PICTURES: Matt Clement; Ian Snell (mlb.com)
-P- Half the Pirates whupped the Reds today, 15-5. No one homered, but Jose Castillo, Craig Wilson, Humberto Cota, Jack Wilson and Jose Bautista all had big days for the Bucs. Paul Maholm allowed one run in five innings.
-P- The rest of the Pirates also won, beating the Phillies 9-8. Gookie Dawkins hit a game-winning homer and scored three runs. Tom Gorzelanny allowed two runs in three innings, but he struck out five and walked none.
-P- The Bucs are apparently interested in trading Craig Wilson for the Red Sox's Matt Clement. I like Clement, but it scares me to think of what the Bucs would have to give up in addition to Wilson to get him. It's also kind of a shame that, after years of developing pitchers and years of hype for those pitchers, we are now considering trading one of our few real hitters for yet another pitcher.
-P- Ian Snell appears to be almost a lock for a rotation job, which has to count as the best development in the Pirates' spring training so far.
-P- Jeff Manto says that Brad Eldred can be a "Richie Sexson or Jim Thome-type hitter."
Eldred, age 24 season (AA, AAA and majors): 469 AB, 35 BB, 159 K
Sexson, age 24 season (majors): 479 AB, 34 BB, 117 K
Thome, age 24 season (majors): 452 AB, 97 BB, 113 K
Eldred and Thome are both huge, hulking first basemen with tremendous power, but after that they're pretty different - Thome was a much more advanced hitter than Eldred at age 24, and his control of the strike zone was far better. Sexson, though, isn't a bad example of what might happen to Eldred if everything - and I mean absolutely everything, since Sexson's career path seems a little unusual - breaks well for him. Sexson was another enormous first baseman without much of an idea of the strike zone at age 24, but he developed plate discipline later in his career. I'm not sure whether the holes in Eldred's swing will prevent him from doing the same, but for now I can dream, right? Just a year or so ago, very knowledgable Pirates fans were saying that Eldred and Ryan Howard were basically the same player, and look what happened to Howard.