According to Pirates Prospects (sub. req’d), the Pirates don’t plan to call up anybody from Indianapolis today with rosters expanding to 40. No doubt there will be callups later, like after the International League playoffs, which could go until mid-September. Until then, it appears that the only September 1 additions the Pirates will make are Joaquin Benoit and Wade LeBlanc, both of whom are expected to be activated from the dis
comfortabled list today. Benoit, of course, was the Pirates’ big trade deadline acquisition and has contributed an 8.59 ERA since then. LeBlanc and his 4.99 ERA obviously have so much to offer that no other team wanted him for free, at a salary barely above the major league minimum.
Assuming nothing changes today, I guess there is a certain consistency here. At the trade deadline, the Pirates decided they were perfectly happy with a mediocre pitching staff and one of baseball’s worst lineups. I guess the fact that the team has slipped from barely in contention to clearly not in contention is no reason for them to change their minds. Now Clint Hurdle can be happy, with no impediments to his desire to continue running out replacement level and sub-replacement level veterans who don’t, or shouldn’t, have any future with the team. And the front office doesn’t have to face the dilemma of deciding whether to focus on the present or the future. They’ve made it easier by deciding on neither.
And the choice for fans is easy, too. The team has made it clear that helping John Jaso audition for a job somewhere next year is more important than giving Pirate fans something to root for. Unless you really want to see Indianapolis win a title, it shouldn’t be hard to decide whether you still care.