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Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Pirates Discussion: Three Games in Two Days

The Pittsburgh Pirates got an abrupt rest day when their Monday afternoon game was postponed due to rain.

They’re now set to play three games in two days against the New York Mets, with a double header on Wednesday.

On Tuesday things get kicked off with Mitch Keller facing off against Taijuan Walker. It will also mark the return of Daniel Vogelbach to Pittsburgh, which I can foresee the Pirates making him a tribute video for some odd reason.

The Pirates didn’t end up playing Monday but they did gain half a game on the Washington Nationals who shut out the St. Louis Cardinals. If you focus on the fact the Cardinals were shut out by Anibal Sanchez then you can find some humor in the Cardinals misfortune.

Hope everyone had a great holiday weekend and enjoyed their Monday off (assuming you got Monday off as the Pirates ended up with as well). I spent mine driving about 10 hours, but also brought some fresh Delia’s tamales along with me to New Orleans. If you ever find yourself in the Rio Grande Valley, I HIGHLY recommend going to Delia’s for tamales.

METS @ PIRATES

Time: 6:35 PM EST

Pirates Starter: Mitch Keller (4-10, 4.43)

Mets Starter: Taijuan Walker (10-3, 3.45)

Keller Notes: Mitch Keller is coming off a game where he collected ten strike outs across six innings against the Milwaukee Brewers. It was interesting in that this was the first game in quite some time that Keller didn’t lean on his Sinker. In fact he relied heavily on his Fourseam Fastball. It’ll be interesting to see which mix he relies on against the Mets. This will also be Keller’s career high 24th start of the season. If he’s able to complete five innings he will also surpass his 2021 innings total between Pittsburgh and Indianapolis.

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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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1979andCounting

Very nice win. But the only issue is that Crowe is not a guy we can trust in ’23. How do you possibly walk two guys in a row with 2 outs in the 9th and a 6-run lead?? That is a pitcher who hasn’t the command to be in a save situation. In addition, he got the first two outs in 5 pitches. He could’ve had a less than 10-pitch inning, which allows him to be more fresh for tomorrow’s DH. Nimmo saved him by swinging at the first pitch after the two walks or that inning could have really gotten out of hand.

Wilbur Miller

He’s fine as a middle reliever, but late-inning, no. The problem isn’t Crowe, it’s the GM’s ineptitude at building a bullpen.

Catch_22

I have a feeling Yerry is going to disappoint you.

If Cherington is worth his salt, he would be able to construct a pen. It needs overhauled, except for Bednar and maybe Crowe. Albeit small sample, I didn’t think Holderman looked good.

With this current squad, I’d trust Huntington much more than Cherington to get to that next level.

Last edited 3 months ago by Catch_22
john_fluharty

Agreed on this one. Who do we have that can handle the role of closer when our closure is out with an injury? Crow I guess?

chappy

Definitely a game that could be a glimpse of the future…

Wilbur Miller

There’s a good piece on Cruz at Dejan’s site. It runs through the adjustments he’s making. It’s effectively an explanation of why he needs to be in the bigs. And a vision of what the future could be.

Last edited 3 months ago by Wilbur Miller
john_fluharty

Can you summerize? It’s behind a paywall I believe.

TNBucs

Cruz joined the 700 club tonight. It’s a pretty exclusive club with the Pirates–only Reynolds, Castro, Suwinski, and now Cruz have OPS’s above .700.

john_fluharty

The 700 club! I remember watching an episode of that program where Pat Robertson was all on about how dungeons and dragons was evil. It was so funny and so pathetic.

robertkasperski

Oh Happy Crowe Day Y’all!!
![]comment image)_

Last edited 3 months ago by robertkasperski
ironmike56

Mitch was tough and poised tonight. Cruz not only crushed it tonight but looked great at short. Where are all the too tall pundits?

john_fluharty

His control was off a bit but he still powered through it which is nice to see.

Wilbur Miller

Couldn’t ask for much more. Big Cruz day, Castro bomb, two hits for Jack, and six zeroes for Mitch.

Catch_22

Jack just missed smoking one. Foul by just a few feet

ironmike56

Even the one at bat Jack struck out he nearly destroyed some architecture with a Cruz type shot headed for mid river.

john_fluharty

That was some serious power. Looking forward to him hitting one in the river at some point.

forkball

I know you don’t have much confidence in better days, but you must see some glimmer of hope?

Wilbur Miller

There are some guys who can play, they just need a bunch more. Maybe when the Altoona guys start arriving — which in Endy’s case should be later this month, just in recognition of what he’s done this year — the FO will start trying.

robertkasperski

some glimmer 😁

Last edited 3 months ago by robertkasperski
ricramer

Cruz is an absolute BEAST

Anthony

The backspin he put on that home run ball was impressive, especially given the pitch and it’s location.

ironmike56

Those balls have to be out of round after he does that. When you see them off his bat in person they sometimes knuckle around in the air as if damaged.

bucsws2014

Meh, Yelich hit one 499 ft into the upper deck at Coors tonight.

Last edited 3 months ago by bucsws2014
robertkasperski

I finally saw that Cruz’s HR was listed at 422 feet. Pretty awesome considering it was a line drive and not lofted, He gets even just a little bit of a higher launch angle and that ball would have been well out into the river and easily 499 feet+

TNBucs

The way they estimate distance has to come with some error–give him the extra foot!

robertkasperski

I dunno…. Not sure of the official distance but basically hitting a line drive one handed off balance almost into the river on the fly is pretty freaking impressive. Considering I saw Willie hit multiple shots that were like Yelich’s I rank this one up there. Can’t wait to see what some of Cruz’s shots look like after he has been in the league 5 years let alone 10 like Yelich. Just hope he stays healthy…..

Wilbur Miller

It only seems like it because he’s facing major league pitchers. Now, if he had a day like today against AAA pitching, it’d really mean something.

Catch_22

The VanMeter crowd is going to really run with this one. It’s ok to let go

ironmike56

That’s right….it was only because they seasoned him with failure at Indy that enabled this breakout……

forkball

But he strikes out…

robertkasperski

Most power hitters do……… has not as much lately. Not repeatedly flailing at breaking pitches out of the zone near as much.

ricramer

Not tonight…..

TNBucs

He broke the streak!

forkball

I know. I actually believe that the Pirates are heading in the right direction. Of course many would say there’s nowhere to go but up. Hopefully these young hitters feel confident when 2023 comes around. They could surprise some folks.

robertkasperski

Man, if only Oneil was sent down to lean how to hit…..

NMR

Do you get anxiety waiting five games in between his hits to post this?

Catch_22

They’re winning and now they’re celebrating

bucsws2014

I’m sure you know this, but:
Last 30 games: .220/.286/.477/.763
Last 15 games: .255/.317/.527/.844
Last 7 games: .310/.355/.759/1.114

Anthony

Here we go again, the I told you so’s LOL. No one is routing against this guy; he was just extremely overmatched in his first 45-50 games. This was obvious and to be expected. What else is to be expected is for him to improve, which he IS doing.

This guy is an enigma; I get it. He has the physical tools to do something special in this game. But, most of you’ll were burying your heads in the sand for the last two months. This isn’t about being right or wrong; it was about evaluating him in real-time. The great thing is, evaluations can change, opinions can change with new information.

Why you’ll get so emotional over this Cruz thing is so perplexing, but at the same time, it kind of epitomizes how we have devolved as a society, picking and choosing the facts we want to be believe are true.

TIME is the great equalizer. In all likelihood, you’ll will probably be right about Cruz with time. He will improve in the areas that will allow him to be a more consistent and productive player. You will feel good bc you can say I told you so, and I will simply change my opinion with new information and data. HOPE is not an evaluation tool.

bucsws2014

“Why you’ll get so emotional over this Cruz thing is so perplexing…” says the guy getting emotional over the Cruz thing.

Anthony

The fact that this is your takeaway completely validates my point, thank you.

bucsws2014

Obviously you’re not a lawyer, and also obviously you have rather thin skin.

If you’ve been following along the past couple of weeks, there has been an ongoing narrative on comparing the tall, lanky Cruz with the tall lanky Darryl Strawberry. Both had auspicious MLB starts over their first 200 PAs, with very similar stat lines. Strawberry ended up with 23 HRs and a .258 BA. Cruz won’t reach that by end of season, but his final six weeks may well match the line that Strawberry put together in his 201-300 PAs, which was rather impressive.

I gave you stats, not emotions.

robertkasperski

The argument was and is simply should Cruz be sent to the minor or stay in the majors to work through the adjustments. My argument was in order for him to learn to adjust to MLB pitching he needed to stay in the majors. Going back to the minors is not going to teach him how to adjust to pitching that he wont see much of in the minors. He seems to be learning how to adjust now. To label him an enigma so early in his career seems a little drastic. The only thing that those of us who were saying he should stay in the show are right about is it appears that he is learning to adjust to the big league pitching when those that pushed to send him down said that he never would learn to adjust if he stayed. Still to early in his career to say if he will be a superstar, a bust or even an enigma.

Anthony

Roibert, where I disagree with this argument is that he never really demonstrated the ability to hit AAA pitching. He was effectively a league average hitter in AAA this year, certainly not what you would expect from a top 100 prospect. The “he need to be in MLB to learn how to hit MLB pitching” is a straw man argument. I mean, come on, you could say this about any prospect in baseball.

robertkasperski

He was hitting quite well in AAA when he came up. The first half of June was in AAA he hit .277 with an OPS of .846. Just like he did at every level, he started a little slow but ended up hitting well. We will see how it plays out the rest of the year but for now, I guess we will have to agree to disagree.

Anthony

To carry an OPS of .846 for only TWO weeks is hardly the definition of “hitting well,” and it certainly doesn’t warrant a promotion. Maybe there were other development boxes that he checked, which makes the most sense bc he never demonstrated the ability to CONSISTENTLY hit AAA pitching. How do you show this at the MLB level when you failed to show it at the AAA level? Only the best prospects don’t, and I give the Pirates credit for taking a big risk here. Nonetheless, he was promoted, subsequently shat the bed, and the “he needs to be in MLB to learn how to hit MLB pitching” narrative was manufactured to buy time and save face. It’s an open-ended, hollow statement, virtually impossible to disprove, and void of any accountability. It’s a prognosticator’s wet dream.

robertkasperski

Cruz started slow at every level and then improved. Had to experience a higher level of pitching each time. He was only in AAA for a couple of months total. Appears he is doing the same thing now in the majors, started slow and now settling in and seems to be doing much better the last 1/2 month. Like I said, we will have to agree to disagree because I believe he is still moving forward and you believe he is moving much more to being a bust. Since neither of us can really see the future, how about we see what happens over 2023 and see how he is doing then?

robertkasperski

He has been hitting well over the last 10-15 games. Hit in 9 of his last 12. That is when I started posting this. Not much anxiety at all. 😁

Last edited 3 months ago by robertkasperski
JimEastTennessee

I have good friends from high school that can’t stand him?! Me, I love this kid!

Wilbur Miller

I’ve been in the lower RGV a lot. What town is Delia’s in?

robertkasperski

Lol I tried googling but……..their site would freeze when trying to access it. The entire baseball world must be searching to get you some tamales!

Wilbur Miller

Well, I figured out it’s in McAllen, where we often go.

robertkasperski

My kid’s in-laws are from southwest Texas. Got to enjoy some homemade old school tamales when they came up to visit a couple of years back. Good eats  😀 

robertkasperski

Good deal! Enjoy!

NMR

#rodolfo

robertkasperski

BOOM!!!!!

Wilbur Miller

Could Rudy be a long term answer at 2B?

1979andCounting

Long-term meaning 2 yrs until Termar……sure.

b mcferren

more likely the long term answer at third base

agent00
robertkasperski

Bummer for Starliing. The fingers must have swelled like a balloons. Hope no fractures. Could end his season if there are.

robertkasperski

Wonder if Go Go Joey would wave Vogy starting from 1st should he have the chance??

Last edited 3 months ago by robertkasperski
Shultzie31

Nats been hot. With a little luck we’ll be in 1st place after tomorrow…

b mcferren

when I was in pony league, they used to require a chin strap when you wear a helmet

robertkasperski

Wonder how fast the MLBPA would say NO!

robertkasperski

Wonder how many times Starling has been hit in the hands?? Hope that Davis does not try to reach whatever that number is

1979andCounting

Shelton must be getting serious now…….he’s putting our best lineup out there tonite. I’d be interested if this was the first time with these 9. ??

Wilbur Miller

And this is the first time. Not a whole lot of overlap between Delay and Castro. Marcano has played nearly all those games. Almost no overlap of Delay, Castro and Suwinski.

Wilbur Miller

He even dropped Chavis to 8th. It’s like he suddenly noticed Chavis’ subterranean OBP and 47:2 K:BB the last couple months.

Wilbur Miller

Career choices?

Wilbur Miller

The best lineup would have Gamel at first and Mitchell in right.

hoffmark83

You heard it here first! The Bucs will sweep! Oops, damn auto correct. The Mets will sweep!

robertkasperski

Hey, Who would have thought the Bucs would sweep the Dodgers or the Brewers this year? Would make day if the Bucs added another team to the list that they gave:

comment image

b mcferren

weep*

b mcferren

just in case any of yinz need a kick in the pants, here is the best video on all of youtube
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZHIGSW0wgs

skliesen

Only one guy missing from that video…#21.

jon6er

Never gets old watching that video, lol.

joesolo6181

here comes the basement.

Wilbur Miller

According to FG’s power rankings, Hodge & Podge’s team is already there.

Last edited 3 months ago by Wilbur Miller
Cobra
Last edited 3 months ago by Cobra
AdministrativeSky236

My first 3 we were outside the top 5 and once behind the brewers lol great

Wilbur Miller

I don’t like that game. Don’t they have Pac-Man?

NMR

Well that’s extremely frustrating.

Cobra

The last time MLB tinkered with draft order — and with all due deference to Mark Merchant — it cost us Ken Griffey Jr. https://theathletic.com/1816970/2020/05/26/griffey-a-pirate-chipper-a-tiger-the-mlb-draft-rule-that-changed-history/

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