Deadline Comments- Part 1- Bowker and the OF/1B situation
Deadlines will come and deadlines will go, but Smizik apparently will go on forever. Oh and don’t even dare venture into the comment space, if you don’t want your day wasted. Charlie attempted to answer some of their questions on Bucs Dugout, but that’s about as far as I d recommend going!
In any case, I loved the deadline deals for the Pirates, but there are a couple of things that bothered me too, and I’ll go into them in Smizik style, detailing the good, the bad and the ugly. Actually, only the first 2, there’s no ugly here for me.
The GOOD: Phenomenal returns for 2 relievers. Grant at McCovey Chronicles had it exactly right–
When I think scrapheap lefty, Lopez is who I’m thinking of.
How or why he turned into John Bowker and Joe Martinez is well beyond me. I know a little bit about Bowker, very little about Martinez. From looking at his stats, Martinez figures to be the guy who will hang around AAA, coming in for the occasional spot start when someone in the rotation goes down for a start or two. Think a Daniel McCutchen with fewer home runs.
John Bowker however is someone who could surprise. The logjam in the Pirate OF/1B situation means he’ll have to show his stuff in AAA, but I can see him as a solid contributor, at least as the lefty part of a platoon. Why? Well, 2009 is the reason. It still remains to be seen how sustainable his AAA performance in 2009 was, but there’s certainly cause for hope. Apparently, the Giants asked him to change his approach at the plate, take more walks and so on. The result over a 100 games in AAA was a 254 ISO (!!!), .451 OBP, and .596 SLG!!!! That’s phenomenal, even if aided by a .362 BABIP. Especially that walk percentage of 16.4%. I imagine the time at AAA Indy will be key to his hopes of earning regular PT in the majors.
Milledge seems to be playing himself out of the starting role, but might do enough to earn the righty side of a platoon. The lack of someone grabbing the job so far, however, has meant that the Pirates will have to hold onto Jones, who is solid, though unspectacular. I would trade Jones ASAP while he has value, if teams are willing to give up something for him. Why not see what Sabean will give up? Maybe Wheeler? Maybe Belt?
One other related thought here- Assuming Jones stays a Bucco and plays mostly 1B, it’s hard to see Clement getting much PT. He is also out of options, along with Steve Pearce. I’d think about moving Clement back to catcher and letting him swim or sink. Try to trade him in the offseason for someone like Ka’aihue perhaps, or move one of the catchers Snyder maybe to perhaps the Red Sox, who were rumored to have interest in him. Essentially, move Clement out of the 1B logjam since his value with the bat there isn’t likely to be enough.
How about Brandon Moss? He hit his 19th HR in AAA after a horrendous start- the K-rate stays high though, and as far as I’m concerned, Bowker should be ahead of Moss on the depth chart easily. Again, Huntington got someone to trade him an almost league average catcher for Church and Crosby and get back money, so I am hoping he’ll find someone to take Brandon Moss, preferably in the AL.
The Snyder trade seems a reasonable swap (let me again say how grateful every Pirates fan should be that they no longer have to watch Church- heck, even Smizik didn’t pan this one!) and isn’t of particular interest anyway except to see how Ryan Doumit reacts. Under the circumstances, I’ll do another post on the good, which is about the Dotel trade, and then one about the bad, which consist mostly of my misgivings, with respect to the trade deadline.