April 15, 2009

BTW News, Pirates 2009, New Young Buc


Yesterday, my youngest son had surgery to remove adenoids and to have tubes put in his ears.  Everything went well and he is doing very well.  As a parent you have a tendency to be distracted when your child is about to have an operation, no matter how minor.  Just the thought of your child going under is a scary proposition, no matter how many times you have been through it.  Needless to say, holding him in the recovery room made a huge weight be lifted from my mind.


Pirates 2009:

While sitting in recovery holding Nicky as he slept, my mind started wandering back to baseball and the Pirates.  The 4-3 start to the 2009 season is a good thing, like that is breaking news. 

My biggest interest going forward is what will happen first.

You see, I have a belief that it is easier to stay above .500 than it is to get back to .500.  When trying to recover lost ground, teams always seem to press because of a tangible goal of .500.  When a team gets close, then fails, the pressure keeps building.

Failing to reach .500 for a young team, such as the Pirates, seems to always have a snowball affect, more like an avalanche.  When they get close but come a win or two away from the mark, as we have seen a few times in the last 16 years, the team seems to always have that losing streak right then.

A team that is over .500 can endure a losing streak and still not worry of a tangible goal they are failing to achieve, as long as they stay above .500.

So what I am looking for is what happens first.  Do the Pirates have a long winning streak or long losing streak?  If they can attain a long winning streak first, that will go a long way towards breaking the 16 year spiral we as fans have endured.

As for players so far, here are a few things I have noticed:

  • Brandon Moss seems to be a little faster than last year, I have been impressed with the speed he has shown so far.  While not blazing speed, he has been impressive none the less.
  • Staying with Moss, he has yet to earn a RBI.  A somewhat distressing fact.
  • Was I wrong on Nyjer Morgan?  He has been a catalyst for this team with the bat and with his speed and toughness.  He is doing a lot of little things right that have plagued him in the past.  A couple example are breaking up a double play to keep the inning going just prior to Doumit's grand slam.  Another example was taking out the catcher on an excellent hip check from his youth.  While he didn't need to make contact, the play was closer than it appeared as the ball was on it's way home.
  • Freddy Sanchez and Jack Wilson both look like they want to stay in Pittsburgh.  Each has been fantastic, maybe no more so than the fantastic double play they turned against the Reds.
  • Zach Duke looks as if he has turned back the clock, or at least hit the same point that Maholm did a year and a half ago.  He seems to be trusting his pitches again and is pitching to all parts of the plate.
  • With Maholm, Duke and Ohlendorf all pitching well, getting Snell to stay in a groove rather than grooving too many pitches will be a big hurdle for Russell and Kerrigan to clear.  If Snell finds himself again, the bullpen may not be an issue as they will not be used often.

I fear the warm and fuzzy sensation I have been having about the Pirates, too many times in has turned into a stomach virus the last 16 years.


New Young Buc:

The Pirates have acquired Delwyn Young from the Dodgers for two PTBNL.  Look for Luis Cruz to be demoted after Young arrives in Pittsburgh.  Young will likely be used as a utility player who can play outfield and most infield positions save 1B.

BTW Take:

Cruz was on the roster due to Bixler becoming a prospect again in spring training.   This move allows the Pirates to have a bat on the bench, rather than just a glove.  It doesn't make perfect sense, since Young has not played 2B in two years. 

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