Series Preview: The Padres

Current record: 67-54, 2nd place in NL Central, 6.5 games back

Up Next: San Diego Padres, 53-70, 4th place in NL West, 14.5 games back

Season Series: 1-2

Notes: Not a lot new to say since the Bucs played the Padres last weekend and dropped two games. Carlos Quentin and Chase Headley are still their best hitters. The Pirates need to take two out of three to spilt the season series and sweep to win it.

Familiar Faces: None, since Ross Ohlendorf was optioned to AAA last week.

Probable Pitchers
Monday: TBA
vs. RH Edinson Volquez (7-9, 142.0 IP, 133 K, 4.31 ERA, 1.44 WHIP)

The Pirates had to use Wandy Rodriguez in yesterday’s 19 inning game so it remains to be seen who will start tonight. After the game, Kevin Correia volunteered to start even though he had pitched two innings.

Tuesday: RH A.J. Burnett (15-4, 145.0 IP, 126 K, 3.54 ERA, 1.19 WHIP)
vs. RH Jason Marquis (8-11, 122.1 IP, 86 K, 5.30 ERA, 1.46 WHIP)

Matchup-wise, this one is clearly in the Bucs’ favor. The mumbers above include his time in Minnesota, but Marquis has been much better since going to San Diego (6-7, 88.1 IP, 74 K, 4.08 ERA, 1.27 WHIP.)

Wednesday: RH James McDonald (11-5, 147.0 IP, 133 K, 3.61 ERA, 1.19 WHIP)
vs. TBA

McDonald goes out to prove that his last outing was no fluke. Petco Park is a great place to do just that.

No lineup yet.

Series Preview: The Padres

Current record: 63-48, 2nd place in NL Central, 2.5 games back

Up Next: San Diego Padres, 49-64, 4th place in NL West, 12.5 games back

Season Series: First time playing

Notes: The Padres are the last team on the Bucs’ schedule that they have not previously faced this season. Carlos Quentin and Chase Headley lead the offense with OPS’s of .912 and .814. Hot hitting rookie catcher is Yasmani Grandal is injured and will miss the series. The Padres chose not to sell at the trade deadline and signed Quentin and closer Huston Street to contract extensions. One thing this Padres team does very well is steal bases. They have been successful on 99/132 attempts (80%).

Familiar Faces: Ross Ohlendorf

Probable Pitchers
Friday: RH Edinson Volquez (7-8, 135.0 IP, 125 K, 3.73 ERA, 1.36 WHIP)
vs. RH James McDonald (10-5, 136.2 IP, 122 K, 3.42 ERA, 1.19 WHIP)

Saturday: RH Jason Marquis (7-10, 108.2 IP, 78 K, 5.47 ERA, 1.50 WHIP)
vs. RH A.J. Burnett (14-3, 132.2 IP, 109 K, 3.19 ERA, 1.15 WHIP)

Sunday: LH Eric Stults (2-2, 43.0 IP, 21 K, 2.72 ERA, 1.28 WHIP)
vs. LH Erik Bedard (6-12, 111.1 IP, 105 K, 4.53 ERA, 1.40 WHIP)

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.

Searage Shaves Standings

Over to the right, you’ll notice a new feature here on 6-4-3 Putout: The Searage Shaves Standings. Before the season starter James McDonald made a bet with pitching coach Ray Searage. If five Pirates’ starters win ten games each, Ray has to shave his mustache and eyebrows. There are 44 games left so each starter should get about eight more starts. Kevin Correia has already done his part. Jeff Karstens and Charlie Morton should be able to reach the goal fairly easily too. It will be tougher for McDonald and Paul Maholm but the real key here is that the offense needs to score more.

Its unknown what would happen to the bet if another starter like Ross Ohlendorf or Brad Lincoln gets put in the rotation. Both have made starts for the Bucs this year.

Searage has a mighty fine soup strainer, but here’s hoping it bites the dust. He can always grow a new one.

Image courtesy of Bucs Blog (

Monday morning UPDATE: If the offense keeps up their current pace I’ll never have to update this for the rest of the season. Sheesh.


End of year update: Injuries and lack of scoring wrapped this one up early. Here are the final standings.

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.

Bad Breaks

Not a good night for the Pirates or some of their top prospects.

Ross Ohlendorf, still searching for his first win or the season, was perfect through 10 outs, but then got knocked around the second time through the order as the Pirates lost 6-3. Ryan Church was inexplicably the DH while Lastings Milledge played RF. Garrett Jones extended his hit streak to twelve games with a first inning RBI single.

Zach Duke could go on the DL if he can’t make his scheduled side session today.

Last year’s #1 draft pick Tony Sanchez was hit in the face by a pitch and had his jaw broken in two places. Surgery will be required to set the bone. He was also hit in the head by a pitch earlier in the month and missed a week then. Best of luck to Tony on the journey back to solid food.

After conflicting reports on the severity of the injury earlier in the week, it does appear now that Class A infielder Brock Holt will miss the rest of the season with a sprained MCL and a torn meniscus.

Akinori Iwamura and cleared waivers and been optioned to AAA. He has said he will report on Friday.

Last night’s loss also guaranteed that the Pirates will have a losing record in interleague play this year. If memory serves they’ve only had a winning record twice. Still, it would be nice to take this series and the next.