Linebrink Deal Sets Value for Pirate Arms on Market

Wednesday night, the San Diego Padres dealt relief pitcher Scott Linebrink, a coveted commodity on the trade market, to the Milwaukee Brewers for three minor-league arms. This isn’t the type of trade that has much sex appeal, even though Linebrink’s name had long been mentioned in talk surrounding the Red Sox and Yankees. But to Pirate fans, it should be intriguing. At this year’s deadline, Dave Littlefield will be...

Read More

Will Steve Pearce’s Power Translate to Pittsburgh?

I was looking at Steve Pearce’s First Inning profile today, brimming with enthusiasm over the Pirates’ first power-hitting prospect since Brad Eldred. I got to thinking about how Pearce’s minor-league power will translate to PNC Park.
Take a quick look at where Pearce pelts the pill. The chart comes courtesy of FirstInning.com.

He’s the definition of a pull hitter. When Pearce is at the plate, it’s as if the first and second baseman and right fielder could all head to the dugout. Everything he hits is headed to the left side or up the middle.
At Blair County Ballpark, that’s fine—the Curve’s home accommodates his stroke, at just 325 feet down the left-field line and 365 to the left-center gap.
Pearce has hit eight of his 12 Double-A homers at home, despite having only 17 percent more plate appearances there (171 PA at BCB as opposed to 141 on the road).
I’m not sure how far those balls have been traveling, as I haven’t had a chance to see Pearce with my own eyes (other than a brief appearance at the All-Star Futures Game televised on ESPN). Perhaps he’s launching bombs halfway to Harrisburg, in which case I’d be making a stink unnecessarily.
What I’m worried about, though, is how Pearce’s power will eventually translate to PNC Park’s expansive left field.

It might be a little too early to be seriously concerned, but it’s something to consider: Could Pearce possibly be more effectively used as a trade chip, with the Pirates already in possession of first baseman Adam LaRoche, a left-handed hitter capable of assaulting a short porch, the Roberto Clemente wall in right field?
With so little power in the system, it’d be hard to send him off—but would Pearce be able to put up an impressive slugging percentage playing 81 games a year at a home park that doesn’t cater to his swing?

Read More

Will Steve Pearce’s Power Translate to Pittsburgh?

I was looking at Steve Pearce’s First Inning profile today, brimming with enthusiasm over the Pirates’ first power-hitting prospect since Brad Eldred. I got to thinking about how Pearce’s minor-league power will translate to PNC Park.
Take a quick look at where Pearce pelts the pill. The chart comes courtesy of FirstInning.com.

He’s the definition of a pull hitter. When Pearce is at the plate, it’s as if the first and second baseman and right fielder could all head to the dugout. Everything he hits is headed to the left side or up the middle.
At Blair County Ballpark, that’s fine—the Curve’s home accommodates his stroke, at just 325 feet down the left-field line and 365 to the left-center gap.
Pearce has hit eight of his 12 Double-A homers at home, despite having only 17 percent more plate appearances there (171 PA at BCB as opposed to 141 on the road).
I’m not sure how far those balls have been traveling, as I haven’t had a chance to see Pearce with my own eyes (other than a brief appearance at the All-Star Futures Game televised on ESPN). Perhaps he’s launching bombs halfway to Harrisburg, in which case I’d be making a stink unnecessarily.
What I’m worried about, though, is how Pearce’s power will eventually translate to PNC Park’s expansive left field.

It might be a little too early to be seriously concerned, but it’s something to consider: Could Pearce possibly be more effectively used as a trade chip, with the Pirates already in possession of first baseman Adam LaRoche, a left-handed hitter capable of assaulting a short porch, the Roberto Clemente wall in right field?
With so little power in the system, it’d be hard to send him off—but would Pearce be able to put up an impressive slugging percentage playing 81 games a year at a home park that doesn’t cater to his swing?

Read More

Game #99 at Mets

Shea Stadium | 7:10 | Gorzelanny vs. Tom Glavine | Box The Pirates lost a game, yes, but that’s not important. It’s what else they may have lost that worries me the most. Tom Gorzelanny left tonight after 2.1 innings having allowed 7 hits, 3 walks and 6 earned runs. It was announced during the broadcast that Gorzelanny felt stiffness in his left shoulder. Coupled with Ian Snell’s recent slump, this setback takes a...

Read More

Bay Day, Bay Day: Tell Me that Jason is Finally Back?

After earning just four hits in the Pirates’ previous week-long homestand, Jason Bay broke out on Tuesday night against the Mets. At Shea Stadium Bay went deep twice, finishing the evening with three knocks in four at-bats. He’d had just one home run in his previous 24 games. Yesterday Dejan Kovacevic wrote about how many of the Pirates are underachieving this season (at least as compared to their career numbers), but...

Read More

Game #98 vs. Mets

Shea Stadium | 7:10 | Snell vs. John Maine | Box Ian Snell’s walking a fine line with the media, I think. How many different ways can he say he’s tired of losing? How many times can he bring up his teammates in the papers before he trips on his tongue? From Dejan’s game recap: “All I know is that I’m going to take the blame,” Snell said. “Everything’s my fault. I don’t want to put...

Read More