Setbacks, Promotions, and Punishing Loss, The Pirates Had it All in One Day

What can you write about a 20-1 loss? I mean, I could chronicle every thunderous swing taken by a Braves player, I could talk about how many of those runs came off Wilmer Difo too. I could probably write about how the players that really matter still hit the baseball but on a day like this, after everything that happened, it’s just not the discussion we need to have.

We Must Discuss the Nick Gonzales Injury

There isn’t anything good about a top prospect being injured. At first it seemed like this wasn’t going to be a huge deal, a collision and initially it appeared it would be nothing more than a contusion and some short time healing up.

Alas…

Now, I’m not going to pretend I’m some medical professional, but it’s very likely this will at least make leveling up this year a challenge. It wasn’t a forgone conclusion anyway, but this all but eliminates the likelihood he reaches the Curve with any meaningful time to get his feet wet this season.

Injury is part of the game, as we all saw with Ke’Bryan Hayes this season already. This and other things like it including performance, are why there are never enough prospects. There are never too many short stops, not enough pitching, not enough of anything.

Tyler Anderson

Five innings, Ten Hits, 9 Earned Runs.

Now, that’s one game. A terrible game, but one game nonetheless.

What is important now is to hope Anderson is able to rebound. I think that’s still very doable, but a game like this will shade his overall numbers for the season. Don’t get me wrong, baseball executives by in large are smarter than to judge performance based on one contest but overall things like this are much more the norm for lower level free agents like Anderson.

I’m not predicting doom for Tyler, simply saying since regressing to what he’s always been is more likely than seeing him continue to put up numbers reflective of a top 20 pitcher in MLB, maybe don’t dilly dally on getting him moved. They have Chad Kuhl, Jose Soriano, Steven Brault all on the way back from injury, as well as Wil Crowe and Miguel Yajure who are actively earning their place on this club.

Anderson is a big part of why the Pirates have managed to compete more than most of us anticipated in this young season, but if I’m the Pirates i strike while the iron is hot and get something that will help later.

You can list off all the players you think the Pirates should trade, but Anderson is the only one I can honestly say they HAVE to trade.

Cole Tucker

Ka’ai Tom and Cole Tucker have very little tangible to do with each other. One is an outfielder who has a penchant for long at bats and is more about hunting walks than base hits. The other has a ton of tools and pedigree that have never added up to a major league baseball player.

Tom’s retroactive IL designation created a need and Tucker was the only position player on the 40-man able to be called up.

The team will of course paint this as an opportunity, or his skill set was perfect for the need, but in reality I don’t think it had much to do with anything more than having options, being on the 40-man and not being a pitcher.

That said, the one very true statement from the team is that it’s an opportunity, if there is one area on this club that you could pretty easily prove yourself and stick, it would be with the bat in your hands. Now, Cole hasn’t ever succeeded in this department and I don’t really expect it to happen. He’ll get some time, but his time is limited to how long it takes either Moran or Evans to get right.

AAA is not in a good place, and we all knew that before the season started, but maybe not this bad. in order to provide help at the MLB level, the team is going to have to mow through some of the AAAA players and DFAs who didn’t clear waivers in order to promote some real options from AA like Rodolfo Castro.

The team had an opportunity to do this just the other day. They needed a player, specifically an outfielder and chose to not use Dustin Fowler from the Taxi Squad, instead choosing Cole Tucker. It’s a short term situation, and if the goal is to retain as much as they can I get it, if the goal is to just use up players like Fowler for long term situations, I get that too.

No matter what, the short term plan is nowhere near as clear as the long term.

Published by Gary Morgan

Former contributor for Inside the Pirates an SI Team Channel

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