Osuna and Riddle and Evans, Oh My

Many fans were shocked to hear Derek Shelton pointedly offer a few bottom of the roster candidates to occupy DH duties for your Pittsburgh Pirates on 93.7 The Fan. The story took off on social media and of course the first part of the discussion where he also mentioned Gregory Polanco or Josh Bell as candidates was just a bit less publicized for those who didn’t hear it.

Personally, as I said in my lineup piece the other day, I’d prefer to see Moran get at bats there to take him off the field, at least against right-handed pitchers.

Part of me would like to just call BS. I can’t see him filling out a lineup card with Evans or Riddle at DH and I’d like to believe he is essentially handing out participation trophy comments, but what if he is serious? What if you flip on the game for that first day and see he has Moran at 3rd and Riddle as the DH?

Boy that would be one hell of a hello Pittsburgh wouldn’t it? That’s why I lean toward a coach placating some role players. Because if I look at the roster, and I’m talking the larger group encompassing those in Altoona as well, I could fill out almost three full lineups before either of those names come up.

It’s not a bitter fan take either for me, I have no reason to think those two in particular are that bad, I’m just saying either of them filling the role seems so outrageous to me thinking it’s not real is the only way to stop the headache.

OK, let’s at least try to play Devil’s advocate. 60 game season, only 5 days off, two stretches of 17 games in 17 days, ok, somewhere in there I can see the team being so tired they have little choice but to put together a questionable lineup or two.

I question the overall wisdom of being a new manager, knowing the fans expect change and putting this out in the universe. It’s very Clint Hurdle in a way, I loved the guy, but he really liked talking about things like this and tossing out weird options on occasion, sometimes it seemed like he just wanted us to know he knew more about baseball. After a few seasons he started actually believing it, remember when Sean Rod started in a playoff game?

Shelton just came from helping to lead a team of relative unknowns to incredible power numbers and a playoff berth. Maybe he believes he has superpowers and Evans has 25 homerun pop in him.

No, I just can’t see it. What disturbs me most though, I can’t see the motivation. I never understood Joe Maddon batting the pitcher 8th either but at least his best players made the lineup.

I think that’s probably where I am, I don’t understand why he says things like this. I don’t understand vocally committing to Moran playing “a whole bunch” of third base either. I’m not sure I understand announcing things that I agree with to be honest. Like Kuhl and Brault potentially splitting the fifth starter spot.

Bottom line, when you have a first-year coach, nobody can tell you “hey, this is his history” or “don’t worry, Derek always does this type of thing” everything he does or says is brand new. Add on top of that there isn’t one coach who has led their MLB team through a 60-game season.

These statements aren’t worth getting mad about until they become more than words, but that’s what Extreme said.

Published by Gary Morgan

Former contributor for Inside the Pirates an SI Team Channel

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