Pulling for Eldred
I will unabashedly admit that I want Brad Eldred to make the team. He’ll be 27 during this season and probably won’t ever be a superstar. But is there anybody in camp this year who has been more overlooked than he? I say no. After hitting 38 homers in high A and AA in 2004, he cracked 40 homers between AA, AAA and Pittsburgh in 2005. For a club that had finished no better than 10th in the NL in homers between 2002 and 2005, you would think the Bucco brass would take notice. Instead, they noted that Eldred had struggled in his ML stint and they acquired a hometown veteran to man first base for 2006, relegating Eldred to AAA
We know what happened. The Pirates got a typical 1/2 season of hitting and niceness from Sean Casey and then shipped him to Detroit for a minor league middle reliever. Eldred had a lost year, missing most of it with a hand injury.
With everybody, including me, clamoring for a left handed power bat, the Pirates wisely acquired Adam LaRoche to play first in 2007. Once again, Eldred is seemingly odd man out.
So what does his early Spring Training power display mean? Probably not much for two reasons:
1. It is only Spring Training and
2. Bobby Hill once hit five Spring Training taters in 2004
While it might not translate into an actual spot on the roster, it at least shows me that Eldred has decided, to paraphrase poet Dylan Thomas, to rage against the dying of his career.