Thursday, July 19, 2007

End Of A Slack-Jawed Era?

Put down your crack-pipe, gather the kids around the blog, because we got Pirates news to talk about!!!!!

Yesterday, the Pirates received shortstop Cesar Izturis and $1.4 million from the Cubs for Player To Be Named Later (who was having a hell of a year in State College for the Spikes, and will be missed.)

Izturis is pretty much a garbage can full of trash with decent range. And don't let anyone pull the old, "He's a former All-Star" crap on you. In his AS year of 2005, he batted .257-2-31, with a .302 OBP, a .322 SLG and 8 steals. Basically, he can't hit for average, can't hit for power, can't get on base, and doesn't steal when he does get on. He won a Gold Glove in 2004 (and with those hitting stats, it might have been for real too...) but has 7 errors already this season. He's no Hanley Ramirez, who apparently plays without a glove at short, but to hit like that and make the money he's making, he should be fielding a touch better than .964.

So, why in the name of Cam Bonifay did the Pirates trade for this guy? Wasn't having one former-starter middle-infield backup in Jose Castillo not enough? Is Izturis Castillo's insurance? The only thing I can think of, and by "think" I mean copy from every other article written about this trade, is that Jack Wilson, our slack-jawed shortstop, is on his way out of town. They can't afford to keep two .250-hitting shortstops and pay them $8 million, especially when neither one of them is Mike Benjamin.

The question then is: Who needs a .250 hitting, $5 million earning shortstop who calls out is teammates in spring training and gets in shouting matches with his coaches in the dugout after missing a pop-up? Phillies? No, but don't tempt them. Yankees, Red Sox, or Blue Jays? Nope. Anyone in MLB? I doubt it. Here are the likely candidates:

Yakult Swallows - 32-44 and 9.5 back of the Chunichi Dragons....wow, they suck. The Swallows need help, Jack Wilson style, because .250 over here is like hitting .385 over in Japan. I figured that out using the Tuffy Rhodes Statistical Translation Device (TRSTD.) I don't know much about Yakult or their players, but I'm sure they have an overhyped, nothing prospect or fading veteran that the Buccos would love to have.

Lancaster Barnstormers - The Barnstormers shortstop is former Phillies 4th round draft pick Danny Gonzalez. He's batting .290-14-42, which is quite good. However, he is hitting off of Independent League pitching. If Wilson would have this opportunity for a whole season, I project his stats at .545-87-210. Again, I used the JD Drew/St. Paul Saints formula of the TRSTD to figure that one out. The only problem with this move is that the bus would have to drive past the homes of the Washington Wild Things and the York Revolution, who may just snatch him up before he makes it to Amish Country.

Mt. Holly Twilight Team - Mt. Holly (just outside of Carlisle, Pa and home to former Pirate and slow-footed runner still fast enough to beat a pre-steroid throw to the plate by Barroid Bonds, Sid Bream) is struggling in the West Shore Twilight Baseball League. They are only 2-25 and are 45 points (hockey scoring?) behind first-place Enola. Sure it's an amatuer league and once the budget is used up for hats, baseballs and some pine tar to put on the already rubber-coated handle of an aluminum bat (yes, people do this...) they might not have much to pay Jack. However, I could see the Pirates paying most of his salary if Mt. Holly gives them a prospect or two in return. And again, using the TRSTD, I think Jack could hit about .825-115-150 for "The Holly." [RBI totals will be low, because I doubt a team that goes 2-25 gets many men on base.]

In any event, good luck to Jack wherever he goes and I look forward to reading "Izturis 4-0-0-0" in the boxscore for at least the rest of the year.

Corey

22 comments:

BloodStripes said...

Hilarious Corey. Baseball comedy at its finest.

furiousBall said...

I saw the Izturis headline yesterday and I couldn't figure it out either. I think he got injured a few years ago and that took away his speed, which was really all he had - a punch and judy hitter with good range at one time.

GM-Carson said...

Furiousball- what the hell does a "punch and judy hitter" mean? I like the way it sounds but haven't got the foggiest.

Nice piece today Corey, I'd go see Jack at Mt. Holly if they were able to swing a that monster deal.

Great pitching beat great hitting last night. Why the hell did the pitching starved Rangers ever deal Cy...oops I mean Chris Young?

GM-Carson said...

Reported on Phillies.com- Manuel ideally wants to get Gordon two more low-stress appearances before putting him in a bigger situation. The closer endured a 13-pitch outing in Sunday's 15-3 win over the Dodgers. ... Outfielder Jayson Werth is still taking batting practice at the team's Spring Training complex in Clearwater, Fla., and has yet to appear in a game. Manuel would like to see him Werth at least 30 at-bats, or a week's worth of games, before activating him. ... Myers begins his rehab stint with Class A Clearwater on Friday.

GM-Carson said...

By the way, there has recently been another added to the long and distinguished list of Phuccos, as Matt Kata is now a Pittsburgh Pirate...remember his brief and unsuccessful stint with the Phils?

BenJah said...

from baseballtips.com/slang:

"Punch-and-Judy -- Said of a hitter who tends to hit well-placed but weakly-hit balls for singles. The first reference was made by former Los Angeles Dodgers manager Walter Alston when asked about a home run by Willie McCovey of the San Francisco Giants. "When he belts a home run, he does it with such authority it seems like an act of God. You can't cry about it. He's not a Punch and Judy belter.''

BenJah said...

its wierd that izturis had declined so much, but what about jack wilson? he was really really good, and then suddenly was awful on the field and an asshole off it.


also: i guess chris young is a 'great' pitcher b/c he absolutely stifled the best offense in the NL last night

GM-Carson said...

Rumor- The Phillies are falling all over themselves to get a starter, but the main options appear to be Joe Kennedy, Kyle Lohse, and Steve Trachsel. Awww yeah, World Series here we come. For good starters or relievers, teams want Shane Victorino. The Phils need him to take over center field next year.

*I sure as hell hope the Phils don't trade the inexpensive sparkplug Vic for some crappy starting pitcher.

Jacobin said...

I hate, absolutely hate Steve Traschel. For no reason other than that, I suspect he is the most likely player they would pick up. Watching a game Trash-el pitches is like watching a slug slither along for a quarter mile. The guy is unbearably slow, and I was ecstatic when I found out he was going to the American League because it meant I wouldn't have to see the "human rain delay" pitch against the Phillies this year.

I'd suggest Young is a "great" pitcher this year because, after last night's performance, his ERA at home is about 0.79. The guy hasn't given up a run in half of his home starts.

GM-Carson said...

Any time a starting pitcher can post an era sub 2.50 in modern day baseball for a season they are considered great in my book. I really like Chris Young, he's athletic (played both baseball and basketball at Princeton), he's tall (6'10"), and he's not afraid to throw-down (recent fistacuff with Derek Lee).

BenJah said...

chris young is smart too. princeton! not east stroudsberg state tech, but princeton. how many phillies went to ivy league schools?

Corey said...

doug glanville

Corey said...

and possibly steve jeltz...

abravefan said...

Corey, it's Jeff. I had some free time to read on your blog. If Jack goes to Mt. Holly, I'm there. After all, who wouldn't want to support the hometown of Sid Bream, owner of one of the greatest moments in baseball history? By the way, for many years my sister used to think his last name was sibream. Sorry you got called in this weekend - I'm sure I'll pay for it later.

GM-Carson said...

Dougie G most def was an ivy leaguer. Much respect to the Penn Quakers.

Chris said...

Hey guys and gals, I'm going to give a Wheels T-Shirt to the person that is the closest(over or under) to guessing how many times that Chris Wheeler will mention the size of Petco Park during the 3 games left with the Padres. Entries will be accepted up until midnight tonight.

Check my blog(bahaha, update your blog) for the entire rules(meaning what is accepted and what isn't):

http://hugetinymistake.wordpress.com

don't put your email in here, put your guess in the comments section on my blog

BenJah said...

glanville. right, but he's the only one? i was hoping you would say "gillick" but i guess i should have known.

Jacobin said...

Wooo... crappy defense by the Padres lets the Phillies tie the game and have a shot at getting some more! And Pat Burrell picks up the go-ahead RBI. Wow, I know it isn't a hit, but what the hell is going on with Burrell?

BloodStripes said...

Burrell is a hit machine. Offense wins. Its 1 all. 2 grand-daddies tomorrow. C'mon offense beat the pitching.

Carson. Check your mail bro.

GM-Carson said...

Grand Pappy Moyer vs. Chubby Hubby David Wells should be fun. Two ancient lefties...hope one of their arms doesn't fall off.

Burrell is owning July.

.500 yet again.

GM-Carson said...

Righty Brett Myers pitched a scoreless first inning in his first rehabilitation start for Class A Clearwater. He walked one and faced four batters. His next outing is scheduled for Monday, also for Clearwater. He could throw one more outing after that, and then be activated from the disabled list.

Phils are at .500 for the 14th time this season...get used to it!

BloodStripes said...

It sucks going up and down like this. Its also sucks having such unpredictable pitching. We ought to be 5 or 6 games above. Too many blown leads.

Good to see Howard rising higher and Pat Burrell. Burrells our boy!