Still no problems from the fires. It still feels like a faraway situation even though I can smell it and about 500,000 people in my county have been evacuated. I live in a coastal area and my friends mostly live there or in one of the more urban neighborhoods near downtown, and none of those places have been hit. So I don't even know of anyone I know who's been affected, which is lucky.
Thanks to all the well-wishers in the previous thread, but again, don't worry about me. :)
-P- Steve Pearce won the Spink Award as Topps' minor league player of the year, and last week he also won MILB.com's player of the year award.
Obviously, Pearce has nothing left to learn in the minors. I recently said that Xavier Nady and Ryan Doumit would make a good platoon in right field and I still think that's true, but I also think that a responsible organization in the Pirates' position just has to find a starting job for Pearce next year.
For the first time since 2003 - when the Bucs had Brian Giles, Matt Stairs, Reggie Sanders and Craig Wilson to fit into two outfield spots - the Pirates actually have too many viable options at the corners. Assuming Nate McLouth's in center and Josh Phelps is back as a pinch-hitter or not at all, the Bucs still need to sort through Jason Bay, Adam LaRoche, Pearce, Nady and Doumit.
The obvious solution here seems to be to trade Nady. He's useful and should return something in a trade, but he turns 29 next month, in injury-prone and mostly just duplicates Pearce's skill set anyway.