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Pirates spiral while waiting for Polanco

时间:2019-11-16  作者:蓝仰辣  来源:银河网站平台  浏览:32次  评论:94条

Punchless Pirates struggle to stay above water

It was 21 long years in the making, but last season . To boot, the Buccos, bolstered by a lockdown relief core, a rock solid rotation and just enough offense, won 94 games and came within a single victory of reaching the National League Championship Series. the question was whether or not their surprise run was an aberration or the start of an elongated upturn on the Allegheny. Right now it's looking like the former.

The Pirates are sinking at an alarming rate, with their pitching rotation knocked around nightly, allowing the second most runs in the entire National League, all while their punchless lineup underwhelms. Only reigning MVP Andrew McCutchen and seem to be showing up to play as Pittsburgh fail to capitalize on the momentum built last season, one which lifted their dormant fan base to heights not seen in decades.

How do the Pirates get from being seven games under .500 to becoming legitimate contenders? Well, for one thing the starting pitching finds a way to recapture the form that led them to October last season. Right now, the leader of that group, A.J. Burnett, is in Philadelphia, pitching for the Phills, so that certainly doesn't help. Jeff Locke, a first half sensation a year ago is in the minors trying find his game. The evil and porous side of the has reemerged, and newcomer Edinson Volquez has been getting crushed after a fast start. That unit will need to improve if there's going to be any revival, and that's certainly possible because they can't get much worse.

As for the bats, there really is only one tonic for a lineup that is missing Russell Martin thanks to a hamstring injury, and currently counts second baseman something of a sick joke considering the talented but underperforming duo of Starling Marte and Pedro Alvarez are on the roster.

the Pirates premier prospect. Problem is, he's currently tearing up the minor leagues instead of patrolling a Pittsburgh outfield that would include Marte and McCutchen. As of Wednesday, Polanco is hitting a scorching .374 with 12 doubles, five triples and five home runs, and that sure sounds like something the Buccos could use right now. If you ask the organization why Polanco hasn't had a shot at becoming a Yasiel Puig-like presence for Pittsburgh , they'll tell you it's because he is learning to play right field while working on his baserunning.

The truth is that by wating to promote him in June, Pirates brass can save a rake of dough, and small-market teams are prone to do just that, whenever possible, regardless of their dire need for offense. a figure attached to Major League Baseball's salary system that governs the pay rises of young players during the years before they are permitted to test the free agent market. Basically, if the clock on his career begins in June instead of now, the Buccos save big bucks - and for their fans, that's sad but true.

So for now, in Pittsburgh, the Polanco watch remains just that, while their faithful hold hope that his impending arrival won't be too late for their franchise to make another run at the playoffs.

Dodgers game has no bite

After 13 seasons of bouncing around baseball, Venezuelan Minor League catcher Miguel Olivio has finally caught on somewhere. In the latest sign that Venezuelan relations with Cuba aren't what they once were, Olivio bit off part of Guerrero's ear during a dugout altercation. If that seems a bit odd, consider that in a Spring Training interview posted by , Olivio revealed that if not for his baseball career, the former Marlins catcher might have preferred to be a boxer like Mike Tyson. Such an incident reminds us that even as we age, career changes are indeed possible.

Meanwhile, Guerrero, who was crushing the ball for the Dodgers’ Minor League affiliate, the Albuquerque Dukes, will be out for five weeks and needs plastic surgery. The infielder became one of a series of young Cubans to sign with the team, inking

Dodgers fans must be wondering why their $200m team doesn't have as much bite as their journeyman Minor League catcher. For a second consecutive season, LA have struggled to play up to their potential out of the gate, posting a record just a few games over .500. But it's not all bad news - even if one of their prospects lost a body part this week, their manager, Don Mattingly, got back one of his defining features, which is only fair.

Shipping back to Boston

Stephen Drew finally has a place to play shortstop, and for the team he helped win the 2013 World Series title. The Red Sox handed the 31-year-old a one-year "qualifying offer" of $14.1m early in the offseason, but he turned it down to test the free-agent market - instead, the market tested him. Drew waited and waited and waited, but offers didn't come as teams left their Spring Training homes to start the season.

One reason for the lack of interest was that the Red Sox making that qualifying offer to Drew meant that any team that signed him would have to forfeit a pick in baseball's annual amateur draft - such items have become precious commodities in an era when even big market teams are seeking to stock up on young, inexpensive talent that they can control for several years.

meaning that he'll receive about $4m less this season. For Boston however, his return comes at exactly the right time. With the injured and light hitting Will Middlebrooks facing a career crisis, Xander Bogaerts will eventually shift to third base, allowing the left-handed Drew to play shortstop in a lineup that has struggled mightily against right handed pitching. Once Drew is called up after his minor league tuneup, that is missing departed outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury more than they expected to.

Boston are under .500 in a division that's chock full of question marks and sputtering teams. , the Yankees don't know when they'll get CC Sabathia, one of many issues in the Bronx, the Blue Jays pitching has been great for a week, but how long will it last? In Tampa, the Rays also face a host of pitching questions, and so it's all very unsettled in the American League East, one reason why Boston's bid to resuscitate their offense with Stephen Drew makes a lot of sense.

Prince sounds off...again

Slugger Prince Fielder, traded to Texas this offseason from Detroit, is heading back to and has this message:

I don't give a shit about the Detroit series, I just want to get back.

With the first place Tigers offense churning out prodigious levels of runs, courtesy of a scorching Miguel Cabrera, and the ageless Torii Hunter, chances are that feeling is mutual.

Meanwhile, Fielder is struggling to stay in the lineup, battling a herniated disk which has seemingly cost him both his power stroke and consecutive games streak, one snapped earlier this month at 547.

Fielder is sure to get a raucous welcome at Comerica Park. Their former first baseman hit .182 in the ALCS last season against the , and followed that performance with this gem:

It isn’t really tough, man, for me [to move on]. It’s over. I have kids I have to take care of, so, for me it’s over, bro.

Fans never like it when players take losses lighter than they do, and when Fielder was reminded of that phenomenon, he responded with:

They don’t play.

So far Detroit are the clear winner of the trade that involved second baseman Ian Kinsler moving to Detroit. Brad Ausmus' Tigers have a newfound chemistry that has been lacking over the past few seasons, and are poised to run away with the division, all without Fielder, who was supposed to be a franchise cornerstone when he signed a nine-year $214 million deal in January of 2012. The Rangers, crushed by pitching injuries, are taking on water in the AL West, with only the lowly Astros standing between them and the cellar.

And finally...

Terry Francona's going out to the Tampa Bay Rays in the inaugural one-game Wild Card round. And while this season hasn't necessarily started off the way Cleveland would have liked (they're in last place in the AL Central), their struggles have failed to affect the Tribe's sense of humor. Credit Indians pitcher Corey Kluber for keeping up a dead-pan composure during this challenging, in-game interview.

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