The Pittsburgh Pirates announced a few moves this afternoon. The team claimed right-hander Chad Beck off waivers from Toronto, and catcher Ali Solis off waivers from San Diego. To make room on the 40-man roster, they designated Jeff Clement and Eric Fryer for assignment.

Beck, who turns 28 in January, has just 18 innings in the majors, with a 5.50 ERA, a 6.0 K/9, and a 2.5 BB/9 ratio. Last year in Triple-A he had a 1.31 ERA in 48 innings with a 4.5 K/9 and a 2.4 BB/9 ratio as a reliever in the PCL. He’s a hard thrower, with his fastball sitting in the 94-97 MPH range.

Solis turned 25 in September, and has just four at-bats in the majors. Last year he played in Double-A, hitting for a .283/.307/.419 line in 329 at-bats. In their report on the catching depth in the system at the end of 2011, PadresProspects.com listed Solis in the “Guys you don’t need to worry about unless something crazy happens” category, which isn’t high praise.

These moves remind me of last year when the Pirates made some waiver claims around the same time. They claimed Brian Jeroloman and Jeremy Hefner. Neither player looked special at the time, and both players were designated for assignment later in the off-season. My guess is that we’ll see the same thing with these guys, with the Pirates trying to sneak them through waivers later in the off-season.

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15 COMMENTS

  1. The question that keeps running through my head about these kinds of moves and the Hoka Hey stuff is “Why is our team spending so much time and effort on stuff that just does not improve the team or the players.”

    NH spends this much time rearranging deck chairs on the very bottom of the 40 man roster?

    And, the players shouldn’t be going through Navy SEAL drills – the front office should. That training is about overcoming obstacles and pushing through adversity. The team collapses two years in a row and the Single A players have to go through this training? The mgmt team should be learning how to respond when things go bad.

    PLEASE STOP FOCUSING ON THIS PERIPHERAL STUFF AND FIND A WAY TO MAKE THE MAJOR LEAGUE TEAM A WINNER.

  2. Can’t help it, I always get just a touch hopeful when I see posts like this.

    Chad Beck’s problem is that he isn’t missing bats. His BB% would indicate that he doesn’t have a serious control problem, and he’s got some real heat. Jason Grilli couldn’t strike people out until his age 28-29 seasons either. Maybe Beck will be good?

    No. No, probably not.

  3. Boy, there is another waste of 40 man roster space. In further news, Neil had no comment about Kyle Stark’s training techniques when asked by Rob Biertempfel.

    • Seems pretty clear there is a gag order in place until Bob decides what to do. These guys don’t want to tighten the noose any further especially after NH tied himself to Stark a few weeks ago.

      • j: I am in LR which is a link to HR and I cannot begin to tell you the idiotic (IMO) exercises – mental and physical team building, that I have been subjected to over the years. I can remember the ones a few years ago where people would go out in the woods in teams, or go whitewater rafting, mountain climbing, and any other challenging effort. Stark definitely marches to a different drummer. Our armed forces have been using similar team building techniques for hundreds of years with great success. I guess you can count me in that number of folks who are just pleased they are trying whatever they can to improve.

        • Hey emj, I’m with you in the “no big deal” camp, but that has become irrelevant. If players and teams are laughing at our approach its a problem. We can’t succeed in player development if the players don’t buy into the plan. We also can’t afford any more reasons why players may choose to not come here.

          I feel like NH and Co. have done enough wrong to justify a change, unfortunately this stuff is the catalyst. I’ve said many times that NH has been an average GM, fear should not prevent Nutting from trying to do better.

  4. Not sure how picking up Solis and DFA-ing Fryer makes sense. I see Solis as a younger and less talented version of Fryer. Do you think Fryer will be retained by the organization? Does anyone think the Eric Hinske trade was a good one? Clearly it was not.

    • With Hinske we had next to nothing (1HR in 100 AB’s) and he wanted out badly. He had a few average years afterward with the Yankees/Atlanta (who he wanted to go to in the first place), but $1.4 mil for a .197 hitter does not make me miss him. I think Fryer had a shot at one time, but Jaramillo/McKenry shut that door

      • Hinske had a higher OPS than Buc 1B in both 2010 and 2011. Average years or not, NH got less value in return for him in the trade and was also unable to find a suitable replacement. That’s a failure.

        • Forgot to mention that the 2011 replacement – Lyle Overbay – was signed to a one year $5 million dollar deal. That’s less than Hinske made in the three years of 2009, 2010 and 2011 combined.

  5. This reminds me of the freakout when the Pirates got Matt Pagnozzi in October and a lot of people thought he was going to be the Pirates’ starter in 2012. It’s two depth pickups that will most likely not be here by April.

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