Marlon Byrd Trade Tree

Finally, the Pirates make a move to upgrade their offense, acquiring Marlon Byrd and John Buck from the Mets.

Marlon  Byrd Trade Tree

Byrd is having the best season of his 12 year career and should go to the playoffs for the first time. He slots in at RF and will push Jose Tabata to the bench when Starling Marte is healthy.

I don’t see Tony Sanchez being sent down, so Buck looks like he’ll be a 3rd catcher. His presence will give Clint Hurdle the peace of mind to use Russell Martin or Tony off of the bench when they aren’t starting.

The team hasn’t announced a corresponding roster move and I wouldn’t expect them to before tomorrow. I’d probably send down Pie and a pitcher. You don’t need as many pitchers in the playoffs and they have plenty of DL spots to play with to get whoever they want active.

The Pirates Will Do Very Little This Offseason And That’s Okay.

What will happen this off-season:

In the OF: Nothing. Andrew McCutchen is rightfully entrenched in center. Starling Marte is ready for a fulltime job. Travis Snider gets first crack at right field. Alex Presley and Jose Tabata provide depth.

In the IF: Nothing. Pedro Alvarez, Clint Barmes and Neil Walker are set at third, short and second. Garrett Jones and Gaby Sanchez will platoon at first.

Behind the plate: A partner for Michael McKenry will be picked up. It won’t be Russell Martin if his price is really 4 yrs/$40M. I don’t know how much A.J. Pierzynski is looking for. Toronto (J.P. Arencibia/Travis d’Arnaud/John Buck) and Boston (Ryan Lavarnway/Jarrod Saltalamacchia/David Ross) both have catching depth to spare. Trading with one of those teams seems like the best option.

On the mound: A.J. Burnett/Wandy Rodriguez/James McDonald will head the rotation. After that things are in flux. Jeff Karstens will be in the mix if he’s tendered a contract. Look for the team to add one starter making $8-10M/year. Kyle McPherson and Jeff Locke will fill the back-end or provide depth.

In the Bullpen: This is where the most change will happen. Joel Hanrahan, Tony Watson and Jared Hughes will be there. Every other spot is up for grabs. This is OK because reliever performance can vary wildly from year to year. Bullpens are also one of the easiest pieces of the team to build on the cheap. For those same reasons, it’s also possible that Hanrahan could be traded if another team is willing to give up a solid catcher or starting pitcher.

So that’s it. The Pirates will sign or otherwise acquire a catcher, a starting pitcher and a slew of relievers.

What else was to be expected? The major moves were made in July – Wandy Rodriguez and Travis Snider.

There aren’t any obvious bargains to be had on the free agent market. Look closely at that list and you’ll find that each player falls into one of three categories: old, bad or prohibitively expensive. Any significant improvement will have to come via the trade route. If they could swing a trade for Giancarlo Stanton or Wil Myers or a shortstop with half a bat to go with this glove it would be beyond great, but I just can’t see a deal like that happening. This is your 2013 Pirates team. And it looks a whole lot like the 2012 team.

Brewers Wrap Up

Scores:
Friday: 6-5 Loss vs Milwaukee. Late rally falls short. Box score.
Saturday: 4-0 Win vs Milwaukee. Team effort breaks 4 game skid. Box score.
Sunday: 7-0 Loss vs Milwaukee. Bedard falls apart in the 4th, 5th. Box score.

Season Record: 68-59, 3rd place in NL Central, 8.0 games back

Notes: Another tough series. You can’t expect to win more than one game when you only score 9 runs though. No one stepped up and carried the offense. Someone please make Jose Tabata stop running when he gets on base. Hisanori Takahashi pitched a clean inning in his Pirates debut. Jeff Karstens tweaked his groin after seven excellent innings but isn’t expected to miss any time.

Combined Box

Pittsburgh AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG OBP
Walker, 2B 13 1 1 1 0 2 4 0.077 0.077
McCutchen, A, CF 11 1 1 2 2 4 6 0.091 0.231
Alvarez, 3B 10 0 3 0 1 5 3 0.300 0.364
Snider, RF-LF 10 1 2 1 3 3 2 0.200 0.385
Jones, G, 1B-RF 10 1 2 0 2 4 2 0.200 0.333
Barajas, C 7 1 3 1 0 3 1 0.429 0.429
Tabata, LF 7 2 2 1 1 1 0 0.286 0.375
Barmes, SS 6 0 0 0 0 2 4 0.000 0.000
Harrison, SS 5 0 2 0 0 0 2 0.400 0.400
Sanchez, G, PH-1B 4 0 0 0 0 4 2 0.000 0.000
McKenry, C 3 1 2 2 1 1 2 0.667 0.750
Karstens, P 3 1 1 1 0 1 0 0.333 0.333
Clement, 1B 3 0 0 0 0 2 5 0.000 0.000
Bedard, P 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 0.000 0.000
Rodriguez, W, P 2 0 0 0 0 2 1 0.000 0.000
Mercer, PH 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.000 0.000
  Totals 97 9 19 9 10 34 36 0.196 0.271

Batting
Doubles (5): Snider (6), Alvarez (19), McKenry (11), Tabata (16), Jones (23)
Home Runs (1): Barajas (9)

Baserunning
CS: Tabata (12), McCutchen (10)

Fielding
Errors: Barmes 2 (13)
DP: (Barmes-Walker-Jones), (Rodriguez-Barajas-Jones), (Alvarez-Walker-Jones) 2, (Walker-Sanchez)

Pitching

Pittsburgh IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA WHIP
Karstens(W, 5-3) 7.0 7 0 0 0 4 0 0.00 1.00
Rodriguez, W(L, 8-13) 6.7 6 3 3 4 3 0 4.05 1.50
Bedard(L, 7-14) 4.7 6 6 6 2 3 2 11.57 1.71
Correia 2.3 4 1 1 1 0 0 3.86 2.14
Hanrahan 2.0 2 0 0 1 1 0 0.00 1.50
Qualls 1.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 0.00
Takahashi 1.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 0.00
Resop 1.0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0.00 2.00
Grilli(H, 28) 0.7 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.00 0.00
Watson(H, 14) 0.3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 0.00
Hughes, J 0.3 2 3 3 1 0 0 81.00 9.00
  Totals 27.0 28 13 13 10 12 2 4.33 1.41

Transactions: Activated IF Jordy Mercer from the paternity leave list. Optioned RHP Daniel McCutchen to AAA. Called up 1B Jeff Clement from AAA. Optioned IF/OF Yamaico Navarro to AAA. Claimed LHP Hisanori Takahashi off waivers from Los Angeles Angels. Placed RHP Chad Qualls on the 15-Day disabled list.

Cardinals Wrap Up

Scores:
Friday: 2-1 Win at St Louis. JMac comes back. Box score.
Saturday: 5-4 Loss at St Louis. Lots of missed chances. Box score.
Sunday: 6-3 Win at St Louis. Pirates on the good side of 19 inning game. Box score.

Season Record: 67-54, 2nd place in NL Central, 6.5 games back

Notes: The Bucs had their best pitching of any series this month. Not coincidentally, they won their first series this month. James McDonald and Jeff Karstens were effective and efficient. The bullpen put up 12 scoreless innings in yesterday’s 19 inning affair. Stepping up big were Chris Resop (3.0 IP), Jared Hughes, Kevin Correia and Wandy Rodriguez (2.0 IP each.) Jose Tabata had a nice day at the plate after bring called up for the injured Starling Marte, but made outs on the basepaths all three times he reached. The Fort was finally cooled off, going 0 for 13. Pedro Alvarez had the big hit on Sunday, hitting a solo homer to give the Pirates the lead in the 19th inning. Andrew McCutchen would knock in two more insurance runs before the inning was over. Pittsburgh looked better than they had in weeks while taking two of three from their division rival.

Combined Box

Pittsburgh AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG OBP
McCutchen, A, CF 15 1 3 4 3 7 9 0.200 0.368
Jones, G, 1B-RF 13 0 4 2 0 5 8 0.308 0.286
Barmes, SS 13 3 3 0 1 6 7 0.231 0.286
Alvarez, 3B 13 1 3 1 3 5 5 0.231 0.412
McKenry, C 13 0 0 0 0 3 8 0.000 0.000
Mercer, 2B-SS 11 1 4 2 0 1 4 0.364 0.417
Snider, RF 11 1 3 0 2 1 1 0.273 0.385
Harrison, 2B-RF 9 0 3 1 1 2 3 0.333 0.364
Tabata, LF 7 1 2 0 1 1 4 0.286 0.375
Marte, S, LF 6 1 2 0 0 0 0 0.333 0.429
Sanchez, G, 1B 6 1 2 0 0 2 2 0.333 0.333
Barajas, C 4 0 0 0 1 2 3 0.000 0.200
Navarro, LF, PH 4 0 0 0 0 0 3 0.000 0.000
McDonald, J, P, PH 3 1 1 0 0 0 0 0.333 0.333
Bedard, P 2 0 0 0 0 2 4 0.000 0.000
Karstens, P 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 0.000 0.000
Walker, PH 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 0.000 0.000
  Totals 132 12 30 10 12 38 63 0.227 0.307

Batting
Doubles (6): Alvarez (18), Mercer 2 (5), Sanchez (13), Jones (21), Tabata (14)
Triples (1): Harrison (4)
Home Runs (1): Alvarez (23)

Baserunning
CS: Tabata 2 (11)
PO: Marte, Tabata

Fielding
Errors: Karstens (1)
DP: (Mercer-Barmes-Jones), (Alvarez-Mercer-Jones), (Bedard-Barmes)

Pitching

Pittsburgh IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA WHIP
Karstens 7.0 2 2 2 1 4 0 2.57 0.43
McDonald, J (W, 11-5) 6.0 2 0 0 3 7 0 0.00 0.83
Bedard (L, 7-13) 4.7 9 5 5 3 4 0 9.64 2.57
Hughes, J 4.3 1 0 0 0 3 0 0.00 0.23
Resop (H, 8) 3.7 4 1 1 0 3 0 2.45 1.09
Cruz, J (H, 14) (BS, 1) 2.3 5 1 1 0 1 0 3.86 2.14
Grilli (H, 27) 2.0 0 0 0 0 4 0 0.00 0.00
Rodriguez, W (W, 8-12) 2.0 1 0 0 1 3 0 0.00 1.00
Hanrahan (S, 34) 2.0 0 0 0 3 2 0 0.00 1.50
Correia 2.0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 1.00
  Totals 36.0 26 9 9 11 31 0 2.25 1.03

Transactions: Placed LF Starling Marte on the 15 day DL. Recalled OF Jose Tabata from AAA.

Marte Injured

Left fielder Starling Marte injured his oblique last night and has been placed on the 15 day disabled list. Jose Tabata has been recalled from AAA and is starting in today’s starting lineup.

Astros Wrap Up

Scores:
Monday: 11-2 Win vs Houston. McDonald battles, gets lots of support. Box score.
Tuesday: 8-7 Win vs Houston. Sutton walk off HR. Box score.
Wednesday: 6-4 Win vs Houston. Pirates win #45 in game 81. Box score.
Thursday: 2-0 Win vs Houston. Karstens: 8 very strong innings. Box score.

Season Record: 46-36, 1st place in NL Central, 2.0 games ahead

Notes: A four game sweep puts the Pirates all alone in first place. Five players had at least 5 hits in the series. Pedro Alvarez returned from a lingering leg cramp, but the team lost Alex Presley to a concussion. Joel Hanrahan pitched in the last three games so he will not be available on Friday. He’s been shaky enough lately that I wouldn’t mind seeing him get a few days off. Not counting The Hammer, the rest of the bullpen pitched seven scoreless innings.

Combined Box

Pittsburgh AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG OBP
Sutton, RF, LF 18 3 7 1 0 6 4 0.389 0.389
Jones, G, RF, 1B 16 8 9 7 0 2 7 0.563 0.563
McCutchen, A, CF 15 6 8 3 2 1 5 0.533 0.588
Walker, 2B 15 4 5 3 3 4 4 0.333 0.444
McGehee, 3B, 1B 14 3 6 4 1 3 5 0.429 0.467
Barmes, SS 13 0 2 2 0 2 10 0.154 0.154
McKenry, C 9 0 2 2 0 5 4 0.222 0.273
Presley, LF 7 1 2 0 0 2 1 0.286 0.286
Alvarez, 3B, PH 6 1 2 4 2 2 4 0.333 0.500
Barajas, C 4 0 1 0 0 1 2 0.250 0.250
Harrison, PH-SS 4 0 0 0 0 0 3 0.000 0.000
Hernandez, Go, LF 4 0 0 0 0 1 1 0.000 0.000
Karstens, P 3 1 1 0 0 0 0 0.333 0.333
Fryer, PH 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 0.500 0.500
Burnett, AJ, P 2 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.000 0.000
Correia, P 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 0.000 0.000
McDonald, J, P, PR 2 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.000 0.000
  Totals 136 27 46 26 8 31 52 0.338 0.375

Batting
Doubles (12): McGehee 3 (11), McCutchen (17), Jones 3 (13), Walker 2 (17), McKenry (6), Sutton 2 (9)
Triple (2): Presley (3), Sutton (1)
Home Runs (5): Jones 2 (12), Walker (5), McCutchen (16), Sutton (1)

Baserunning
CS: Walker (2), Sutton (1)
PO: Sutton

Fielding
Errors: McDonald (1)
Double Plays: (Barmes-Walker-Jones) (3), (Walker-Barmes-McGehee) (2), (Barmes-Walker-McGehee)

Pitching

Pittsburgh IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA WHIP
Karstens(W, 2-2) 8.0 4 0 0 1 8 0 0.00 0.63
McDonald, J(W, 8-3) 7.0 4 2 2 5 4 1 2.57 1.29
Correia(W, 5-6) 6.0 6 3 3 2 1 0 4.50 1.33
Burnett, AJ 5.0 12 6 6 2 5 0 10.80 2.80
Hanrahan(BS, 3)(W, 4-0)(S, 21, 22) 3.0 2 2 2 3 0 1 6.00 1.67
Grilli(H, 19, 20) 2.0 0 0 0 0 3 0 0.00 0.00
Hughes, J 2.0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0.00 0.50
Cruz, J 1.0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0.00 0.00
Lincoln(H, 2) 1.0 2 0 0 0 1 0 0.00 2.00
Resop 1.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 0.00
  Totals 36.0 31 13 13 13 25 2 3.25 1.22


Transactions
: Optioned OF Jose Tabata to AAA. Recalled OF Gorkys Hernandez from AAA. Placed LF Alex
Presley on the 7-day concussion DL. Recalled SS Jordy Mercer from AAA
.

Tabata Down, Gorkys Up

In a move that had been rumored for a few days, Jose Tabata was sent down to AAA. Gorkys Hernandez has been called back up to the majors. I’ll have more on this later.

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