Catching up on a few things:
-Daniel McCutchen was optioned to AAA after last night’s loss. The move clears room for the addition of Sean Gallagher, who the Pirates acquired yesterday for cash from the San Diego Padres. The Pirates don’t need a fifth starter until Tuesday, July 20th, due to the All-Star break, which is why they can go with the extra bullpen arm.
McCutchen isn’t eligible to return to the majors until July 28th, which means that someone else will take over as the fifth starter following the All-Star break. That someone else will likely be Zach Duke, who is currently rehabbing in AA. This all means that Justin Thomas is most likely safe on the roster for a few more weeks.
-Speaking of rehabbing, Steve Pearce will be out until August with a knee injury. Pearce was nearing the end of a rehab assignment in AAA, and was almost called up to the majors before suffering this new injury. The new injury could keep him out of the majors until September call-ups come around, although that’s just a guess on my part.
-Bryan Morris has been named to the future’s game, joining Gorkys Hernandez as the representatives from the Pirates. Morris will pitch for the US squad. Morris makes his next scheduled start tonight, so it’s unlikely that he pitches in the game, as he would be going on three days rest.
-Here is a great article from Pat at WHYGAVS on the current dilemma facing the Pirates: lose at a horrible pace and get an amazing draft prospect in Anthony Rendon (while crushing all the hopes and dreams of your fan base), or do a little bit better to give your fans some hope, but miss out on a guy who could play a big role in the lineup in a few years. I say go for Rendon. Right now it seems tough, but that’s because we’re in the moment.
Just think, in 2008 if the Pirates had lost nine more games, we’d have Stephen Strasburg pitching in the majors right now. The Pirates only won 67 games that year. Sure, a 100+ loss season would be embarrassing, but wouldn’t the payoff of Strasburg two years later be worth it? That’s kind of the same situation with Rendon. It would be embarrassing to have a 100+ loss season this year, but Rendon could be in the majors by June 2013, which is coincidentally right around the optimistic ETA for Jameson Taillon, and still with a few years of Pedro Alvarez, Andrew McCutchen, Garrett Jones, and Jose Tabata together. That would be a great team to follow, and would make us cherish the 100+ loss season that made it all possible.