Former Buc Bill Robinson Found Dead Sunday

Bill Robinson, a corner infielder and outfielder for the Pittsburgh Pirate teams of the 1970s, was found dead in his hotel room Sunday. Robinson, 64, had been serving as a minor-league instructor for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Robinson, who also played with the Braves, Yankees and Phillies in his 16-year major-league career, was a regular on the 1979 team that won the World Series. Randy Linville took a look at Robinson’s career...

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Game #103 at Phillies; Ian Snell, Please Show Up

Citizens Bank Park | 1:35 | Snell vs. Kyle Kendrick | Box The good news is that Ian Snell threw a quality start, allowing 3 runs in 6 innings while striking out 7 Phillies. The bad news is that Kyle Kendrick did too: The rookie right-hander tossed seven innings of one-hit ball, an up-and-down Philadelphia bullpen held Pittsburgh scoreless over the final two frames, and the Phillies finished off a sweep of their Keystone State rivals,...

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JVB Back to Indy; Who’s Pitching for the Indians?

The Associated Press is reporting that the Pirates optioned John Van Benschoten back to Indianapolis this afternoon, but have yet to make a corresponding roster move.
With Shawn Chacon, Salomon Torres and Damaso Marte all being mentioned in trade talks, the Pirates’ pitching staff is relatively short-handed. Trading three relievers (without receiving any in return) would blow a hole wide open in the major-league bullpen. More than likely, the arms at Indianapolis would be asked to fill out the 12-man staff.
Let’s look at what the Indian relievers have been doing this season to better gauge who might have earned a promotion:

 

IP

ERA

H

BB

K

Jonah Bayliss

15.1

6.46

17

8

11

Jesse Chavez

62.0

3.34

69

15

48

Marty McLeary

80.1

3.81

72

38

59

Franquelis Osoria

51.2

2.44

48

17

31

Juan Perez

37.2

5.26

39

17

37

Brian Rogers

45.2

3.94

35

24

41

Josh Sharpless

46.2

4.05

43

33

46

Michael Tejera

83.1

3.78

83

30

46

John Wasdin

35.1

6.37

43

3

40

The first thing that jumps out is what seems to be a lack of control from every pitcher in the Pirates’ organization. Our major-league club can’t throw strikes; look at the ratios here, too. Too many walks.
The San Diego Padres just acquired three pitchers from the Milwaukee Brewers in a trade for Scott Linebrink. All three were somewhat unremarkable minor-league arms with questionable “stuff.” What’s undeniable, though, is that they all fill up the zone with strikes.
Kevin Towers, the Padres’ general manager, realizes that if a pitcher has control, you can teach him how to survive in professional baseball. (Look at Trevor Hoffman.) What the Pirates don’t seem to understand is that if a pitcher has no clue where the ball’s going, he’s not going to have much success.
That being said, Jesse Chavez and Wasdin stick out as pitchers who have a good bit of control. Chavez is a kid who, if he were on the 40-man roster, almost certainly would’ve gotten a shot by now. Wasdin’s had his cup of coffee and got shelled. He’s only walked three batters in Triple-A because everything he puts over the plate gets hammered.
As the Pirates retool their roster over the next few days, I’d think they’d take a long look at Chavez and Franquelis Osoria, the only young relievers we haven’t seen in Pittsburgh this year. It might be time to test both at the next level.
John Wasdin, Marty McLeary and Michael Tejera could be used to eat innings, too, as they’re nothing more than veteran filler. Jim Tracy could throw these three to the dogs every other day without feeling too badly about the situation.
All five would need to be added to the 40-man roster before being called up to Pittsburgh.
Jonah Bayliss, Juan Perez, Brian Rogers and Josh Sharpless are all on the 40-man, but probably aren’t ready to return to the show. Hopefully Dave Littlefield will be able to manage his roster such that a player’s development isn’t sacrificed for a short-term fix.

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JVB Back to Indy; Who’s Pitching for the Indians?

The Associated Press is reporting that the Pirates optioned John Van Benschoten back to Indianapolis this afternoon, but have yet to make a corresponding roster move.
With Shawn Chacon, Salomon Torres and Damaso Marte all being mentioned in trade talks, the Pirates’ pitching staff is relatively short-handed. Trading three relievers (without receiving any in return) would blow a hole wide open in the major-league bullpen. More than likely, the arms at Indianapolis would be asked to fill out the 12-man staff.
Let’s look at what the Indian relievers have been doing this season to better gauge who might have earned a promotion:

 

IP

ERA

H

BB

K

Jonah Bayliss

15.1

6.46

17

8

11

Jesse Chavez

62.0

3.34

69

15

48

Marty McLeary

80.1

3.81

72

38

59

Franquelis Osoria

51.2

2.44

48

17

31

Juan Perez

37.2

5.26

39

17

37

Brian Rogers

45.2

3.94

35

24

41

Josh Sharpless

46.2

4.05

43

33

46

Michael Tejera

83.1

3.78

83

30

46

John Wasdin

35.1

6.37

43

3

40

The first thing that jumps out is what seems to be a lack of control from every pitcher in the Pirates’ organization. Our major-league club can’t throw strikes; look at the ratios here, too. Too many walks.
The San Diego Padres just acquired three pitchers from the Milwaukee Brewers in a trade for Scott Linebrink. All three were somewhat unremarkable minor-league arms with questionable “stuff.” What’s undeniable, though, is that they all fill up the zone with strikes.
Kevin Towers, the Padres’ general manager, realizes that if a pitcher has control, you can teach him how to survive in professional baseball. (Look at Trevor Hoffman.) What the Pirates don’t seem to understand is that if a pitcher has no clue where the ball’s going, he’s not going to have much success.
That being said, Jesse Chavez and Wasdin stick out as pitchers who have a good bit of control. Chavez is a kid who, if he were on the 40-man roster, almost certainly would’ve gotten a shot by now. Wasdin’s had his cup of coffee and got shelled. He’s only walked three batters in Triple-A because everything he puts over the plate gets hammered.
As the Pirates retool their roster over the next few days, I’d think they’d take a long look at Chavez and Franquelis Osoria, the only young relievers we haven’t seen in Pittsburgh this year. It might be time to test both at the next level.
John Wasdin, Marty McLeary and Michael Tejera could be used to eat innings, too, as they’re nothing more than veteran filler. Jim Tracy could throw these three to the dogs every other day without feeling too badly about the situation.
All five would need to be added to the 40-man roster before being called up to Pittsburgh.
Jonah Bayliss, Juan Perez, Brian Rogers and Josh Sharpless are all on the 40-man, but probably aren’t ready to return to the show. Hopefully Dave Littlefield will be able to manage his roster such that a player’s development isn’t sacrificed for a short-term fix.

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Van Benschoten Down, Armas to Enter Rotation

Per the AP: The Pittsburgh Pirates sent John Van Benschoten to Triple-A Indianapolis on Saturday, a day after the right-hander lost his fifth straight decision. … The Pirates plan to make a roster move Sunday to replace Van Benschoten. Tony Armas Jr. will take his spot in the rotation and start Wednesday night against St. Louis. With deadline deals possibly in the works, I suppose it makes sense to wait to make a roster move...

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Game #102 at Phillies

Citizens Bank Park | 7:05 | Youman vs. J.D. Durbin | Box It was good: Pirates third: Castillo struck out. Wilson popped out to shortstop Rollins. Youman walked. McLouth singled to right, Youman to second. Sanchez homered to left on a 1-1 count, Youman scored, McLouth scored. LaRoche singled to right. Bay walked on a full count, LaRoche to second. Nady singled to center, LaRoche scored, Bay to second. Doumit struck out. …and then...

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