I didn’t recap yesterday’s game, but if I had it would’ve gone like this: Four doubles … bad. Swinging at a 3-0 pitch and grounding into a double play during a rally … bad. Andrew McCutchen’s 11 pitch eighth inning walk … awesome. Using Joel Hanrahan and Donnie Veal in big situations, seeing them get outs, and still losing … disappointing.
I’m not sure I have anything to add to the Jack Wilson/Freddy Sanchez/Neal Huntington triangle right now. Whatever side of the argument you’re on, that’s who you’re going to be inclined to agree with here. I’m sticking with the guess that I made at FanHouse yesterday; Sanchez is going to be traded and the Pirates will keep trying to negotiate with Wilson through the day he files for free agency. The offers they made sort of betrayed that line of action I think; Wilson’s offer was more than fair for an all-glove shortstop in his thirties while Sanchez’s offer was a little low for a three-time All-Star/.300 when healthy hitter. Perhaps this doesn’t make much sense (and maybe this is another post), but I think Wilson is worth more to the Pirates than Sanchez. That’s not because he’s a better player, but because he’s worth less to other teams.
This Ian Snell situation is stupid. I’m really, really disappointed with the way Huntington has handled the whole thing. It seems to me that he’s been passive-aggressively goading Snell through public statements, knowing the response his statements will bring out of Snell. Snell clearly isn’t the easiest of players to handle or figure out, but Huntington has no idea what to do with the guy and I think that shows.
Jen Langosch has a good post on her blog about the hurdles to signing picks to above-slot contracts, but please don’t misunderstand it or draw the wrong conclusion from it. In the simplest terms, Major League Baseball is afraid that if the Pirates give (and this is a hypothetical) Zach von Rosenburg $1.2 million to sign, he skews the market for all sixth round picks, whether they’re guys that fell due to signability like von Rosenburg or not. Because of that, the Commissioner’s office tries to keep the signings from going through until close to the deadline. Remeber that Robbie Grossman and Quinton Miller both signed very close to the deadline last year. The key is that the Commissioner’s office can’t actually do anything to keep the Pirates from signing these guys and if they can come to terms with them, they will sign eventually. Since most of the players in question are high school pitchers, I’m guessing the team doesn’t even mind them not being able to get on the field for the rest of the summer because of this process.