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 got started with the pitching staff. If you missed it, be sure to click on it when it pops up in the screen on your right.
We will have the infielders, and outfielders in upcoming posts, so stop back and check those out with a few new photoshops too. Now we move to the catching position.
The Pirates catchers were bad, right? But just how bad?
Their average was .217, only the Cubs and Marlins were worse. Yeh, we didn’t think that was possible.
Their RPP was third highest in all of baseball. This is excellent. [The stat was first calculated by Bojan Koprivica, Passed Pitch Runs (RPP) calculates the number of runs above / below average a catcher is at blocking pitches.] Interesting, right?
Their CPP was sixth best in all of baseball. Again this is excellent. What is CPP you might wonder–it measures how many passed balls a catcher should have allowed based on his pitches seen. Pittsburgh Pirates catchers should have allowed a lot of passed balls.
So we just have to believe that some of those high numbers of stolen bases allowed occured while the Pirates catchers were digging balls out of the dirt. It doesn’t pass my eye test, but maybe there are some numbers out there to support my thought.
But let’s face it, this is where the good news ends for the Buccos catchers. But heh, at least you can say there were some things that Buccos catchers did well.
It’s an incomplete argument, but the Buccos catchers get most of the blame for the stolen base numbers being the absolute worst in the league. But it’s the last in the league. It is. Face it.
Clint Hurdle is the Rick Grimes of the Bucs. So we guess Rod Barajas would be sort of like Shane. Look at those things he and Mac did well last year! Barajas goes under appreciated by most on the team maybe outside of A.J. Burnett. So the de facto leader always wanted Barajas to be his catcher during 2012. For most of the season it worked, Burnett piled up the wins, the team dealt with the lack of production from their catcher.
Reasons He Could Get the Ax: There are $3.5 million reasons that Hot Rod will be gone. He said he would take less cash, after looking at the performance we can all see why.
Reasons He’s Safe: He’s Rod Barajas, beeeeeeeatch! The Pirates defended their catcher throughout the season. Neal Huntington said there would be pitchers lining up to proclaim their admiration for Barajas. So it’s their decision.
Odds that Barajas is in black and yellow for Spring Training: 8-1
In July his OPS was 1.103 as the Fort hit four bombs in 40 at-bats. But then he got just fourteen hits in 59 August at-bats. He put up a whopping eight hits in September. In his last ten games, McKenry batted .087. After the All-Star break he hit .219.
Reasons He Could Get the Ax: He really isn’t a great catcher. He’s even worse at the plate. Face it.
The Pirates keep talking about wanting to win a World Championship. Look at the teams in the NL Championship Series. They both have two great catchers. Stop talking. Why don’t the Pirates have a great catcher? Perhaps they will do something about it this offseason?
Reasons He’s Safe: No clue. It’s hard to even pay attention to all the people who stand behind him. He really isn’t a great catcher. He’s just not. But that means he won’t cost much. In The Walking Dead, McKenry is zombie fodder, on the Buccos, he could be the number one in 2013.
Odds that The Fort is in black and yellow for Spring Training: It’s a lock.
Fryer was merely a guy with catching gear and a capital ‘C’ on the official roster. He got about two innings of action down the stretch after his call-up.
Reasons He Could Get the Ax: He played the outfield more than he caught in 2012. In fact, he never caught in the Major Leagues in 2012.
Reasons He’s Safe: He has a cannon. He didn’t wear batting gloves in 2012 while getting that one hit in his four at-bats. The 6’2″ Columbus, Ohio native also gets a small paycheck.
Odds that Fryer is rocking the Bumblebee black and yellow for Spring Training: 2-1
If the Pirates completely scraped Barajas and McKenry we would be excited for Spring Training. The fact that there are even hints that both could be back are baffling and certainly make me wish February wasn’t so damn close.