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Friday, December 9, 2022

Pirates Discussion: No Place Like Home

For a stretch during the summer, the Pittsburgh Pirates were finding success at home. It hasn’t continued as the Pirates dropped their second game to the Chicago Cubs and their eighth in a row.

Following a 3-for-3 game, Bryan Reynolds got the Pirates on top early with an RBI single in the bottom of the first.

With an early lead, Bryse Wilson went about his normal routine. Ian Happ lead off the second inning for the Cubs with a double, and was brought home on a Patrick Wisdom home run to flip the score in favor of the Cubs at 2-1.

Jack Suwinski knotted things up at two in the bottom half of the second with his 17th HR of the season. Suwinski would go 1-for-1 on the night with three walks, after going 0-for-8 in the last two games.

The offense doubled their run total in the bottom of the third when Reynolds reached on an error, and then Cal Mitchell and Kevin Newman hit back-to-back doubles for a 4-2 lead.

Bryse Wilson would get through five innings and only give up two earned runs. He allowed five hits with three walks and five strike outs. By Wilson standards this would be considered a gem.

Clearly exhausted, Wil Crowe came out for the sixth inning and would leave after only being able to register one out. Crowe loaded the bases with one out and walked in a run to make it 4-3 before leaving for Manny Banuelos. Banuelos brought in for a lefty on lefty matchup walked in another run to tie the game, before giving up an RBI single. With the Pirates now down a run, the inning almost got out of hand when Banuelos spiked a fastball that deflected straight up off of Zack Collins. Banuelos caught it in the air while running home and tagged Christopher Morel as he was racing home for the final out.

Fast forward to the bottom of the seventh inning, Reynolds connected for his new career season high 25th HR to tie the game at five. Reynolds has gone on another hot streak bringing his OPS up to .807 by games end.

Yohan Ramirez pitched the 8th inning and after Ji-Hwan Bae threw out a runner at home for the second out, Ramirez then gave up a single to score the go-ahead run.

Chase De Jong threw a scoreless ninth inning and the Pirates tried to make things interesting at the end. With one out, Bae hit a single up the middle for his first career MLB hit. He then stole 2B for his second stolen base of the game, and ended the night 1-for-3 with a walk. Rodolfo Castro drew a walk with two outs to load the bases, bringing up Cal Mitchell who was unable to come through, striking out to end the game 6-5.

Cubs @ Pirates

Time: 6:35 PM EST

Pirates Starter: Johan Oviedo (3-2, 3.69)

Cubs Starter: Wade Miley (1-1, 3.48)

Oviedo Notes: This will be Johan Oviedo’s fifth start for the Pirates. After shutting out the Cincinnati Reds on one hit, Oviedo only lasted four innings against the New York Mets with three earned runs. Since coming to the Pirates he has struggled with his control. In 13.2 IP with Pittsburgh he has struck out 16 batters while also walking 14 and hitting a batter.




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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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One of the more fun games of the season–big ABs from the young guys (Castro, Castillo, Bae, Suwinski) and a dominant start by Oviedo, plus the bonus of Drabek and Fisher in the booth.

Wilbur Miller

You’d like to think it’d get through to somebody in the FO that, on the rare occasions when this team provides any excitement or hopefulness, it’s almost exclusively the younger guys. They f*** up a ton, but Hodge ‘n Podge’s precious veteran deadenders f*** up a ton without providing the good moments. Back in June the dummies in mgmt stomped out all the excitement by bringing all the deadenders back from the IL. Hopefully a few more games like this before the season ends will convince them not to load up on dreck like VM, Hembree and Knapp again going into next year.


Spot on, fun and hopeful night👍 I switched to Colorado game at Coors Field and looks like a sold out crowd and then i looked at 2022 attendance and was bit surprised how well they draw for a team with bad record. Obviously a better baseball town than i expected, not that i had any real expectations🤣

Last edited 2 months ago by tedwins

That was quite an outing. 82 pitches and 7 innings with 0 walks.


This would be an even worse loss than the Yankee loss


The difference between great pitchers and the rest is their incredible consistency. So many pitchers can look great – but most you have no idea how effective they will be next time out.


That home/road split just gets more amazing.


There HAS to be some underlying trend there!


and his K% at home is an acceptable 26% vs 37% on road.


“No place like home”!


Way to go Bae


Are you a fan? Or just jumping on the wagon? 😆


Are you kidding, Ted has been pounding the table for Bae!


Ted is all about positives. It’s a bright new morning where he is.

Last edited 2 months ago by bucsws2014

That’s disappointing Drabek can’t even make a 60′ toss. Especially since he’s still in the game AAA pitching coach. Has to be an injury from decades ago…..shoulder, elbow??


Change outside corner, rollover grounder to SS, change outside, rollover to SS, change outsid……..


Love the Drabek interview. Also, I think I’m in the background in the outfield stands of the clip of them celebrating clinching a division title against the Cardinals.


As a fan, I always felt that way about 1987 (Walk, Drabek, and Fisher saying that going 25-10 at the end of 1987 on a team on pace to lose 100 was the beginning of what led to those great teams in the early ’90s), which is why I hate when some of our recent teams seem to just play out the string or when our GM says it’s not about wins and losses.

Last edited 2 months ago by TNBucs

I guess for Nutting it isn’t about wins and losses since the GM can make such a ridiculous statement. If it was about wins and losses with Nutting the GM might need new employment along with the manager and coaching staff. These players are competitors and they do care about wins and losses.

Wilbur Miller

I don’t see why, if you’re facing Oviedo, you’d ever take the bat off your shoulder, but the Cubs are more than welcome to keep flailing away.


He’s not only throwing strikes, but throwing good strikes today, I’m not a believer, but this is a good game today.

Last edited 2 months ago by PirateRican21

Not for the faint of heart.


That lineup?!? At least I like the choices for the first three spots.


Why have the outfielder dh and the infielder ‘play’ right field? Shelton strategery!


Ke out for two nights in a row? Or am I wrong about last night


He got hit by a pitch in the 9th inning on Thursday night. Maybe he has a minor injury (again.)


Back issues.


Just saw where Baz is heading for TJ surgery. Every player in the Archer deal physically fell apart after the del. All 4 players involved now have spent significant time on the IL since the deal.


Does make the deal feel less bad!


just makes the trade pretty much a wash at the moment.


Hi Mr. Kasperski, You are certainly one of the more knowledgable baseball fans and I always find your tone as a salt of the earth human being, but who knows as I never really met you 🙂 :)…. I think your ‘wash’ comment just comes from grading it on the over the top “worst trade ever” stuff that has been consistent narrative and so never ending, it wasn’t of course. But unfortunately the only fair way to grade the trade is using WAR (fWAR in this guesstimate)… So 2018, was a .5ish WAR win for Tampa….. 2019 was a 6.1 WAR wipeout for Tampa, 2020 was a 1 WAR win for Tampa…… 2021 was a 4.3 WAR win for Tampa and 2022 a .1 WAR win for the Pirates, hooray as Meadows had -.2 and Baz had .1 and Archers contract would have been over for us if we kept him all the way so zero.… 2023 we will have zero WAR and lets see what Glasnow and Meadows do as they would still have control (forget trades), but looks Tampa for sure…..2024, we will have zero WAR and lets see what Baz and Meadows do but looks Tampa for sure but who knows as injuries/performance are unpredictable but sure looks Tampa, then 2025, 2026, and 2027 we will have zero WAR and lets see what BAZ does but, as above, sure looks Tampa and if he is great, maybe?, then this trade will look really ugly from a WAR and any perspective…. BTW, we could still lose or tie 2022 as Glasnow may come back this week and get a bit of WAR? Anyways, I was just curious to do this exercise and I understand you were more referencing this year with the ‘Wash’ comment… best


Thank you Ted! I didn’t even have the energy so just gave Roibert a down vote last night! It’s simply history revisionism to suggest that trade is now or ever was a “wash” lol.


I agree with the general conclusion, but when doing these types of exercises, you need to discount future WAR back to 2018. 1 WAR today is not the same as 1 WAR next year, i.e., present value of WAR.


Unless this is a purely economic exercise, I do not agree that you should discount future WAR back to 2018.

Part of the reason that the WAR system is useful for fans and others is that you can compare seasons and careers of Ty Cobb with Ted Williams with Albert Pujols – all great players from different eras.

I do agree with your other comment that a contending team would pay more for extra WAR this year than in future years.

A more general point about trades and WAR – to have a winning team you need players with positive Wins Above Replacement (WAA). The Pirates are likely to lose 100+ games this season but will have a positive WAR. However, their combined WAA is negative 22 which is about what you’d expect for a 59 win team.

And a final point, if you look at the big trades of 2018

Trade – Rays and Pirates
Received – Archer
Traded – Glasnow, Meadows, Baz

Trade – Astros and Pirates
Received – Moran, Jason Martin, Feliz, Musgrove
Traded – Cole

Trade – SF and Pirates
Received – Krick, Reynolds
Traded – McCutchen

the most lopsided of those trades is the one with SF. And that trade heavily favors the Bucs.


For player comparisons, yes you can obv use YoY WAR but not for evaluating trades. Just comparing WARs excludes the very real cost of TIME.

There is a reason why teams in contention give up prospects for established players; they are discounting the future value of those prospects to, at a minimum, equal the present value of the established player. Future WAR is worth less than present day WAR, and present day WAR is worth more than future WAR.


I appreciate the response but I’m still not convinced discounting plays a role when evaluating trades. At least not a major role.


It’s no different than the present value of a dollar function, money today is worth more than the same amount of money in the future. The time and uncertainty (risk) of capturing those future dollars is then discounted back to present day terms. Now, replace dollars with WAR or any other player valuation metric.

This is also the only logical reason why a team would trade an established player (PV) for a bunch of unestablished prospects (FV).

The structure of these trades confirms this very concept.

You cannot conduct a trade analysis or evaluation without factoring in TIME. I mean, you tech could, but it wouldn’t tell you jack sh*t bc the results would always be overwhelmingly skewed to FV.


It wasnt an exact exercise but thanks Anthony👍


Wow. I guess rationalization is alive and well or we sure have different definitions of “a wash.” You do mean roughly equal return, right? It really doesn’t matter much anymore but any comparison clearly shows the Rays won it big time.

Just look at the numbers. The Pirates got nothing while the Rays have already gotten a great deal and both Glasgow and Baz, while currently injured, remain part of their future as does Paredes whom they got for Meadows. Horrendous trade whether the worst of all time or not.

It’s past time to put it away and move on so why don’t we all just try to do that? I don’t even want to think about it myself, but what’s the point in denying it?


your last paragraph is spot on, good stuff…. My only thing is you can’t count Paredes, you have to count the actual players, Meadows in this case to be fair, imho….


No it doesn’t. Tampa still won that deal, it just stings a bit less now. I also thought the people who proclaimed it the worst deal in history were uhhh…over dramatic.

Which opens a good discussion question: worst trade in Pirates history? My vote is Willie Randolph. But a sneaky awful one was trading Bob Elliott in the 40’s.

Last edited 2 months ago by ArkyWags

To be honest, I said from the beginning that to judge the trade one would have to see how things turn out for the prospects. As it stands right now, it is pretty much a wash at the moment. I agree that those who proclaimed it the worst trade ever were overly dramatic. When all 4 players end up missing significant amounts of time to injury, it is a wash right now. Depends if any of the prospects can return to form to tip it to Tampa to any degree.


They turned meadows into their HR leader this year. Before that Meadows and Glasnow were solid contributors and Baz progressed into a very good prospect. Even though all have had injury issues, they’ve lapped Archer several times. He was awful.

The deal put the nail in the previous regimes coffin. It ain’t a wash because Archer already crashed and burned.

Last edited 2 months ago by ArkyWags

Mariners, Luis Castillo Agree To Extension
The Mariners and Luis Castillo are in agreement on a five-year, $108MM extension, according to Jeff Passan of ESPN. There is a sixth-year vesting option that can take the total to $133MM. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic relays that Castillo will have full no-trade protection for the first three years. Castillo was slated to become a free agent after the 2023 season but will instead stick with the Mariners for an extended stretch. Passan adds that the Mariners will receive a $5MM option for the 2028 season if Castillo undergoes a UCL repair procedure that causes him to miss more than 130 days in the 2025 to 2027 window.

How about that good for Seattle for using a novel approach, resigning instead of trading him for some smuck or smucks…Following the Pirate lead, I didn’t realize a team could do that…


I thought at the time of the trade that the Mariners gave up a bit too much for a year plus of Castillo but that it would look like a good deal for them if they were able to extend him. He is 29, so the extension could backfire, but I like the strategy because it’s so hard to get a quality starter when you’re competing with teams like the Yankees, Mets, Dodgers, and Cubs on the open market.


The Mariners sent 4 players to Cincinnati to get him. The Pirates sent 3 to Tampa in a similar deal to get Archer. Be careful for what you wish for.


Seattle is gonna make the playoffs this year and has a solid core of players. The situations aren’t that similar.


The trade not the teams current condition. No way to know yet how the 4 prospects turn out and if Castillo remains healthy. That is what I was comparing. Could be great for Seattle or their fans may end up saying it was the worst trade ever. Time will tell


That’s not how trades are evaluated; they should only be evaluated on the information you have at the time of the trade.

But if you must compare, then you need to discount future production to the time of the trade.


I disagree because I think that you can’t view trades that narrowly. You have to take a team’s condition into account.


Agreed, a team that is competitive today will value current WAR much higher than future WAR.


They had the option last night to try to keep it to a three inning bullpen game by at least bringing Wilson back out for the sixth to see if he could get through it. I guess Shelton and Marin needed dugout hugs. They better hope Oviedo isn’t at his usual 59 pitches by the third inning.

Wilbur Miller

Lessee . . . *checks schedule* . . . ah, here it is. Oviedo will pitch the fourth inning and one out of the fifth next May 18th.

Last edited 2 months ago by Wilbur Miller

Yeah control is a thing that most Pirate pitchers seem to lack and the coaching staff seems to misunderstand the value of pitchers having it.

b mcferren

2023 opening day rotation


Wilbur Miller

That’s a lot of starters for opening day.


Glad to see Pujols got his 700th HR, so the Pirates will not have that distinction of giving that up as they have contributed enough to his success…


Bucs pitching over the years gave up 250 or so to Albert?


I have mix feeling about Pujols, but good for him. But there goes the Cardinals evil magic. Signed a player as a good gesture/ publicity stunt and that player fulfilled a milestone that seemed nearly impossible, but also has a good year along the way.


Somehow he went from the worst player in baseball to a pretty good hitter in the 2nd half of the year.
I would have lost a lot of money on that.

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