Deadline Comments- Part 2- Dotel and the Capps effect
Continuing with the discussion of the trade deadline, who expected that Matt Capps, non-tendered by the Pirates in 2010 would have a 2010 like this one? Wins the All Star game, and then brings back Wilson Ramos from the Twins, in what was either a brilliantly prescient move by the Twins, or one made in fearful panic.
Ramos has had a down year in 2010, but that shouldn’t have equated to Matt Capps, unless the Twins saw something they felt would hurt him down the road- the big advantage for Ramos though is that even though his hitting value is heavily tied to his sluggin, the defense remains good, by all accounts, and the absence of walks is not going to make life as hard for him as for regular position players while his defense stays solid.
If Capps had not been non-tendered, would Ramos have been a Pirate? Maybe, maybe not- maybe Capps wouldn’t even have rebounded as a Pirate. However, I do believe that it was this deal that paved the way for the Pirates to get what they eventually did in the Dotel deal. More after the jump…
The GOOD: James McDonald and Andrew Lambo are a phenomenal return for Dotel who’s a good reliever, and is a good addition in the setup role for the stretch run, but either one of those guys would likely have been an adequate return in terms of value. McDonald will start for the Pirates in a couple of days, while Lambo will go to AA.
McDonald’s fastball can get up to about 94 mph, but expect it to average just above 90. McDonald has maintained a K rate close to 1 per IP in the higher minors through AA and AAA. The walk rate has mostly hovered around 3 too and coupled with a low HR/9 point to a solid starter. Unfortunately, for McDonald, he’s never put it together in the big leagues and the deck chair shuffling Dodgers have been forced to move him around between the rotation and the bullpen to help the club in their playoff pursuits. The lower pressure Pittsburgh team may be just what he needs to get going in the big leagues. I have high hopes that McDonald will be the #3 in the rotation at least over the next 4 years or so, and a good one.
Andrew Lambo is slightly further away and harder to predict. As a 21 year old in AA, he’s done well. Not as well as he did in the lower minors, but well enough. He skipped high A which undoubtedly set him back some in 2008and led to the 25% K rate . In 2009, it was down under 20% and the walks up by 2%. His numbers in 2010 mirror the 2009 numbers with fewer HRs and should be a cause for concern. Coupled with suspensions for marijuana usage, they led to a dimming of his prospect status and allowed the Bucs to get him in this trade. Lambo’s floor seems to me to be a bench player, which is a heck of a start. However, he has plenty of time to put it together and become an elite player. Especially given his age, he has a chance to develop his plate approach more and improve the walk rate to the 12% range at least. Sickels had Lambo at a B-, and if he can develop his tools, he has a great chance to be a solid regular at the major league level. It’s up to the Pirates minor league system now to get him there!
So, there had been talks between the Pirates and Dodgers about Maholm? Wonder what Huntington wanted for Maholm then? Probably something like, Dee Gordon, Chris Withrow and James McDonald! And I imagine Colletti did his best to give them to him too!
One final part to this series coming up- where I’ll outline some issues I had with the Pirates deadline performance: yes, I want the world, I m a nitpicker- what to do only!