July 28, 2008

Trade, Sanchez, LaRoche, Pitching and Game 106

Vitals:

COLORADO ROCKIES
(48-58)
RHP Valerio De Los Santos
(0-0, 0.00 ERA) 2008 Debut
PITTSBURGH PIRATES
(48-57)
RHP IAN SNELL
(3-8, 6.10 ERA)
Game Time 7:05 EDT
XM XM 185
TV FSN

Trade Comment:

While I have said I like the trade of Marte and Nady and what the return is, I have not gone into why I liked the trade.  Finally I will attempt to put it into words.

What was the one thing that has plagued the Pirates this season?  Anyone would answer that as poor pitching.  More directly, the lack of options in the minors.  This trade brought in two pitchers with some major league experience.  The third pitcher, McCutchen, is one that has all the pitches to be successful and has climbed through the minors in 3 seasons.  McCutchen was drafted at age 23.  Don't take too much out of his first start for the Indians, he drove overnight to get to the game only to find out he would be starting that night.

Add in the fact an outfielder, Tabata, with nearly unlimited potential was in the deal.  The return helps the team now and in the future.

What did we give up in the deal?  An outfielder in  Nady that is in the midst of a career season unlikely to be replicated.  I like Nady, but in all honesty he is a .280 hitter with 15-20 HR power who could play 140 games for the team (knowing his luck with injuries).  He is a useful player on a contending team but he is not a star.  The Pirates will likely see similar numbers from Pearce with better power numbers and hopefully better health. 

Marte has been tabbed as a lefty specialist, although he has performed well against righties this year.  He is a quality reliever, but the Pirates need more quality arms in the system in general, something they did receive in this trade.

In all likelihood this trade has actually helped the team move forward this year and in the future by getting some young talent to Pittsburgh in Pearce and has added depth to a starting rotation that had no options in the Minors to speak of.

What is not to like?  The Yankees acquired a platoon player (for the Yankees) in Nady and a lefty specialist (for the Yankees) in Marte for one of their top position prospects and 3 useful arms.

Overall, I would say the deal is a good one for the Pirates in the long term and helps the Yankees this year and maybe next.

Sanchez and LaRoche Injured:

Doug Mientkiwicz and Chris Gomez will be starting at 1B and 2B tonight against Colorado after both Sanchez and LaRoche injured their backs in the finale against the Padres Sunday.

Maholm:

Paul Maholm matched up well against one of the better pitchers in the National League.  Maholm may not be an ace, but for now he is pitching like one.  Jeff Andrews deserves a lot of credit for his turn around this year, considering the flack he is taking for the performance of the other pitchers.  The flack he is receiving, I feel is unjust. 

Gorzy has hit a sophmore slump.  Both he and Snell were overused last season by Tracy.  This could have been a fun year for Pirates fans, if Tracy and crew knew how to handle a young staff last season.

Davis and Karstens:

Jason Davis has been added to the 25 man roster while JVB has been demoted to Indianapolis and has been placed in their Bullpen.

Jeff Karstens will be taking JVB's spot in the rotation and will start either Friday or Sunday in Chicago.

Links:

Dejan has an article worth reading on the remaining Pirates top 10 Draft picks.  It looks like well over 30 players from this draft could be signed by the August 15th deadline.

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