowe had by the far the most hittable stuff tonight and his poor control matched Underwood’s, yet it’s his game to finish regardless?

docdon385

Like I said, worst bull pen in baseball led by Crowe and directed by probably the worst manager in baseball. Sickening.

Mtgj

You forgot history.

The worst bullpen in baseball history.

And there is noooo doubt about it.

This team could easily have won 75 games with just an average bullpen.

TNBucs

Shelton’s damn stubbornness strikes again.

Wilbur Miller

The managerial ineptitude is so completely off the charts that there ought to be an investigation. Jim Tracy at his worst was way better than this.

robertkasperski

Wilbur Miller

Four batters and no outs, and Dumbo still won’t take him out.

Wilbur Miller

So we’re going to try that Wil-Crowe-as-closer thing as many times as it takes until it works.

forkball

Get somebody warmed up please…anybody

TNBucs

You can’t just give away a 4-run lead without at least warming someone up, can you?

chappy

Does Crowe have it in him?

John Dreker

That strikeout from Cruz just put him in the top 50 for highest strikeout seasons in Pirates history. Reynolds and Chavis were already in the top 50, Hayes is one away (though it will be bumped to two away if Cruz strikes out before him). Suwinski has an outside chance to enter it as well as long as he plays regularly. In case you were wondering how they set the franchise record so fast this year. It was a real group effort.

jon6er

At least Haines is showing his strengths as a hitting coach. Having him and former hitting coach Shelton has really paid dividends…..

b mcferren

modern baseball is an all or nothing game in the batter’s box

took us long enough to catch up

robertkasperski

Happy Crowe Day Y’all!!!!

![]comment image)_

TNBucs

No offense, but can we maybe retire this 😉

bucsws2014

Can we just ban that crow gif already?

docdon385

Right. Let’s try this.

B79EE17E-1302-4968-8B81-840C9DE681CC.jpeg
chappy

So says Judge!

chappy

And Stanton.

bucsws2014

I changed my mind. Keep Ramirez out for a 2nd inning. He looks like the best available option.

Mtgj

Reynolds needs to move to left field and Cruz needs to play anywhere but shortstop.

Am I out of my mind for thinking this? Do you guys think the pirates will try to do this at some point soon?

Those 2 moves and a competent bullpen next year and I believe this team will have a decent year especially because their division should be really bad.

I just can’t see the pirates being good with such bad fielders at shortstop and centerfield.

Btw- Castro is be turning into a good mlb player. It’s fun to watch him play. He has all the tools to be pretty good.

ArkyWags

No you’re not. This team looks much better defensively with Reynolds and Cruz in the corner OF spots, and even someone average in center and short.

Mtgj

If you watch the game tonight,

The Yankees could easily have zero runs if they had good defenders in those 2 spots,

robertkasperski

Cruz will stay put until someone pushes him. Peguero may be that player if he starts hitting like he did prior to his brief call up.

AdministrativeSky236

Peggy’s had like 30 errors this year, so while I would absolutely love if he forced cruz to RF, I am a bit skeptical

forkball

There’s hope on the horizon.

robertkasperski

Boooooo! Goes the Bronx fans !! 😁

docdon385

Yep, that’s the Clay Holmes I remember.

robertkasperski

Yeah he has been pretty much like he was with the Bucs. Long unhittable streak. Then started having rough streaks from July on. 7.00 ERA in July,6.75:in August and 4 in September. 2 of the 3:runs scored on the HR to Rudy were not charged to him.

bucsws2014

RUDY!

robertkasperski

BOOM!! Goes the Castro!!!

chappy

Castro!!!

chappy

Where has this Reynolds been all season? Great game from him.

bucsws2014

Dammit. Expected Cruz to park that 3-2 pitch.

robertkasperski

Rodolfo picked him up 🙂

TNBucs

We had an off day yesterday; why does Shelton need to stick with Underwood? I’m sure he thinks that getting out of the inning by Judge swinging at two ball fours and Chavis making a great play is simply smart managing.

Wilbur Miller

The pitcher scheduling bot wasn’t programmed for off days.

Wilbur Miller

Seems like any time anything good happens, the incompetent GM’s s**t bullpen steps in to undo it.

chappy

Our bullpen is remarkably consistent: we always give up runs.

docdon385

Worst bull pen in baseball strikes again.

bucsws2014

Let’s hope Shelty doesn’t try to squeeze more than an inning out of anyone in pen.

AdministrativeSky236

Cruz showed up today with his 20/20 vision

Anthony

Prob the most exciting takeaway from this game as a Pirate fan; Cruz’s three walks. Zero hits, but he scored a run by getting on base. Errors aside, this is what I want to see from him.

Wilbur Miller

Give Ortiz credit. He’s in his second ML game, 4th above AA, in Yankee Stadium against the second highest scoring team in MLB, and he has the bumbling Bucco defense behind him. That inning could have turned into a meltdown, so that’s actually an encouraging outcome.

forkball

One could definitely argue that it should still be 1-0

bucsws2014

Just happy Ortiz held it together. That could’ve been a big inning.

docdon385

Once again what happens with infielders in the outfield.

PirateRican21

Get used to this Luis, this is the defense you gonna play with.

TNBucs

The sad thing is how predictable plays like that are when you’re playing guys out of position. Even when Castillo went back to Indy, he only played 5 games in RF with the other 30 games in the field being in the IF. How does that make sense–if you’re developing Castillo as a utility player and you decide to send him down, wouldn’t you give him a large percentage of his starts at the position he has the least experience with?

Anthony

I would have a hard time putting him on my 40-man at this point.

AdministrativeSky236

100 at the knees is a beautiful thing

PirateRican21

That 4 seamer seems to move like a two seamer. He has been impressive, I down play the Reds game, but this one is one is getting me excited!

PirateRican21

Wait, so it’s cutting?

PirateRican21

Thanks!

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