I had a different article planned for tonight but in wake of what just happened it can wait until tomorrow. The Pirates just nearly got no hit by Justin Verlander. To be fair if it would have happened there is no reason to be too upset about it I mean he is Justin Verlander after all. However what this does is put another exclamation point on just how bad the Pirates offense is. To make matters worse the cavalry, AAA has been shut out 4 consecutive games. There is no help coming, Marte and Mercer may be ready late this season but as for now there is no help anywhere in this system.
I’m not one of those guys who advocates going out and acquiring a Kevin Youkills at any cost; I mean it seriously may cost us Starling Marte to do that right now and that just isn’t worth it. However I am also not somebody who thinks this team can sit still and just hope things improve. There are serious problems with this roster and they need to be addressed.
First and foremost a bat from the outside needs to be brought in, an established major leaguer is likely out of the question unless we want to decimate the pitching staff by trading McDonald, however I think calling up the Royals and checking on Clint Robinson or calling up the Indians and checking on Matt LaPorta or calling someone else and looking for a similar player is a viable solution. There are a handful of players right now trapped in teams AAA affiliates who have limited upside (average major league starter) but who also look like decent bets to reach that upside. My preference is Robinson but I’ll take anyone in that mold. As for the cost of acquiring a guy like this, it shouldn’t be much a guy like Jeff Locke should be enough. I mean we aren’t acquiring a highly touted prospect or an above average major leaguer we are acquiring a potentially average major leaguer.
In addition there is no reason what so ever to keep McLouth on this team, he was horrible the past two seasons and is so now. DFAing him and allowing the recently recalled Gorkys Hernandez to serve as the 4th outfielder would be my preference. I haven’t given up on Barajas or Barmes and I think Barajas is turning a corner and needs to be starting he is the best we have. As for Barmes he needs to be told to take a seat for like a week and then be slowly returned to the lineup. Josh Harrison can handle shortstop in his absence. One final move I would make is calling up Fox or Clement to serve as the last bench player. Navarro can be sent down to make room and the DFAing of McLouth makes room on the 40 man (Locke makes room Robinson). I think I would pick Clement just so we have a left handed bat on our bench but Fox has the advantage of being able to platoon with Jones in RF.
So all of this would give us:
Barajas, C (Hurdle doesn’t bat 3 lefties in a row)
CI: McGehee (primary righty PH)
MI: Barmes (will eventually get chance to reclaim SS job unless Harrison runs away with it)
OF: Hernandez (he can start in place of Jones when a LH is on the mound)
PH: Clement (very limited where he can play so I might take Fox but I like his LH bat on the bench)
Would this be better than what we have now? I think so but really I don’t know but at the very least it would be trying something different and as of right now that would have to be a good thing.
Ok stepping down from my soapbox now. Thanks for listening.