We took a quick glance through the stats today and found over 50 strikeouts from players that we feel will be long shots to head North with the Pirates club. Of course that could change with injuries, (please baseball Gods NO.) We included one player in the strikeout total, who if speculation holds probably won’t be around long–Ryan Doumit.
Now this doesn’t simply dismiss the fact that some regulars have been fooled a little bit more than we would like to see this Spring Training. Pedro Alvarez (26AB) and Steve Pearce (19AB) lead the charge with eight strikeouts each. Pedro and Pearce have also walked once.
Garrett Freakin Jones (20AB) has seven K’s to go with four walks. Andrew McCutchen in 23 AB has six strikeouts, but Cutch has walked five times. Breath deep– it’s Spring.
Taking a look at the what we call longshots for lack of a better term, and their strikeout totals:
Chase D’Arnaud has six.
Doumit has five.
Josh Fields has five.
Brian Friday has four.
Gorkys Hernandez has four.
Andrew Lambo has four.
Corey Wimberly has four.
Alex Presley has three.
Josh Rodriguez has three.
John Bowker has two.
Dusty Brown or Jason Jarmillo–one most likely won’t be around-each have two.
Wyatt Toregas has two.
And then the Pirates strikeout total of 106 includes one a piece from Thomas, Sanchez, Rojas, Ngoepe, Freeman, and Anderson.
It could be debatable in some of the last roster spots, so here are two interesting totals: Andy Marte has one in 9AB-he has three doubles; Garrett Atkins has four in 16AB to go with 2 2B and a HR. So much stress over a low sample size strikeout barrage in a couple games is nothing to get upset about. Unless it becomes a trend.
The strikeout numbers are what they are, and it doesn’t make it better to say that some players that have a possible future in Pittsburgh are swinging and missing a little too much. We get that, but let’s trust Clint Hurdle, Jeff Banister and hitting coach Ritchie have this all figured out. Especially when it comes to players like Pedro, Pearce, Jones and Cutch.
Some signs that might indicate our trust that it will shake out? Jose Tabata has three in 24 at-bats, Ronny Cedeno just one K in 17 at-bats, Matt Diaz three in 21 at-bats. Also, remember Clint reduced the numbers of strikeouts in Texas last season, so trust that the teaching will begin sinking in soon enough.
In 2009, the Rangers struckout more than any team. They were 12th in walks, seventh in runs and OPS. But look at the improvement with Hurdle as hitting coach, a ‘new’ Josh Hamilton and Vlad Guerrero of course helped, but still this is some consistent improvement that the Rangers displayed.
In 2010, only three teams in all of baseball struckout less than the Rangers. They were eighth (+4 team improvement) in walks, fourth in runs (+3 team improvement) and fifth (+2) in OPS, and of course the Rangers hit for the best average in the American League.
So the moral of the story for me is Clint has some work to do. It scares the hell out of us.
Do us a favor and see if you can see anything we saw in Florida when you watch the game tonight–try and count how many first pitch strikes that Pirates hitters take.
Follow RumBunter on Twitter
14 Pirates struckout last year against Bud Norris. Here is the RumBunter story