I was preparing the 2023 projected lineup for the Pirates the other day, and trying to figure out if there’s any chance for Quinn Priester or Tahnaj Thomas to make the group. It’s possible, but it would be a tight stretch.
Both pitchers should go to Greensboro in 2020, where the Pirates typically have young pitchers spend a full year. In recent years they’ve promoted guys to Bradenton at the end of the season, and that could be possible if the numbers are good. It’s also possible that one or both players could spend the month of April in extended Spring Training to limit their innings.
Best case, maybe they move to Bradenton by the end of the season. They’re probably going to start back there in 2021, with a chance to move up to Altoona by mid-season at the latest, if the numbers are good.
Again, they’d probably start back in Altoona in 2022, with a chance to move up to Indianapolis in the second half. That makes it unlikely either pitcher would be on the Opening Day roster in 2023.
The only way that could happen is if the Pirates got aggressive with one, or both pitchers, and sent them to Indianapolis by the start of the 2022 season, with a chance to move to the majors by mid-season. I can’t recall a Pirates pitcher who didn’t get drafted out of college who moved that quickly.
Think about everything I just said.
Now think about how none of it matters anymore.
All of those projected decisions are based on timelines from previous pitchers, and moves from a front office no longer in place.
We have no clue about the development path for Priester, Thomas, or any other player because we have yet to see the next front office establish their trends.
And now think about how that statement applies to literally everything for the Pirates.
I’ve been noticing this since Neal Huntington was fired. I’ll think about what the Pirates might do with a specific prospect, and after a few minutes I’ll realize that all of my predictions are based on outdated information and based on a front office that is no longer around.
My challenge for you in the comments today: Think of literally anything about the Pirates in 2020, and think about how a new front office might change that situation.
SONG OF THE DAY
THIS DATE IN PIRATES HISTORY
By John Dreker
Seven Pittsburgh Pirates born on this date, including a member of the no-hitter club, two players from the 1909 World Series champs and one from the 1925 WS team.
Nick Maddox, pitcher for the 1907-10 Pirates. He had a brief big league career, but he made it memorable. He pitched a shutout in his major league debut on September 13, 1907, won his second start just three days later, and exactly a week after his major league debut he threw a no-hitter over the Brooklyn Dodgers, winning 2-1. The Pirates had two no-hitters prior that went less than nine innings, but Maddox is the first no-hitter recognized by MLB in team history. He finished his rookie season 5-1 0.83 in six starts, all complete games. The following season he established himself as a star, going 23-8 2.28 for the second place Pirates. Maddox had a 13-8, 2.21 record in 203.1 innings for the 1909 champs. He tossed a complete game victory in game three of the series. Injuries curtailed his 1910 season and then he was sold to a minors, where he spent his final four seasons of pro ball.
Scott Sauerbeck, reliever for the 1999-2003 Pirates. He went 19-15, 3.56 in 341 games, all as a reliever. He picked up five saves in Pittsburgh and threw at least 65 times in each of his first four seasons.
Red Witt, pitcher for the Pirates from 1957-61. He went 1-2, 4.20 in six starts and four relief appearances during the 1960 season when the Pirates won their third WS title. In five seasons in Pittsburgh, he was 10-13, 3.93 in 34 starts and 19 relief appearances.
Fred Brickell, outfielder for the 1926-30 Pirates. He hit .312 with 80 RBIs in 265 games while in Pittsburgh, playing alongside Hall of Famers Paul and Lloyd Waner. He was a backup during the 1927 season when the Pirates went to their fourth World Series. Brickell was 0-for-2 with a run scored in the series.
Johnny Gooch, catcher for the Pirates from 1921 until 1928. He helped the Pirates to two National League titles and won World Series championship in his eight seasons in Pittsburgh. He hit .286 with 215 RBIs in 551 games for the Pirates, and he was a .280 hitter over his 11-year career in the majors. He threw out 45% of runners attempting to steal during his career.
Gene Moore, pitcher for the 1909-10 Pirates. He had a small bit part during the 1909 season, debuting in late September for one relief appearance. Moore saw slightly more time in 1910, getting one start and three relief appearances. He had a 3.12 ERA in 17.1 innings. His only other big league time was with the 1912 Cincinnati Reds. His son, also named Gene Moore, had a 14-year career as an outfielder in the majors, from 1931 until 1945.
Bill Phillips, pitcher for the 1890 Alleghenys. Went 1-9 in ten starts as a rookie in 1890, then over the next eight years, he pitched just one season in the majors. From 1899 until 1903, he went 63-60 for the Cincinnati Reds.