A busy weekend has kept me... busy, but I'm back on the case now.
-P- Jim Tracy might consider Salomon Torres for a spot in the starting rotation if things don't improve. I'm not sure what to make of this; Torres has been awful as a starter and great as a reliever since reviving his career in Pittsburgh. One would hope that the Pirates would only consider Torres as a starter in an ridiculously desperate situation, but the way this season is going, the Desperate Situation-Meter is liable to switch from "intensely" to "ridiculously" at any time. One would hope, though, that if a vacancy in the rotation were forced upon them, the Pirates would look to any number of other options at Class AAA - Tom Gorzelanny, Brandon Duckworth, even Nerio Rodriguez or Britt Reames. The way Gorzelanny has been performing, he might be an acceptable big-league starter right away. But beyond that, if you have to choose between unappetizing rotation options, you should at least choose one that doesn't rob you of a reliable bullpen guy.
-P- Greg notes in the comments that there hasn't been much noise about Ronny Paulino's defense, which has been, at the very least, not great. Meanwhile, the Pirates are (predictably) keeping Ryan Doumit in Indianapolis on rehab, and meanwhile Paulino is receiving raves from Jim Tracy for his game-calling. In today's Pirates Notebook, Dejan Kovacevic writes:
I like Paulino, but I find this strange. Since when is an utterly empty .300 batting average a good thing, especially when coupled with middling defense? I'm all for good game-calling - and if Paulino is the only Pirates catcher smart enough not to encourage Ian Snell to groove 0-2 fastballs down the middle, great - but I'm honestly a bit skeptical that his game-calling will help much in the long run. There are plenty of catchers with great reputations for game calling who have similar Catcher ERAs as their backups.
It's just the sort of thing I'd hate to see the Pirates making important decisions on, particularly until they get a much longer look at Paulino somehow. This is, in my opinion, probably not a good reason to hold up Doumit's development.(The flip side of this is that I don't think Paulino's so-so defensive performance so far should be held much against him, either, since he was so highly regarded in the minors.)