Pirates Discussion: Sunday Rubber Match

After getting trounced in the first game back from the All-Star break, the Pittsburgh Pirates were able to sneak out a win against the Miami Marlins in game two on Saturday night.

The offense remained consistent, showing a lack of life throughout the majority of the game. They were 0-7 with RISP before Yoshi Tsutsugo was able to finally get a hit that pushed a run across for the Pirates to take a 1-0 lead.

It was a fantastic start for Jose Quintana who has a very high probability of having stepped on the mound for the last time this season with the Pirates (I’m saying this season, cause maybe they’ll think about bringing him back for 2023).

The Pirates have a very tall task ahead of themselves, facing the clear front-runner for NL Cy Young in Sandy Alcantara.

The good news is that Mitch Keller is in the midst of the best stretch of his career. Since adding a sinker on May 18th, he’s thrown 56.1 innings across nine starts, while carrying a 3.36 ERA. That ERA is backed up by a 3.38 FIP and 3.72 xFIP.

In just his last two starts alone — one of which was against the Marlins two weeks ago — Keller has thrown 13 innings while allowing only one earned run.

There’s nine more business days before the trade deadline when the roster could take on a very different look (Maybe. Hard maybe).

Marlins @ Pirates

Time: 1:35 PM EST

Pirates Starter: Mitch Keller (3-7, 4.55)

Marlins Starter: Sandy Alcantara (9-4, 1.76)

LINEUPS:

Pirates

Marlins

1. Joey Wendle (L) 2B
2. Miguel Rojas (R) SS
3. Jesus Aguilar (R) 1B
4. Avisail Garcia (R) DH
5. JJ Bleday (L) CF
6. Bryan De La Cruz (R) RF
7. Jesus Sanchez (L) LF
8. Willians Astudillo (R) 3B
9. Jacob Stallings (R) C

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Wilbur Miller

I still find the “explanation” for the clown show — that they intended all along to trade all the veteran zeroes at the deadline and have to keep playing them to facilitate that — remarkable on several levels. First, there’s the obvious fact that very few of these guys had any reasonable chance to bring any return.

Second, it all implies that the Pirates intentionally subjected their fans to a bunch of stiffs with no current or future upside for four months, just to try to make some trades. And low-upside trades at that. Except maybe for Q, the best they’re going to do is pick up a couple possibly passable utility types, just the kind of guys they’re already loaded with and don’t want to play. Is that worth alienating the fan base?

Third, there’s the Yoshi spectacle. It’s so obviously a repeat of 2021 Polanco. Yoshi is a complete stiff, but they’re going to play him right up until it’s clearly, 110% established that they can’t offload a few nickels from Nickels’ expense ledger. IOW, f*** the fans, the only priority is taking everybody conceivable step and then some to save Nickels a tiny bit of money.

Last edited 2 months ago by Wilbur Miller
TNBucs

I could take these tough losses easier if I thought there would be some accountability at the end of the season. Instead, I fully expect Cherington to again praise Shelton for the culture he’s established and we’ll just get more of the same next year.

john_fluharty

Of course he will, but I think there will be less of a volume of washed up veterans next year.

bscat

I seem to recall that Hayes used to hit line drives.

TNBucs

Is there a single Pirates’ major leaguer who looks like he’s making progress with his ABs?

skliesen

Yeah, cause he got two hits on balls that didn’t have a combined exit velocity of 100 mph.

I say give him a clean death.

Wilbur Miller

If your DH has to bat 8th, you have the wrong DH.

john_fluharty

Our lineup is just so potent that – never mind I can’t even finish that sentence.

TNBucs

I’d agree but in general there’s no consistency to Shelton’s lineups and they often don’t make sense. Today it was VanMeter batting second that stood out, though to be fair, when you look at the OBP’s of the rest of the lineup there weren’t many good choices.

1979andCounting

Four doubles and 2 HR’s in 200 plate appearances. This is an all-timer $4 mil bust.

john_fluharty

Works for Yoshi – a million dollars per home run and 500k per double.

TNBucs

We had 5 Ks in the last two innings and not one of them on a pitch in the zone. So frustrating to watch.

john_fluharty

Some of Keller’s strikeouts we’re on fastballs high out of the zone which was nice to see.

skliesen

Only one I didn’t have an issue with is Allen’s. The worst of the bunch was certainly Newman’s. He should’ve known that was a slider out of the hand.

Mblee24

So do they trade bednar before he has no value at all? Or hope he turns it around next year?

PirateRican21

Bednar’ fastball went from a dominant pitch to a horrible pitch, forcing him to go from a power reliever to a mediocre crafty one.

skliesen

I think that’s a bit much, but I do think the multi-inning outings have caused unnecessary wear and tear on him.

PirateRican21

Ok, why is it much? Not an argument, just want to know your thoughts. He went from a highly effective and almost exclusive fastball usage. To now throwing a bunch of curves and splitters that are not as effective, hence mediocre.

skliesen

I think you’re overreacting to a couple of bloop hits. Have you seen data to back up your claim? If so, please share.

PirateRican21

Data? No, I’m more of an eye sight guy, don’t understand O swing or Z swing% or any of that stuff. I’m sure if I tried I could, but, anyway. The only data I could share is good old stats like, last 15 games he has pitched 16.2 innings giving up 19 hits, 8 walks and 11 runs that’s a 5.94 ERA.

TNBucs

Overuse? The league catching up?

john_fluharty

I think it’s more that the league has adjusted to him.

ArkyWags

I’m totally fine with them trading him before he Hanrahan’s all over the place.

bucsws2014

I don’t understand PH Castillo for Delay.

jon6er

Especially when his replacement is a switch hitter who will have to come into the game anyway if you don’t win it.

PirateRican21

Pinch hitting for the catcher has become a fetish. All you need is a hit, not a bomb, another questionable move.

john_fluharty

Agreed, especially since Delay hasn’t looked lost at the plate. So why not show the youngster that you are willing to trust him in that situation.

robertkasperski

Extend Yos…….ok back to reality Trade Yoshi!!

skliesen

Tsutsugo and Allen coming through in the clutch…just like BC envisioned in March.

ArkyWags

Only 3 months late!

robertkasperski

Yoshi!!!!!!

bucsws2014

Yoshi!

bucsws2014

With today’s lineup, I have more faith in the bottom 5 to tie this thing than the top 4.

docdon385

Cruz has to learn to hit off speed pitches. Hit a 99 mph fastball basically into the river but couldn’t even touch three 88 mph pitches. That has to change or he’ll never see a fastball again. Luckily that’s something he can learn to do with practice and good coaching. Now the big question; will the Pirates provide that?

skliesen

Too bad he wasn’t sitting on slider on the 2-1 pitch. It was a hanger.

skliesen

All part of the process. Let him take his licks this year. See everything there is to see and be better prepared to be that guy we need him to be next year.

robertkasperski

Bingo. He has learned to hit at every level and had to go through learning each year too.

john_fluharty

And it took him a while at AAA so let’s give him some time to make the adjustment.

PiratePrimate

Best thing I’ve seen today is Bligh Madris playing 1b in Indianapolis

bucsws2014

Cal… that was at your neck.

Wilbur Miller

Uh oh. Runner on third and no outs. The Pirates will never score like this.

joebaseball

Keller dealing for 5 innings, then a tough inning

skliesen

Ok, it’s July 24, 2023 and Pirates rotation has Keller, Contreras, Priester, and Burrows in it.

Can we actually win an arms race with Brewers and Cardinals?

ArkyWags

Efff no. Seriously? Burnes and Woodruff by themselves are almost better than any Bucs fivesome right now.

b mcferren

Should try to trade Brubaker and Thompson in the next few days instead of Cantina

Colin

Trade Q and then sign him in the off-season. Win-win

skliesen

Respectfully disagree

b mcferren

Gamels is not as good as Vogelbach

we should not expect anything in return for him

just hoping he does not take at bats away from Madris after the trading deadline

skliesen

Jinx post warning…Keller looks like an Ace!

skliesen

I knew I should’ve kept my mouth shut.

skliesen

I missed it. Stepped out for a minute. Unfortunately I saw the last half inning.

Catch_22

Keller is up to the challenge and then some. This is awesome to watch

Mblee24

Please tell me how Hayes is any different than Newman? I’d argue Newman at least put up a full season of batting 300. Hayes has had one good month his rookie season, other than that it’s been average to below average. He looks to be a 670-700 hitter.

b mcferren

Newman’s ball off the bat: wimpy wimpy wimpy

Hayes ball of the bat: hefty hefty hefty

Mblee24

I like it! haha

b mcferren

once we get a real hitting coach the Shelton isn’t our manager anymore, you can expect Hayes’ hitting numbers to impress

Mblee24

I just don’t think it’s gonna happen. When will they get another hitting coach?

b mcferren

I hope we keep him – Cantina is a stand up dude – – leader and gets results

skliesen

Cruz Missile!

1979andCounting

As a small market we need to a better job with IFA pitcher signings. Cardinals found Alcantara. Yankees found Contreras. And we have Luis Ortiz as our current best IFA prospect? Anyone know how he’s doing?

1979andCounting

IFA pitchers?

jtkuch

It’s been very nice to see these past couple of starts for Keller, him seemingly dialing back the velo in order to gain command and seemingly more spin, particularly on the slider. That thing is a huge sweeper now.

skliesen

He looks like a Pitcher now. Changing speeds and location like a veteran.

b mcferren

don’t know if intentional or not, but he somehow deeked and faked out the scouting reports coming out on him in spring training by going from hard fast ball reputation to throwing this junk

docdon385

Why VanMeter instead of Chavis? Do not simply use the Chavis struggles against righties argument because VanMeter struggles against everyone. Chavis is hitting .221 against right handlers and VanMeter .225 and don’t even mention the lefty differences because those are ridiculous. Chavis clearly has more power potential if/when he actually makes contact and plays better defensively. Why is VanMeter even still on this or any other major league team? Come on this is absurd and basically indefensible.

john_fluharty

And struggles against righties doesn’t fly because they played Vog against lefties.

Cobra

This 👆

b mcferren

both are crappy options

hopefully we get a new first baseman in the next few weeks

PirateRican21

Ok this is a long enough sample size, Delay’s arm is not ideal, accurate enough, but a tad on the weak side.

bucsws2014

Alacantra Ks Bucs with 11 pitches in 1st. Not looking good for the home team.

skliesen

Alcantara is just a different kind of cat. So glad he doesn’t pitch for Cardinals. How did they ever let him go?

Catch_22

They traded him for Ozuna

1979andCounting

Newman’s always solid on D. Covered first base on surprise bunt. Nice snag of line shot to start DP in 6th.

Catch_22

Coming into today’s game, he’s hit better than all the dudes they’ve tried at 2b

Newman 98 wRC+
Castillo 70
Van Meter 57
Park 84
Marcano 80
Castro 63
Chang 65

Catch_22

I’ll take 98 all day from Newman with plus defense and good base running. He’s more talented than any of those guys

Mblee24

When are Yoshi and VanMeter getting DFAd? I honestly can’t watch a lineup with them, Marisnick and even Gamel at this point. Get Suwinski, Bae, and Madris up then shuffle in Marcano, Castro and swaggerty through the last few months. Gotta see guys who may have a future on this team or I just don’t care.

pietraynee

Any news on when Reynolds might make it back in the lineup?

PirateRican21

There was an article at the Gazette, didn’t read it but the title read soon….🤷‍♂️

JimEastTennessee

Kick the tires on Shane Greene?

skliesen

Hard pass

b mcferren

#ExtendCantina

b mcferren

if you’re not going to trade Reynolds, then shit or get off the pot

start buying pieces to win

Colin

Impatiently waiting for TJ to sign. Get it done already 😤

b mcferren

Would rather have Newman as our 25th man than Diego Castillo

john_fluharty

That’s fine, and we’ll keep Castillo as the 26th

b mcferren

When will Bubboa start using the Rollie Fingers mustache wax?

b mcferren

Hot Stove

Pirates about to trade Diego Castillo and Jack Suwinski to the White Sox for Cueto.

Pending negotiations on two year extension for Cueto

john_fluharty

Lol isn’t Cueto like 56 at this point

skliesen

No thanks

RAS TN

Looking at the posts below, maybe the way to go is just to contract the team, and organization and that’s that…it sure seems that at least the below posters just want to trade any of what the Pirates have that are major quality players and constantly wanting to do that…There has to be a time when this nonsense of signing players to only trade them 1/2 a season later needs to end and it needs to be much much sooner than later…

Young players will never fully develop without veterans present on the team…

That’s it for me…

skliesen

Do you not understand churning the roster is what the Rays do to allow them to compete each and every year?

The sooner you accept players are just playing through in nearly every case, the sooner you can enjoy being a fan.

Enjoy our good players while they’re here. Hope they bring us a playoff berth. And hope they bring us back better players when they are dealt.

RAS TN

The only thing I want to be churned is my ice cream…and I certainly do not need to be lectured by you or anyone else about being a fan…

hoptown

Posted this a week or two ago. Here’s what I’d trade current players for.
A – top 100 prospect in baseball
B – a team’s top 10 prospect
C – likely a team’s 11-30 prospect
D – a low level lottery ticket
.
Reynolds. A B & C
Bednar. A & C
Quintana. B & C
Crowe. B
Newman. C
Gamel. D
Marisnick. D
Stratton. D
.
Van 0fer. DFA
Tsutsugo. DFA
.
If they don’t get these prices, I’d just keep the players. And I’d keep Keller, Brubaker, and de Jong unless someone made a stupid offer.

bucsws2014

Gamel is worth a C. Or two Ds at minimum.

skliesen

Guaranteed Pirates want much more for Reynolds than what you suggest.

AdministrativeSky236

Reynolds is still more likely worth AAB or AACC/CD, ABC isnt enough

hoptown

I dont see any team giving 2 of their top 3 or 4 prospects plus other stuff for him. Said in reverse, would you trade Oneil Cruz, Mike Burrows and other guys?

robertkasperski

Teams may not give that up for Reynolds but what  skliesen and @AdministrativeSky236 and I all agree on is that at this time, the Bucs should not move Reynolds unless they should get such an offer. Now is not the time to settle for less just to move him. I would be hesitant to move Crowe or Bednar either as this should be the off-season that we see the Bucs make moves in FA and trades to improve the Big League roster as there are now lots of prospects throughout the minor league system.

skliesen

Crowe no doubt is the kind of arm Pirates need in the bullpen to compete for playoffs in a year or two. The reason I would strongly consider dealing him now is it’s a flip of a coin if his arm is this good in a year or two. Relievers are so mercurial.

Also, the trade deadline is the best time to deal a RP. Virtually every contender is trying to strengthen their pen for October. Pirates should definitely pull the trigger if they can get the next O’Neil Cruz for him.

bucsws2014

Crowe 2023 could easily become Stratton 2022, although I do think Crowe has better stuff.

docdon385

I wouldn’t even consider trading Reynolds personally. As for what another GM might be willing to give for him, it would depend on the team needs at the time and which team.

A team like the Pirates wouldn’t and probably shouldn’t trade their best prospects for any one player, but a team like the Yankees, Dodgers or other obscenely high payroll teams might because losing top prospects doesn’t mean as much to them. They can just replace them through free agency.

If one of those high payroll teams thought they really needed a guy like Reynolds to put them over the top, who knows what they might be willing to part with?

PirateRican21

Maybe Soto will create such a frenzy that whoever loses might overpay for Reynolds.

skliesen

Here’s my prediction for trade deadline roster changes:

Guaranteed to be traded/released- Quintana, JVM, Tsutsugo.

Likely to be traded/released- Gamel, Marisnick, Underwood or Crowe

Doubtful to be traded: Newman, Reynolds

JimEastTennessee

I think Newman will go, and Crowe stays, but otherwise, I am with you. JVM likely DFAd tonight (At least if Ben listens to me.)

TNBucs

Underwood should attract some interest (10.8 K’s per 9, 2.28 FIP). If a team can tweak something to improve his control, he could be excellent. We might even benefit from our reputation of pitchers improving once they leave us.

But I’d also be fine with keeping Underwood as part of next year’s pen. The lack of options hurts but he’s under team control for three more years and has upside. I.e., they need to get an interesting player back if they’re going to move him.

AdministrativeSky236

I dont know if I would put underwood and crowe as likely, but they are possibilities. Q and gamel are both tradeable, the rest will have to be cut is my guess

skliesen

Yankees lose a key bullpen guy that Crowe or Underwood could logically replace. Yankees have a track record of success in bringing in Pirates pitchers. That’s why I deemed it likely. Whether it is or not, who knows.

RAS TN

It would be a damn shame if the Pirates trade Quintana for another prospect, the organization is full of prospects, what the Pirates need is major league quality players and he is that…

Very tough matchup for Pirates and Keller today, maybe the only question will be can the Pirates score…Slim or None are your possibilities…

robertkasperski

We lose Quintana anyway if it comes to a bidding war in the off-season. Trade him now with he and his agent knowing that the Bucs will want him back. I do not see Quintana extending as he will be looking to see what is being offered to him first in FA. Unless someone overpays tremendously, the Bucs should have the chance to bring him trade or not. Trading then resigning him would be the best outcome. I would not go nuts overpaying him and for a very long term as he really is on the downward slope of his career.

skliesen

I hope they extend him, but I don’t think it’s going to happen. As such, he’s guaranteed to be dealt since it makes no sense to keep him unless you see value in winning 70 games instead of 68 games.

AdministrativeSky236

It makes no sense to hold onto Q as off now

TNBucs

I’d like to bring him back next year and while it’s possible to trade him and then re-sign him in the offseason, it’s much more likely to extend him if we keep him. So it becomes all about the return–if the return is an MLB-ready pitcher to replace him or strengthen the pen or high-upside prospect along the lines of Cruz or Rodriguez, then yes. If the return is more like what we got for Anderson and Holmes, I’m not sure I’d move him (not that those players aren’t somewhat interesting but they seemed more about building depth than acquiring impact).

1979andCounting

Tyler Anderson got $8.5 mil from Dodgers. Q’s market value is in the same range and maybe higher given how he finishes the last 2 months. Unfortunately, I don’t see BC ponying up, he’s playing his cards like ’23 is still a build year and not a compete year.

ricramer

I just hope we don’t aleviate another team’s Rule 5 woes.

TNBucs

My preference for Quintana is keep him, manage his pitch counts for health (like last night), and sign him to a two-year extension.

OTOH, when Tony Watson brings back Oneil Cruz and Joey Lucchesi brings back Endy Rodriguez, it’s tempting to move him.

skliesen

Austin Davis brings back Michael Chavis.

Cobra

“Hard maybe” 😆👍. So true

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