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News Roundup: Littlefield Talks Trade, Santos to the 'Pen, the Low Minors

There's a bunch of interesting tidbits in today's notebook in the Post-Gazette:

-P- Dave Littlefield:

"Teams seem to be more willing to trade earlier this year," Littlefield said. "That way, they have the player they acquire for a longer period of time, giving that player a chance to impact more games.

Isn't that true every year? Like Pat, I'm wondering why Littlefield hasn't yet bothered to trade anyone before until right before the deadline. I'm also wondering why he hasn't moved anyone yet this year.

-P- Victor Santos will indeed head to the bullpen, which makes sense.

-P- 2006 thirty-first round pick Jared Keel is hitting .462 in Bradenton after 15 games.

I suspect that the Pirates do not consider Keel a prospect - he turns 22 in a few weeks, and a college senior really should be able to beat up on the high school kids at Bradenton. (Obviously, though, if Keel continues to hit this way, it will behoove the Pirates to move him up the ladder to see if they've got anything.)

Here are a couple of guys in the rookie leagues who I think are more interesting so far (keeping in mind, of course, that it's extremely early):

  • 7th rounder Austin McClune is hitting .390 at Bradenton after eleven games. Unlike Keel, McClune is at the appropriate level for his age - he's only 18.
  • 2004 8th rounder Eric Ridener is off to an impressive start at Bradenton. He was injured all last year.
  • 2006 2nd round pick Mike Felix is off to a good start at Williamsport, striking out twelve batters and walking only two in his first 12 innings. The Pirates are using him as a reliever. UPDATE: No, they're not. Sorry, I don't know where I got that.
  • 2006 3rd rounder Shelby Ford hit extremely well in a handful of games for Williamsport, then was moved up to Hickory, where he's hitting decently after a rough start.

UPDATE: I just noticed that WTM has a piece on the high minors up at OnlyBucs.