Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Smorgasbord: Pirates Style, Leading Off with Another JR Special

Last week I skewered John Russell for this quote on Aki Iwamora.  Yesterday he produced this gem when asked about Ryan Church who had started the last four games, and had started eight in a row before hurting his wrist.  The question from Dejan Kovacevic was asking if Church had become an everyday player.
I don't know about everyday.  The way he's been playing, it's hard to keep him out of there.
Here are Church's stats this year.  Suffice it to say his triple slash line of .211/.250/.382, three walks and 16 strikeouts makes one wonder what glue factory Russell is living next to.   Even worse, Church's May numbers are .150/.190.350.  His 1 for his last 25 (.040) with two walks and eight strikeouts is genuinely Akiesque.

In last night's impressive win over Phillie ace Roy Halladay, Church failed to get runner home from third with less than two outs on two occasions.   I guess that all made it a little easier for JR.  Both Aki and Church are out of the lineup tonight for only the second time since April 30--although Aki is still dinged up.

Here are a bunch of links from around the web relating to the Pirates:

•With the 49th pick in the supplemental first round of the 2009 amateur draft the Pirates selected hard-throwing right hander Victor Black out of Dallas Baptist University.  Black, pitching for the Class A West Virginia Power, got a late start to the season due to an oblique injury.  Here's a look at his first outing thanks to the Charleston Daily Mail.

•In a pay-to-play website ESPN's Keith Law reviews his Top 25 Prospects and re-calibrates now that we are a quarter of the way through the season.  No Pedro Alvarez and no other Pirates farmhands on the list.

•It has been a year since the Pirates-Braves trade in which Nate McLouth and Charlie Morton were the principals and it isn't looking too good for either team at the moment.  Morton is 1-7 (the Pirates are 16-15 in games he hasn't started) and questions are being raised about whether Nate will keep his starting job in Atlanta.

•Bryan Morris is the first minor-leaguer to get promoted as he makes the jump from High-A Bradenton to AA Altoona.  Morris absolutely dominated in Bradenton.  Here's what I wrote on Bucs Dugout:

•The Bucs signed six Latin American amateurs:

•Former Bucco Jose Bautista is tied for third in the AL with 11 HRs.  Late-bloomer?  Here is a look at what is going on from MLBTradeRumors. (Note: Ex-Pirate Ty Wigginton is tied for second with 12.)

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