Pirates Designate Zach Duke For Assignment

The Pirates have designated Zach Duke, Andy LaRoche and Delwyn Young for assignment and have added Jeff Locke, Mike Crotta, Tony Watson, Danny Moskos and Kyle McPherson to the 40-man roster, protecting them from the Rule 5 draft. As I've said many times before, I think dropping Duke is a mistake, albeit a minor one, and one that will easily be forgotten in the Pirates are smart acquiring pitchers this offseason. His non-tender marks the end of an era, in a way, but I've already written about the guy way too much and there's no need to start a whole new exasperating set of arguments about him. His non-tender really isn't a big deal. LaRoche and Young were arbitration-eligible and it was hard to imagine they'd be protected.

The adds of Locke and Watson are good calls, I think. Crotta, though, seems like a very marginal talent, and I'm not sure what the point of adding McPherson is, since the Pirates have seemed actively disinterested in him until now. Nathan Adcock is a better prospect than either and was not protected, although it's likely the Pirates will be able to protect him from the Rule 5 process. Starling Marte and Rudy Owens are ineligible for the Rule 5, so we don't need to worry about them.

UPDATE by Charlie. WTM, in the comment thread, on McPherson:

It’s got more to do with stuff than actual numbers. Adcock throws 89 with a good curve, and is mainly a command guy. McPherson throws 93 with a plus change and took a very big step forward this year. Check their WHIPs. Adcock’s been much more hittable throughout his career. The low A K rates are the same and K rate are important, but my sense is that, with low A especially, you have to know what’s producing the Ks.

I’m surprised they protected McPherson, but not that they protected him over Adcock.

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