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 Post subject: Is it fair to question Jeff Andrews?
PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2008 9:04 am 
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Just asking; I'm not close enough to the scene to have an informed opinion.

But many of us had raised expectations that the rotation finally had solidified coming into this season. Instead, it's a disaster. There isn't a pitcher in it who has shown any positive consistency so far.

Leaving Matt Morris completely out of the discussion,

• Gorzelanny (taking him at his word that he isn't hurt) is off to an extremely disappointing start, averaging a walk an inning – 10 more than his strikeout total to this point.

• Snell has given up 52 hits in 40-2/3 innings of work. He said in the P-G today that he just can't seem to keep his fastball down in the strike zone.

• Maholm pitches decently at home, and his overall numbers aren't bad, but is not good in away games.

• This was to be the year we'd see whether Duke had come out of his funk. But he has yielded 48 hits in 35-2/3 IP, has as many walks as he has strikeouts, and has plunked 3 batters already.

Hardly a game goes by that qualifies as a "quality start." I haven't run the numbers, but more often than not, it seems to me, our guy is done by the fifth inning.

Am I wrong in sensing a pattern here?

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 Post subject: Re: Is it fair to question Jeff Andrews?
PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2008 11:13 am 
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There is definitely a pattern - they have all pitched poorly, but they have also all had a few good or at least decent outings. None aside from Morris has been so bad that you want them out of the rotation.

I have no idea how much can be blamed on the pitching coach, but I do know that if these guys can't pitch any better than this, the Pirates are a LOT further away from competing than I thought they were.


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 Post subject: Re: Is it fair to question Jeff Andrews?
PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2008 11:17 am 
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Ralphie wrote:
There is definitely a pattern - they have all pitched poorly, but they have also all had a few good or at least decent outings. None aside from Morris has been so bad that you want them out of the rotation.

I have no idea how much can be blamed on the pitching coach, but I do know that if these guys can't pitch any better than this, the Pirates are a LOT further away from competing than I thought they were.


It's a pattern. I am in no way defending Andrews as I'm not sure how good a pitching coach he is/will be, but I think it's hard to pin this on him. These guys aren't all that good.


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 Post subject: Re: Is it fair to question Jeff Andrews?
PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2008 11:46 am 
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Six consecutive first round picks on starting pitchers, and the starting pitching is a wreck.

The Giants spent a first round pick on a starter a couple of years ago, and that guy is the best starter in their rotation and a potential star.

The Royals spent a first round pick on a starter in 2006 and that guy is in the rotation and pitching very well, with dominating stuff.

Two of the Pirates better starters (Snell, Gorzellany) were not even first rounders.

This would be funny if it were happening to the Yankees or Red Sox.

As to the question: Snell and Gorzo are not pitching as well as they have in the past. That regression is going to put some heat on Andrews and rightfully so. The pitching coach's motto should be, at a minimum, "first, do no harm.'


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 Post subject: Re: Is it fair to question Jeff Andrews?
PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2008 12:53 pm 
I didn't like the hire of Andrews from day 1. The Pirates haven't been able to produce much in the way of home grown pitching and Andrews was one of their pitching coaches in the minors.


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 Post subject: Re: Is it fair to question Jeff Andrews?
PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2008 1:05 pm 
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Elmer wrote:
I didn't like the hire of Andrews from day 1. The Pirates haven't been able to produce much in the way of home grown pitching and Andrews was one of their pitching coaches in the minors.

As they say, you can't make chicken salad out of chicken s***. Associating Andrews with the failures of the scouting system does not seem fair to me. In order to place blame on Andrews for the Pirates failure to groom major league pitchers, you'll have to show how Andrews got good prospects and didn't help them grow.

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 Post subject: Re: Is it fair to question Jeff Andrews?
PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2008 1:07 pm 
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Further, almost all of the good performances that got these guys to the MLB, came under Andrew's watch in the minors.

ZM

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 Post subject: Re: Is it fair to question Jeff Andrews?
PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2008 1:59 pm 
ZelieMike wrote:
Further, almost all of the good performances that got these guys to the MLB, came under Andrew's watch in the minors.

ZM


I agree that they good performances in the minors got them here, but I'm not sure how much of that is because of Andrews. Also, it's not good minor league pitching that concerns me, but rather good major league pitching. If they couldn't get things done once they got to the big leagues, I think it's fair to wonder if the guys were coached/prepared adequately.

I can't blame it all on Andrews. I just don't think most of the pitchers the Pirates have had are that good.


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 Post subject: Re: Is it fair to question Jeff Andrews?
PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2008 2:24 pm 
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I remember two seasons ago when all of our starters were young, inconsistency was expected, and we got just that. We saw flashes of the talent we had though, and figured that by this year, we would get those quality starts night in, night out. But we're still seeing inconsistency, and even some glaring problems from some of our starters. These problems threaten to overshadow any talent that our pitchers may possess. With John Russel, we saw tremendous improvement over the course of his first year in every starter. Then, last year Gorzo seemed to get it, but the rest of the rotation just never materialized. This year, everyone is having major problems, and Jeff Andrews seems powerless to prevent the problems from becomming overwhelming. I don't like Andrews because I have no confidence in his ability to right these pitchers mentally (which IMO, is the major problem here). With Gorzo, Maholm and Snell in particular, they go to the mound with zero confidence. As with Duke, his stuff just doesn't seem good enough. I do expect all of these guys to gradually improve, but they never seem ready when the season starts. Andrews did not do a good job of getting these guys focused for the season. As a result, they all are scuffling despite decent (not great) talent. No way should our starting rotation be posting the worst numbers in the NL, but here we are in May doing just that. It's just wildly disappointing on all fronts, from the pitchers themselves to the coaches who are not able to get the most out of these guys.


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 Post subject: Re: Is it fair to question Jeff Andrews?
PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2008 2:58 pm 
psubar12 wrote:
I remember two seasons ago when all of our starters were young, inconsistency was expected, and we got just that. We saw flashes of the talent we had though, and figured that by this year, we would get those quality starts night in, night out. But we're still seeing inconsistency, and even some glaring problems from some of our starters. These problems threaten to overshadow any talent that our pitchers may possess. With John Russel, we saw tremendous improvement over the course of his first year in every starter. Then, last year Gorzo seemed to get it, but the rest of the rotation just never materialized. This year, everyone is having major problems, and Jeff Andrews seems powerless to prevent the problems from becomming overwhelming. I don't like Andrews because I have no confidence in his ability to right these pitchers mentally (which IMO, is the major problem here). With Gorzo, Maholm and Snell in particular, they go to the mound with zero confidence. As with Duke, his stuff just doesn't seem good enough. I do expect all of these guys to gradually improve, but they never seem ready when the season starts. Andrews did not do a good job of getting these guys focused for the season. As a result, they all are scuffling despite decent (not great) talent. No way should our starting rotation be posting the worst numbers in the NL, but here we are in May doing just that. It's just wildly disappointing on all fronts, from the pitchers themselves to the coaches who are not able to get the most out of these guys.


You make some excellent points. I like Andrews less now than I did an hour ago.


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 Post subject: Re: Is it fair to question Jeff Andrews?
PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2008 3:44 pm 
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The only thing I can think is, hitters adjust through the years. A pitcher who is successful one year may fall off the next due to batters adjusting. In the MLB, pitchers and hitters alike cannot bank on the successes of past years, they need to continually work and retool to avoid the opposition gaining any kind of edge. A point could be made that none of these pitchers have really ever fully developed or they have developed as far as they were going to go. From what I have been seeing is that our pitchers are overmatched, lack control, and lack velocity. This definitely spells disaster if this continues. Honestly, Jeff cannot stand on that mound and throw strikes for them.


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 Post subject: Re: Is it fair to question Jeff Andrews?
PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2008 8:43 pm 
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I know no one was expecting the Pirates to win the division or any goal like that, maybe Andrews' philosophy is tear them down and rebuild them...

I had that problem as a wrestling coach, getting kids who wrestled in elementary school and were coached by their dads...I would start at the basic techniques and work my way up for the whole team, upper classmen down...State Qualifiers to 1st year kids...
We'd get our butts kicked in on a regular basis at the start of the season, but by the end, had a tough competitive team...

Maybe that is part of the struggles, they're learning new things to be using while pitching...Could Andrews be over his head? Maybe...Maybe he is a good coach getting these guys pointed in the right direction in the minors only, but its been one month into the season, so its still tough to judge...

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