We're all familar with Jake aren't we? Love him or hate him he does make you think and as a long suffering Pirates fan we're all better off for it I guess. Here on his e-mail blong are his takes on Sanchez, Morton, and Alvarez. In the case of Alvarez I do agree he was rushed and that he's certainly overmatched.
"Through last Friday's game (Saturday's was rained out and I haven't checked Sunday's yet but did notice he went up against southpaw Clayton Tanner who throws about 90 with little movement but has a plus changeup), Sanchez was hitting .250 with 34 PA (28 AB, 7 hits, 1 HBP, and 5 BB). Most of his walks were of the intentional-not intentional variety as they were four straight balls, although I don't know they were. His strikeouts were almost all three straight called strikes with the bat on his shoulder. But even that didn't really phase me.. what did is this:Of his first 25 PA in his first road series games, 18 times he put the ball in play on the first pitch. More interesting, in the last series at Akron, of the 13 PA he had, 10 of them he put the first pitch in play for a ridiculously high 77% with just two hits in the 13 PA. At one point he put the first pitch in play 8 of 9 AB and the only likely reason he didn't do it in the 9th AB is because he was walked. After getting home, Richmond obviously had an advance scout following the Curve because they went into a pattern with Sanchez.. one ball, then a strike and he'd hit it; two balls then a strike and he'd hit it; rinse repeat over and over. Sanchez must have picked up on the general pattern because three of his last four AB went for hits. And check this out - of the 28 pitches he saw at home, an alarming 21% he watched go by for called strikes. But the most disturbing trend? He'd seen just 2.2 pitches average per at bat. That's unacceptable at any level. Obviously that's going to change over time and we can't forget that four of his first eight games played were at 46 degrees or lower and he's not a cold weather guy" I love Tony Sanchez but batting him cleanup at Altoona is setting up for failure I think. He belongs no higher than the 6th spot. He's a Yadier Molina prototype anyway so I still anticipate him bein in the big leagues by July 2012. Can't wait. Charlie Morton "There's a reason why nobody wanted Morton to throw from the lower 3/4 arm slot and that's because of the amount of pressure he's putting on his elbow and shoulder now. Simply put, you can put him into a higher risk for breakdown because of it.. doesn't mean it will happen, just that his elbow is nearly even with his shoulder when he throws and history tells us when a guy with more than 500 innings (he's around 1,000) changes his slot so dramatically he's prime for a breakdown. In Morton's case with the higher whip action of his long arm, I think he's now at a significantly higher rate and I'll be stunned if he makes it to 200 innings without some down time. If he does make it, I can't help but to believe his arm will be toast in 2012. We'll have to watch what happens to his health over the next 10 - 15 starts. Let's see if he starts to lose velocity and/or the plate. I bet he does" That's the last thing the Pirates need right now as he's proven to be the team's stopper and potential ace (if you can believe that). That said I would hold off any extension talks until after 2012. We made that same mistake with Ian Snell. Pedro Alvarez "Alvarez? He's just overmatched.. horribly overmatched. He was rushed and it shows.. he needed another year in 3A to season on offspeed away and the fact he didn't get it is showing. I wonder why Huntington didn't ask him to play Mexican winter ball? Maybe he did.. maybe he did. We're going to have to drop him down to the 7th spot in the order here shortly if he continues being a liability at the plate. But, maybe, that's exactly what he needs?? A mental adjustment? Hmm.." Slow starter or not Pedro has just been plain awful (few webgems notwithstanding). Pedro with no homers and only two extra base hits in the first 15 games. That's not slow-starting that's just bein plain overmatched. He has no business bein in the 5th spot right now (more like 7th). Unfornutely, we don't have anyone else suitable to replace Pedro right now on a long-term basis so I guess we'll hafta wait for Pedro to start rakin (hopefully sooner than later) BTW, this is my 1st FanPost so I apologize for any potential screw-ups. Like posted Jake's material on here haha.