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.

September Call Ups

Now that the rosters have expanded, the Pirates called up the following players:

Eric Fryer, C
Fryer will serve as the 3rd catcher, allowing Michael McKenry or Rod Barajas to pinch hit on the days they don’t start.

Justin Wilson, LHP
Wilson has been great as a starter in the minors but will serve as an additional lefty arm out of the bullpen.

Jeff Locke, LHP
Locke will take over for Erik Bedard in the starting rotation. Management wants to get a good look at him so he will presumably stay there for the rest of the regular season.

Chris Leroux, RHP
Leroux can start or relieve and will be an extra long man out of the pen.

Brock Holt, SS
Holt has been killing the ball to the tune of .344/.406/.453 at AA and AAA this year after a down year last season at Altoona. He might see some time at 2B while Neil Walker is hurt.

Cardinals Wrap Up

Scores:
Friday: 4-3 Loss vs St. Louis. Bucs drop a close one. Box score.
Saturday: 9-0 Win vs St. Louis. Big break outs for Pedro, JMac. Box score.
Sunday: 5-0 Win vs St. Louis. Pedro 3 run bomb. Box score.

Season Record: 70-60, 3rd place in NL Central, 9.0 games back

Notes: It didn’t start out great, but this may have been the Pirates’ best combined hitting and pitching in a series all season. Check the totals in the box score below and try to find me better ones in any previous post. Pedro Alvarez could have beat the Cardinals by himself with 3 homers, 2 doubles and 3 singles to knock in 7 and score 5. Andrew McCutchen started putting good wood on the ball again with 5 hits. The first-half James McDonald make a welcome return, posting 7 shutout innings and striking out 6 with only 1 walk. Wandy Rodriguez won his first game as a starter for the Bucs with 6 shutout innings of his own. The bullpen was stellar too with 8 1/3 scoreless innings of their own. Neil Walker missed the entire series with tightness in his lower back. Pittsburgh wins the season series against the Cardinals 8-7.

Combined Box

Pittsburgh AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG OBP
Alvarez, 3B 13 5 8 7 0 3 1 0.615 0.615
McCutchen, A, CF 13 2 5 1 0 1 8 0.385 0.385
Snider, RF 11 3 4 0 2 2 5 0.364 0.462
Barmes, SS 11 0 4 3 0 3 2 0.364 0.364
Jones, G, 1B 11 2 2 2 1 3 5 0.182 0.231
Harrison, 2B 10 1 4 2 0 0 2 0.400 0.417
Tabata, LF 10 2 2 0 3 2 6 0.200 0.385
Barajas, C 8 0 1 0 0 0 5 0.125 0.125
McKenry, C 6 1 2 1 0 2 2 0.333 0.333
Clement, PH 3 1 0 0 0 0 2 0.000 0.000
Burnett, AJ, P 2 0 0 0 0 1 1 0.000 0.000
Rodriguez, W, P 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 0.000 0.000
Sanchez, G, PH 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.000 0.000
McDonald, J, P 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 —- 1.000
  Totals 101 17 32 16 7 17 40 0.317 0.360

Batting
Doubles (6): Barmes (15), McCutchen (24), Alvarez 2 (21), Snider (7), Jones (24)
Triples (1): Snider (1)
Home Runs (3): Alvarez 3 (26)

Baserunning
SB: Snider (2)
CS: McCutchen (11)

Fielding
Errors: Alvarez (21), Barmes (14)
DP: (Barmes-Harrison-Jones), (Alvarez-Harrison-Jones)

Pitching

Pittsburgh IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA WHIP
McDonald, J (W, 12-6) 7.0 2 0 0 1 6 0 0.00 0.43
Rodriguez, W (W, 9-13) 6.0 3 0 0 3 3 0 0.00 1.00
Burnett, AJ (L, 15-5) 5.7 7 4 3 1 3 1 4.76 1.41
Grilli 2.0 1 0 0 0 3 0 0.00 0.50
Watson 2.0 1 0 0 0 2 0 0.00 0.50
Hughes, J 1.3 2 0 0 0 2 0 0.00 1.50
Takahashi 1.0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0.00 0.00
Hanrahan 1.0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0.00 1.00
Resop 1.0 3 0 0 0 1 0 0.00 3.00
  Totals 27.0 20 4 3 5 23 1 1.00 0.93

Transactions: Released LHP Erik Bedard. Recalled SS Chase d’Arnaud.

Dodgers Wrap Up

Scores:
Monday: 5-4 Loss vs. Los Angeles Dodgers. Jones’ 4 hits go for naught. Box score.
Tuesday: 11-0 Loss vs. Los Angeles Dodgers. Horrible game all around. Box score.
Wednesday: 9-3 Loss vs. Los Angeles Dodgers. Not much better. Box score.
Thursday: 10-6 Win vs. Los Angeles Dodgers. Jones’ 2 HR lead the Bucs. Box score.

Season Record: 65-53, 2nd place in NL Central, 6.0 games back

Notes: A third horrible series in a row is capped off by a win in the series finale. Garrett Jones was a beast with a four hit game and a two homer game. He knocked in 10 runs too. Andrew McCutchen was walked five times and scored five runs. Pedro Alvarez had eight strikeouts along with his three extra base hits. Neil Walker had to leave Wednesday’s game early after dislocating his right pinky. Pitching? Eh, let’s not talk about the pitching.

Combined Box

Pittsburgh AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG OBP
Marte, S, LF 18 1 3 0 0 5 6 0.167 0.167
Alvarez, 3B 15 2 4 1 1 8 3 0.267 0.313
Jones, G, RF-1B 13 3 7 10 1 0 2 0.538 0.533
Barmes, SS 13 0 4 4 0 1 5 0.308 0.308
McCutchen, A, CF 12 5 3 1 5 2 3 0.250 0.471
Sanchez, G, 1B 12 2 2 0 0 2 7 0.167 0.167
Walker, 2B 9 0 1 0 0 1 4 0.111 0.111
Mercer, SS, 2B 7 2 1 0 0 2 1 0.143 0.143
Barajas, C 7 1 1 0 1 1 4 0.143 0.250
Snider, PH-RF 6 1 2 0 0 1 3 0.333 0.333
McKenry, C 6 0 1 1 2 2 2 0.167 0.375
Harrison, 3B-2B 4 0 0 0 1 0 0 0.000 0.200
Burnett, AJ, P 3 0 0 0 0 1 1 0.000 0.000
Correia, P 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 0.500 0.500
Karstens, P 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 0.000 0.000
Rodriguez, W, P 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.000 0.000
  Totals 130 17 30 17 11 26 42 0.231 0.291

Batting
Doubles (8): Jones 3 (20), Snider 2 (5), Sanchez 2 (12), Alvarez (17)
Triples (1): Barmes (1)
Home Runs (4): McCutchen (24), Jones 2 (19), Alvarez (22)

Baserunning
SB: Marte (4)
PO: McCutchen

Fielding
Errors: Walker (6), Qualls (2), Harrison (4), Alvarez 2 (20)
PB: Barajas (6)
DP: (Jones-Sanchez)

Pitching

Pittsburgh IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA WHIP
Karstens (L, 4-3) 7.0 7 4 4 1 4 1 5.14 1.14
Burnett, AJ (W, 15-4) 6.7 7 6 6 1 7 2 8.10 1.20
Correia (L, 9-7) 6.0 7 6 5 1 3 0 7.50 1.33
Rodriguez, W (L, 7-12) 5.7 10 5 5 1 1 0 7.94 1.94
Watson (H, 13) 2.3 2 0 0 0 2 0 0.00 0.86
Locke 2.0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 0.50
Grilli 1.7 1 0 0 0 2 0 0.00 0.60
Resop 1.7 5 4 4 0 0 0 21.60 3.00
Cruz, J 1.3 0 1 1 2 0 0 6.75 1.50
Hanrahan 1.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 0.00
Qualls 0.7 5 5 4 1 0 0 54.00 9.00
  Totals 36.0 45 31 29 7 19 3 7.25 1.44

Transactions: Signed 3B Dallas McPherson and assigned him to AAA. Traded RHP Daniel Cabrera to Arizona. Placed RHP Chad Qualls on the bereavement list. Recalled RHP Jared Hughes from AAA. Optioned LHP Jeff Locke to AAA. Recalled IF Yamaico Navarro from AAA.

Walker Injured, Roster Moves

Late update today. Neil Walker dislocated his right pinky finger last night. X-rays came back negative for a fracture and he saw a hand specialist this morning. He has not been placed on the disabled list as of this writing. Yamaico Navarro has been recalled from AAA to provide infield depth and Jeff Locke was optioned to Indy.

In a separate move, Chad Qualls was placed on the bereavement list due to an illness in the family and Jared Hughes was called up from AAA.

Today’s game started at 4pm, as the Pirates try to salvage the series finale with the Dodgers.

Padres Wrap Up

Scores:
Friday: 9-8 Loss vs. San Diego. JMac keeps floundering. Box score.
Saturday: 5-0 Loss vs. San Diego. Bats can’t touch Jason Marquis. Box score.
Sunday: 11-5 Win vs. San Diego. Walker, Barmes lead big comeback. Box score.

Season Record: 64-50, 2nd place in NL Central, 4.5 games back

Notes: The Pirates drop two of three to an inferior opponent in another bad series. James McDonald gave up a six run lead and couldn’t get out of the 5th. The offense was huge on Friday and Sunday but non existant on Saturday. Neil Walker was 5 for 5 with a homer on double Sunday. Clint Barmes had a couple good games including a grand slam.

Combined Box

Pittsburgh AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG OBP
Marte, S, LF 14 0 3 1 1 4 7 0.214 0.267
Walker, 2B 13 2 5 2 1 1 6 0.385 0.429
McCutchen, A, CF 13 2 2 2 1 1 9 0.154 0.214
Alvarez, 3B 11 1 4 2 2 3 4 0.364 0.462
Jones, G, 1B-RF 11 5 3 2 2 1 7 0.273 0.385
Barmes, SS 9 3 4 4 0 2 4 0.444 0.444
Snider, RF 8 1 3 3 1 0 3 0.375 0.444
Barajas, C 8 0 1 1 0 1 2 0.125 0.125
McKenry, C, PH 5 1 1 2 1 1 3 0.200 0.429
Sanchez, G, 1B 4 1 0 0 2 0 1 0.000 0.333
Mercer, SS 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.000 0.000
Bedard, P 2 2 1 0 1 0 0 0.500 0.667
Harrison, SS 2 0 0 0 0 1 1 0.000 0.000
Burnett, AJ, P 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.000 0.000
Resop, P 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.000 0.000
McDonald, J, P 0 1 0 0 2 0 0 —- 1.000
  Totals 106 19 27 19 14 17 47 0.255 0.347

Batting
Doubles (3): Bedard (1), McCutchen (23), Walker (26)
Triples (1): Jones (3)
Home Runs (4): Jones (17), Snider (4), Barmes (6), Walker (14)

Baserunning
SB: Marte (3)

Fielding
Errors: Jones (6), Walker (5), Barmes 2 (11)
DP: (Walker-Sanchez)

Pitching

Pittsburgh IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA WHIP
Burnett, AJ (L, 14-4) 5.7 9 5 4 2 10 2 6.35 1.94
Bedard (W, 7-12) 5.0 5 5 3 4 6 1 5.40 1.80
McDonald, J 4.3 7 7 7 1 4 2 14.54 1.85
Resop 3.0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0.00 0.00
Hughes, J 2.3 1 0 0 0 2 0 0.00 0.43
Qualls 2.0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.00 0.00
Watson (BS, 2)(L, 5-2) 1.7 1 2 2 2 2 1 10.80 1.80
Grilli 1.0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.00 0.00
Hanrahan 1.0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0.00 1.00
Cruz, J 1.0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 1.00
  Totals 27.0 24 19 16 10 29 6 5.33 1.26

Transactions: Activated RHP Juan Cruz from the DL. Optioned RHP Jared Hughes to AAA.

Cubs Wrap Up

Scores:
Monday: 14-4 Loss at Chicago Cubs. Bedard, Resop stink it up. Box score.
Tuesday: 5-0 Win at Chicago Cubs. Burnett CG, SHO, 1 hitter. Box score.
Wednesday: 8-4 Win at Chicago Cubs. Seven straight hits score 5. Box score.

Season Record: 60-44, 2nd place in NL Central, 3.0 games back

Notes: A busy series that saw of lots highs and lows. Erik Bedard and Chris Resop had horrible innings on Monday. A.J. Burnett took a no-hitter into the 8th on Tuesday. Casey McGehee grounded into a double play in what turned out to be his final at bat as a Pirate. Neil Walker knocked in five runs – including a grand slam – on Tuesday. Joel Hanrahan pitched for the first time in a week and gave up a cycle to the first four betters he faced, then struck out the side. In their Pirate debuts, Gaby Sanchez had no hits but saw a lot of pitches and took a walk, and Travis Snider had three hits and scored three runs.

Combined Box

Pittsburgh AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG OBP
Marte, S, LF 14 1 4 2 0 5 3 0.286 0.286
McCutchen, A, CF 11 5 6 0 3 2 1 0.545 0.643
Alvarez, 3B 10 0 4 0 3 4 3 0.400 0.538
Barmes, SS 10 1 2 1 2 1 7 0.200 0.333
Jones, G, 1B 9 3 4 3 2 1 4 0.444 0.545
McKenry, C 9 1 3 5 0 2 4 0.333 0.333
Snider, RF 9 3 3 0 1 2 3 0.333 0.400
Walker, 2B 6 2 2 5 0 0 5 0.333 0.333
Harrison, 2B-3B 6 1 1 0 0 1 2 0.167 0.167
Presley, RF, PH 5 0 0 0 0 0 5 0.000 0.000
Burnett, AJ, P 4 0 0 0 0 4 0 0.000 0.000
Barajas, C 3 0 0 0 1 1 3 0.000 0.250
Karstens, P 2 0 0 0 0 2 2 0.000 0.000
Sanchez, G, 1B 2 0 0 0 1 1 2 0.000 0.333
Bedard, P 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.000 0.000
McGehee, PH 1 0 0 0 0 0 3 0.000 0.000
Sutton, 2B 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.000 0.000
Watson, P 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 0.000 0.000
  Totals 104 17 29 16 13 28 48 0.279 0.359

Batting
Doubles (4): Alvarez (16), McCutchen 2 (21), Jones (16)
Home Runs (3): Walker (11), Marte (2), McKenry (10)

Baserunning
SB: Marte (2), Alvarez (1)
CS: Presley (5)

Fielding
Errors: Alvarez (15)

Pitching

Pittsburgh IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA WHIP
Burnett, AJ(W, 13-3) 9.0 1 0 0 2 8 0 0.00 0.33
Karstens(W, 4-2) 5.0 3 1 1 1 4 1 1.80 0.80
Bedard(L, 5-12) 4.3 7 9 8 2 7 2 16.62 2.08
Watson(H, 11) 3.0 3 1 1 0 4 0 3.00 1.00
Hughes, J(H, 10) 1.3 1 0 0 1 1 0 0.00 1.50
Resop(H, 6) 1.3 5 4 4 0 0 1 27.00 3.75
Grilli 1.0 1 0 0 0 2 0 0.00 1.00
Hanrahan 1.0 5 3 3 0 3 1 27.00 5.00
  Totals 26.0 26 18 17 6 29 5 5.88 1.23

Transactions: Traded RHP Brad Lincoln to Toronto for RF Travis Snider. Recalled RHP Daniel McCutchen from AAA. Designated OF/IF Drew Sutton for assignment. Traded OF Gorkys Hernandez to Miami for 1B Gaby Sanchez and minor league RHP Kyle Kaminska. Traded 1B Casey McGehee to New York Yankees for RHP Chad Qualls. Optioned RHP Daniel McCutchen to AAA.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 285 other followers