In a season with more twists than a cat on a hot tin shack, the Pitsburgh Pirates sent Brad Lincoln back to AAA after the Pirates were swept by the Padres. It was covered here numerous times, but we had concerns with Lincoln from the outset this season. Trying to learn to throw a change up at the Major League level is one challenge that seemed too much to overcome.
Lincoln has some work to do at AAA. Let’s trust he doesn’t pull a Morton. He seems like the type of player that can learn from his experience. The Pirates are counting on it.
The sad part? There is nobody that is a better starting pitching option right now. That is mind blowing. Just mind blowing. Maybe, just maybe Hayden Penn would have been an option if he had continued to pitch well. But it’s a little late for that now. And a huge reach on our part.
The other big news was cutting ties with Ryan Church veteran reliever Brendan Donnelly. It seemed to us that as the season wore on, that Donnelly is not a player that can throw that many innings any longer. Remember, Donnelly had thrown 30.2 innings for the Pirates, sure that’s not much, but it’s the most he had thrown since 2006.
If I am Donnelly, I would refuse the assignment and take the free agency. A team could take a flier on him. The rest on that big right arm will certainly help him this season. It seems odd that he wouldn’t take the assignment, but in Rob Biertempfel’s article Donnelly is quoted as saying that he didn’t see the move coming. We take that to mean the Pirates didn’t communicate too well in this regard.
To explain further, wouldn’t someone on the Pirates staff say, heh man, you have to improve. We are looking at the numbers coming up and unless you pick it up you are out of here.
A veteran like Donnelly seems like he would respect straight talk. Hell, Donnelly had to know that he was sucking. But maybe since there seems to be little accountability elsewhere, he must have thought he was free to do as he liked. But I did enjoy watching Donnelly play. Even when he struggled this season, Donnelly showed intensity. It was refreshing to see. But the bottom line for us is this…. I am in the camp that when relievers begin to age, especially one with such a violent delivery as Donnelly it’s best to cut ties. But maybe it could have been done a little differently.
One final point and this horse is buried. Donnelly didn’t just come up with this delivery. Did someone from the Pirates think Donnelly would be able to rack up innings and not get hurt? Donnelly was an inexpensive option, but doesn’t this send a message to veterans around the league?
The Pirates essentially said, we don’t care how we are perceived, if you suck and you have some incentives coming up, the Pirates will cut ya. It’s all about results. Can’t blame them a bit. But more communication is important because it’s obvious that Donnelly helped the young players in the bullpen.
[ I just wanted one win in this damn series.]