A few notes for Thursday:
- Mike Petriello writes that Felipe Rivero’s changeup “might have been the most unhittable pitch in the game last year” and suggests that the trade of Mark Melancon for Rivero and Taylor Hearn could be quite a successful one for the Bucs.
- Keith Law (subscription only) names Tyler Glasnow No. 25 and Kevin Newman No. 33 in his ongoing list of baseball’s top prospects. The ranking for Glasnow seems a bit low after a somewhat uneven 2016 season, but Law’s writeup is mostly positive, noting that it can take time for very tall pitchers to develop consistent deliveries. Law’s praise for Newman is a bit less effusive than it’s been in the past (when Law was higher on Newman than just about anyone), but Law still notes that Newman profiles as either an everyday shortstop or a super-utility type who plays every day (think of Ben Zobrist, or the way the Pirates once used Josh Harrison).
- This year’s trade deadline will be nuts, Ken Rosenthal writes. The Pirates come up in the context of possible trades of Andrew McCutchen, Tony Watson and Gerrit Cole (although I’d object that a Cole trade would be pretty unlikely — it’s hard to see the Pirates trading him when they control him through 2019). The entire article is also worth a glance as a primer on who could be available if the Pirate emerge as buyers rather than as sellers. It certainly seems like it’ll be a buyer’s market.
- Jonathan Mayo names Austin Meadows the third-best outfield prospect in baseball, behind Andrew Benintendi of the Red Sox and Victor Robles of the Nationals — who, you’ll remember, came up when the Pirates were considering trading Andrew McCutchen to the Nats.