You are missing by this freaking much Brandon! Photo: Dejan PG+

5 Reasons We Are Weary Of Pirates Brandon Wood Experiment

Officially no longer interested in the Brandon Wood foray.

When the Pittsburgh Pirates made the waiver claim for Brandon Wood the owner of the local baseball card shop was pumped.   We laughed and expressed our doubts.  He scoffed as he scrambled to find Wood rookie cards to move into the Pirates display case.

Now let’s get something staight.  Once Wood put on the Pirates black and gold we have been firmly behind him.  But the fact he has been an out machine is wearing on our fanhood.

Brandon Wood has been as advertised.

The thought process of the Pirates brass was a good one.  Brandon Wood fills a need.  He’s inexpensive.  Low Risk.  Josh Harrison isn’t ready.  Chase d’Arnaud isn’t ready.  Jordy Mercer is going to be a stud, but isn’t there yet.  Predictably, the option of Josh Rodriguez failed.

But looking at Brandon Wood for the next couple of weeks seems like a failure as well.  We know the past few weeks have been which is evident about 80% of the time he steps to the plate.

We realize as Pirates fans we typically have to settle for horseshit.  We know the drill.  But Wood is taking horseshit to the next level.

If this were Ronny Cedeno, fans would be having a freaking meltdown.  The fact is Ronny Cedeno at least shows flashes of being a talent.  The way Wood has performed is similar to a .99 cent bottle of flat black spray paint.  It sucks.  But for now, it’s priced right.

We understand that Neal Huntington and company are looking for the next Jose Bautista.  (Who in MLB isn’t)  But Wood has shown nothing that would lead one to believe he is going to repeat his performance as the 2005 minor-league home-run champ.

TAv is something called true average that is used by Baseball Prospectus.  It is corrected for league offensive level, quality, the stat also factors in the parks in which the hitter has played.  If a player is around .300 the player is really good.  A TAv of .260 is league average.

So what Brandon Wood has done is remarkable.  In the BP 2011 Annual you can read the following about Wood:  Since 1954 the only position player to post a seasonal TAv lower than Wood’s .121 in a minimum of 200 plate appearances is Tony Pena, Jr. who managed a .117 mark in 2008.

History has shown Brandon Wood needs to fix something.   We don’t see anything that shows Wood has been repaired by Clint Hurdle and the gang.  We actually wrote about Hurdle saying he hadn’t touched anything with Wood to that point.

Maybe now is a good time.

Wood is continually behind in the counts.  Of course, he is hitting just awful when behind, but if he could ever learn to battle ahead of pitches perhaps our eyes would not be weary of watching Wood swing and miss.


Last night, against the right hander with the best ERA in the league who also speaks four languages, Wood fell behind 0-2 before fly fishing uncertainly the first time up with one out and a runner on first.

In the fifth inning Wood looked at the first strike, went fishing on the second pitch to fall behind 0-2 and flew out to right center field.  (This was the highlight of the night.  It was cool he went to right field–apparently that is a sucess.)

In the seventh inning Wood worked ahead in the count for the first time.  He saw three balls, took a strike down Liberty Avenue, fouled a pitch into the first base seats, and then had an infield fly out.   Wood swung at a pitch that looked to be in the zone–he typically swings at 36 percent of pitches outside the zone, or over seven percent more than the ML average.  That’s not good, but the fact that when he does swing at pitches outside the zone he misses them, really sucks.  Wood connects well below ML average, about 11.5 percent of the time.)   [FanGraphs]

Brandon Wood is on the clock. We have to guess he has two weeks left to figure it out.

When he falls behind in the count, as expected, he is awful.  But remember Wood takes it to a new level.  He is hitting .160 when behind in the count with 11 strikeouts in 25 at-bats.

In fact, he has struckout 20 times in 60 at-bats.  Nothing is changing.  If you were to watch a fly fisherman cast his fly rod upside down, it would distinctly resemble Wood’s hacks when he attempts to hit curveballs.

We would be thrilled to eat crow when we visit the local baseball card shop.  Nothing would be sweeter than to see Woods’ stack of cards thinning out as Pirates fans snatch up a guy who once was thought to be a serious power hitting talent in MLB.  Now his comparables are Scott Moore, Matthew Brown and a guy familar to Pirates fans, Andy Marte.

So when we walk into the card shop,  instead of hearing —”I told you so!”   We are greeted with the back of the head of the owner.  He scurried to the back of the story each of  the last four  times we have visited.

We happened to take a look in his Pittsburgh Pirates baseball card showcase.  It never lies.

The Brandon Wood baseball card selection hasn’t changed.  Sort of like his performance on the baseball diamond thus far.

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Dejan photo of Bob Nutting talking about hitting or the size of the fish Wood could catch.

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Tags: Bob Nutting Brandon Wood Pittsburgh Pirates

  • cocktailsfor2

    I can’t be arsed to look it up right now, but if you go thru the comments when we signed him, I said this was a bad idea, and that we should expect right about what has happened with him. This guy cannot hit, period. End of sentence (and, I hope, the end of our being sentenced to him.)


    • Tom Smith

      No doubt

  • played minor league only

    Gee author did you ever consider switching leagues and seeing a different strike zone makes a difference?

    • Tom Smith

      Gee commenter did you ever consider the fact that Wood swings and misses at roughly 16% of strikes no matter what league he is in? That’s hovering at twice the league average.

    • cocktailsfor2

      Well, considering you apparently only ever played MiLB (according to your screen name), let me quote you from the MLB rule book, Available at THIS LINK :

      “Rule 2.0: The STRIKE ZONE is that area over home plate the upper limit of which is a
      horizontal line at the midpoint between the top of the shoulders and the top of the uniform
      pants, and the lower level is a line at the hollow beneath the kneecap. The Strike Zone shall
      be determined from the batter’s stance as the batter is prepared to swing at a pitched ball.
      (For diagram of STRIKE ZONE see page 23.)”

      Note: if you click on the link above, you can see the diagram indicated on page 23.

      And Rule 6.08(b):”If the ball is in the strike zone when it touches the batter, it shall be called a strike,
      whether or not the batter tries to avoid the ball. If the ball is outside the strike zone
      when it touches the batter, it shall be called a ball if he makes no attempt to avoid
      being touched.
      APPROVED RULING: When the batter is touched by a pitched ball which does
      not entitle him to first base, the ball is dead and no runner may advance.”

      According to the rule book, there is no delineation or difference between Leagues as to what defines the strike zone.

      Perhaps you meant “… did you ever consider switching leagues and seeing a different strike zone different pitchers makes a difference?” ?

    • Tom Smith

      Now that is some quality shit.

    • cocktailsfor2

      Yeah, well, the commenter misses the point completely. B. Wood can’t hit in either fucking League.

    • michaelbro

      if you only played Minors, how would you know about different strike zones in the Majors ? I’ve never seen any real difference.

  • dcn3569

    I would like to see some of Pearce at 3B. Getting consistent ABs could really help him out. And according to an article I read by cocktailsfor2 Pearce has been the most consistent hitter when he starts. As I type this I wonder if the front office is putting pressure on Hurdle to play Wood (circa AKI)??? No way Hurdle would do that he thinks out side the box or does he??

    • cocktailsfor2

      You’re gettin’ your wish, dcn. Pearce is at the Hot Corner today, and batting 3rd.

      I don’t think the FO is telling Hurdle who to play, for the most part. I do think that they put their heads together and decided to give Wood a few starts in Pedro’s absence, to see what he could do. Well, they – and we – saw what he can’t do, and that is hit.

      Thanks for reading – I really appreciate it!


  • dcn3569

    I hope he has a good game today!!

    • cocktailsfor2

      Again – getting your wish!

      Now, can you wish for a pony for me?

  • Dan

    As an Angel fan all I can say say is…..


    • cocktailsfor2

      Yeah – thanks.

      Thanks a f^*king lot!


    • Tom Smith

      hahahaha!!!! thanks dan

  • michaelbro

    Wood’s a talented hitter, who like so many before him, is pull-happy. I’m guessing Hurdle and the Bucs staff know this and have been trying to change that, but I’m just as sure the Angels staff tried also. It looks like he just refuses to make adjustments. Kinda sad to see actually.

    • Tom Smith

      you nailed it michaelbro…i was checking it out. great call man.

  • dcn3569

    Im just going to go ahead and throw this out there one good thing has come from the Brandon Wood experiment, it is the play of one Ronny “Stay Thirsty” Cedano. The stat line I saw stated 32 game error free and a .313 since the Bucs picked up Wood. Maybe all Stay Thirsty needs to keep in line is some comeptiton at SS so once Wood gets DFAed can we please pick someone else up to keep Stay Thirsty hot???

    PS: I would like cocktailsfor2 to get that pony he desires!!

    • cocktailsfor2

      “The stat line I saw stated 32 game error free and a .313 since the Bucs picked up Wood.”

      … as we say during the Game Threads over on Bucs Dugout, “no jinx no jinx no jinx”

      Also – thanks for the good juju on the pony. Alas, I have only a 1-bedroom apartment here in Chicago, and between me, Ms. Cocktailsfor2 and my cat, I fear there would be little room for one. Plus, I’m not gonna take the thing out for a walk 3x a day in the fucking snow.

      I’ll try to think of a more reasonable request for the use of your formidable wishing powers, dcn. ;-) Thanks!

  • dcn3569

    Harrison has been a much better fill in. My thought is move Pedro to first after this season let Harrison play third and draft Hultzen best ceiling. But I am just a fan what do I know?

    • Tom Smith

      We were having that conversation at work today. Harrison really needs to keep hitting and let it all play out. The draft….man, I don’t know still sticking by my original guy Rendon at 6:26 on Friday night….

    • dcn3569

      He is definatly going to get a good look at 3B with Pedro and Pearce out. Hopefully he continues to make the best of it. I liked Rendon at first but with the injuries and him basically just DHing this year could be bad. I like Hultzen’s attitude and approach to the game. I see a future ace and leader of the pitching staff/team!!!