WARNING: I’m using the blog to vent today.
I’m tired of this. The Pirates continue to trot out a roster that is not the best they can field and its irritating. I’m not talking about McKenry vs Barajas or Barmes vs Mercer although both are an issue. I’m talking about the guys actually on the roster. It seems for the past few weeks now we have played everyday with a bench that didn’t contain 5 players and with a bullpen that inexplicably by math didn’t contain even 7 reliable relievers. The six man rotation has got to stop and thankfully I think it finally will. But that is only beginning of the issue.
Chad Qualls, Daniel McCutchen, Kevin Correia and Chris Resop currently hold down 4 of the Pirates 8 bullpen jobs. Those players are quite clearly not the Pirates best options. Down in AAA the Pirates have Justin Wilson, Bryan Morris, Chris Leroux, Doug Slaten, Tim Wood, Jeff Locke, Duke Welker, Kyle McPherson, and even Rick Vanderhurk who could all represent an upgrade over at least one of the 4. Personally my favorite of the group are Leroux, Wilson and Morris but I understand not all of them can come up. However its insane some of them are not here. I mean seriously Qualls is pretty bad and McCutchen gives us nothing more than length something we have with Correia and would have with a lot of these options. Correia seems like a 6th starter who is unnecessarily taking up space on this roster. Locke, Wilson, McPherson and Leroux can all handle that job rather adequately. As for Resop I can kind of understand the reasoning behind him because unlike Correia and Qualls he will still be around after this season. I would like to see Correia traded for what we can get, Qualls DFA’d and McCutchen sent back down. Replace them with Leroux and Wilson (although it would ahve to be Morris for now because of the 10 day rule). The last spot can go to evening out the bench.
Speaking of the bench that is my next area of complaint. When Mercer returns the Pirates will have Harrison, Navarro and Mercer all on the bench. With one spot going to a catcher and the other going to Sanchez. Seriously 3 MI on the bench why is that necessary? It makes a whole lot more sense to use that spot on an OF like Presley or even a big bat off the bench like Jeff Clement.
The starting 8 could be improved as well. I like Tabata but I believe he should have stayed in AAA for the remainder of the season but he is starting to have some nice PA so it is tough to complain too much but I would hope Marte would push him out of the lineup once he returns. At SS I have settled on Barmes probably being the lesser of evils there. His bat is starting to heat up some so it is more tolerable. Everyone else the Pirates have tried at SS has looked shaky defensively at best. Even Jordy Mercer who I still have a lot of hope for. At catcher I’m not one of those who believe McKenry should start 4 out of 5 because if you look around the league not too many catchers do that and the ones that do Yadier Molina, Brian McCann, AJ Ellis are among the best in the league and that isn’t McKenry. However it is insane he isn’t catching more, like 3 out of 5. At best it appears to now be a 50/50 split but it should be 60/40 (3 out of 5) or 67/33 (2 out of 3) in favor of McKenry.
Finally that brings me to this talk about September call ups and needing to keep Indianapolis happy and not disrupt their playoff push. That should be of no concern to the Pirates. Call up who you need. If you think you need the entire 40 man roster bring them up. I would be against that but if that is what you feel the need to do go ahead. If they aren’t up before then Leroux, Wilson and Morris need to be brought in September to fortify the bullpen and guys like Clement, Fryer and maybe even d’Arnaud need to be brought up to fill holes on the bench. As for Nunez he doesn’t appear worth all the trouble we have gone through to keep him so let him go back to the Tigers or more likely now they will work out a trade where we can keep him.
The bottom line is more can be done to make this team better and the fact that the GM and manager aren’t doing it is infuriating and needs to be addressed ASAP. End rant.