04/13: Pirates (3-4) @ Giants (6-1)

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

There are some cities that you do everything to ensure that you don’t spend more than minimal time in your hotel room while waiting to go to work in the afternoon. San Francisco is certainly on that list.

Ventured out to Alcatraz this morning before strolling through the wharf, enjoying some clam chowder in a bread bowl and then taking a street car back to Union Square. If you have never been to Alcatraz (which I hadn’t before today) and care, here are a few photos that I snapped along the tour.

Picture 069.jpgThis would be the welcome sign. Self-explanatory, obviously.

Picture 052.jpg
Those Clint Eastwood fans who remember the 1979 film, Escape from Alcatraz, that he starred in can appreciate this shot. It shows the hole that inmate Frank Morris supposedly dug with spoons to facilitate his attempt to escape the prison. Morris, along with two other prisoners did in fact escape on June 11, 1962, and were never seen again.

Picture 070.jpg A shot of the prison as the ferry took us back to shore.

Picture 050.jpgAnd, of course, no visit to San Francisco would be complete without a shot of the Golden Gate Bridge.

With our sightseeing tour over, here’s your news from inside AT&T Park…

  • Somewhat surprisingly, the Pirates made no roster moves prior to Tuesday’s game. I say that because no one expects Brian Burres to make another start for the Pirates this week, even if Ross Ohlendorf can’t. Still, Burres was in the clubhouse on Tuesday.
  • Manager John Russell‘s explanation for Burres staying with the team had to do with that transaction rule that I mentioned yesterday. Not until Wednesday are teams allowed to call up players on the 40-man roster without putting someone on the DL. That means that if the Pirates had wanted to call up a reliever and send Burres down today, the club would have had to have taken a non-roster reliever and remove Burres from the 40-man to open a spot for him.
  • You’d have to think that all this means there will be a roster move tomorrow. The team’s bullpen has been taxed (and could use an extra arm). And again, there is no expectation that Burres is going to pitch again soon for this team.
  • Ohlendorf reported improvement in his back and said he still hopes to throw a side session on Wednesday. The Pirates expect to determine his availability for Saturday’s start by the end of the day on Wednesday. If the righty can throw tomorrow, he’ll likely pitch as scheduled this weekend. If he can’t throw tomorrow, don’t expect him to be ready to go.
  • Daniel McCutchen remains a candidate to throw on Saturday if Ohlendorf can’t. Burres could as well, though I don’t see that being as likely. Or the Pirates could call up someone else from Triple-A to give it a shot.
  • McCutchen still has not joined the Triple-A Indianapolis club, presumably because he is waiting to find out Ohlendorf’s status tomorrow.
  • The Pirates’ four losses lies much more heavily on the pitching than on the team’s hitting, however that doesn’t mask this concerning stat. The Pirates’ middle-of-the-order hitters — Garrett Jones, Ryan Doumit and Jeff Clement — have combined to go just 3-for-17 with runners in scoring position this year. That has to improve if this team is going to be a threat at the plate.
  • On the other hand, No. 9 hitter Ronny Cedeno and No. 1 hitter Aki Iwamura are 7-for-16 with runners in scoring position.

Pirates lineup:

  1. Aki Iwamura (2B)
  2. Andrew McCutchen (CF)
  3. Lastings Milledge (LF)
  4. Garrett Jones (RF)
  5. Ryan Doumit (C)
  6. Jeff Clement (1B)
  7. Andy LaRoche (3B)
  8. Paul Maholm (LHP)
  9. Ronny Cedeno (SS)

Giants lineup:

  1. Aaron Rowand (CF)
  2. Edgar Renteria (SS)
  3. Pablo Sandoval (3B)
  4. Aubrey Huff (1B)
  5. Mark DeRosa (LF)
  6. Bengie Molina (C)
  7. Juan Uribe (2B)
  8. Andres Torres (RF)
  9. Matt Cain (RHP)

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

3 Comments

I wish I was your age again and could land a job like you have . Lets see watching Pirate baseball and traveling all over the place . Keep up the good work , GLASSERS

Jen Jen,

I just read on the MLBtraderumors website that any players who make their big league debuts after April 19th (Monday) this year won?t spend enough time on a major league roster to earn a full year’s service. Thus pushing back free agency a year. Does the mean we may see Pedro sooner rather than later? I don’t think we are as pressed to bring Tabata up as we figure out what we have in Clement. Also, with Ohlendorf’s back troubles and that April 19th date, might we be seeing Lincoln sooner than expected (his first outing not withstanding) I know these questions will play themselves out, but I was wondering what you think and have heard.

JOE

What you read is correct, in that players making their debut after next Monday will not be credited with a full year of service time this season. And remember, players must have six full years of service time to become a free agent. So yes, if Pedro were to come up anytime after Monday, that would mean he would still not be a free agent until after the 2016 season.

However, this date does not prevent the possibility of early arbitration. Typically, players are eligible for arbitration after three full seasons in the Majors. There is a caveat in this, though, called Super Two. It means that a handful of players who have acquired 2+ years in the Majors will actually be eligible for arbitration four times (instead of the normal three). For instance, if Pedro came up on May 1, he’d fall in this Super Two category. That means he would be arbitration eligible in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. In order to keep Pedro’s first arbitration year at 2014, the Pirates need to hold off promoting him until late May. At that point, they’d be past the Super Two cutoff, and this could save the franchise millions.

So when you hear everyone talk about Pedro likely not being up before late May/early June, this is one of the reasons why. There are also development goals to be reached, but don’t think finances don’t play a role, too. As I mentioned earlier, by holding Pedro’s debut off for a little over another month, the Pirates can potentially save millions of dollars. Maybe that gives them a chance to have the money to sign Pedro through some free agency years, too. Or maybe I’m being way too optimistic there.

I know all this can be quite confusing, but hopefully you are able to make some sense of it all. Tried my best to explain it in easy enough language.

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