Hey, look…if he was a sure thing he wouldn’t be available. How many 30+ home run hitting 1B are out there? In the National League last year, just one in Paul Goldschmidt. Ike hit 32 homers two years ago in Citi Field and that’s before they brought in the fences. His ceiling is much greater than say, James Loney’s. I like Loney, but he is what he is at this point in his career. 15 home run guy at most, .280 hitter with a good glove. Not awful until you realize that he’s going to cost the Bucs a lot of dough and for three years. Loney is holding out for that third year and whomever caves will get him. My guess is that team will be the Brewers. After losing Corey Hart to the M’s they will panic and foolishly give Loney whatever he wants.
Lets hope I’m right.
My opinion on the Edinson Volquez signing is that although I would have liked Johan Santana instead, I’m good with EV. The fact is that he’s a #5 who only needs to be passable for about 15 starts until Jameson Taillon comes up in June. From what I saw of him the last month of the season in LA, I think he could be relatively decent with some Ray Searage tender loving care. If you’re looking him to be the Edinson Volquez of 2008, forget about it! That man is gone. Control is the big issue with him and what you are going to see is something similar to Jeff Locke. 5.2 IP 4 H 4 BB 5 K’s 3 ER. If that’s the average stat line for Edinson Volquez’s Pirates starts, I’m down! That has 6-6 with a 4.50 ERA written all over it.
Say goodbye to Wei-Chung Wang – for now at least. The Taiwanese lefty was scooped out of the organization by the Milwaukee Brewers in today’s rule 5 draft. Nobody I know thinks he’ll make the Brew-crew’s roster on opening day and probably will be returned to the Bucs before you know it. But hey, stranger things have happened and if he does make Milwaukee I think it’ll be, for this year anyway, as a lefty specialist. If you’re scared he’ll turn into Cole Hamels consider he had a 3.00+ ERA this year. In the Gulf Coast League.
The Pirates didn’t take anyone in the Major League Phase of the Rule 5. Not a shock. What was a pleasant surprise though was that Zach Thornton wasn’t taken by anybody else. Thornton, 25, is a good-looking righty reliever that most think could be major league ready. In 25 innings at Indianapolis, Thornton only walked 4 batters while striking out 31. Impressive. What’s not impressive was the 3 homers he gave up. Like I said, some feel he’s major league ready – I’m not one of them. Perhaps by mid-season you can see him up with the big club but for me he’s either a trade chip by the deadline or a 7th inning guy for 2015.
The most interesting thing about the rule 5 draft was the Texas Rangers selecting Russell Wilson from the Colorado Rockies. You may have heard of Russell Wilson. He’s the starting QB for the Seattle Seahawks and a front-runner for NFL MVP. Rangers don’t have much use for him and I can’t see him pulling a Deion Sanders and doing the two sport thing. But you know…perhaps the Rangers got him to give to the Cowboys. They certainly need an upgrade at Quarterback.