Results tagged ‘ james mcdonald ’
Thanks to the miracle of MLB.TV, I was able to enjoy today’s game with the rest of Pirate nation. It wasn’t much of a game, but here are my thoughts in typical bullet point fashion.
Earlier this season, Pirates GM Neil Huntington was quoted saying the Pirates wouldn’t be as active at the deadline as in past years. I along with many other fans knew that this just wouldn’t be true. The Bucs had some nice pieces that could be moved. Huntington knew this, and was able to pull off three stellar deals.
Trade 1: D.J. Carrasco, Bobby Crosby, and Ryan Church to the Diamondbacks for Catcher Chris Snyder and cash.
At first glance, I couldn’t believe this trade was really happening when I first saw it. Crosby (.224, 1 HR, 11 RBI) and Church (.182 3 HR, 18 RBI) flopped big time this year, and I thought that we would be stuck with them for sure. However the Diamondbacks for whatever reason felt the need to take them off our hands. In return we got catcher Chris Snyder.
At first glance, Snyder doesn’t look like much. He is just a career .233 hitter, and is hitting just .231 this season. But he has tremendous patience at the plate as his career on base percentage is .353. A high walk hitter is something the Pirates sorely lack. He also has 10 home runs this year which will put him near the team lead. In addition, many compliment him on the way he works with pitchers, something the Pirates really could use.
He is also a much much much better defensive catcher than Ryan “No-Mit” Doumit. It appears that Doumit’s days behind the plate are over once he is activated off the DL. Problem is that there is really nowhere to put him. He failed miserably at some starts at 1B back in June, and while he had seen time at RF during the early part of his career, Lastings Milledge has seem to gotten a hold on that position. What happens to Doumit should be an interesting story to follow in the future.
There is only one drawback I can think of to this trade is that the awesome stirrups of D.J. Carrasco will be no more. DJ was a fun guy to watch and was a pleasent surprise in the bullpen this season. But he was expendable, and if this is the best guy we gave up, then I’m all on board.
Trade 2: Octavio Dotel to the Dodgers for Pitcher James McDonald and Outfielder Andrew Lambo.
This was one that most fans could see comming. At 39, Octavio doesn’t really seem to fit into the Pirates’ future, and Evan Meek and Joel Hanrahan could easily assume the closer’s role. So Neil flipped Dotel to the Dodgers for James McDonald and Andrew Lambo.
McDonald, a once hearalded prospect with the Dodgers, was immediately activated on the Pirates roster. He saw action in 45 games in LA in 2009 going 5-5 with a 4.00 ERA. He also made 4 starts which makes me figure him to be the long man out of the bullpen for the rest of this season. His stuff isn’t overpowering, as he throws in the 91-93 MPH range. He relies on a big curveball to get swings and misses.
Andrew Lambo, who was drafted in the 4th round of the 2007 draft, is a power hitting outfield prospect. Though he has tailed off a bit, he did hit over 20 HRs between A and AA in 2008. He is still stuck in AA Chatanooga where he has hit .271 with 4 HR and 25 RBI. His progress has been derailed by a 50 game suspension for a failed drug test this season. Hopefully he can put his problems behind him and get back on track in Altoona
Trade 3: Javier Lopez to the Giants for Pitcher Joe Martinez and Outfielder John Bowker.
The Pirates weren’t done yet. Shortly before 4 PM, they sent lefty-specialist Javier Lopez to San Francisco for prospects Joe Martinez and Outfielder John Bowker.
The 27 year old Martinez has seen little time in the majors. In four games this season (1 start) he has gone 0-1 with an ERA of 4.91. He doesn’t figure to be more than a 5th starter or a deep bullpen man but he still is much welcomed depth to what is still a somewhat depleted minor league pitching staff. He has a hard sinking fastball that hits 90 MPH on average, but his lack of off-speed pitches keep him from being a reliable arm.
Bowker is also 27. He made the Giants opening day roster this season but was sent down after a 17 for 82 start. John has shown tremendous hitting ability in the minors(.342/.451/.596 in AAA in 2009, .310/.388/.594 in 2010) but has never been able to translate that at the major league level. He should be up in Pittsburgh sooner rather than later.
So all in all it was a very productive day for the Pirates at the deadline. They didn’t give up much in the way of key pieces, and were able to make improvements. Many baseball experts have applauded the Pirates deadline deals and feel they got good value for what they gave up. Neil Huntington knew he had chips in the bullpen, and he cashed in on them.
What will be interesting to see is how the bullpen performs after this turnover. With three reliable arms gone, the rest of the season is essencially a tryout for Wil Ledezma, Justin Thomas, Steven Jackson, and a host of others to see if they can figure to be a part of the Pirates plans in 2011.
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