First Pitch: The Pirates Should Call Up Andrew Lambo

Today we wrapped up the first month of the 2014 season in the Pittsburgh Pirates’ farm system by announcing the Player of the Month and the Pitcher of the Month. I originally planned to have First Pitch focus on early season promotion candidates at each level. However, after going through each level, I couldn’t find any “must promote” players in Altoona or West Virginia. That’s not to say that no one is doing well there. It’s just saying that no one from those two teams should be moving up a level right now.

My pick for Bradenton would have been Pat Ludwig, who has been excellent in the rotation in High-A since late last season, and who now doesn’t have a rotation spot with Tyler Glasnow back in the mix.

I decided to scrap the entire system focus, and focus specifically on one player who should be promoted right away.

No. Not Gregory Polanco. I don’t believe he should be brought up before the Super Two deadline.

I’m talking about Polanco’s teammate, who is almost playing as well as Polanco. I’m talking about Andrew Lambo.

Lambo isn’t in the same situation as Polanco. He doesn’t profile as an impact player and a future star a few years down the line. Super Two won’t matter for him, because it’s unlikely that the Pirates will still have him for his biggest arbitration years. Their future outfield involves Polanco in right field, and he could have a future at first base, but right now that spot is held by Ike Davis for a few years. Even if he does reach Super Two status, he won’t cost as much as Polanco, who projects to be an impact player by the time he reaches arbitration.

Currently, Lambo has a .354/.436/.585 line in 82 at-bats. He has broken out of his homerless drought by hitting home runs in back to back games the last two games. He currently has a seven game hitting streak, and in his last ten games he has seven doubles and two homers, with a 1.245 OPS. If it wasn’t for a bad performance during Spring Training, Lambo would currently be in the majors at first base. That’s not to say that he would have been this successful.

A few weeks ago, Ryan Palencer wrote about the adjustments Lambo had been working on since being sent down. Those adjustments seem to be working. The Pirates sent Lambo down so that he could get back on track. Since then, they have added a first baseman, which has moved him back to his usual position as a corner outfielder. Lambo is back on track with his hitting, and one need for the Pirates is in right field. It would make all the sense in the world to call Lambo up now for some immediate help. Travis Snider and Jose Tabata have had a lot of opportunities. You could give them another month before Polanco arrives, but what are you accomplishing? At least if you start Lambo for a month, you finally get a glimpse of what he can do in the majors.

I’d write more about why Lambo should be up, but instead I’ll just stick with the numbers in Triple-A, the adjustments he has made, and the fact that he doesn’t carry the same Super Two implications as Polanco. Beyond that, you should check out Charlie Wilmoth’s article at Bucs Dugout, making the argument for Lambo in the short-term while the team waits for Polanco.

Links and Notes

**Gregory Polanco is the Pirates Prospects Player of the Month For April

**Casey Sadler is the Pirates Prospects Pitcher of the Month For April

**2014 Pirates Draft Prospects: Sean Newcomb, Casey Gillaspie, Spencer Adams, Braxton Davidson. We’ll be running this feature every Thursday, leading up to the draft. The goal is to focus on four players each week who could be in the Pirates’ range.

**Prospect Watch: Joely and Wandy Rodriguez Struggle, Homers For Hanson and Lambo

**Minor League Schedule: Adrian Sampson Looks to Rebound From Poor Start

Tim Williams

Author: Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

Share This Post On
  • bucsws2014

    If Neal is unmovable re Polanco, then why not.

    You just know Snider will eventually end up as a Billy Beane special and become another Brandon Moss.

    • Frank Micko

      Toronto fans said the same thing. It’s not happening.

  • Don S

    Talk about a no brainer! That “first baseman” who the Mets (the Mets!) gave up on is hitting .194 and has had basically one meaningful hit since the first game he played in Pitt when he broke his bat on that grand slam. He has one RBI since. Who will be the odd man out in 6 weeks when Polanco comes up? Snider? He’s hitting .208 and does anyone really think he’s any better than that? Whatever the Pirates are planning on doing when Polanco comes up, do it now and bring up Lambo. Maybe he can’t hit major league pitching, but at least give him a chance. Can he really be any worse than the guys he’d be replacing?

  • Nate James

    I agree Lambo should be given a chance but it is just horrible to see the buccos lose this season on late inning hits by the other team. Granted the offense has been average to below average but the pitching was supposed to be better. Our bullpen has been pedestrian at best! This is a horrible trend and one I am not happy to see. We shouldn’t be 10-18 but more like 13-15 or 14-14. Just bad case scenarios!

    • Y2JGQ2

      No no no no no no! The pitching was not SUPPOSED to be better. Everyone just ASSUMED it would be better because it was good last year. The front office put their head in the sand while overvaluing their talent as they have for the last two decades, and downplaying the need to just go get better talent. Our pitching is fine, our hitting is horrible, and we didn’t upgrade our hitting because we expected our pitching to be best in the world simply because it was last year. Big mistake! Most of the games we were winning, we won by small margins. One run victory are not sustainable at the rate we won them last yearNow we are feeling it, see ya in 2015, this team is basically done on May 1st, we would need to play as well as we did last year for the rest of the season starting now…..just to have a possible shot at the 2nd w/c spot. Sorry guys, this is getting close to a lost season

      • Nate James

        So I agree with some of what you said. The one issue I am talking about is the bullpen. Wandy is a bum and should be released. Morton was playing above himself last year. Cole and liriano, they are solid and volquez has been awesome. The issues I see are with the bullpen. Cumpton pitched very well last night. We had a lead and the bullpen blew it. I am not ready to call the season lost as the brewers are not nearly as good as the record shows and the cards are the only team I see as better. The reds are the reds and will beat themselves instead of the other team. Do I see 94 wins, no but I see us competing. I understand how long the season is and it only takes one big win streak to have people chirping again.

        Only question, with Burnett, would this team be better? I don’t think but it’s one of those lingering questions I have. I still think it was smarter for the team to let him go, but I wouldn’t mind seeing him out there.

        I don’t blame the FO for these woes either. This is on the players.

        • Nickmid13

          If Snider doesn’t try to make that play in RF ‘pretty’, the Pirates
          probably win that game. That was no a difficult play and should have
          been caught. The bullpen blew the game and so did Snider on that play.

          • stickyweb

            Agreed 13, no need to dive on that play and it cost them the game. I’d love to know what % of diving plays actually need the dive. I’m guessing under 20%.

            • leadoff

              Foot first, none, head first some!

  • emjayinTN

    Tim: What is it you are calling him up to do? Should he replace Ike Davis? Travis Snider? We still owe a PTBNL on Davis – do we lose him if he is sent down? He was 2 for 4 in the nightcap and drove in a run. Maybe he will hit better, and maybe he will not hit better, but I think we own him. Do we lose Snider if he is sent down? Do you think our primary problem is not being able to score runs? Do you think our pitching, as presently performing, is our primary problem?

    I am thrilled that Gregory Polanco is doing well and that Andrew Lambo is doing well – both at AAA. But, I do not see either as being the salvation of this 2014 season. This Pirate team is playing badly – just badly enough to lose a lot of close games and it is way too early to start hitting panic buttons. If we score, our pitchers do not seem to be able to stop the other team from scoring. If we get a well pitched game from a SP, we just do not seem to be able to get that clutch hit, or hold a lead late in games. Maybe we cashed in all of the magic for 2 years in 2013, or maybe we just fell back to earth and the reality that nothing comes easy. Either way, IMO, it is way too early to start making non-injury moves from AAA.

    • ecbucs

      I can see bringing Lambo up and guess Snider would be released.

      Snider might be another Brandon Moss but he has just not performed with bat.

    • Y2JGQ2

      Trade or release Snider and/or Tabata. That’s the answer. I like Snider off the bench, I like Tabata as the 4th Outfielder. I suggest actually keeping one less pitcher on the roster and bringing up Lambo, we need better bench depth more than we need 2 long relievers. Let Gomez go.

      • emjayinTN

        Y2: Do not agree that our pitching is fine – I like the efforts of Cole, Cumpton, and Volquez so far, but 2 of the guys we were heavily depending upon are not having good years at all so far. That would be Liriano and Morton. Both had excellent years in 2013, but not so much in 2014. Ground Chuck started very strong like he did last year, but in his last 5 starts he is 0-4, 5.10 ERA, 19K/13W and Liriano in his last 5 starts is 0-3, 4.82 ERA, 24K/11W. Charlie may have deserved better last night. Very strong through 4, but after giving up a leadoff single in the bottom of the 5th, he walked the next batter, Pedro does an E on a bunt attempt, and then instead of the sinking fastballs, he started to elevate his pitches.

        10 of the 18 losses were by 1 or 2 runs, some the fault of poor pitching, some the fault of inconsistent hitting. This is a point where these guys better ride it out and find the cure within themselves. I cannot see advocating any change in the lineup right now.

    • Y2JGQ2

      Emjay- you don’t need to ask Tim- the answers are pretty evident. Our bullpen is at Earth right now as is our starting rotation, and our hitting is bad, and while it will get better, honestly not enough to make a big difference without much better pitching, and I personally believe that right now, we are pitching to our talent level, so i don’t think that’s going to get a whole lot better. The one thing that NEEDs to get better and should, is our defense. By defense, I mean error rate, throwing the ball, catching the ball. I could care less about UZR, we need to make the plays that need to be made, period. We can’t play sloppy baseball, and hope to win games. We can’t have awful base running like Ike Davis not scoring on pedros line drive. Mike Lavalliere would have scored on that.

      • stickyweb

        Y2J, totally agree about the defense. It seems the only good time to bunt is against the Bucs because God knows where the throw will end up. You’ll actually reach base half the times you try to sacrifice the way we’re throwing the ball around. And the ball bouncing out of Snider’s glove? Would have been the last out and no runs scored off Cumpton, instead of 4 runs scored and tie game. The little things really have an impact when you’re scuffling like the Bucs are.
        Disagree on the specific example of base running you cite. Runners have to freeze and make sure the ball gets through, then it was hit so hard it one hopped to the OF when Ike was only 2/3 of the way to 3B.

        • Nickmid13

          That Snider play was pathetic. I have no idea why he was so adamant on flopping in the air. He laid out for a ball he didn’t need to lay out for.

      • leowalter

        Spanky wouldn’t have scored if Munchak was holding him…like Ike was held up. Don’t blame it on Davis.

  • Ron Loreski

    Either Snider or Tabata are going to need DFA’d when Polanco arrives, so why not do it now? Maybe Lambo brings his hot bat to Pittsburgh, and things start rolling. Hitting is contagious. I think we’ve seen both Snider’s and Tabata’s peak. They’ve been given more than enough playing time and neither have them have stepped up and taken the RF job.

    • leowalter

      I couldn’t agree with you more Ron. Anyone who saw Travis Snider’s ( non ) performance in the 2nd game last night after watching the Indy/Pawtucket game earlier and still thinks Travis belongs in MLB isn’t watching the game as many here know it.

  • Monkshot

    I said this from the beginning, and I still believe that Pedro did not get enough time with his original/natural batting stance. I don’t see any adjustments being made. I truly believe his swing has been tinkered with so much now, that he doesn’t know which way is up. I know he will go on a hot streak soon and all will be forgotten, but I don’t believe he will be Mark Reynolds his entire career. Somebody will find something that works with him, I just hope it’s here. Someone said hitting is contagious, and it’s true. I think this team needs a spark, and Lambo should be brought up.

    • stickyweb

      Monk, thank God Cole wasn’t pitching one of those games and his interleague games is at home tonight! Not sure his pitching would have been worth the drop off in hitting from Cole to Barmes and Stewart.

      • Monkshot

        Absolutely, Cole has some really good at bats, period. Not even for a pitcher, he battles and seems to have a pretty good eye. I think had he decided to play any other position, he would still be in the bigs. I’m not familiar with his high school accomplishments, but I’m guessing he was a very talented athlete.

  • KauaiCoffee

    Lambo plays two positions where the Bucs have been seriously underperforming. Lambo is crushing the ball so far this season, and he hit 33 HR last year. Lambo is certainly better at baseball than multiple players on the Bucs’ current roster (e.g. Travis Snider, Ike Davis). I cannot think of a single reason not to call him up.

  • lonleylibertarian

    Last night was depressing – for the first time in a long time I turned off a game – just could not watch.

    I would love to see a bold statement today – DFA Tabata or Davis or better yet Barmes.

    Bring up Lambo and publicly state he is the first baseman for the remainder of the season against all RHP – yes I know you folks think he can’t play first but even though he muffed a catch last night Snider is a pretty good RF option.

    I would also be inclined to give D’Arnaud another shot at shortstop – Jordy has regressed to his talent level. But I have no idea how he does defensively

    • Nate James

      Ike Davis, dfa…. HA!

      • lonleylibertarian

        He has earned it 7 hits – one HR – one double and a couple of looping liners – GI jones looks like Mike Trout in comparison

    • Wabbit_Season

      LL

      I also quit when the game was tied 5-5. I just wasn’t investing in extra innings to watch us cave.

      Plus, I think much of your post is a bit of an overreaction, though I certainly feel your pain. They’re not going to DFA Tabata or Davis. They’ve got too much money wrapped up in them and they’ve only just begun with Davis.

      And despite Tim’s man-crush on Lambo, I think the article poses a useful question: Can we try Lambo and discard Snider?

      The water is getting choppy and I see a white squall over the port mizen-mast. The bats better start clicking. We were something like 3 for 25 yesterday with runners in scoring position. That’s just bad. Sounds to me like we need one more hitter.
      =======================
      “Ya know, some day scientists are gonna invent
      something that will outsmart a rabbit.”

      -Wabbit

      • lonleylibertarian

        Yep – I am probably over reacting – but I have gotten really tired of Huntington trying to tell me black is white…
        - Ike Davis is our first baseman of the future – solves the position for years to come!
        - Polanco is not being held down because of Super Two – he has things he needs to work on!

        I have lost all respect for him – he may be a smart baseball guy – but those two statements are absurd – they go beyond lies – and Pittsburgh – Pirate fans deserve a lot better.

    • leowalter

      How about all of the three you mentioned ? And finding Chris Stewart a coaching position ? I wouldn’t think D’Arnaud would help much though. That average in AAA isn’t much evidence of that.

  • ElGaupo77

    Has Lambo’s clock started yet? He “could” be a valuable piece going forward. Maybe you need to wait on him too. I think he’ll be a great Garrett Jones clone, i.e. backup 1B/RF.

  • Nate James

    GET RID OF WANDY! That is all

  • csnumber23

    I don’t see the point on calling up Lambo to play RF when Polanco is a little over a month away from arriving. I know Tim loves Lambo but have you guys ever seen Snider’s triple A numbers? He tore it up and at a much younger age than Lambo. Lambo hadn’t hit a HR in what around 300 at bats, now he has hit 2 and he’s the savior. I don’t see it. Ike Davis has been here a little over 2 weeks and people want to toss him already, it’s laughable.

    A problem not many seem to be mentioning is J. Mercer. There is a reason he was always projected to be a utility player at best before last year. We are seeing why. With Polanco coming, SS is the position that needs addressed to me.

  • babeadamsforthehall

    The fact that Tim and Charlie back up this front office regading Polanco is simply unreal. DK as well. Everyone assumes how much it will cost over the next 6 years but noone knows for certain. Because they don’t have a crystal ball. Because they don’t know for a fact what type of player he WILL be three or four years from now. They are all more interested in cost avoidance for ownership than they are in putting the best product on the field right now. The fans are expected to continue to show up and use their hard earned money to support the team, yet the team has no willingness to put the best product on the field. Makes total sense. Fans of other teams laugh at how brainwashed Pirates fans are in supporting the excuses for not putting the best product possible on the field.

    • smurph

      Sorry, I just disagree. Financial concerns are VERY important for small market teams. It isn’t their fault the way the system is set up to favor large market teams who flail millions of dollars around, knowing that they don’t have to hit on every guy they give 30 or 40 million to.

    • csnumber23

      While I would love to see Polanco up right now. I understand what they are doing. The Pirates are certainly not the only team doing this. The Cardinals are doing the same right now. They are getting no production out of CF and Oscar Tavarez is ready to arrive. He is actually rated even higher than Polanco, although I think Polanco is going to be better. They are waiting for the super 2 deadline as well.

    • leowalter

      You mean fans of teams like the Indians,who won’t call up Francisco Lindor,and the Cardinals,who won’t call up Oscar Taveras for exactly the same reasons the Pirates don’t call up Polanco ? Those fans are laughing at the Pirates ? I don’t think so.

  • dr dng

    I’m no expert, but they should have at least temporarily sent down Harrison for the Baltimore series and brought up Lambo to DH for the two game series. If he would have got untracked they could keep him maybe until June 1. Harrison has options and he as been on the Indy-Pittsburgh shuttle before. Right now, he also could probably use some regular play in Indy to keep him sharp.
    -
    Right now, I’m just frustrated….

    • Jeff Rhodes

      My thoughts exactly. Harrison, not Tabata or Snider, is the odd man out of this equation.

      If it were me, I’d send Harrison to Indy and call up Lambo to platoon with Tabata in right. That would move Snider to the bench, where we need a
      left-handed pinch hitter to team with Gaby.

      Lambo’s call up would have no bearing on Polanco at all. If Davis is still flirting with the Mendoza line a month from now when Polanco is ready, move Lambo to firstand put Ike on the bench. You’d have to DFA Snider at that point, but
      Ike would replace him as the left-handed pinch hitter.

      Again, Harrison is the weak link. I like his ability to play multiple infield and
      outfield positions, but I don’t like that we have an all-righthanded
      bench with Harrison, Mercer/Barmes, Gaby and Stewart/Sanchez.

  • R Edwards

    I went to the DH yesterday here in Baltimore – the Pirates overall play was as dismal as the weather. Snider, Stewart, Gomez all need to be DFA’s immediately – replace with Lambo, Mazzaro, and any warm body catcher who is a threat with a bat in his hand until Martin returns. The only bright spots yesterday were Cumpton (I really like that kid – pitches with courage and an attitude – unlike Morton), Watson, Wilson, and Gaby Sanchez. Davis is lost at the plate – did not hit one hard hit ball in either game yesterday, not even a hard hit foul ball. He is useless. since we are stuck with him, I would bench him and either late Gaby play everyday, or give some games there to Lambo as well.

    We have two many automatic outs in our lineup – especially when Stewart and Barmes play – which should never happen in the same game.

    • csnumber23

      Haha yeah lets bench Davis after trading for him just 2 weeks ago. Even more funny, yeah now Gaby Sanchez is the answer because he has one big game lol. The man can’t hit right handed pitching in the long run, it is proven!

      • R Edwards

        So, how many more games of 0-4 do you want to trot Davis out there for?? Do we do this for another 2 weeks, a month? He is supposed to be a power hitter, and he was batting second yesterday – and poorly at that. When do we conclude he is not the answer?

        • csnumber23

          The game you are whining about he was 2-4 in. Because he was batting 2nd? Is that a bad thing to you? J.Votto bats 2nd for the Reds. He hit 32 HR’s 2 years ago and is a known slow starter. Give the guy 2 months at least.

          • R Edwards

            he was 2-9 in the double header – with two bloop hits – never hit a hard hit ball all day – not even a hard foul. He looked awful at the plate. If you consider his performance acceptable, you have very pitifully low standards.

  • mysonisnamedafterRoberto

    It seems like every break whether a timely hit, good pitch placement or great play that they got last year, so far they are not getting this year. Timing is killing them and the pitching not being as good as last year.

    · Last year they scored 5 or more runs in 39.5% of the games. This year is 39.28% of the games. Their runs are down about 10%, which is a run about every 3.8 games.

    · Last year they allowed 4 or more runs in 43% of the games and this year 61%.

    · Last year when scoring 5 or more runs they were 55-9, a winning % of 86%. This year they are 7-4, at a winning % of 64%.

    It seems when they score, the pitching allows the opposition to score and when they get good pitching they can’t score runs. Another fact to back that up is in the 28 games they played, 21 have been within 3 runs with 14 within one run. That is 75% of the games. Last year it was only 67%. They are 7-14 in those 21 games. Last year in the same scenario they were 64-45, a 59% winning percent.

    They need a few breaks and start doing the little things. First batter up, first on; situational hitting: moving runner over; smart base running; grouping hitting together; stranding runners and finishing the plays. If you apply last year’s winning percent to this year’s games in the same scenario they would be 12-9, with an overall record of 15-13.

  • Ron Loreski

    2008 – .301/.338/.466
    2009 – .241/.328/.419
    2010 – .255/.304/.463
    2011 – .225/..269/.348
    2012 – .250/.319/.378
    2013 – .215/.281.333
    2014 – .208/.288/.333

    How is this guy still alowed to play in the major leagues? He proves year after year that he’s nothing but a scrub!

  • Bob Ross

    I would not write in stone Ike Davis will be our first baseman for “years”, they may trade him at the deadline if he is not hitting. I want him to hit, of course, but I do not think they will ride him out if they call Lambo up and he is actually good. I agree its time to end the Tabata & Snider experiment. They had more than enough chances. I guess since Tabata is signed he will stick around as a fourth OF for us or somebody.

    Who is our SS in AAA? I think they should send Mercer down to get on track. He is pretty crucial to our chances to getting back on track. If he hits, they can play Barmes off the bench and give them at least an option at 3B or 2B against a lefty starter or reliever.

    • leowalter

      Robert Andino was playing SS for Indy last night. He is not the answer either. Chase D’Arnaud was ” playing ” LF in that game, ( I use the term loosely ) which ought to tell you what they think of Chase as a regular SS.He is hitting a.230,which also tells you that his chances for any MLB success is about 0.

  • leadoff

    IMO, Lambo or and Polanco would help the Pirates out right now, are they the cure? I don’t think so. At this point in time the Pirates can’t hit consistently, can’t field consistently, can’t pitch consistently, and they are not managed consistently. They are not consistent in any phase of the game. The only real cure has to come from within what they already have. Alvarez has to regain his power, the starting pitching staff has got to quit giving up the big inning, the bullpen has to put out fires, not continue them, the defense has to make the plays that they are not making, most of the big innings trace back to a botched play by the defense or a play they should have made. With a doubleheader yesterday, no reason that Harrison could not have gotten some playing time, at least he hustles and he can hit.

  • pilbobuggins

    Why is that players at AAA make adjustments and hit well went sent down, yet when recalled to pittsburgh start hitting airballs within days? Why does the whole mlb lineup swing for the fences in rbi situations? The answer is poor coaching at the mlb level. past time for some heads to roll don’t you think?

    • IC Bob

      Could also be that the pitching is ay better in the majors then the minors. Branson this years hitting coach was a minor league hitting coach last year. The reality is we do not have a good hitting team and having the wiff monster batting 4th right behind our best hitter just makes things worse.

  • pilbobuggins

    Here is an answer for those of you who think nutting is cheap. Don’t go to games, don’t buy merch. . Thus you stick your hands into his pockets just like he’s doing to us. Forcing a reevaluation of his priorities.

  • piratemike

    Starling Marte needs to be in AAA working on his hitting. Lambo in RF, Tabata in left. Nothing can be done with Pedro because there is no replacement any better than him also we are stuck with Ike and Mercer.
    I was hoping for improvement from these players (except Ike, I was hoping he wouldn’t be traded for) ) instead they have regressed.
    It is time for Neal to start working on next years team.
    It is too bad they can’t just forfeit this season because it is too embarrassing and painful to watch.

    • csnumber23

      I am not even going to elaborate on this ridiculous post. This is laughable!

  • leowalter

    You mean the Gaby Sanchez that supplied most of the offense yesterday ?

  • Josh Dz

    just wanted to put my two cents in to the games yesterday, but from what I saw Chris Stewart cost that game…. he has not been good offensively or defensively…. yes pitches need to be made, but that passed ball on a very catchable Cumpton sinker, let Markakis get to second, which took on the would be double play on other of the next two pitches… the 2nd and 3rd with 1 out and he looks pathetic on a 3 pitch K…

    he also had a key throwing error n a Reds loss last week… he has been awful

  • Josh Dz

    also I think Lambo should be promoted, send Snider down because I don’t think he will be claimed… but what did he K 4 times last night?
    I like Marte in the 7th spot… and think that Walker should hit 1st if Lambo is in right… Can’t have Cutch their because he’s needed for rbis…

  • smurph

    2014 is not yet a lost season, but it is getting there. If they are still where they are 3 weeks from now, I think you can throw in the towel. Beyond that, I think you need to put things in proper perspective. Are the 2014 Pirates a team which can compete for a World Series title? My answer is no. Making the playoffs is great. I want a WS championship. The best way to have a WS winner is to have your top 8 or 9 players playing in their peak years. With the possible exception of McCutchen, there is not one single player on this team you could say that about. If they had signed Byrd, Morneau and/or Burnett, I still don’t think you could legitimately make that statement. Adding Ike Davis or Polanco or Lambo would not drastically change that equation. So, you build for that year when it all comes together. Part of that is seeing what you have in guys like Lambo, Mercer, etc. Let’s say in 2016, guys like Polanco, T. Sanchez, Cole, Marte, and Taillon reach the potential they are supposed to have. Let’s say McCutchen is having an MVP season. Then you have a WS contender. Heck, I would even be OK with them overpaying for a very good veteran player at that point to make a run.

    • csnumber23

      Smurph it’s been one month, the season is no where near lost yet. What if they have a 2nd half this year like the first half they had last year? There is a long long way to go.

  • Pie Rat

    I agree that Lambo should get called up, but who do we send down or out then. They would have to trade Tabata or Snider for some level c prospects first to clear a roster spot. I see very little chance now the Pirates could be a contender this year. Also I hope the PTBNL in the Davis trade was based on his performance. If that’s the case they will have to pay us more instead of getting anything.

  • piraddict

    Some suggested changes:

    Ike Davis is 0-11 vs. LHP. Against RHP his line is .245/.362/.429/.791, which is okay, but about the same as Sanchez is doing against RHP. Davis should never face LHP, which suggests that he start against RHP and be immediately replaced by Sanchez if a left hand reliever enters the game at his at bat. His only other use is as a PH against RHP.

    Travis Snyder should be DFA’d immediately and Lambo elevated to replace him. Work Lambo in RF. Tabata is 4th outtfielder, no platoon.

    When the 1st round compensation pick penalty period ends the Pirates should sign Steven Drew to start against RHP for a balance of the year contract and DFA Barmes. Mercer gets occasional starts at SS against LHP, but also spells Alvarez against LHP.

    Keep Marte down in the order all year and tell him to concentrate on hitting doubles.

    When Polanco is ready DFA Tabata if you can’t trade him. Polanco goes to RF, Lambo to 4th outfielder and part time 1B.

    DFA Wandy, if he can’t be traded (you’d still have to eat alot of salary). Replace with Cumpton.

    DFA Gomez. Replace with Mazzaro, moving Stolmy to long man in prep for possible starter in 2015.

  • Monsoon Harvard

    Josh Harrison is the guy you send down for Lambo. I like Harrison, but he barely gets in any games and they have two shortstop/second basemen already in Barmes & Mercer. Or maybe send Mercer out to figure out how to hit again. Right now I’d rather have Barmes in the line-up then Mercer. Mercer can’t hit anything, and at least you have a superior defender with Barmes.

  • R Edwards

    Chris Dickerson would be an upgrade over Snider.

    If the plan all along was to not let Polanco play in Pittsburgh until June, then they needed to resign Byrd. A very bad off season and season so far for NH.

  • Pie Rat

    Looks like the Pirates have already given up for the year. I can’t even watch them anymore it makes me sick. Would the last one out of the house please turn off the lights

    • leowalter

      Its a good thing then you didn’t watch the last couple of innings of tonight’s game. They forgot to ” turn out the lights ” !

      • Pie Rat

        Actually I love punishment. I couldn’t help turn the game back on. I noticed Cutch struck out in a key situation again. Pedro hit his HR, Then Marte. It looked like Marte was waiting at home to see if they would turn out the lights. When they didn’t, he trotted around the bases.

        • leowalter

          ” Cutch struck out is a key situation again ” ? I hope you aren’t inferring what I think you are. The guy had 3 hits in his first 3 trips man. What do you expect him to do,be perfect ? If so,you would have been mighty disappointed in guys like Ted Williams,Willy Mays,Henry Aaron and Pirates like Clemente and Stargell. Remember this : 1 out of 3 for a career will probably put you in the HOF.

  • Matt Beam

    We won with Barmes starting the 1st 2-3 months last year, but Mercer needs something… he’s dreadful at the plate right now. Just not sure how Clint can keep running him out there 5 days a week

  • leowalter

    You are in dreamland. Matt Hague ? Earth to dbsteel.