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Buccos' chances?

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Buccos' chances?

Unread postby johnnyo » Wed Jan 31, 2007 7:08 am

Since I haven't followed baseball very closely since the early 90's, can anyone enlighten me as to the Pirates' chances of playing .500 ball this year? I've been hearing good things about some moves they've made this off-season.
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Unread postby Guest » Wed Jan 31, 2007 8:06 am

Do they still have a team?
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Unread postby swerb » Wed Jan 31, 2007 9:16 am

While the Consigliere and others can speak better on this than me, I know they have done a good job with the minor league system, and alot of their upper end prospects helped contribute late last year. IIRC, they played over .500 ball after the All-Star break.

They pretty much resigned all their own free agents. Chacon, Nady, Freddy Sanchez, Castillo, Damaso Marte out of the pen.

And they traded their closer Mike Gonzalez to the Braves for 1b Adam LaRoche, who put up some pretty good power numbers last year.

.500 is reasonable, and it appears things are finally at least trending in the right direction for the Pirates.
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Unread postby leadpipe » Wed Jan 31, 2007 4:35 pm

A Major league baseball team in a mid/small market, with no revenue. Good Luck.
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Unread postby pup » Wed Jan 31, 2007 4:47 pm

Like the Pirates this year.

The bullpen had some very young good arms in it last year with Capps, Grabow and Marte. If Torres can pitch early in the year like he did at the end of 06, thier bullpen will be very good. He tends to be a slow starter, so Capps could end up closing, which is not all that bad. He is a horse.

The lineup has a nice look to it, with Nady, LaRoche, and Bay in the middle. Hopefully they go with Freddy Sanchez in the 2 hole and drop Jack Wilson down to the 8 slot. Of course, they need Duffy to fulfill some of his potential at the top of the order.

The rotation, as is the case with most teams, needs to fall into place. Between Duke and Maholm, that is a good start from the left side of the hill. They need Chacon to be solid, and Gorzelanny to finish out the rotation. Snell is a dark horse All star in my book. Has all the stuff, just needs to be refined a little.

Of course, they have to pass Houston, St. Louis and the Cub$, and the Brew Crew is not all that bad.

If you put them in the West, I would say they could make a run, but in that division, for at least one more year, the .500 mark should be the goal.
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Unread postby consigliere » Wed Jan 31, 2007 5:10 pm

I don't follow the other teams in baseball much. Following the Indians and their 6 farm teams takes up 95% of my time that I generally don't see any other games or follow them....especially the NL teams. (This is why I'd be a horrible fantasy player Rich). :mrgreen:

That said, the Pirates don't appear to be on the cusp of turning their franchise around anytime soon. Contrary to what Swerb said, their minor leasgue system is bad. And has been bad since the early 90s. Currently, their system is ranked #19 in baseball for 2007, and in the last 5 years they have been in the 18-22 range. Not a very strong system at all.

I do like the kid Andrew McCutchon though.
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Unread postby leadpipe » Thu Feb 01, 2007 12:45 am

The ranking of overall minor league systems is shoddy at best. It hasn't had any correlation to what teams have done at the major league level. So many variables unaccounted for. The Brewers for example ranked as high as number one a few years back and, well, you see what it got them.
Does a team draft more collegiates? What is your percentage of top level prospects that remain healthy? Give me a .500 AA team with two studs that stay healthy and fufill their promise over a championship minor league team that has several mid-level prospects any time.

Bottom line is in a mid market with zero revenue lightning needs to strike.
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Unread postby consigliere » Thu Feb 01, 2007 1:02 am

The problem is, for a low-budget team, you have to have a good minor league system. The rankings are arbitrary....but they give a general sense of what kind of a talent a team has.

There is a big difference in talent for the teams with top systems and the ones in the bottom half. Look at the Indians #1 class in 2003 and who they pumped out....the Angels in 2005 and how loaded they are....the Diamondbacks last year. In some cases the rankings prove inaccurate, but collectively the correlation is definitely there with the top ranked teams being the "haves" and the bottom ranked teams the "have less."

FWIW, I checked over the Bucs prospect listings for 2007.....definitely some question marks there and the system is littered with players with limited ceilings and significant injury issues. Also, they have a serious gap of high level prospects in the upper minors as 11 of their top 12 prospects started in A ball last year.....and most will be in AA this year....which means that almost all of these guys (sans McCutchon) probably won't sniff the majors until sometime in 2008.

They do have the potential makings of a good club in 2008/2009 if things go well though....but as for this year, don't expect an influx of talent from the farm system.
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Unread postby pup » Thu Feb 01, 2007 10:15 am

That is why my post did not mention minor leaugers. He did not ask about them, he asked about the important players, you know the Major Leaguers. How can you write a team off in 2007 based on their minor league depth?

Their lineup is solid. Their rotation is decent. Their bullpen could be great. That is what matters, unless you are an Indians fan.

Damn, I am in one shitty mood this AM. That post is probably uncalled for. :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil:
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Unread postby consigliere » Thu Feb 01, 2007 10:30 am

Well, my point is I don't see much they have this year to build on from last year.....no talent from the minors that will impact the team like a Howie Kendrick, Sizemore, Joe Mauer, etc.

Without looking, I believe they didn't do much in FA, and outside of the Mike Gonzo trade for LaRoche, didn't do much else. So, they don't have much in the way of FA acquistions or impact minor leaguers being added this year to supplement the team....which to me makes me feel that target for 2007 is probably what they did last year (as you said). Of course, teams do play above/below expectations as a season plays out.....but I think right now 2007 is another year of development in the hopes the farm system bears fruit late in the year or at the start of 2008.
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Unread postby pup » Thu Feb 01, 2007 11:08 am

Well, their OF gets the addition of Nady for a full year, plus adding a left handed power hitter in LaRoche will go a long way in that stadium. There rotation is a year older/more experienced. I'm not saying they are winning the World Series, but talent wise, they are light years ahead of a couple years ago.
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Unread postby leadpipe » Thu Feb 01, 2007 5:46 pm

I would rather have Gonzalez than Laroche
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Unread postby pup » Thu Feb 01, 2007 5:53 pm

Not I. They have several very good arms in their bullpen, to where he was expendable. What they do not have is any left handed power, until now. LaRoche goes a long way to balancing their everyday lineup and is a GG caliber 1st baseman.

The Braves soured on him because, their bullpen last year made ours look unhittable, LaRoche does not have the "Braves attitude", and they felt they have another guy who can step in.

What good is a closer if you can't get the lead to get him the ball?
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Unread postby leadpipe » Fri Feb 02, 2007 1:08 am

I was just stating who I thought was a better player. I understand what you saying for the respective teams, however, what good is a closer if you can't get him the ball I don't understand, on a couple levels, 1. It becomes MORE important to protect the leads you do have. There are great closers with many saves on lousy teams every year. Some guys made careers out of it (Lee Smith) and 2. Can you go into the season with a defeatist attitude like that?
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Unread postby pup » Fri Feb 02, 2007 8:46 am

Sure, it becomes more important to prtoect the leads you do have, but they are very confident in the trio of Grabow, Capps and Torres to fill the closer void.

I do not see it as a defeatist attitude at all. They had to add offense. They had ZERO LH power in their lineup. LaRoche fills a huge void, a void they had no other way to fill. The defeatist attitude would be more if they had just stuck with the biggest strength and not tried to improve in other areas.

They could have gone into 2007 with roughly the same team as they finished '06 with. Another year of experience for everyone but pretty much the same team. That did not work out so well. So you take a position of strength, weaken it to the point that you think it is still a strength, but add a missing piece.

I think they have done some of the best work over the last couple years of building in the major leagues. I don't follow the minors like Consig, so if he says they are still weak down there, then they have some work to do. As far as major league talent goes, they have turned FA to be Roberto Hernandez and Mike Gonzales into Xavier Nady and Adam LaRoche. Now they have some protection for Jason Bay.

Just added Tony Armas Jr. to the rotation. That is another good signing for them. It probably won't be this year, but the Pirates are making a lot of good moves and will pass the Brewers for the "little team that could" title in the NL Central.
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Unread postby johnnyo » Fri Feb 02, 2007 3:06 pm

Thanks to everyone for their input. I just need 3 or 4 weeks to digest all this info.
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Unread postby pup » Fri Feb 02, 2007 3:53 pm

I just need 3 or 4 weeks to digest all this info


Just in time for spring training!
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Unread postby swerb » Mon Feb 19, 2007 9:49 pm

http://www.theonion.com/content/news_br ... ins_making

Pirates GM Begins Making Frantic, Haphazard Moves After Realizing It's Almost Spring Training

PITTSBURGH—While watching the noon edition of SportsCenter in his pajamas Tuesday, an alarmed Pirates GM Doug Littlefield suddenly realized that spring training was just one week away and he had yet to make a single offseason transaction. "Shit shit shit—what do we need? Hitters? Pitchers? Pitchers. Can never have enough pitching. Who's a pitcher? Let's see, Randy Johnson, Roy Oswalt, Tom Glavine—wait, wasn't there some Japanese guy now who's good?" Littlefield reportedly said as he went to go put on pants, started running the shower, and picked up the phone to call his assistant. "Who's still available… A… A… Armas. Tony Armas Jr. Wait, is he already on the Pirates? No, that's Shawn Chacon. Good, that's one. Think, think: Who else is there in baseball?" Littlefield spent the next hour trying to figure out where the Pirates normally hold spring training before making the last-minute decision to send half the team to Arizona and the other half to Florida.
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Unread postby pup » Wed Feb 28, 2007 4:54 pm

Home Run Leaders as RHB 5/7/13

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Unread postby leadpipe » Tue Mar 06, 2007 1:59 am

Pup, the over/under for Bucs wins this year sits at 70.5. A good number for Pirate fans
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Unread postby pup » Tue Mar 06, 2007 10:01 am

If I was a betting man, I would take the over and feel very confident.

The rest of the division has stepped back and they have stepped forward.
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Unread postby pup » Tue Apr 03, 2007 2:33 pm

2 and counting!
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Unread postby swerb » Thu Apr 12, 2007 1:09 pm

This freaking division, already. Every year ....

Cincinnati 5-4
Milwaukee 5-4
St Louis 5-4
Pittsburgh 4-5
Chicago 3-5
Houston 3-5
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