Andrew McCutchen
It’s always fun to generate and debate lists. We’ll continue with the All-2000 to Present Pirates Lineup.
C – Jason Kendall
1B – Garrett Jones
2B – Neil Walker
3B – Pedro Alvarez
SS – Jack Wilson
RF – Andrew McCutchen
LF – Jason Bay
CF – Starling Marte
SP – Gerrit Cole
SP – Francisco Liriano
SP – Tony Watson
SP – Paul Maholm
SP – Jeff Locke
Closer – Mark Melancon
Atlanta Braves
Baltimore Orioles
Boston Red Sox
Chicago Cubs
Chicago White Sox
Cincinnati Reds
Cleveland Indians
Detroit Tigers
Houston Astros
Kansas City Royals
Los Angeles Angels
Miami Marlins
Milwaukee Brewers
Minnesota Twins
New York Mets
New York Yankees
Oakland A’s
Philadelphia Phillies
Seattle Mariners
Tampa Bay Rays
Texas Rangers
Toronto Blue Jays
Washington Nationals

Andrew McCutchen is batting .235 this year, which hides the fact that he’s having a solid all-around year. McCutchen has scored 20 runs and knocked in 20 more. He’s not putting up elite power or speed numbers, but his seven home runs and five stolen bases are solid. He’s on pace for 81 runs, 28 HRs, 81 RBI, and 20 stolen bases.
After a .286-94-16- 56-33 season and a .286-74-12-54-22 debut most were expecting greater things from Andrew.
There are some encouraging signs though. After a dreadful April that yielded a meager .219 batting average, McCutchen is batting .264 in the first half of May. He’s too good of a hitter to continue to produce such a low average, especially given his speed.
Speaking of his speed, it’s a mystery how his BABIP can be just .250. Aside from a “down year” of .296 in 2007 for Double-A Altoona, he has always been .311 or greater. If his luck can improve  even twenty points, that would make his batting average at least palatable.
McCutchen is hitting just .219 against left-handed pitching. He hit .324 against lefties last year and .310 as a rookie. Clearly there is room for improvement there as well, which would also help his average climb. After his slow start, I’m not sure he can reach the .286 mark he set in his first two years, but he should make a run at it.
McCutchen owners won’t necessarily be thrilled to deal away their early draft pick, but they will be more apt to do so than if he started off the year raking. His suspension for not running out a ball last week could also play a role if his owner is nervous that it might happen again.
Don’t give away the farm for him, but if you really want McCutchen on your team, now may be the best time to get him.

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Kevin Correia has got out of the gates quickly winning five of his seven decisions while posting a 2.91 ERA and 1.10 WHIP.
He has given up two or fewer earned runs in five of his seven starts. He had a solid season in 2009 going 12-11 with a 3.91 ERA in 198 innings for the Padres, but for the most part has been nowhere near a fantasy option. So at 30 has he finally arrived or will he come crashing down?
There are some indications that it will be the latter. For starters, his WHIP is well off his career mark of 1.42. While it is possible to improve in that category, one that dramatic at his age seems unlikely for the course of the year.
Correia’s BABIP is also significantly lower at .237. His career mark is .295, and in the past three years when he had 78 of his 112 career starts his BABIPs were .330, .294, and .302 respectively. The likelihood that his BABIP remains below .250 is low considering his history.
Correia’s strand rate (70.5) is in tune with his history, but his K/9 is down significantly. Correia’s rates were 6.45 and 7.14 the past two years, but just 4.08 this year. If his K/9 rate continues to remain low, it could catch up with him.
Another thing to be cautious of is the fast start Correia had last year. He was 4-1 in April with a 3.86 ERA before finishing 6-9 with a 5.77 ERA the rest of the way.
The warning signs don’t mean you should avoid Correia. In fact, he makes a decent start tonight against a struggling Dodgers team. I’m just urging you to use caution with him.

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Most of the love for the Pittsburgh Pirates is reserved for Andrew McCutchen or Pedro Alvarez, but Jose Tabata has a chance to make fantasy owners very happy in 2011. Just like he did in his 102 game rookie debut for the Bucs.
Tabata took a little while to get accustomed to big league pitching. He went 19 for 78 (.244) in June with eight runs, a home run, and four RBI. He did make his presence felt on the basepaths though, collecting five stolen bases. After that relatively slow start, Tabata took off.
He went 34 for 102 (.333) in July with 19 runs, a HR, 11 RBI, and four SBs. He followed that stellar month going 37 for 109 (.339) in August with 18 runs, two HRs, 8 RBI, and five SBs. He kept rolling in September going 30 for 104 (.288) with 16 runs, 12 RBI, and five SBs. He only got one hit in 12 October at bats, which prevented him from a .300 season, but his final line of .299-61-4-35-19 was impressive. If you prorate those numbers to 162 games, you’re looking at a .299-97-6-55-30 season.
While it’s unlikely that he plays all 162 games, it isn’t a stretch to think he can score 100 runs and swipe 30 bags. He’s likely to bat leadoff for the Pirates, and with Neil Walker, McCutchen, Alvarez, and Garrett Jones hitting behind him, the Pirates could actually score some runs this year.
Tabata has certainly shown that he can can on base and be a terror once he’s on. In his 85 games for Triple-A Indianapolis, Tabata scored 63 runs and stole 29 bases. The bulk of those numbers coming last year, when he scored 42 runs with 25 SBs in 53 games before getting the call. He combined for 103 runs and 44 SBs between the Indianapolis Indians and the Pittsburgh Pirates last year.
He has the potential to be an outstanding value pick this year in fantasy baseball drafts. His Mock Draft Central average draft position is 222, putting him in the 19th round. He’s the 50th rated outfielder. Every year there are great value speed picks at the end of the draft. Jose Tabata is one of them this year. Don’t shy away just because he’s a Pirate.
What’s your take on Jose Tabata?

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Usually when I draft a closer I would hope he has topped 16 saves more than once in his career. If he doesn’t have a long track record as a closer, at least he’s the primary setup man. Strike two. Dotel has just two years of 30+ holds, and they date back to 2002 & 2003. If neither of those are the case, I hope he’s on a good team.  Foul tip. The Pirates are not good, but quality closers can come from bad teams. If those aren’t true, I hope he is full of potential. Strike three, you’re out. Dotel is 36 years old. You know who he is and what you’re going to get from him.

He struck out, but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t want him. Certainly not as a top 15 closer (Click to see Closer Rankings), but he’s a decent #2 and a solid #3.

Why you ask? Because of his strikeout potential. He’s been a beast the past two years with the White Sox with 167 strikeouts in 129.3 innings (11.6 K/9). That’s nothing new for Dotel. In fact, he has 940 strikeouts in 770.3 career innings (11.0 K/9).

While I don’t expect a gaudy save total from Dotel given the circumstances, but he should have a fair share with a decent ERA and WHIP. His biggest plus will be those strikeouts. That and the value he’ll come with as he goes in the latter stages of your fantasy draft.

Prediction:  27 saves, 3.00 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 85 Ks

Past profiles:
Arizona Diamondbacks:  Brandon Webb
Atlanta Braves: Yunel Escobar
Baltimore Orioles:  Adam Jones
Boston Red Sox:  Clay Buchholz
Chicago Cubs:  Geovany Soto
Chicago White Sox:  Jake Peavy
Cincinnati Reds:  Joey Votto
Cleveland Indians:  Grady Sizemore
Colorado Rockies: Ubaldo Jimenez
Detroit Tigers: Miguel Cabrera
Florida Marlins: Cameron Maybin
Houston Astros: Lance Berkman
Kansas City Royals: Billy Butler
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: Howie Kendrick
Los Angeles Dodgers: James Loney
Milwaukee Brewers: Corey Hart
Minnesota Twins: Joe Nathan
New York Mets: Jason Bay
New York Yankees: Robinson Cano
Oakland A’s: Kevin Kouzmanoff
Philadelphia Phillies: Jimmy Rollins

Now an early look at the NL Central.

1. Can the Cubs’ offense bounce back?
Geovany Soto had a miserable season hitting .218. He was brilliant in Triple-A Iowa in 2007 and had an amazing Rookie season. I fully expect him to bounce back in 2010. Even if he is an average of his past two years, he’d have a decent season. Just don’t reach for him. Assuming Aramis Ramirez and Alfonso Soriano can stay healthy, they should have better seasons as well. Marlon Byrd hit 70 percent of his HRs at Rangers Ballpark so I expect him to take a step back in Chicago. At his age (34), I don’t expect Derrek Lee to match the 35 HRs and 111 RBIs. As a whole, though, I do think the Cubs will be much-improved on offense next year thanks to the addition by subtraction of Milton Bradley.

2.  Can Carlos Marmol get it done at Closer?
His BAA was equally nasty as a closer and a setup man, though his ERA and WHIP both improved when he took over at closer. He has both the stuff and demeanor to get the job done. I think he can be a high-end closer next year despite entering the season with just23 career Saves.

3.  Is Joey Votto set to bust out big time?
Joey’s average and OPS  soared dramatically in his second full season. Despite playing in 20 fewer games he had 13 more runs, six more doubles, one more HR, the same amount of RBIs, and 11 more walks. As long as he stays healthy, Votto should emerge as one of the games best hitters.

4. How about Jay Bruce?
I’m not sure he’ll light the world on fire, but he should be improved. Hard not to when you hit .223. I’m encouraged by the way he played in September when he hit .353 with 4 HRs and 16 RBIs in 34 ABs.

5. Is Lance Berkman’s dip a sign of things to come?
I don’t think so. He’s about as steady as they come. Gone are the days of 40 HRs and 120 RBIs, but he should still be good for 30 & 110.

6. Is Tommy Manzelli going to be a viable fantasy option?
I don’t think so. He didn’t exactly put up monster numbers for Triple-A Round Rock last year, hitting .289 with 68 runs, 9 HRs, 56 RBIs, and 12 SBs in 530 ABs.

7.  Is Casey McGehee for real?
He had an impressive Rookie season hitting .301 with 58 runs, 16 HRs, and 66 RBIs in 355 ABs. I like the way he responded in September hitting .337 with 5 HRs and 26 RBIs after struggling in August hitting .241. I wouldn’t want him as a starter, but his 2B/3B eligibility make him a decent bench option.

8.  Can Garrett Jones continue to be a power threat?
He certainly hit his share with 21 in 314 ABs for a 14.9 AB/HR ratio. It is highly unlikely that he can maintain that ratio. His OPS of .939 was also significanly higher than the majority of his minor league stints.

9.  Will Mark McGwire be a distraction?
I don’t think so. He came clean early enough where is shouldn’t be much of an issue for the Cards.

10.  Will Ryan Franklin continue to be an elite closer?
Franklin was one of the surprise closers last year when he recorded 38 saves with a 1.92 ERA. His numbers were significantly worse after the All-Star break.

0.79 ERA, 0.79 WHIP, .165 BAA
3.33 ERA, 1.70 WHIP, .284 BAA

While he was a pleasant surprise last year, I see no reason to believe he can match his 2009 production.


Written by
Eric Stashin the Rotoprofessor

The Mariners and Pirates have pulled off a seven player trade, with Jack Wilson & Ian Snell heading to Seattle in exchange for Jeff Clement, Ronny Cedeno, RHP Aaron Pribanic (Single-A), RHP Brett Lorin (Single-A) & RHP Nathan Adcock (Single-A) according to WFAN in New York.

My first thought is why the Pirates would acquire Clement?  Unless they plan on moving Doumit from behind the plate, he would seem to be destined to be a reserve player for this team.  Granted, the Pirates do have a void at 1B right now (outside of Garrett Jones, though he could also play the OF and could be an aberration), and Doumit has played 34 games there over his career.  They could be looking to save him from the wear and tear of catching everyday, thus keeping his bat in the line-up. 

If that’s the case, Doumit is a winner in this trade long-term.  Clement, who has never excelled in the major leagues for the Mariners, has been hitting well at Triple-A, hitting .288 with 14 HR and 68 RBI.  Over his last 10 games, he’s actually been hitting at a .368 clip.  It certainly wouldn’t be surprising to see this scenario play out.  If Clement is going to get another chance in the major leagues this season, he is a must own in all 2-catcher formats immediately.  As it is, I would take the flyer just in case.

Ronny Cedeno is a 2B/SS who has hit .238 over his major league career with 18 HR and 18 SB over 1,086 AB.  While he could see time at shortstop, he has little value outside of NL-only leagues, and even that is a stretch.

As for the three pitchers, none were ranked in Baseball America’s Top 10 prospects prior to the season and, considering they are all in Single-A, would appear to be a little ways away from contributing.  For fantasy owners, they are all irrelevant in 2009.

The Mariners get a solid shortstop in Jack Wilson, though from a fantasy standpoint he has little value.  He was hitting .267 this season with 4 HR and 2 SB over 266 AB.  He has hit .269 over his career with little power or speed.  His value doesn’t change with this deal, meaning he likely is a last resort option no matter what the format.

Outside of Doumit and Clement, Ian Snell is the most interesting player in this trade.  He was awful in Pittsburgh this season, as we’ve discussed, but since being sent to Triple-A he has been nearly unhittable, posting a 0.96 ERA over 6 starts (37.1 innings), striking out 47 versus 13 walks.  Those numbers include a 7 inning, 17 strikeout performance.

I’ve said in the past (click here for an article I wrote after his first Triple-A start) that I thought getting out of Pittsburgh was what Snell really needed, so this is going to put that to the test.  It’s not necessarily an ideal fit, since he will have routine match-ups with the Angels & Rangers, but given what he’s done since leaving Pittsburgh, I would say he is definitely worth the gamble.

This is not a pitcher with little to no talent.  He’s shown it before and now will get a chance to show it again.  If you are in a deep league, I wouldn’t hesitate to put in a claim on him.

What do you think of the deal?  Who are the winners and losers?

The Pittsburgh Pirates were wheeling and dealing today with two separate trades.

First they shipped off Eric Hinske for Minor Leaguers Casey Erickson and Eric Fryer.  Hinske, who plays in the OF, was hitting .255 with 18 Runs, 1 HR, and 11 RBIs in 106 At Bats for the Pirates.  Erickson was 3-3 with a 2.25 ERA, a 1.45 WHIP, and 37 Ks in 44 Innings for Triple-A Charleston.  Fryer, who plays Catcher & Outfield, was hitting .250 with 34 Runs, 2 HRs, and 24 RBIs for A+ Tampa.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is reporting that the Bucs continued their wheeling and dealing ways by sending OF Nyjer Morgan and RP Sean Burnett to Washington for OF Lasting Milledge and RP Joel Hanrahan.  Morgan was hitting .277 with 39 Runs, 2 HRs, 27 RBIs, and 18 SBs.  Burnett was 1-2 with a 3.06 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 1 Save, 6 Holds, and 23 Ks in 32-1/3 IP.  Milledge, who is recovering from a broken finger, hit .167 with a Run, an RBI, and a SB in 24 ABs.   Hanrahan, who lost the Nationals’ Closer job, is  0-3 with a 7.71 ERA, a 1.96 WHIP, 5 Saves, 2 Holds, and 35 Ks in 32-2/3 IP. 

None of the players hold much fantasy value.  If pressed, I’d choose Nyjer Morgan as having the most.

Face of the Franchise:
Roberto Clemente
Image courtesy of TSN/Icon SMI

Manager: Danny Murtaugh

C – Manny Sanguillen
1B – Willie Stargell
2B – Bill Mazeroski
3B – Pie Traynor
SS – Honus Wagner
OF – Roberto Clemente
OF – Paul Waner
OF – Max Carey
DH – Ralph Kiner
Bench:  1B Gus Suhr, OF Lloyd Waner, OF Dave Parker, Util Tommy Leach

SP – Wilbur Cooper
SP – Babe Adams
SP – Sam Leever
SP – Deacon Phillippe
SP – Bob Friend
P – Rip Sewell
P – John Candelaria
P – Jesse Tannehill
P – Ray Kremer
P – Doug Drabek
RP – Kent Tekulve
RP – Roy Face

That’s the team I came up with. Do you have any changes you’d like to suggest? I’m always open to them.

Past Teams
Red Sox
Blue Jays
White Sox

 | Posted by | Categories: All-time Teams, MLB | Tagged: All-time Team, MLB, Pittsburgh Pirates |
Photo courtesy of TSN Archives/Icon SMI

The Veterans Committee is going to vote on twenty players for induction into the Hall of Fame.  There are ten players pre-1943 and ten post-1943.  Today I profile Luis Tiant from that group.

The Numbers
Played 1964-1982 (19 seasons)
573 Games
484 Starts (53rd All-time)
3486-1/3 Innings (72nd All-time)
229 Wins (63rd All-time) -172 Losses
.571 Winning %
3.30 ERA (3.78 League Average)
1.199 WHIP
2416 Ks (35th All-time)
187 Complete Games
49 Shutouts (21st All-time)
15 Saves

Four 20+ Win Seasons
Six sub-3.00 ERA Seasons (two sub-2.00)
Three 200+ Strikeout Seasons

Playoffs:  5 Games, 4 Starts, 34-2/3 Innings, 3-0, 2.86 ERA, 20 Ks, 3 Complete Games

1972 Comeback Player of the Year
1975 AL Babe Ruth Award
3 All-Star Game appearances
Cy Young Votes in 3 Seasons
MVP Votes in 4 Seasons

Top Ten Finishes
Starts – Twice
Innings – 3 Times
Wins – 5 Times
Winning % – 5 Times
ERA – 4 Times (Led league in 1968 & 1972)
WHIP – 5 Times (Led league in 1973)
Strikeouts – 5 Times
Complete Games – 6 Times
Shutouts – 7 Times (Led league in 1966, 1968, & 1974)

Hall of Fame Yardsticks:
Black Ink: Pitching – 13 (164) (Average HOFer ≈ 40)
Gray Ink: Pitching – 115 (165) (Average HOFer ≈ 185)
HOF Standards: Pitching – 41.0 (66) (Average HOFer ≈ 50)
HOF Monitor: Pitching – 97.0 (99) (Likely HOFer > 100)

As a Red Sox fan I would love to say El Tiante is Hall of Fame worthy, but I would be doing Coopestown a disservice.  Don’t get me wrong, Tiant was a great pitcher, he just comes up short in HOF material, as indicated in the Yardsticks above.  He recorded four 20+ seasons, which is good not great.  His adjusted ERA (114) is tied for 210th.  I do like the way he made the transition from fireballer to pitcher when arm troubles sapped his fastball, but that’s not enough to earn him a spot in Cooperstown. 


Past Chronicles
Roberto Alomar
Richie Ashburn*
Earl Averill*
Harold Baines

Dan Bancroft*
Jake Beckley*

Albert Belle
Jim Bottomley*
Pete Browning

Jim Bunning *
Bert Byleven
Joe Carter
Orlando Cepeda*
Rocky Colavito
Earle Combs*
Dave Concepcion
David Cone
Roger Connor*
Larry Corcoran

Mike Cuellar
George Davis*
Andre Dawson
Larry Doby*
Bobby Doerr*
Jimmie Dykes (Player/Manager)
Dwight Evans
Rick Ferrell*
Chuck Finley
Steve Finley
Nellie Fox*
John Franco

Gary Gaetti
Steve Garvey
Lefty Gomez*
Luis Gonzalez
Dwight Gooden
Mark Grace
Bobby Grich
Charlie Grimm (Player/Manager)
Ron Guidry
Chick Hafey*

Billy Herman*
Keith Hernandez
Orel Hershiser
Whitey Herzog (Manager)
Gil Hodges
Ralph Houk (Manager)
Shoeless Joe Jackson
Travis Jackson*
Tommy John
Bob Johnson
Addie Joss*
Jim Kaat
George Kell*
Joe Kelley*
George Kelly*
Tom Kelly (Manager)
Chuck Klein*
Jerry Koosman
Bill James & Pete Palmer
Barry Larkin
Tony Lazzeri*
Freddie Lindstrom*
Mickey Lolich
Ernie Lombardi*
Fred Lynn
Sherry Magee

Roger Maris
Rube Marquard*
Billy Martin (Player/Manager)
Dennis Martinez
Edgar Martinez
Bobby Matthews
Don Mattingly
Gene Mauch (Manager)
Bill Mazeroski*
Fred McGriff

Mark McGwire
Bid McPhee
Johnny Mize*
Paul Molitor*
Jack Morris
Tony Mullane
Dale Murphy
Graig Nettles
Hal Newhouser*
Lefty O’Doul
Tony Oliva
Al Oliver

Buck O’Neill & Minnie Minoso
Dave Parker
Wes Parker
Lance Parrish
Vada Pinson
Boog Powell
Tim Raines
Willie Randolph
Pee Wee Reese*
Jim Rice
Phil Rizzuto*
Brooks Robinson*
Pete Ro$e
Amos Rusie*
Jimmy Ryan
Ron Santo
Curt Schilling
Red Schoendienst* (Player/Manager)
Ted Simmons
Enos Slaughter*
Lee Smith
Rusty Staub
Dave Stieb
Mel Stottlemyre
Harry Stovey
Sam Thompson
Alan Trammell
George Van Haltren
Arky Vaughan*
Mo Vaughn
Bobby Veach
Frank Viola
Mickey Welch*
Lou Whitaker
Bernie Williams
Vic Willis*
Maury Wills 
Hack Wilson*
Ross Youngs*
Veterans Committee Ballot

* Signifies actual Hall of Famer

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