Well it was an off day for the World Series, but my baseball world kept turning. Just a few hours ago it was announced that Pittsburgh traded reliever Jesse Chavez to Tampa Bay for Akinori Iwamura.
Iwamura’s defense is said to be top notch. It’ll be nice to have someone already meshed into a middle of the infield position. Delwyn Young, our current second baseman was a converted outfielder and had many growing pains when manning 2nd base this year.
In order to acquire Iwamura, the Pirates gave up reliever Jesse Chavez.
The Pirates bullpen was simply attrocious this year. One of the few, bright, ugh dare I say dimly lit spots was Chavez. He was just 1-4 in his first full year of service. Chavez held down a 4.01 ERA over 67 innings. No where near the numbers of a star reliever but for the Bucs, the numbers were pretty good. The Pirates need bullpen help and dealing away their best reliver isn’t really my idea of improving.
All in all I am nutural on the deal. The Pirates need help, in any way possible. The deal will surely help our depth up the middle and Iwamura is an improvement over Ronny Cedeno and Young. It’ll be interesting to see how these three adapt to each other when alternating in an out. There was talk of moving Andy LaRoche to 2nd base, it now seems like these talks will cease.
When I recieved the text message update about this trade I figured many national pundits and local fans would be ho-hum about this. Some may say “Oh this is just another trade by the Pirates to give away their players.”-but nobody said that, probably because of the return from the deal. People have heard of Akinori and so the Pirates getting him, is a great move by the Bucs. But when we trade players people have heard of such as Jack Wilson and Freddy Sanchez all I hear is mumblings that the Pirates are idiots for giving away these players! It is very contradictory.
Aki has a track record of success. He has been on the Rays World Series team and was well liked amongst the clubhouse and the fans. He has the winning experience and a competitive edge. Bringing Iwamura into the mix adds a new dimension into the Pittsburgh clubhouse. I’m sure the international attention, specifically from the Japanese media will heighten for the Bucs. It is a new generation and every little bit helps.
Hearing this news from the Pirates especially with the Philies and Yankees battling in the World Series just made me so much more excited for some Bucco Baseball in Pittsburgh. Heres to the best for Iwamura and the direction the Pirates are headed in!
Last night’s loss was tough to swallow. It was a comeback wasted after Milwaukee destroyed the Buc’s bullpen torching the staff for 5 runs. Jeff Karstens began the game and lobbed 3 homerun balls to Ryan Braun, Rickie Weeks and Mike Cameron respectively. Jesse Chavez first relieved Karstens in the 6th and did a quality job. Chavez looked demanding and controlling getting batts to pop up. At the beginning of the year I questioned the move to make him a go-to-guy out of the pen, but he has since proved me wrong. Tyler Yates on the other hand has proved me right. I’ve never been a fan of the guy and he has given me no real reason to support him.
Yates has a record of 0- on the young season, the loss coming in last night’s game, and a dismal era of 9.95. In only 6.1 innings pitched he has walked 4 batters, given up 7 earned runs and has successfully made me cringe and sweat upon his appearances on the mound.
John Grabow was a surprise failure in yesterday’s game. Grabow was able to just retire one batter as he was just all over the place walking 2 batters and earning two runs.
The only key reliever was Evan Meek, throwing a full inning Meek struck out two batters. Meek deserves more of a tip of the cap from our organization. After beginning the year in Indy Meek has stepped in and done an unfathomable good job. Not allowing a run in two appearances and giving me confidence whenever he steps on the mound. It would pay great dividends to keep him up here, even when Craig Hansen returns from the DL. Yates should be the one sent down.
The bullpen of the Nationals has also been abysmal. Thats right it’s time for another installment of WELL’S WATCH.
It was a tight game between the Nats and Philies last night, a 13-11 slugfest that was ultimately won by the Phils. With the score close and the Nats within striking distance Kipper was called on to keep Philly in check. Which he did masterfully. Wells went one strong inning and struck out two batters.
So far on the year Kip has appeared in four games and has only suffered one earned run. Three strikeouts in only 4 innings pitched, two hits in only four innings pitched and no homeruns in only 4 innings pitched. Hey in my book, thats solid. He’s been solid without a doubt and looks like he’s really coming around. The bullpen is definately the spot for him. Looks like we should have utilized him out of the pen, instead of throwing him in the starting role like a chicken with his head cut off.
Make no doubt about it, I think it is a beautiful stadium. As much as I dislike retractable roofs, Miller Park makes me rethink that harsh assumption.
Last season the Bucs were 0-6 in the city of Sausages. For those playing at home, thats winless. Everyone remembers the walk-off grand slam by this guy…
RYAN BRAUN. The date was September 25, 2008. WIth the Brewers within striking distance of a playoff spot, which they captured, a pivital games was played against the Pirates. In dramatic fashion Braun belted a pitch thrown by Jesse Chavez into the upper deck in Miller Park’s right field. The 450-foot blast gave the Brewers momentum into the postseason.
Hopefully, this year will be a different story. Reliever Jesse Chavez is performing well out of the Pirate pen and hopes to leave last year’s granny in the past. Chavez has an era of just over one and in eight innings pitched he has struck out four batters.
The pitching staff has a whole has been monumental for the Bucs. Jeff Karstens takes the hill in game one on Monday. He has an era of 3.60, while Joe Kerrigan and John Russel have followed Karstens pitch count closely they will need him to go deep into games to remain effective.
With the promotion of Evan Meek to replace the injured Craig Hansen the bullpen will also have to step up to keep the Bucs in games.
PHOTO CREDIT: dailytimes.com