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#1 User is offline   Sloshy 

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 01:38 PM

April 17

Twelve games in isn't a huge sample sie, but we're only a few games away from having 1/10th of the season in the books. Obvious highlights right now are Adam Frazier and David Freese. These guys are carrying an otherwise pretty poor offense. I'm worried about Josh Bell the way I'm worried about Tyler Glasnow. I understand the notion of letting them figure it out in the majors, but they both look rough. JHay just needs to keep getting hit by pitches to keep his OBP artificially high. I'm hopeful we'll see Marte, Polanco and McCutchen come to life and spark this offense. Otherwise, its going to be a shitty season.
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#2 User is offline   Vegetable 

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 02:49 PM

Polancos the key. He's capable of being a productive cleanup hitter. Time for that potential to be realized on a consistent basis. And the first step is staying healthy enough to play every day.
"We’ll be comfortable adding one (starter),” he said. “We’ll be comfortable adding nobody if it’s just not there. We don’t feel we are driven to force it. If we can add one that makes sense for us, that’s great. If we can add two that make sense … then we do that.”
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#3 User is offline   GoBucs21 

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 03:50 PM

View PostVegetable, on 17 April 2017 - 02:49 PM, said:

Polancos the key. He's capable of being a productive cleanup hitter. Time for that potential to be realized on a consistent basis. And the first step is staying healthy enough to play every day.

If Polanco is the key, then they have no chance. I see Polanco as a nice complementary player but not one who can carry a team. He is nowhere near on the same path as McCutchen at similar points in their careers. I'm not sure by what you mean by productive clean up hitter but if you mean, 30 homers and a 120 OPS+, I'm not seeing that.
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#4 User is offline   Thunder 

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 03:57 PM

View PostSloshy, on 17 April 2017 - 01:38 PM, said:

April 17

Twelve games in isn't a huge sample sie, but we're only a few games away from having 1/10th of the season in the books. Obvious highlights right now are Adam Frazier and David Freese. These guys are carrying an otherwise pretty poor offense. I'm worried about Josh Bell the way I'm worried about Tyler Glasnow. I understand the notion of letting them figure it out in the majors, but they both look rough. JHay just needs to keep getting hit by pitches to keep his OBP artificially high. I'm hopeful we'll see Marte, Polanco and McCutchen come to life and spark this offense. Otherwise, its going to be a shitty season.

No help coming from Indy, either. Elias Diaz (.290) and Gift Ngeope (.263) are the only players hitting higher than .250 right now.
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#5 User is offline   GoBucs21 

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 04:06 PM

View PostThunder, on 17 April 2017 - 03:57 PM, said:

No help coming from Indy, either. Elias Diaz (.290) and Gift Ngeope (.263) are the only players hitting higher than .250 right now.

I think that is evidence of the failure of the idea that the team should never go "all in".

Two of the most significant players on this team may be gone by this time next year. Meadows is the heir apparent to McCutchen. The Pirates don't want to pay McCutchen and they don't want him to walk and get nothing in return. At the latest, McCutchen will go in the off season.

Cole is on the same bus but possibly a bit longer ride. He has two seasons left after this one before FA. It's the same story, the Pirates won't want to pay him and they don't want him to walk for nothing. If Cole has a season like 2015, he's due for a big raise, one they won't want to pay. If he's more like last year, he's due for a smaller raise but their internal evaluation won't justify it and they will look to move him to maximize return value.

That gets us to the present and future, Glasnow and Bell (I think Taillon is a given at this point). Neither is doing what anyone had hoped. Maybe it's just a small sample but let's hope so. If either or both don't improve, as you pointed out, there is no organizational depth to step in.

Then there is the Kang distraction. He was a big bat that they needed. Freese is a nice short term fix but he's not a long term answer. Worse still, with Kang out, Freese isn't an answer to the lack of production from Bell.

This was a 98 win team just two seasons ago. They made no big moves to trade future talent to win now. Worse still, they did nothing in that off season.
"It's probably true. Trump probably did it, because people in power tend to think they can do whatever they want, whenever they want, and usually get away with it."
17 April 2017
Winter's response to my post that Trump may have raped a teenage girl.

Moral courage is a more rare commodity than bravery in battle or great intelligence.
Robert F. Kennedy

Day of commemoration to honor the Victims of Bowling Green, April 1, 2017.
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#6 User is online   PSU4Lyfe 

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 04:18 PM

View PostGoBucs21, on 17 April 2017 - 03:50 PM, said:

If Polanco is the key, then they have no chance. I see Polanco as a nice complementary player but not one who can carry a team. He is nowhere near on the same path as McCutchen at similar points in their careers. I'm not sure by what you mean by productive clean up hitter but if you mean, 30 homers and a 120 OPS+, I'm not seeing that.


Sliders have been the pitch that has given Polanco the most trouble through his career, and he is seeing a much higher percentage of them so far this year. It's still a very small sample but he has seemingly improved against sliders and take a step back against fastballs. We would probably need to know more about his approach to have any idea if that is something that will continue or if it's just a slow start for him power wise. He's swinging and missing at a slightly higher % of pitches(11%) than other years(he's always been around 8%), but he's also swinging at more pitches overall.

I would say it's way too early to tell on Polanco, but I was really hopeful for him to take a huge leap this year.
Disclaimer: This post in no way supports nor defends the signing of Rod Barajas.
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#7 User is offline   GoBucs21 

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 04:35 PM

View PostPSU4Lyfe, on 17 April 2017 - 04:18 PM, said:

Sliders have been the pitch that has given Polanco the most trouble through his career, and he is seeing a much higher percentage of them so far this year. It's still a very small sample but he has seemingly improved against sliders and take a step back against fastballs. We would probably need to know more about his approach to have any idea if that is something that will continue or if it's just a slow start for him power wise. He's swinging and missing at a slightly higher % of pitches(11%) than other years(he's always been around 8%), but he's also swinging at more pitches overall.

I would say it's way too early to tell on Polanco, but I was really hopeful for him to take a huge leap this year.

I'm not saying he won't be a big time producers but I don't think he's likely to be one. If he puts up some 120-130 OPS+ years, I will be happy.
"It's probably true. Trump probably did it, because people in power tend to think they can do whatever they want, whenever they want, and usually get away with it."
17 April 2017
Winter's response to my post that Trump may have raped a teenage girl.

Moral courage is a more rare commodity than bravery in battle or great intelligence.
Robert F. Kennedy

Day of commemoration to honor the Victims of Bowling Green, April 1, 2017.
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#8 User is online   PSU4Lyfe 

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 04:46 PM

View PostGoBucs21, on 17 April 2017 - 04:35 PM, said:

I'm not saying he won't be a big time producers but I don't think he's likely to be one. If he puts up some 120-130 OPS+ years, I will be happy.


Yeah I think he can do that, I still think he has some 150 OPS+ seasons, but admit that may have me on the more optimistic side for him. I had an interesting discussion this offseason, more centered on a dynasty fantasy league, about Yelich v Polanco. We both sided with Polanco long term because I thought Yelich capped out at his home run total last year. I could easily see Polanco approaching 40 HRs.
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#9 User is online   jestor92 

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 07:58 AM

It's been the same thing offensively the past three or so years. The offense resembles dog shit and the team falls behind out of the gate. Give them time.
Jose Tabata, Pedro Alvarez, and Andrew McCutchen are the new Jason Kendall, Brian Giles, and Kevin Young (in his prime) players that are good, but surrounded by crap which will make them losers.
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#10 User is offline   donwengert4life 

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 06:46 AM

View Postjestor92, on 18 April 2017 - 07:58 AM, said:

It's been the same thing offensively the past three or so years. The offense resembles dog shit and the team falls behind out of the gate. Give them time.


I would agree with this if there were a lot of proven players clearly underperforming but I don't necessarily know if that is the case.

McCutchen isn't doing much but it is looking increasingly like this is just who he is at this point. Same with Polanco, but worse.

Bell will pick it up, but on the other hand Freese isn't going to keep hitting like this so those two may balance each other out.

This just isn't a good team. Outside of Taillon and Nova, it is a bunch of complementary players, at best, trying to carry the load. There is not a single above average player in the lineup right now.
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#11 User is offline   Sloshy 

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Posted 29 April 2017 - 07:32 PM

After 22 games and roughly 1/7th of the way through the season, the offense has normalized a bit:

-- I think McCutchen is a ,780 OPS guy anymore
-- Nice to see JHay get hot with an .865 OPS
-- Bell is showing a decent sophomore effort with improving slugging
-- Freese being injured sucks since he was carrying the offense for a while
-- Osuna making the most of his call-up

Stuff that stinks?
-- Marte was underperforming before getting penalized
-- Polanco looks lost
-- Mercer with a slow start
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#12 User is offline   Gideon Clarke 

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Posted 29 April 2017 - 07:50 PM

McCutchen's numbers currently are pretty close to his career numbers for the month of April.

McCutchen's overall career numbers are much better than his career numbers for April. I think he will surprise the pessimists. I think he'll be a bit below what he did during the MVP contender phase of his career, but that his production will be similar to 2015.
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#13 User is offline   Sloshy 

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Posted 01 May 2017 - 01:39 AM

View PostGideon Clarke, on 29 April 2017 - 07:50 PM, said:

McCutchen's numbers currently are pretty close to his career numbers for the month of April.

McCutchen's overall career numbers are much better than his career numbers for April. I think he will surprise the pessimists. I think he'll be a bit below what he did during the MVP contender phase of his career, but that his production will be similar to 2015.

Well, there just isn't any sign that this is going to happen. While this feels like a typical April for him, that's what happened last year too. He followed it up with an .800 OPS May before a .578 OPS June and a .699 OPS July.

I hope that doesn't happen to him again this year, but there is really no way to know it won't.
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#14 User is offline   Gideon Clarke 

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Posted 01 May 2017 - 05:45 AM

View PostSloshy, on 01 May 2017 - 01:39 AM, said:

Well, there just isn't any sign that this is going to happen. While this feels like a typical April for him, that's what happened last year too. He followed it up with an .800 OPS May before a .578 OPS June and a .699 OPS July.

I hope that doesn't happen to him again this year, but there is really no way to know it won't.

But there's really no indication that it will happen, either. It's only happened once in his career. He has played well in June and July far more frequently. I think I'll trust the prevailing trend over the isolated event.
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#15 User is offline   Bustanutting 

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Posted 01 May 2017 - 08:39 AM

View PostGideon Clarke, on 01 May 2017 - 05:45 AM, said:

But there's really no indication that it will happen, either. It's only happened once in his career. He has played well in June and July far more frequently. I think I'll trust the prevailing trend over the isolated event.


There is a trend and it does appear to be leaning positive.

His strikeout ratio is back down to 2015 levels. His walk rate is higher than last year too. I'm tentatively optimistic that he's going to end up around 4 WAR. Moving back to Center kills his defensive value but I'm hoping he can hit someone closer to 2015 levels. So far, he's on pace based on his bad Aprils previous.
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#16 User is offline   Grey 

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Posted 03 May 2017 - 02:42 PM

13th out of 15 teams in team defense in the NL.
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#17 User is offline   NCBuccofan 

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Posted 03 May 2017 - 02:52 PM

View PostGrey, on 03 May 2017 - 02:42 PM, said:

13th out of 15 teams in team defense in the NL.


For me, that is the bigger issue, and was a big reason for the suck last year.
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#18 User is offline   Sloshy 

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Posted 03 May 2017 - 03:50 PM

View PostGrey, on 03 May 2017 - 02:42 PM, said:

13th out of 15 teams in team defense in the NL.

Doesn't bode well for Nova keeping it up...
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#19 User is offline   Vegetable 

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Posted 03 May 2017 - 04:38 PM

Hurdle going back to the having your best hitter bat second strategy tonight.
"We’ll be comfortable adding one (starter),” he said. “We’ll be comfortable adding nobody if it’s just not there. We don’t feel we are driven to force it. If we can add one that makes sense for us, that’s great. If we can add two that make sense … then we do that.”
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