Let's start out with some self-promotion: Pittsburgh Magazine has put their Ultimate Fan Guide together for the Pirates and Steelers and Penguins and I helped out some with the Pirates/PNC Park section. You should check it out.
You've probably seen this by now, but in light of the Wandy Rodriguez trade the Pirates will move Kevin Correia to the bullpen. Correia is not happy about it and since his last few starts have been his best in a Pirates' uniform he has a right to be upset, but it's the right move. Correia wants to be traded and the Pirates will apparently try to grant his wish. I can't believe I'm saying this, but I'd actually prefer the Pirates keep him around in the event that Erik Bedard goes down or that they need to give James McDonald some down time due to his post-All Star break struggles. I'm really just not sure how I'd feel about throwing Jeff Locke or Justin Wilson into the fire if that happens and given Brad Lincoln's dominance out of the bullpen, I think that's probably where the team will go in that event.
If a home run on the first pitch of his career wasn't enough to make you a huge Starling Marte fan, then maybe knowing that he told his teammates that he was going up there looking for a fastball and planning on hacking away at it will do the trick. Seriously, this guy is awesome.
And who would've thought that Marte's career would start just 4,999 days after the Brian Giles trade! Seriously, take a moment and think about the Giles trade and how lopsided it was and how bad all of the Pirate teams that he played for were. Remember that it takes more than just one trade or one draft pick or one free agent to turn a team around, and appreciate everything that's had to happen and go right for the 2012 Pittsburgh Pirates to be where they are, especially after seeing so much go so very wrong.
Tim Williams catches up with Josh Bell and explains why his rehab is taking so long. Hopefully, he can get back on the field for most of August and 2012 isn't totally lost for him.
What is the downside to having a 6 man rotation for the rest of the second half? The bullpen has been consistent, perhaps roller coaster like, but still consistent, so why damage the psyche of a pitcher, which is notoriously fickle by moving him?
@iamleebob The downside of the six-man rotation is that you're taking starts away from your best pitchers to give to your worst pitcher.
Correia has been replacement-level this season as well as the past two seasons. (0.1 WAR this year, 0.0 the two previous years.) I'm sure Locke or Wilson could be replacement level as well. If he's not going to be professional about it, no skin off my nose.
@NateRose eh, i feel bad for him – he's never been as bad as we've imagined him to be, and he's had a few stretches where he held the staff together (relatively speaking). I think he's a much better insurance policy than anyone we have in the bullpen or Indy. I mean, it's not so long ago we were debating the merits of him or Jeff Francis on the FA market...
One of the things that has struck me about the Rodriguez trade is the fact that I have read--and in more than one place--about how "difficult" and "challenging" the atmosphere was in Houston, and how it would be beneficial for Wandy to be a part of a "diverse" clubhouse. It makes you think that the clubhouse in Houston had the type of toxicity usually associated with Fenway Park or a team that employed Jason Kendall.
It's weird--it's hard not to feel bad for Correia, but at the same time, I really didn't want to have to see him start anymore. The way he was moping around on the bench last night was pretty telling though, and I'd rather they just parted ways before anything got any weirder. Breaking up is hard to do...
@tonytheshoes I feel the same way about not wanting to see him pitch, but wanting to have him around just in case. Can't he adopt a Miroslav Satan attitude and just be happy to be on a not-shitty team?
@whygavs I just fear he'll become more of a wet blanket than a security blanket. Then again, these guys are pros, and I'd hope he'd be pro enough to understand the situation. I doubt he'd become some sort of cancer, but who knows... I just didn't like seeing him look like a petulant child yesterday while everybody else was celebrating Marte's historic debut. Man, I still get chills thinking about that.