Pirates Discussion: Much Needed Break

After beginning the month with a series sweep of the Milwaukee Brewers, it’s been all downhill since.

The Pittsburgh Pirates followed that series sweep with a 2-8 road trip, only to return home for a 2-7 homestand.

The Pirates scored a grand total of four runs in the three game series against the Atlanta Braves. In game three, after giving up a two-run home run in the second inning, it appeared as Mitch Keller was getting into a groove. With two on and two outs in the fourth inning, Keller induced what should have been a 68 MPH inning-ending groundball. Unfortunately Josh VanMeter made the first of his two errors by misreading the hop as the ball went between his legs. That broke open the floodgates.

Keller wound up not retiring another batter and leaving in the fourth still with two outs. The Braves offense ended up scoring five unearned runs in the inning all charged to Keller, who gave up seven runs in total with only two earned. Manny Banuelos, Duane Underwood Jr., and Eric Stout combined for 3.1 innings of scoreless baseball while not allowing a hit, but walking four batters. Banuelos recorded three strikeouts in his 1.1 IP.

It was quiet on both sides till Colin Holderman took over for the eighth inning. He faced five hitters in total without retiring a single batter. After giving up two runs, he left with an apparent shoulder injury for Cam Vieaux, who promptly gave up a grand slam to Matt Olson on the second pitch he threw. Holderman was charged with five earned runs, while Vieaux would give up one more run before he finished off the eighth inning with the Pirates losing 14-0.

The Pirates avoided the shutout when Kevin Newman hit his first homerun since September 6th of last season in the ninth inning. Tucupita Marcano would add a run on a sac-fly later in the inning before the game ended 14-2.

The day after Max Fried threw eight innings of one-run baseball, Braves Wednesday start Kyle Wright threw seven shutout innings.

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jon6er

Watching a few players in the 21 year old range playing for the Braves it is so telling in respect to realities of the mlb landscape. If Michael Harris II or Vaughn Grissom suddenly quit producing at a high level they will go back down. Granted they have a much better lineup around them then Pirate rookies the Braves like most other teams don’t consider the Super Two bs regardless. This Pirate management is a prime example of bending every rule purely for profit while using Pirate Charities for public relations and tax benefits.

Anthony

This super two narrative is really getting old. If the Pirates were competitive, like the Braves, and did not have 1) a TOR pitching prospect coming off 50 IPs the prior year, in which his workload needed to be managed over the course of a full season, and 2) a position player prospect with massive plate discipline issues, then super two would not be an issue. There is more (and obvious) context to these decisions than being “profit” driven.

I have no problem with how RC has been handled this year. He will be an extremely important part of our rotation moving forward, and he is being set up to have a full, and hopefully healthy, 2023. And, OC should NOT be working out his “issues” in the show. His game looks pathetic, and unfortunately for him, it’s overshadowed by these stat cast achievement that everyone clamors over. They don’t really mean anything without consistency.

Last edited 1 month ago by Anthony
robertkasperski

Just had the alert pop up that Harper will come off the IL just for the Bucs tomorrow……

Wilbur Miller

So he gets to do a minor league rehab without having to ride a bus . . . .

Timbertopper

robertkasperski

It’x good to be the king 🙂

Last edited 1 month ago by robertkasperski
Wilbur Miller

Especially when you get to play the court jesters.

robertkasperski

Jason Mackey tweeted that he had a pregame talk with Roberto Perez and apparently he and the team are talking about bringing him back for next season. Would be a nice signing to bridge to the arrival of Endy and Henry.

AdministrativeSky236

Agree, this is a very reasonably priced way to give a clear upgrade on what we have right now. Also, he really seems like the kind of guy that would be good for culture and with helping the young guys out.

Wilbur Miller

You mean, you don’t like going exclusively with third string AA catchers?

john_fluharty

It would be nice to have a catcher that can hit as well as catch

ricramer

Delay hasn’t been awful.

Catch_22

Albeit, small sample, but I’m not impressed with Holderman. Big Danny has 2 more years of control beyond this year.

His skill set is extremely valuable. He’s also extremely entertaining to watch.

NMR

I don’t get the part where he was trashed for taking too many pitches when in reality he had by far the best plate discipline on the club.

Anthony

Just look at who was trashing him and that should answer your question.

docdon385

This team doesn’t need a break. It’s already broken and people are starting to talk about next years draft instead of something that might actually help the team improve in the near future.

My fear is that this is the real “plan” for the “rebuild.” Keep pushing it further and further down the road so ownership can keep doing the same things it’s been doing with as little resistance as possible instead of anything to produce a winner. Their off season actions, or inactions, should say a lot about whether this so called rebuild is real or not.

john_fluharty

I don’t think they’ll add anything from the outside until the guys they brought up from within the system produce, and if the current crop doesn’t produce we’re probably in for a bit of a wait till the next group replaces them.

Last edited 1 month ago by john_fluharty
ArkyWags

Pretty much thinking the same thing unfortunately. They have their whole process and timeline and they won’t deviate from it.

RAS TN

Your fear is actually the reality of the Pirates. they have no intention of improving this team. If for some rare stroke some of the so-called prospects actually do develop and come together for a year or 2 that’s what they are shooting for…then wash rinse repeat…

AttyMike

I, for one, sleep better at night knowing that Shelton’s job is safe for another year.

PirateRican21

I love sarcasm, so I love this comment!

leefieux

Quick question. We have the #3 draft position at this point. Even if we lose the lotto and some team below us wins that #1 slot, are still guaranteed to pick 4th in round 1?

RAS TN

Honestly what difference is it going to make, wherever they draft that player will not be around until 2027 or later…

roberto

No. The lottery includes everyone not in the playoffs.

TNBucs

As I understand it, the lowest we could be is 9th but that would be unlikely. The top six picks are determined by a lottery involving all eighteen non-playoff teams. In a worst case scenario for us, none of the three worst teams would get a lottery pick and then the picks would go in reverse order of record starting at seven which would put us drafting ninth as things stand now. More likely we’ll be in the top six, though.

leefieux

Unlikely? It’s the Pirates. I am marking us down for #9 . 🙂 🙂 :’

PiratePrimate

A big dish of beef chow main will be worth more than any pick this motley crew decides on by probably throwing darts or shit at the wall.

leefieux

Or even chow mein (Btw, I HATE Chinese food).

leefieux

Odds? You Talkin’ about odds???!!! If there’s a ONE percent chance of not getting 1-5, this franchise will nail it!

leefieux

The only Pirate break I am looking forward to is the Winter break. That way we can get all optimistic that, somehow, we’ll win 70 games in 2023.

chappy

Bryan Reynolds may be convincing me he is tradeable. Take away his 3 homer game and 2 homer game and wha that’s he done this year? Even with those 2 games he is not the player of last year. Can he rebound next year or is this who he is?

leefieux

Take away all of his bad games and he is having an MVP season!!

chappy

Ha!

ArkyWags

Take away all his good games and what has he done?! Nothing!

chappy

I listed 2 games! Those 2 games account for 25 % of his homers and almost 25% of his RBI’s. What is his average RISP this year? .176.
His WAR has dropped from 2.7, to 2.0 in the last 10 days. He was terrible against the Reds and their lousy pitching and did nothing against the Braves much better pitching.
April OPS .598
May OPS .758
June OPS .989
July OPS .608 (40 at bats only due to IL)
August OPS .840 but plummeting…

He is my favorite player but he is killing us. Most of the year he has been a not very good hitter. Is it fixable? I don’t know, but the less he produces the easier it is to replace him. He has become a bit of a mystery to me this year.

1979andCounting

Good on you for calling a spade a spade. All the 1 and 2 run losses we hear this team has played, that’s where a difference maker can flip games……and Reynolds has “killed us” because he’s supposed to be that guy. His K’s are way up and RBI’s way down vs last year.

john_fluharty

He’s not the one killing us, but I generally agree with your concerns. He’s not living up to last year at least. Let’s hope next year is more like last year.

Last edited 1 month ago by john_fluharty
NMR

I don’t want to blame you for getting excited about the guy, but did younz REALLY think this was the 10th best player in all of baseball?

Feel kinda bad for the guy at this point. He’s gonna live in the shadow of his one peak year and end up taken for granted. Good ballplayer, just not a great one.

chappy

This is his year 27 year, most often the career year for guys, and certainly those 27-29 years should be prime. Obviously there are bigger issues than Reynolds, but he was a 6 WAR player last year. Right now he is at 2.0 and Fangraphs has him at 1.7. A 5-6 WAR player is someone you build around. If he is only a 2-3 WAR player then you are hoping for 1 or even 2 of our prospects to surpass that. It basically means he is now someone you probably don’t want to invest long term on. I think what he does next year will tell us much more. He is actually having a bad year this year in relation to his other years. His rookie year he was 130 OPS +, last year he was over 140 OPS + and the 2 month season of ‘20 he was really bad with an under 100 OPS +. Right now he is 121 OPS +. Obviously he could get hot again and finish strong, but if I am the GM I am scratching my head and wondering just what kind of player I have. I don’t see why so many are saying “clearly” last year was an outlier. I at least don’t know that. He is a mystery to me now. I am mystified by his offensive drop off, and his inability to really find some traction this year except for fits and starts. I, at least thought we had a legit # 3 hitter to build around, but that is now an open question.

ArkyWags

How many more years do we need from him to tell us what he is? He’s had two outstanding years a poor one, and an average one. Sounds like a talented, but inconsistent player. I haven’t really been a fan of extending or trading Reynolds at the moment. Rather, I’d see things play out while (god willing) the rest of the team improves.

I’m not sure why he’s a mystery; maybe he’s just one of those guys who if something is slightly off, physically or mentally, he struggles.

ArkyWags

Your second paragraph hits home. Inevitably with bad teams, fans turn on the few good players they have and magnify their failures. It’s strange that they end up being blamed for having bad teammates.

NMR

Cutch was a 4 WAR player his last full season in Pittsburgh and people ere still talk about him like he was a corpse warmed over by the time he left!

NMR

…of a contender who’s willing to part with a Top 100 prospect and a couple high-end teenagers. 😉

leefieux

That’ll die on the vine in our system? 🙂 🙂

NMR

Bryan Reynolds himself was far lesser of a prospect, you gotta have faith!

leefieux

There are ALWAYS exceptions. See Altuve, Jose. But more top prospects fail than succeed,
(Esp Pirate farm hands) because baseball is hard.

Last edited 1 month ago by leefieux
Anthony

Kind of odd how he produced as soon as they brought him up. I wonder why they didn’t manipulate his service time?

ArkyWags

The 2021 Reynolds was a mirage. That was a one year blip I think. But he’s still an above average regular/fringe All Star. Also move him out of center, for God’s sake.

NMR

Super weird how Statcast had him as one of the best defenders in baseball last year while UZR and DRS agreed he kinda sucked.

ArkyWags

Reynolds is killing us? Funny I thought that the rest of the team being a train wreck is a much bigger issue than a star in a slump. Even with a slump, his OPS this month is well over 800! I don’t think he’s as good a player as he was in 2021, but he’s still a good player.

Anthony

… and he has absolutely no protection in this lineup. He is the least of our worries.

ArkyWags

I don’t think of it as much as protection (him getting good pitches to hit) as just having no other hitters at all who are a consistent danger to pitchers. It’s an atrocious lineup.

roberto

Right on! The same could be said about Cutch and Trout.

AttyMike

What’s the point in keeping him if you don’t put a team around him?

hoptown

I think this is who he is. An above avg player. A borderline All Star. But not a franchise cornerstone like McCutchen was.

AdministrativeSky236

Certainly the type of player we need around! He would benefit from having some help shouldering the offensive load imo

Cobra

I’m just gonna go ahead & apologize to all of the Hodgepodges of Nothings out there who were compared to the 2022 Pittsburgh Pirates

leefieux

We’re better than two other teams in MLB at this writing (Wash and Oak). Scary!

TNBucs

Two teams in their first year of a rebuild.

omarvelous

Dog days.

bscat

woof!

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