With Pirates Prospects on the Doorstep, Agile Decisions are Key

2-4-23 – By Gary Morgan – @garymo2007 on Twitter

There is reason for excitement in Pirates Nation.

For the first time in quite a while, the MLB squad looks professional and instead of cringing while projecting an opening day lineup, we’ll instead find ourselves cringing about who we have to bat 7th.

That’s true to be sure, but there’s also a host of kids on the doorstep with pedigree and much higher ceilings.

This is going to be difficult for fans to wrap their heads around.

Think back to even the last run in the 2010’s, there were what, 2 or 3 guys you might have been looking to for help? Taillon, Cole, maybe Alan Hansen?

This time, man pick a position and there’s someone you think might help.

I’ve talked about this before, but really think through this season. If the team is actually performing, they’re not going to be anxious to work in more rookies are they?

If all the Vets stink, I’m sure we’ll see a lot more prospects, but in that case, is that really what you wanted this year?

At least once a day I get a message like “Imagine the Rotation when Burrows, Priester, Ortiz all get there”. I get this sentiment, I even feel it myself a bit, but a whole lot has to go wrong with this rotation for that to happen honestly.

The hard part is watching Keller, Brubaker, Hill, Roansy and Velasquez, inevitably one or two are going to tumble in your mind but to expect 3-4 of them to stink, I’m not sure that’s realistic. The next step is to assume Vince and JT Brubaker really belong in the bullpen, well, ok, but Brubaker is one of the very few starters who’s given this team innings.

How do you anxiously look forward to these high end talents, yet avoid almost pulling for failure from the guys who start the season?

My recommendation, is to remember you’re rooting for the Pirates, not the Endy’s.

These things have a tendency to sort themselves out too. Injuries will happen, some guys will legitimately underperform, and best case scenario by far, some of these prospects will perform so well they force the team to feel they have to see them get an opportunity.

Another thing we have to keep in mind especially when we talk about the pitching, you need innings. I say this because if you were to just cut guys who have no options, you could wind up losing some of the depth you’ve built up, and we just saw last season how very important that can be to a pitching staff.

So, if the Bucs start the season with Duane Underwood Jr., even if he only gives you 40 innings before getting “injured” or even cut all together, that’s 40 innings you aren’t trying to squeeze out of a kid, or a Wil Crowe so he looks like he’s got nothing left by September.

All of these guys have a role, but you can’t force it, and you shouldn’t rush it.

Wanna know why guys like me were screaming to get Ji-hwan Bae up here much earlier last season? This is why. Last year they had little blocking the few prospects who were close, and they chose to artificially block them anyway.

In my mind, that was wasting valuable time to get a look at what they had with some of these guys.

Now that they’ve filled the holes with vets, the entire process is going to be more difficult. Better record? Oh I think so, but if we arrive at that better record and never got a chance to get some MLB time for some of these prospects, it’ll be hard to say they handled this right.

What we’re about to watch, is something the Pittsburgh Pirates haven’t really dealt with since maybe 1986 or 1987. So if you’re my age or younger, chances are, this is foreign territory, and I think we’d do well to really think about it, if for no other reason than to avoid getting frustrated.

This team has to make smart, and unapologetic decisions. If Burrows is putting up numbers in AAA that can’t be ignored, they must find a way to get those innings transferred to MLB. And if that comes at the expense of someone like Brubaker, well, it has to come at someone’s expense right?

If nothing else, it’s going to be interesting. I think they have about 34 or 35 viable MLB capable players heading into Spring, now it becomes using them wisely, efficiently and not letting money play any role in their choices.

Easier said than done, probably for us as much as them.

Published by Gary Morgan

Former contributor for Inside the Pirates an SI Team Channel

4 thoughts on “With Pirates Prospects on the Doorstep, Agile Decisions are Key

  1. “smart, and unapologetic decisions.”, “using them wisely, efficiently and not letting money play any role in their choices.”

    You’re hysterical, did we trade front office staffs with Tampa or Cleveland and I missed it?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: