BTW is back, and I am p!ssed!
Every Pirates fan knows these numbers from the last week. Seven loses averaged out at a 6:1 run differential. What an embarrassment.
What is more embarrassing than 18 straight losing seasons? How about the last week of baseball? Or maybe a starter who carries an ERA over 16 getting a vote of confidence that he will not lose his spot in the rotation?
Huntington needs to do something. And he needs to do it soon.
Russell should be on a short leash, his days as Pirates manager are likely numbered. Russell is a prime candidate for scapegoat.
Dave Kerwin/Joe Kerrigan is another prime candidate as a scapegoat. The pitching staff is a complete joke.
Neither of those moves will fix what is happening. But those are the types of moves that are all too common in baseball today.
Russell sounds like his hands are tied when it comes to Charlie Morton. Morton is nasty for a trip through the lineup. Then he is canon fodder. Hmmm? A pitcher who is nasty for one trip through the lineup? That sounds to me like a prime target for the bullpen, that is severely taxed after the last week.
But it won’t happen, at least not in April. The battle cry of every team struggling in the early season, “It is only April, not the right time to panic.”
Still, a starter with a 16.20 ERA is ridiculous. No matter what month it is. If Russell doesn’t have the power to move Morton to the bullpen, where he may be able to gain some confidence back, then Russell is nothing more than a figurehead. This is not the sign of a manager who should expect an extension at the end of the season.
What can Huntington do?
The pitching has stunk. The hitting has stunk, especially with runners in scoring position. They get on base, but no one can drive them in. Look at how many times in the last week the Pirates have had the bases loaded and left the inning empty handed.
Having a 6 hole hitter struggling to sniff the Mendoza line doesn’t help. It kind of has the feel of Adam LaRoche in his time in Pittsburgh, at least until June came around. I know the team has high hopes for Clement, but his rope should be shorter than that leashed to Russell. Clement has looked horrid at the plate occasionally showing outfield grass power.
If I was the opposing team, I would not give Jones and Doumit anything to hit, knowing they will chase with the team struggling so badly. The worst case scenario? You walk both to get to Clement.
If Huntington and crew don’t want a mass rebellion against the team and ownership, larger that what is already brewing, he needs to fix what he can with what is available.
Bring up one of the young promising talents from Indianapolis to appease the fans? It doesn’t matter who, just show us some signs of the future?
Lincoln? Fine, even though he really needs a little more seasoning.
Tabata? Better, move Jones to first. He still isn’t ready, but he is the closest to it.
Alvarez? Still good, but he still needs improvements against lefties.
Appeasing fans is the quickest way to move any GM to the top of the scapegoat list.
Save those players the embarrassment. For now. They will have plenty of time to spend in Pittsburgh to earn themselves either shame or a huge free agency paycheck 6 years later.
A roster move doesn’t even need to occur to fix some of the offense. Church goes to right and Jones moves to first. End the Clement experiment.
Move Morton to the pen and let him work on things there. If he can lower his ERA to something that starts with a single digit, slide him back into the rotation. Who starts? I don’t care, start a reliever. Any of the relievers on the team could go 3 innings. Just make it a bullpen day at the park. Carrasco has started in the past. Give him a shot.
All I want is the best team on the field. Neither Clement nor Morton should be on the starting lineup card anytime in the near future. Huntington needs to allow Russell to try to manage the team and win games, not just be a scapegoat. There are plenty of scapegoats available. Let’s spread the wealth.
Update 12:36 a.m.: Jeff Karstens has been recalled from Indy. Raynor has been DFAed.
While I was out
Jakubauskas getting hit in the head Saturday was the most disturbing injury I have seen since Jason Kendall broke his ankle running to first. I didn’t see the video until today, and I still can’t believe he walked to the cart. My prayers are still going out to him.
My family member is recovering nicely from a heart attack. I will likely still be distracted for some time with this, but we are trying to get back to life as normal as possible in the meantime.
Game Day Threads should start up again soon. Hopefully they will be part of an expanded setup that includes pregame notes, similar to past seasons.