Both teams kicked the ball around the field. Both teams couldn’t find the strike zone, partially because it took the umpire 4 innings to find it too.
These things happen, but the Pirates can’t afford to play that way to beat anyone. This is a team who even when they decide to play all their cards in one game for a change have little room for error. Compound that with walks galore, 4 more by Chad Kuhl today, and you have a recipe for disaster.
The team is doing what most figured they would, losing. If this lineup stays intact, they’ll play a good stretch here and there, but for the most part, this is what this season was always going to be.
I do think it’s fair to ask though, being that the management staff said they wanted to get batter. And they were pressed on this, they were asked do you mean get better like as if to say get better players or get better meaning you need to train some guys up. The answer was to improve the guys who are here.
That being said, who’s gotten better?
Frazier? Ok, this is absolutely as consistent as he’s ever been, but here’s a guy who’s hit .280 in this league. You hit .280 it’s not inconceivable you’d get it over .300 someday. But ok, maybe right?
How about Reynolds? He’s certainly got the power stroke going, On a good pace to hit 25 this year, and he hasn’t done it at the expense of contact, the average is looking good too. He’s Reynolds 2019, plus some Hulk. Do they get credit for that? I don’t know, kinda just looks like maturity to me, but it’s under their watch.
Moran? Nah, this is what he was doing in 2019, actually his power numbers (percentage wise of course accounting for IL time) is down a touch. I love the approach, so I guess that’s a coached alteration.
How about on the mound? The bullpen is doing really well. I give them credit for getting something out of Kyle Crick. I wrote him off before the season. This is what Rich Rod has been for a while really, but they identified him as a 9th inning guy. And they found Howard on the scrap heap, so total credit there.
Starters, Hmmm. I mean I guess Anderson has been better than his payscale, but how much or that was Colorado? Eh. What about Brubaker? He’s grown on a pretty even and steady angle really since 2020 when he got his first shot. I got nothing else.
Is that enough? I mean where’s that guy you actually found a way to get blood out of a rock with? Like do something with a Newman or Tucker, maybe even Craig or Kramer. Find a way to make one of those picks look pretty good. That to me would show more about the assumed improvements to the development system than what we can actually see. I’m thrilled to watch Oneil Cruz start to really emerge in AA, that’s awesome, I guess I’m not seeing it at the MLB level, and maybe it’s not even fair to expect based on the roster, ya know?
Two games given away so far in Milwaukee, partially by uncharacteristic relief pitching and bad starts.
One more in Milwaukee tomorrow at 2:10 Pirates will send Wil Craig (See notes) to the mound to face Adrian Houser who the Pirates almost always struggle to see.
News & Notes
- Prior to the game the Pirates sent Trevor Cahill back to the 10-day IL as he apparently reaggravated his calf injury. To take his spot on the roster the Pirates recalled Geoff Hartlieb who was already with the team on the Taxi Squad.
- Also before the game, the Pirates exercised an option on Mitch Keller sending the youngster to AAA to work on some things. Derek Shelton said prior to the game they still very much believe in him but as you all know how I feel about statements like this, what’s he gonna say really? Bottom line is Keller needs to command his pitches, add some movement to his 4-seam, potentially develop a better changeup. This could be a bit longer than many assume. And don’t think Glasnow isn’t in everyone’s head. Stallings mentioned him in reference to Keller, so did Cherington and Shelton, both of which weren’t even here to witness him.
- The corresponding move for Mitch Keller was to recall Wil Crowe, and while I’m fine with that, he himself was just send down for having his own bout of ineffectiveness after a really nice start where he slowly ramped up into some nice outings before ultimately falling back.
- Ka’ai Tom has a lower SLG% .226 than OBP% .286, his OPS sits at .512. This just doesn’t make sense anymore. He’s had over 100 PA now and they cut bait on Anthony Alford after 29, Dustin Fowler after 46. I guess you could say they like that he draws some walks but surely his Rule 5 status isn’t keeping him safe. Jared Oliva was just activated from the IL today, give him a couple weeks and here’s hoping they make a move. I didn’t even touch Troy Stokes in that rant. Now, I realize this is like complaining about a mustard stain on a tie dye shirt, but I can’t think of one thing to hang my hat on with this guy.
- For the first time tonight Shelton openly said he has got to start getting more length out of his starters, I just question how possible that is. Anderson and Brubaker are just about the only ones I’d look for that from, and that’s just not enough. Either of them have a blow up early and the pen is in real trouble.