-P- Yoslan Herrera was sent back to Altoona after yesterday's debacle. That's where he belongs. We might be inclined to look at his one good start--the one on July 24, against the Padres--and think he's just an adjustment or two away from figuring things out, but we've got to keep our eyes on the prize. Remember how closely people used to watch Ryan Vogelsong and Jimmy Anderson for signs of progress? Even they could turn in decent starts now and again, but that didn't mean they were any good or ever would be any good. Herrera wasn't that good against Class AA pitching and he probably isn't ever going to be a good big-league starter.
-P- I swear, I opened this column accidentally.
The really, really annoying aspect of the trades was the insistence of some -- both pundits and apologists -- that since the team wasn't winning with Bay and Nady trading them was the right thing to do. That's the height of convoluted thinking. Such reasoning suggests Bay and Nady were the reason the Pirates were losing. The exact opposite is true. The team was almost winning because of Nady and Bay. They are not losing ballplayers, they are winning ballplayers and the fact that they now play for two of the most successful franchises in baseball is the ultimate proof of that.
The Pirates gave up two middle-of-the-lineup bats and one of the top left-handed specialists in the game for prospects. While they increased depth -- whoopee -- they lowered payroll and hope.
I love the dismissal of anyone who liked the trades as an "apologist." And the idea that the Pirates were "almost winning" with Nady and Bay, despite the fact that on the day the Bay trade took place, the Pirates were 14.5 games out of first and in last place.
Did anyone with a clue have "hope" for the Pirates team that included Nady and Bay? The team that had peak-age players at every spot in the lineup and no pitching staff or minor-league depth, and that won 68 games last year and was in last place at the end of July? Really?
-P- Wow, the State College paper sure is mad. A week or two ago, I blamed the Spikes' terrible season on a bunch of Dave Littlefield-acquired pitchers, but now there's even more blame to go around. No one is really hitting well, and the pitching has been a complete debacle. The Pirates really need to sign their good draft picks. I can't emphasize this enough. It's not just Pedro Alvarez, it's the fact that they drafted a bunch of high-upside guys and a bunch of filler guys, and so far they've mostly signed the filler guys. Matt Hague has been excellent for Hickory and Jarek Cunningham has been good for Bradenton, but other than that the Pirates have absolutely nothing to show for their draft so far. Obviously, it's early, but if they want to generate any momentum from the trades they just made, they need to get cracking on those draft picks.