Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Pirates mid season call ups and trade bait.

After the quick prediction for opening day 25 man roster now we get to decide who comes up for the second half and push us back to the play offs.

A couple big names we should expect to see are pitchers Jameson Taillon and Nick Kingham.  Both of these guys should see a few innings in spot starts or some relief late June early July.  These guys both project to be mid or upper mid rotation guys at some point.  The reason I say June or July is to get an idea how they will handle MLB batters to determine if they will make any deals at the deadline.

Allen Hanson's 2015 status with the team is now in question with the signing of Kang.  BK (Before Kang) Hanson was almost a sure thing to make his debut in June or July.  Yes the Pirates made some other infield signings but none of them will be everyday starters unless something amazing happens, they are more for Bench and depth, because we know Walker will miss a couple weeks at some point and unless you are Cal Ripkin, everyone needs a day off from time to time.  Kang and Hanson are expected to play similar roles at 2nd,3rd, Short and maybe corner outfield.  If they are both preforming well the Pirates have a problem... a problem they can live with... too much talent.  Hanson will see some time in the MLB this season but he may have to wait until September unless there is a major injury.  That is not all that bad as it will give him a couple extra months to work on his game.

Anyone in the minors who learns first base well has a legit shot at making the team sooner than later.  I hope a Alvarez and Hart combo works well, but having someone who has 5 games of experience at first base and a player who has had a rough couple of years does not give me much confidence.  I'm looking at Josh Bell and Andrew Lambo primarily here.  Lambo got a shot last year but was pretty limited.

Diaz could also get a chance if one of the MLB catchers get injured but Tony Sanchez will most likely get the call.  Sanchez may not be the best but he is pretty stable with experience.

Now for the Trade bait.  If the MLB team is doing well all around, nearly every non-pitching prospect is available other than Meadows and Reese.  Meadows has to be kept in case Cutch walks after his contract.

If Kang and/or Hanson work out, Mercer will be dangled and possibly even Walker.  Walker being traded is not as likely because of the home town story but sill out there.

Pitching... Cole and Liriano are safe from trades, probably Taillon too.

It is still way early to make any real guesses but what we do know is that the team is in a good position with the only glaring question is if Pedro and Hart will cut it at first.

Climate Change in action

 From 2013

From this past month: (January 2015)

How many other eruptions spewing green house gasses and changing the chemical composition of the surrounding ocean waters are there?  I don't know, but probably thousands on the sea floor.  I'm by far from an expert in such things but if you tell me this does not have an effect on climate then I call you a liar.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Early Pirates Lineup and roster perdiction

Spring training is only a few weeks away finally!   And here is a simple prediction for what I feel the opening day line up will be.  Not much research behind.

1> Josh Harrison 3rd base
2> Gregory Polanco Right Field
3> Andrew McCutchen Center Field
4> Neal Walker 2nd Base
5> Pedro Alvarez 1st Base
6> Starling Marte Left Field
7> Francisco Cervelli Catcher
8> Jordy Mercer Short Stop
9> Pitcher

Starting Rotation:
Francisco Liriano
Garret Cole
AJ Burnett
Vance Worley
Jeff Loche

Antonio Bastardo
Jared Hughes
Tony Watson
John Holdzkom
Mark Melancon
Brandon Cumpton

Jung-Ho Kang
Sean Rodriguez
Travis Snider
Cory Hart
Chris Stewart
Andrew Lambo

Marte and Polanco could switch in the order as well as Walker and Alvarez depending how they are performing through spring and Cervelli could certainly move up if he shows his power wasn't a fluke.

where the real questions are the bottom of the rotation, Morton "could" be back by opening day but I suspect the team will want to play it safe givin his injury history and give him a couple of starts off.  Cumpton could beat out Loche for the last spot that would put Loche back in AAA.

Kang on the bench to start the season is expected to be able to play 2nd, 3rd, Short and possibly corner out field.  Basically the Korean version of J-Hay.  Sean Rodriguez is another of those utilities who has played every position except catcher and pitcher at the MLB level.  Snider will get some starts and plenty of pinch hit chances.  Hart will play against lefties and maybe some defensive situations.  Stewart will be the backup catcher to start with Sanchez poking in if there is an injury.

The last spot i'm not sure on.  If Lambo can play some first he may get the call. Pedro Florimon is also an option to be the regular backup short if Kang cannot handle MLB shortstop.