2012 Home Run Derby Preview

Andrew McCutchen was selected Saturday night to participate in the 2012 Home Run Derby. McCutchen is replacing the injured Giancarlo Stanton, who underwent knee surgery and is out 4-6 weeks.

Cutch will have to buck a trend of poor Pirate performances. In 2005 Jason Bay hit zero home runs at Comerica Park. 1992 saw Barry Bonds hit a measly 2 homers out of Jack Murphy Stadium. And in 1990, Bobby Bonilla put up a goose egg in Wrigley. (It’s worth noting that there were only 5 home runs hit in that entire derby combined. Ryne Sandberg lead the way with 3.)

2012 Home Run Derby participants (Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City):

National League
Matt Kemp, OF, LAD
HR this season: 12
Career high: 39 (2011)
Prior HR Derby results: last in 2011, 2 total HRs

Carlos Beltran, OF, STL
HR this season: 20
Career high: 41 (2006)
Prior HR Derby results: None

Carlos Gonzalez, OF, COL
HR this season: 17
Career high: 34 (2010)
Prior HR Derby results: None

Andrew McCutchen, OF, PIT
HR this season: 18
Career high: 23 (2011)
Prior HR Derby results: None

American League
Robinson Cano, 2B, NYY
HR this season: 20
Career high: 29 (2010)
Prior HR Derby results: 2011 Champion, 32 total HRs

Mark Trumbo, 3B, LAA
HR this season: 22
Career high: 29 (2011)
Prior HR Derby results: None

Prince Fielder, 1B, DET
HR this season: 15
Career high: 50 (2007)
Prior HR Derby results: 2009 Champion, 23 total HRs, 2007 6th place, 3 total HRs

Jose Bautista, OF, TOR
HR this season: 27
Career high: 54 (2010)
Prior HR Derby results: 2011 6th place, 4 total HRs

Roster Moves

A few late breaking roster moves before today’s game:

RHP Bryan Morris has been recalled from AAA. IF Jordy Mercer was optioned back down. Makes sense to send down Mercer since he hasn’t been playing at all. Morris is the last player left from the Jason Bay trade. He’ll be an extra arm in the bullpen.

IF Drew Sutton was claimed off of waivers. He’ll be the 25th man on the roster so Jordy Mercer can play every day in the minors. Sutton was part of the organization for about 24 hours last month when he was acquired from the Braves, then dealt to Tampa.

Dejan Kovacevic says that Morris is in town and available today, while Sutton will not arrive in time.

RHP Charlie Morton has been transferred to the 60-day DL to make space on the 40 man roster.

Today’s game starts at, well, now. Justin Verlander vs. Kevin Correia as the Pirates go for the sweep.

Series Preview: The Mets

Current record: 19-22, 3rd place in NL Central, 3.0 games back

Up Next: New York Mets, 22-19, 4th place in NL East, 5.5 games back

Season Series: 0-0, First time playing.

Notes: The Mets come to the ‘Burgh for the only time this season. New York features a decent offense and below average pitching staff. If the Pirates can get to the Mets’ bullpen early they stand a good chance to win some games.

Familiar Faces: Ronny Cedeno, Jason Bay (DL), Miguel Batista (DL).

Probable Pitchers
Monday: LH Johan Santana (1-2, 43.2 IP, 46 K, 2.89 ERA, 1.17 WHIP)
vs. LH Erik Bedard (2-5, 41.0 IP, 44 K, 3.07 ERA, 1.34 WHIP)

Santana has been very effective this year, but has not been able to go deep into games. Bedard’s numbers have been slowly creeping up after his stellar start.

Tuesday: RH R.A. Dickey (5-1, 50.1 IP, 40 K, 3.75 ERA, 1.23 WHIP)
vs. RH James McDonald (3-2, 50.1 IP, 50 K, 2.68 ERA, 1.01 WHIP)

Hopefully the knuckler won’t be knuckling, or the Pirates’ free-swing ways could doom them here. J-Mac took a no-no into the sixth inning in his last start.

Wednesday: LH Jon Niese (2-2, 42.2 IP, 39 K, 4.85 ERA, 1.38 WHIP)
vs. RH Charlie Morton (2-4, 39.1 IP, 24 K, 4.35 ERA, 1.47 WHIP)

I have nothing to say about Jon Niese. Totally non-descript pitcher. I guess he’s lefthanded though. That’s something.

No lineups yet.

Tuesday Trade Tree – Damaso Marte: Act I

My first trade tree was about the Jason Bay trade. Since it was the first one I did I hadn’t worked out all of the ground rules I now use, such as including every instance a player appeared with the franchise, even if it wasn’t directly related to the original trade I was working on. Damaso Marte was an below average left handed reliever for the Pirates in 2006 and a pretty good one in 2007 and 2008 before he was sent to the Yankees with Xavier Nady for Jose Tabata, Jeff Karstens, Daniel McCutchen and Ross Ohlendorf. Marte’s rookie year with the team was in 2001 when he was acquired from the Yankees for Enrique Wilson. Before the next season began he was flipped to the White Sox for a younger, right handed reliever, Matt Guerrier. Pirates Prospects’ John Dreker has all the details on that trade in today’s This Date in Pirates History, but here’s the visual guide.

I had high hopes for the Wil Cordero trade, as I’m sure others did too. It seemed like Wilson was a highly thought of shortstop prospect at the time, so getting him and a young outfielder for a mediocre veteran looked great. Alas, it was not meant to be.

Jason Bay’s ex-mates

Listening to the Pirates game last night I head the announcer say that this was Jason Bay‘s first appearance versus his old teammates. Certainly it was his first time facing the Pirates since the July 31, 2008 trade, but how many current Pirates were on that team that he left behind?

Just three*: Paul Maholm, Evan Meek and Ryan Doumit.

Meek pitched the 7th inning last night but didn’t face Bay. Doumit is on the DL and out for a month. Maholm is scheduled to pitch Thursday’s day game. Unless there’s a Meek/Bay matchup tonight, that will be Jason’s first appearance against an “ex-mate.”

*Jeff Karstens was acquired five days earlier but didn’t make his Pirates debut until August 1. Karstens won’t pitch in this series.

Trimming the trees

I’ve gone back and edited the Jason Bay and Freddy Sanchez trade tree posts, adding color and adjusting the format to match later posts.

Also, many thanks to The Common Man of The Platoon Advantage, who told me where to easily get draft pick compensation information for free agents that leave the organization. With that, I added an appendix to the Doug Drabek branch of the Milt May post.

All transaction information I use comes from Baseball-Reference.com. Check back on Thursday for a new trade tree!

Hansen Released, Jason Bay Trade Chart

Today the Pirates released Craig Hansen, who has pitched 22 innings in the past two years due to a nerve injury in his shoulder. This has brought about some haranguing about the Jason Bay trade since the Pirates currently have no major league players to show for the deal. Here is the trade mentioned, with the current status (as related to the Pirates) for each player.

Basic view of the Jason Bay trade.

But that’s not the whole story. Bay didn’t just appear out of thin air; he was acquired in a trade for Brian Giles, who was acquired in a trade for Ricardo Rincon. If you step back far enough things get pretty interesting. Here is the entire chart of players traded or signed that went into the acquisition of Jason Bay, or were spoils of a related trade. It is a large graphic, so please click on the image to see the whole thing.

For Ricardo Rincon, Rob Mackowiak and Roberto Hernandez the Pirates now have three major leaguers, one depth pitcher and one good prospect. They also had five seasons of Brian Giles, five of Jason Bay, three of Oliver Perez, two of Xavier Nady and two and a half of Damaso Marte. Not a bad haul for two relief pitchers and a 53rd round draft pick.

UPDATE 5/17: Updated the chart to match the formatting of later charts.

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