Huntington 0-2 on Bay; Paulino; Fan profiles

The Post-Gazette reported today that the Pirates actually backed away from the Indians in the Bay/Paulino trade for Shoppage, Gutierrez, and Lee or another pitcher. Evidently the Pirates brass shot down Huntington, at least that’s the assumption I’m taking knowing ole’ Neal got his job thanks to Shapiro.

That deal was short and it was a good call.

What the PG didn’t tell you is that Huntington had a deal lined up with the Padres for Bay but he asked for San Diego’s top three prospects, so says the word on the street today.

I assume those three would have included Headley and Antonelli and we’ll guess at the third as Latos or LeBlanc. That would have been two B to B+ prospects and a B- to B prospect (in my book).

That’s quite a haul for Bay knowing his risk, but about where it should be if we’re looking for someone’s first born. If I’m San Diego I’d run too and wait and see if he holds up early next year. Plus, I can always do a deal in May or June if I need the bat knowing it isn’t likely my players are going to regress in the leagues they will be in.

Retrosheet has made available the 2007 event files and I’m in seventh heaven. But before you start your SPSS up, be forewarned I have found a lot of errors in this years data files for the Pirates. A lot.

John Van Benshoten.

Last year he was awful. He allowed a .378 batting average on balls in play, recorded a ridiculous 6.7 walks per nine innings, and stranded just 53% of his runners. He might as well have pitched in little league with those stats.

Ryan Doumit caught 47% of his pitches, Paulino 39%, and Maldanado the rest.

When I examined each receivers work with JvB, I expected to find a majority of the walks issued and hits when Doumit was catching, but that wasn’t the case. It happened with Paulino. And believe it or not, 47% of all singles JvB gave up were with Paulino behind the dish and 30% of those were on no ball counts, which is very high.

Taking it one step further, 50% of the home runs allowed by JvB were with Paulino and both were on 0-0 counts, and an incredible 73% of JvB’s total bases allowed on first pitch balls put in play came with Paulino receiving. That’s nuts.

JvB threw more first pitch balls with Doumit – almost 2 to 1 over Paulino.  But that’s my point – he was hammered on first pitches with Paulino as if opposing teams were sitting dead red on the first pitch. I’ll have to look into Paulino’s game management a bit closer with other pitchers to see if this was random or Paulino was just lazy calling JvB’s games.

A quick look of our pitchers shows me Sanchez did an incredible job overall. Before I go further with him, let me state the old "small sample warning" here – he pitched just 18 innings which really means nothing.

However, his stats don’t show how good he really was. Just 22% of his batters faced got a hit.. fourth lowest percentage on the team. He gave up too many line drives which hurt him but that’s just a matter of getting more time under his belt before those come down. We’ll have to see if he can continue this now that the league has some film on him.

And we’ll also have to see if he can find the plate better. Ughh.. 8 walks in 18 innings is nuts.

Now hold onto your stomach for this one – 4 of the top 11 pitchers who allowed the lowest number of hits per batters faced are now gone – Chacon (20%), Youman (25%), Armas (24%), and Torres (24%). Their replacements on the roster have all allowed well over 25%.. in some cases as high as 35%. That’s not good, but they are young, if that helps all you optimists.

JvB and Maholm were both at 26% – too high. The club median was 24.6% and even that is too high. Duke? 32.4%. Ouuuch.

Now it’s going to be interesting to see who gave up what with which receiver. It’s starting to look like Paulino had five favorite pitchers and then basically gave up the rest of the time. But that’s on quick look. If it holds true, then this will be the second year in a row Paulino had poor numbers with younger arms and it could explain why Russell wants him out of Dodge.

The question that will be begging for an answer would then be, was it Paulino’s fault or was he following Colborn’s game management advice? Perhaps I also need to look at what teams we gave all this up to as well (ie: San Diego, Arizona, etc).

Dejan said the Pirates dropped their "We Will" catastrophic slogan and are considering replacing it with the "Let’s Go Bucs!" vibe from earlier years.

That sounds like a good slogan idea to me.

In honor of that, here’s another fan profile:

Meet Jeff on the right. He and a friend ventured to a Pirates game at Safeco last June and watched the Pirates win the game 5-3, so he said in his email. I assume that was Gorzelanny’s game.

Jeff is from Portland, Oregon.. the brewery capital of the U.S., including the infamous Hair of the Dog Brewing Company.

Good stuff.

Keep your pictures coming in for the players. The email link is on the right sidebar.