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Bits, Baubles and an Invitation

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A pitcher that the Pirates want to keep.
Darrell Sapp/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

As occasionally happens with me, all the ideas I had for articles didn’t lend themselves to long reads this week, so I thought I’d touch on things I’ve read elsewhere. Also, even though I sadly agree with Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic that the World Series will probably be Dodgers in six, I sincerely hope I’m wrong because my attitude is always BEAT L.A.

  • According to a tweet from Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Oneil Cruz is still awaiting a court date connected with the September twenty-first crash in his native Dominican Republic that killed three people. However, it seems that the Dominican government is now backing off its claim that alcohol was a factor in the crash. It doesn’t lessen the tragedy, but perhaps it’ll be the first step towards healing.
  • Following on the heels of Robert Kelley’s article about the Pirates possibly upgrading at catcher, the name Gary Sánchez has been on the lips of a lot of Bucs fans. This should not be. Despite his benching during the ALDS in favor of Kyle Higashioka, who is Gerrit Cole’s favored pitch framer, and his downright abysmal defense (he led MLB catchers in errors this season), he’s cheap enough at $5 million so that only a significant upgrade to another position offered in exchange could tempt the Yankees into getting rid of him. The Pirates? Don’t have that.
  • The Pirates’ fall instructional league is in full swing in Bradenton, FL until the end of the month. Per our buddy Jason Mackey, all of the Bucs’ 2020 draft picks are there, as are notable past picks like Quinn Priester and Tahnaj Thomas and trade booty Liover Peguero and Brennan Malone, who came in with the Starling Marte trade. Jason has a fascinating interview with Priester, who talks about how the Bucs are bringing him along by concentrating on his excellent curve rather than forcing him to pound down the heaters, as Tyler Glasnow accused the coaching staff of doing with him when he was in Pittsburgh.

I’ve been thinking that I’d like to do, if not a mailbag, a chatbag with Bucs Dugout readers. If you’ve got a Pirates/baseball question, ask it in the comments. I’d like to get the first answers up tomorrow if there are enough questions. This is your space too, make it count!