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News Roundup

-P- This is classic Kevin McClatchy, here refuting the rumors that Dave Littlefield will be fired:

"I think we've done some good things in improving the minor-league system and getting it to feed the major-league club. I think you're seeing that now, when you look around the diamond and see Ronny Paulino and Jose Bautista and a lot of folks who came up from our system this year. I think Dave and his staff have done a good job in that regard."

McClatchy added that he is not satisfied with the outcome to date, though.

"Obviously, there's one piece that we have not accomplished, and that's to win."

Yeah, I mean everything's going great except for that one little problem! This reminds me of a classic quote from former Rays GM Chuck Lamar:

"The only thing that keeps this organization from being recognized as one of the finest in baseball is wins and losses at the major league level."

That was an incredibly silly thing to say and Lamar was justly ridiculed for it, but McClatchy's quote is, if anything, even more absurd - at least the Rays had a farm system that was stuffed to the gills with players with star potential. The Pirates don't.

-P- Tough game yesterday - Albert Pujols hit three homers, and Anthony Reyes almost struck out twice as many guys as he allowed to reach base. It was neat to see the Pirates send out only young pitchers (in addition to starter Ian Snell, Josh Sharpless made his first appearance since returning from the DL, Brian Rogers made his second big league appearance, and Jonah Bayliss finished up.

-P- After hitting three homers yesterday, Ryan Howard now has 52 for the season. What a drag that the Pirates didn't get him when they apparently could have.

-P- Stop me if you've heard this one - John Van Benschoten was pulled from his most recent start because of "shoulder tightness." The injury is not supposed to be serious.

-P- After going nuts in the last few weeks of Class A+ Lynchburg's season and ending up with a .426 OBP there, shortstop Brent Lillibridge has been promoted to Class AA Altoona. Pitchers Kyle Bloom and Yoann Torrealba were promoted, too. Kudos to John Sickels for putting Lillibridge on his list of the Pirates' top prospects before the season started - Lillibridge hadn't yet accomplished much of anything then.