The Walking Dead Inspired Pittsburgh Pirates Forthcoming Roster Deconstruction

The 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates season poster inspired by The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead Inspired Pittsburgh Pirates roster deconstruction is about to begin.   Every Pirates fan realizes what the Pirates do about this time of the year.  It’s time to blow up the roster.

If you listened to Clint Hurdle on our recent podcast, Clint mentioned that there was a meeting this weekend to talk about the upcoming roster construction for 2013.  We didn’t have the room bugged, but….

….we thought we should try and get a jump on the action by putting some early odds on who will make it to Bradenton in 2013.   We are going to start with the pitching staff.  We will have the infielders, catchers, and outfielders in upcoming posts, so stop back and check those out with a few new photoshops too.

A.J. Burnett.

Clint Hurdle is the Rick Grimes of the Bucs.  So we guess A.J. Burnett is the Rick Grimes of the pitching staff, or maybe the Mayor?   Burnett is the de facto leader and we can’t help but wonder if he’s concerned with the toughness of his teammates since he was the only one that jumped the railing against the Reds this year.

A.J. Burnett for Mayor!

 

Reasons He Could Get the Ax: Maybe a contending team will come calling and the Pirates, just like the creators of The Walking Dead series, will make a move at ANYTIME.  But come on, this is A.J. Burnett.

Reasons He’s Safe: He’s A.J., beeeeeeeatch!  Burnett pitched like a man throughout the season.

Odds that Burnett is in black and yellow for Spring Training :  Lock.

Kevin Correia

Reasons He Could Get the Ax:   If you didn’t notice the demotion at the deadline….

Reasons He’s Safe:   He does have a pregnant wife, ala Lori in The Walking Dead–perhaps Mr. Nutting will feel the need to take care of pitcher that did what so few others could do down the stretch?  All he did was pitch like a guy who wants a job in the rotation.  We don’t think the Pirates are just handing those out anymore, so we can’t see a safe spot for KC next year.

Odds that Correia is in black and yellow for Spring Training:  200 to 1.

Jason Grilli

Reasons He Could Get the Ax:  Grilli should have a serious payday coming.  The Pirates have to wonder just how much is left in the tank for the soon to be 36-year old?

Reasons He’s Safe:   He can strike hitters out which hasn’t been a strong point of Pirates bullpens over the years.  The guy looked like a man possessed this season, who doesn’t want that in their bullpen?  The Hurdle connection has to help his cause and we see him as the closer.

Odds that Grilli is in black and yellow for Spring Training:  Pick’em

Joel Hanrahan

Reasons He Could Get the Ax:   Closers have huge value.  We could see a trade being made by the Pirates.  He is due a raise, a big one, in arbitration.  Walks/nine innings were up in 2012.   Homers allowed jumped from one in 2011 to eight in 2012.

Reasons He’s Safe:  Trade deadlines have come and gone, and The Hammer has stayed.  His strikeouts per nine were up, hits per nine were down in 2012.  Closers have huge value to Clint Hurdle.  Hanrahan seems like a player who has learned more in the past two years about the hitters and because of that could maintain his supremacy in the back end of the Bucs bullpen.  If he hasn’t been moved by now, what makes you think he will be moved in the offseason?

Odds that Hanranator is in black and yellow for Spring Training:  He will be gone, long gone.

Jared Hughes

Reasons He Could Get the Ax: Someone overvalues a mouth breathing relief pitcher.

Reasons He’s Safe: He’s under team control.  Sinker ballers that have strong rookie seasons are gold in the Pirates system–and inexpensive.

Odds that Tackleberry is in black and yellow for Spring Training:  Lock.

Jeff Karstens

Reasons He Could Get the Ax: Injuries.  Arb eligible.

Reasons He’s Safe: He’s shown the ability to pitch smart and seems to have benefited from coaching or just figured out how to pitch.  The market for starting pitchers is going to be expensive.  Karstens is just too damn good to let walk especially when seeing the slight bump in numbers despite reduced innings.  We think the Bucs somehow find a way to keep him.

Odds that #TheZombie is in black and yellow for Spring Training:   Even.

Chris Leroux

Reasons He Could Get the Ax:  The Bucs cut him last season.  He’s expressed the desire to be a starting pitcher.

Reasons He’s Safe:   Minimum.  After he somehow cleared waivers, the Pirates allowed him to start in Triple-A.  Down the stretch, he made appearances out of the bullpen.

Odds that Leroux is in black and yellow for Spring Training:  Lock

Jeff Locke

Reasons He Could Get the Ax: He wasn’t great in his starts for the Pirates.

Reasons He’s Safe:   Left-handed.  Controllable.  Hurdle loves ‘em.

Odds that Locke in black and yellow for Spring Training:  No doubt about it.

Daniel McCutchen

Reasons He Could Get the Ax:  Pitch to contact is so 2009.

Reasons He’s Safe:  Zombie Apocalypse?

Odds that Danimal is in black and yellow for Spring Training in Bradenton:  Maybe if it’s a new camoflauge pattern for a fishing trip?  No chance.

James McDonald

Reasons He Could Get the Ax:  The second half of 2012.

Reasons He’s Safe:  The first half of 2012.

Odds that JMAC is in black and yellow for Spring Training:  Lock

Kyle McPherson

Reasons He Could Get the Ax:  Hmm…none.  The brass love this guy.

Reasons He’s Safe:   Double black belt–you really think someone is going to tell this guy bad news?  McFear showed no fear in his late season starts and he’s under team control.

Odds that McFear is in black and yellow for Spring Training:  Put it on the board!  No doubt about it!

Bryan Morris

Reasons He Could Get the Ax:  It sure took a while for him to get the call-up, so what’s that mean?  When he did arrive, we think Hurdle forgot he was in the bullpen.

Reasons He’s Safe:  The final player in the Jason Bay trade?  Potential closer/set-up man in the bigs.  Most importantly, major league minimum.

Odds that Morris is in  Bradenton for Spring Training:  No doubt.

Charlie Morton

Reasons He Could Get the Ax: Tommy John.

Reasons He’s Safe: We aren’t sure we can think of any right now.

Odds that Morton is in Bradenton for Spring Training:  He will be recovering from surgery a year after having an artificial hip or some shit. so we say the Bucs will work something out with him….don’t know why/how whatever but a birdie tells me this will happen.

Chad Qualls

Reasons He Could Get the Ax: We have a 140 character limit.

Reasons He’s Safe:  Somebody sees something us dumb fans don’t, perhaps a scouting report from the Pirates Fan Advisor?

Odds he is in black and yellow for Spring Training:  Please lord…any number you can possibly think of higher than a zillion-to-one

Chris Resop

Reasons He Could Get the Ax:  Arbitration eligible.  The strikeout numbers took a dive in 2012–10.2/9 in 2011 to 5.6/9 in 2012  The fly balls and slow time to home plate have us thinking…he’s a goner.

Reasons He’s Safe:  Despite striking out less bad guys, he became a better pitcher?  He allowed less runs, less walks, and fewer bombs.   The ERA+ was 96 for Resop who ate up 73.2 innings out of the pen.

Odds Resop is back for Spring Training time:  Million to one, he gottsa go.

Wandy Rodriguez

Reasons He Could Get the Ax:  None that I can think of before my battery dies.

Reasons He’s Safe:  Hurdle has him penciled is as the number two starter.

Odds he is in black and yellow for Spring Training:  No doubt.

Hisonari Takahashi

 

Reasons He Could Get the Ax:  Seriously, someone paid him millions?

Reasons He’s Safe:  N/A

Odds that….:  He’s out.  Way out.  I can’t believe I wasted space typing his name.

Rick van den Hurk

Reasons He Could Get the Ax:  If someone loves small sample sizes and looked to deep into why he was rocked after his late season call-up in which he pitched 2.2 innings and allowed five hits, four runs.

Reasons He’s Safe:  Coaches love a project.  He is only 27.  Cue the Ryan Vogelsong video.

Odds he is in black and yellow come Spring Training time:  10-1

Tony Watson

Reasons He Could Get the Ax:   A talented playoff ready club covets a star on the rise lefty?

Reasons He’s Safe:  Hurdle loves ‘em.  Left handed.  Improved over his rookie season by striking out more hitters, walking less hitters, giving up fewer hits, and allowing less bombs per nine innings.  His ERA+ jumped to 111.

Odds he is in black and yellow come Spring Training time:  No doubt.

Duke Welker

Reasons He Could Get the Ax:  2007 draft pick?

Reasons He’s Safe:  98 miles per hour gets a guy a few fans in the organization.

Odds he is in black and yellow for Spring Training:  3-1

Justin Wilson

Reasons He Could Get the Ax:   Control

Reasons He’s Safe:   Left handed, under team control and has upside

Odds he is in black and yellow for Spring Training time:  Lock

_______________

Karstens won’t die. He will be back in 2013.

So we say Burnett,  Hughes, Leroux, Locke, JMac, Karstens, McFear, Morris, Wandy, van den Hurk, Watson, Welker, and Wilson are in.

We say Jason Grilli is pick ‘em.

We say Hammer, KC, McCutchen, Resop, Qualls, and Takahashi are out.

What say you?  Copy and paste your picks below and we will post a winner when Spring Training rolls around.

 

Topics: Pittsburgh Pirates

Want more from Rum Bunter?  
Subscribe to FanSided Daily for your morning fix. Enter your email and stay in the know.