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 Post subject: A few early morning thoughts . . .
PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 11:55 am 
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I'm certainly glad that the Bucs have finished playing the Dodgers and Angels this year. They both appear to have woken up.

It takes a lot for me to root for the Atlanta Braves and Chicago Cubs. Apparently, "a lot" = "Cardinals" and "Reds"

While I'm usually a proponent of beating the best that the other team has to offer, I must admit to not being disappointed that the Bucs will not face Wheeler or Harvey this weekend, let alone the remainder of 2013. That's a pretty good 1-2 punch and I'm all for wishing those two the best of success against the Braves and the Nats for the rest of the season.

Given the uncertainty with the Pirates' starting pitching this year, is it possible to overstate the importance of Liriano's performances this year since he's come of the DL?

I won't shed one tear if Puig doesn't win the fan vote.

I hope Pedro continues to "stay within himself" and doesn't try too hard to show David Wright that he deserved to be in the Home Run Derby.

How loud will the boos be at PNC Park every time Wright comes to bat at PNC Park this weekend?

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 Post subject: Re: A few early morning thoughts . . .
PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 12:07 pm 
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Puig certainly does seem like an ass. ESPN is sure making it seem that way anyway.


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 Post subject: Re: A few early morning thoughts . . .
PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 12:10 pm 
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I still like this Pirates team - a lot. Tabata is making me feel a lot better about the RF situation. The most important upgrade - and one that is doable - is to improve the bench, particularly the LH'ed bat. Snider is beyond struggling.

The top four in the rotation of Burnett, Liriano, Cole and Locke is one of the best in MLB. If Wandy had not suffered his elbow problem, the top-5 would be, IMO, the best in baseball. The Cardinals top 3 is superb (Wainwright, Miller, Lynn), but Garcia is hurt, and Westbrook is "ehhh." Macha is going to be limited in terms of innings as well, so they have a top 3 1/2, really.

Agree on Puig. I was mystified for weeks why anybody threw him a strike - he swings at anything. Yet, there were pitchers throwing strike after strike to him. Finally, it seems somebody watched his AB's and teams now pump fastballs up-and-in and sliders in the dirt. Result = a zillion K's and few hits.

Really enjoyed the game last night. Worked late again, got home, walked into the family room and saw the game in the 3rd inning on ESPN (son left the game on for me).

Really pleased that Pedro had some solid AB's vs. lefties. Does he see more breaking balls than any other player in the major leagues? Seriously, he gets 1-1 breaking balls, 0-0 breaking balls more often than any other hitter I see.

Great win.


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 Post subject: Re: A few early morning thoughts . . .
PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 12:22 pm 
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Bucfan wrote:
The top four in the rotation of Burnett, Liriano, Cole and Locke is one of the best in MLB. If Wandy had not suffered his elbow problem, the top-5 would be, IMO, the best in baseball. The Cardinals top 3 is superb (Wainwright, Miller, Lynn), but Garcia is hurt, and Westbrook is "ehhh." Macha is going to be limited in terms of innings as well, so they have a top 3 1/2, really.


Wacha and Cole threw the same number of innings last year, so he'll be limited as well.

And I don't trust Morton down the stretch.

Those two reasons are enough for me to think Huntington may trade for a solid starter. If Bud Norris isn't crazy expensive, he'd look good in the rotation.


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 Post subject: Re: A few early morning thoughts . . .
PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 12:25 pm 
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Personally, and other than the ESPN love-plug, I don't get Puig for All Star over say, Marte. Marte is just as electric, even more so if you look at his defense.

As the Bucs get more national exposure, I think you'll start to hear. "That McCutcheon is great, but did you see that kid in LF?".

ZM

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 Post subject: Re: A few early morning thoughts . . .
PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 12:29 pm 
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Marte may be flashier, but McCutchen's more effective. Marte still strikes out a lot, while Cutch has lowered his K% to the lowest level of his career in 2013. Cutch also walks more, gets on base more, and has improved his baserunning efficiency.

If Marte could ever gain Cutch's strike zone judgment, he could potentially surpass him. But that's a tough skill to master.


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 Post subject: Re: A few early morning thoughts . . .
PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 12:54 pm 
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J_C_Steel wrote:
And I don't trust Morton down the stretch.


Amen. I desperately want him to do well, but I just don't see it. I'd much rather have a healthy Karstens, but alas that isn't happening either. I'm all for a 3 month rental on a starting pitcher to finish this season out.


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 Post subject: Re: A few early morning thoughts . . .
PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 1:03 pm 
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Not a fan of Puig being an all star. It just seems to me that there is an "LA/Dodger" or market effect in his favor that would not be there were he in most other markets. Let him display his talents for longer than 5-6 weeks and then we can talk "all star". :roll: :roll: :roll:


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 Post subject: Re: A few early morning thoughts . . .
PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 1:43 pm 
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JollyRoger wrote:
Puig certainly does seem like an ass. ESPN is sure making it seem that way anyway.

Not sure how true that is. Went to Dodgers spring training before this season, Puig was signing autographs for everyone while other Dodgers were not, there was a handicapped boy in a wheelchair close to me and Puig pulled out his batting gloves and signed them for the boy. He seemed like a pretty nice guy in person.

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 Post subject: Re: A few early morning thoughts . . .
PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 2:23 pm 
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Way too much concern over the home run derby and Pedro not being chosen for it in my opinion. The deby is pretty much irrelevant, as is who competes in it.


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 Post subject: Re: A few early morning thoughts . . .
PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 3:40 pm 
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Puig was approached by Luis Gonzales, former D Back and fellow Cuban expat the other night, and he totally snubbed him. Would not even acknowledge his presence. Gonzales was quite surprised apparently. He explained that he approached him speaking Spanish and was not asking for a signature or anything related, only wanted to chat and relate to him their cultural similarities. Puig apparently got a bit of an earful from Mark McGuire about respect and being a big leaguer, etc.. :roll: :roll: :roll:


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 Post subject: Re: A few early morning thoughts . . .
PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 3:44 pm 
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At least he hasn't flipped his bat mid at-bat because he disagreed with a call. Baby steps I guess.

He was getting criticized quite a bit for his (im)maturity in the minors, I think once the "wow" factor wore off in the majors they finally started mentioning it up here.

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 Post subject: Re: A few early morning thoughts . . .
PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 3:46 pm 
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I'm not sure we will know the cost of a rental player until the PEDsuspensions come down. Teams with playoff aspirations are going to find themselves with holes. I don't worry about Arod or Braun, it's some of the other names being mentioned. Cruz in Texas for example will create a huge hole in that line up. Is Colon on it? Heard his name mentioned. It'll be interesting to see who is on it and which teams are affected.

I spend a lot of time watching the MLB network and when talking about the Pirates, Marte is always praised on it. Usually as a future superstar.

I have nothing against Puig, I think talented young players are good for the game. Having said that, I voted in the fan vote for the first time ever and sent all my votes to Freddie Freeman.

A lot of great young players in the game right now. I'd take Machado over any of them.

Back to Puig... A couple weeks ago, Mitch Williams was ranting about the way he was being pitched to. Said everyone is pitching him away, but with his stance and plate coverage that up and in is the place to go. Eventually, pitchers will find the hole in everyone's swing and then it's up to hitter to adjust.

Pedro looks more relaxed than I've ever seen. He's always looked like he is carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders. It's good to see a smile on his face when he does something good.


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 Post subject: Re: A few early morning thoughts . . .
PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 6:17 pm 
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Az Bucco fan wrote:
Not a fan of Puig being an all star. It just seems to me that there is an "LA/Dodger" or market effect in his favor that would not be there were he in most other markets.


*nodding*

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 Post subject: Re: A few early morning thoughts . . .
PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 6:18 pm 
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Freddie Freeman in. Puig out. Good for MLB, IMO. Let the fans decide if they're burnt out or want to see him.

Steve Delabar in for the AL (Blue Jays reliever).

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 Post subject: Re: A few early morning thoughts . . .
PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 6:24 pm 
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StarlingArcher wrote:
Steve Delabar in for the AL (Blue Jays reliever).


Can't wait to read the reactions on USS Mariner!

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 Post subject: Re: A few early morning thoughts . . .
PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 6:32 pm 
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StarlingArcher wrote:
Freddie Freeman in. Puig out. Good for MLB, IMO. Let the fans decide if they're burnt out or want to see him.

Steve Delabar in for the AL (Blue Jays reliever).


Love this. Granted, he'll still make it as guys will surely drop out but I'm glad all the SportsCenter hype didn't win him the vote. Good for us.

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 Post subject: Re: A few early morning thoughts . . .
PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 7:20 pm 
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J_C_Steel wrote:
Wacha and Cole threw the same number of innings last year, so he'll be limited as well.

Wacha is not as talented as Cole, and the Cardinals are looking to keep him in AAA as much as possible. He has thrown something like 17 major league innings.

J_C_Steel wrote:
And I don't trust Morton down the stretch.

You will notice I did not reference Mr. Morton as part of the solid rotation. I postulated that IF Wandy returns, then the top 5 is the best in baseball.

You can probably divine my line of thinking here.


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