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 Post subject: Gorzelanny and Milledge
PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2009 3:17 am 
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Just returned from tonight's Indianapolis-at-Pawtucket game and thought I'd pass along a few impressions, for what they're worth:

1. I'd never seen Gorzelanny pitch before, even on TV. So I didn't know what to expect. Would he be sharp? How hard would he throw? I left thinking . . . ehh. He was constantly behind the hitters, 1-0, 2-0, 3-1. His fielders repeatedly bailed him out of trouble. Example: in the third with the bases loaded, Shelby Ford made a brilliant diving catch of a laser headed for CF that would have scored two runs. Instead, that play ended the inning. In the fourth, after giving up a towering homer to RF on a 3-1 pitch, he was saved by Lastings Milledge, who made a beautiful diving catch in LF of a line drive. If Milledge hadn't come up with the ball, it would have been a triple. Next batter: Milledge caught a fly ball with his back against the LF wall.

Gorzelanny gave up only one run and four hits in six innings, but he walked three and threw 98 pitches. And this was against a lineup that featured only one hitter averaging as much as .265 and three others hitting .188, .167, and .154, respectively. The best seats we could get were about 50 feet down the LF line from third base, so I couldn't see what he was throwing. But the stadium radar gun clocked most of his pitches at 87-88 mph. He did crank it up to 93, but only once.

2. Milledge didn't exactly look like a man among boys, but he did hustle all night. In the seventh, he hit a broken-bat single to short RF, then legged it all the way to third when the third baseman couldn't throw out Robinzon Diaz on a grounder to his backhand. Another runner might well have stopped at second, but Milledge put his head down and kept going. In all, he went 3-for-4, broke up a scoreless tie in the fourth with a sharp 2-RBI single up the middle, scored later on a wild pitch, and walked once. He also was hit by a pitch, one of seven -- seven! -- HBP in the game. (First time I've seen that. Fortunately, four of them were by the Pawtucket starter, who's a knuckleballer.) Afterward, Milledge was interviewed over the PA system as the star of the game and sounded deferential, if not humble.

I'd give Milledge at least an A-minus. Gorzelanny: a B-minus, if only because he finished strong, striking out the side in the bottom of the sixth.

3. A word or two about Neal Walker. He went 0-for-5 with a walk. He killed what could have been a big first inning for Indianapolis by rolling over his wrists and hitting into a bases-loaded double play. But he was easily the best player for either team on defense. He made a brilliant stop on a rocket to third in the first inning and threw from his knees to get a runner going from first to second. He also caught a bunt attempt in foul territory and doubled the runner off first. For his sake, I hope he figures it out offensively because I don't know how much more the Pirates need to see from him in the field.

4. Steven Jackson pitched the ninth and was awful: four hits, a wild pitch, and two earned runs. Everything off Pawtucket bats against him was a rocket. Hope he isn't recalled to Pittsburgh anytime soon.

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 Post subject: Re: Gorzelanny and Milledge
PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2009 8:01 am 
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Excellent report. Thank you.

Gorzy - Perfect description of why he should not be called up. Perhaps he deserves a C?
Walker - Never will be
Jackson - Vogelsong light


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 Post subject: Re: Gorzelanny and Milledge
PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2009 9:11 am 
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Thanks Bob. Good to see you contributing.

That has always been the problem with Gorzo. He can't throw strikes consistently.

Nothing to see here, folks.

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 Post subject: Re: Gorzelanny and Milledge
PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2009 10:07 am 
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Argentum wrote:
Jackson - Vogelsong light


LOL.
Thanks for the good writeup bro!


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 Post subject: Re: Gorzelanny and Milledge
PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2009 10:14 am 
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That was great. Thanks for the info. Really Indy isn't full of the next Pirates is it? There're in Altoona except for Millidge and maybe Gorzo.

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 Post subject: Re: Gorzelanny and Milledge
PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2009 11:09 am 
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Argentum wrote:
Walker - Never will be

I said this on another thread recently but I'll repeat it here. Even with his protracted time at AAA, Walker is still the youngest guy on that team. It's too early to give up on him. And, no, I'm not from Pine Richland and I'm not related or friends with him or his family.


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 Post subject: Re: Gorzelanny and Milledge
PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2009 12:21 pm 
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Good report, Bob. Gorzellany is in the minor leagues because of his propensity to go 1-0 and 2-0 to hitters. Until he figures it out, he is going to struggle in the majors.

Milledge was caught stealing. Great throw by the C? Bad jump?


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 Post subject: Re: Gorzelanny and Milledge
PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2009 4:54 pm 
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burghermeister wrote:
Argentum wrote:
Walker - Never will be

I said this on another thread recently but I'll repeat it here. Even with his protracted time at AAA, Walker is still the youngest guy on that team. It's too early to give up on him. And, no, I'm not from Pine Richland and I'm not related or friends with him or his family.

Yeah, maybe he'll make a good bench player. No one should be holding out hope that he'll be starter material. He just can't hit. He's Brad Eldred with a better glove.

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 Post subject: Re: Gorzelanny and Milledge
PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2009 5:11 pm 
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Willton wrote:
Yeah, maybe he'll make a good bench player. No one should be holding out hope that he'll be starter material. He just can't hit. He's Brad Eldred with a better glove.



That is hardly an accurate description. Walker doesn't nearly have the power that Eldred did. Walker has much better plate discipline that Eldred did/does (While neither walks a ton, Walker strikes out about half the rate that Eldred does). Surprisingly they have almost the same amount of at-bats, but they are clearly two different type of players and not worthy of comparison. I know your point was that, like Eldred, neither player has MLB potential.


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 Post subject: Re: Gorzelanny and Milledge
PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2009 5:13 pm 
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Willton wrote:
burghermeister wrote:
Argentum wrote:
Walker - Never will be

I said this on another thread recently but I'll repeat it here. Even with his protracted time at AAA, Walker is still the youngest guy on that team. It's too early to give up on him. And, no, I'm not from Pine Richland and I'm not related or friends with him or his family.

Yeah, maybe he'll make a good bench player. No one should be holding out hope that he'll be starter material. He just can't hit. He's Brad Eldred with a better glove.


I hope Walker can figure the bat out, but it seems like it's becoming less and less that he will...He's got some pop and a good glove, if he can get a little better and learn another position he'd be a nice bench piece...

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 Post subject: Re: Gorzelanny and Milledge
PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2009 5:26 pm 
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I pulled up Neil's stats from Indy this year...I wonder if it's time for him to give up the switch hitting, and stick to hitting lefty?

He's getting killed against lefties... .186 in 70 AB's, 1 HR, .269 on base%, .329 slug%

Righties is alot better, still room for improvement... .260 in 123 AB's, 6 HR's, .321 on base%, .488 slug%

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 Post subject: Re: Gorzelanny and Milledge
PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2009 6:44 pm 
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Bucfan wrote:
Milledge was caught stealing. Great throw by the C? Bad jump?


Interesting that you should note that, Bucfan. Indianapolis runners tried repeatedly to steal because the Pawtucket starter was a knuckleballer whose pitches were being clocked on the radar gun at less than 70 mph. In the top of the third, Bixler was gunned down by the catcher after drawing a walk. Next batter up: Milledge. He was plunked with a pitch and right away tried to steal second. Same result. This happened in the space of no more than four pitches. In Bixler's case, I give credit to the catcher. In Milledge's case, it looked to me as though he got a bad jump.

Bixler did pull off a steal after walking to open the game and was on base when Walker hit into a DP.

BTW, the best-looking pitcher in the game was the second Indy reliever, Juan Mateo. He threw a scoreless eighth (although he hit one batter) and was getting his fastball up there at 97 mph. I looked him up, and he has some MLB service time, but apparently the Cubs saw him as the Dominican equivalent of Craig Hansen and gave up on him. He's still only 26, although I see he's not on the 40-man roster, so he may be doomed to spend the rest of his career in the minor leagues. Reminds me somewhat of Jesus Colome, whom I saw hit 100 mph on a couple of occasions when he was with Tampa Bay. Only problem was, the fastball was his only good pitch and he had a lot of trouble locating it.

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