Gaby Sanchez tosses his bat after being called out on strikes during the fifth inning against the Miami Marlins. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh Pirate's dilemma. Who's on first?


I didn’t realize just how dire our first base situation was until I caught myself saying, “geez, I wish they wouldn’t have let Jeff Clement go”.  Then I immediately open-hand slapped myself in the face and swore to never say those words again.

But really, the question that should be on everyone’s mind is, who’s on first?  After Garrett Jones was sent out to pasture and Justin Morneau got overpaid to go play in Colorado.  Apparently Colorado wanted to dramatically improve their ‘ground out to shortstop ratio’ which is why Morneau was so attractive to them.  But with both of them leaving, we have literally one man on the roster with any significant time at First Base.  Gaby Sanchez.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I’m not entirely down on Gaby.  Not everyone knows this, but Gaby hit .333 with a .987 OPS against left handed pitching.  That’s one half of a darn good player right there.  Now, the other side of that coin looks downright hideous and isn’t even worth discussing.  Let’s just say, Mendoza comes to mind.  So the answer that will come from management is simple.  Platoon Gaby with someone who can hit right handers.  But who?

Well… James Loney is looking less and less like an option.  Neal “no deal” Huntington only overpays for pitching and Clint Barmes.  So I don’t see him giving Loney the three year deal he wants.  And there are some trade options out there like Ike Davis.  But NH hoards pitching prospects like Gollum hoards the ring of power, so I don’t have much faith in that happening.  Prospects are my preciooousss..  And even if it did happen, Davis is just average at best, so he wouldn’t be the ideal answer.

So really, who’s on first??  Well, they started playing Andrew Lambo at first base in the winter leagues.  This is an ominous foreshadowing of events to come bucs fans.   Not saying a deal won’t happen with an outside player.  My guess is we will get someone in.  But this person isn’t going to knock your socks off, I assure you.   So it looks like we could eventually have a mix of Gaby Sanchez, Andrew Lambo, and another player to be named.

Which I guess I could live with unless Gaby gets hurt.  No offense to Gaby, but he’s not exactly a model of physical fitness.  And he recently turned 30.  Couple that with the fact that he’s never met a carb he didn’t like and an injury could very well occur at some point in the season.  Which leaves us really hurting. We’d have to grab someone off of waivers or even consider (gulp), bringing up Matt Hague!

So first base remains a dilemma, but I trust our mighty GM to do the right thing.  You can’t argue with the results he’s gotten so far.  I just wish he’d get a move on already because I’m getting nervous.  Hmm… I wonder what Derek Lee is up to nowadays?

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  • Tj Streib

    I’m just fine with a Lambo/Gaby platoon. I’d love to see if Lambo can crush big league pitching like he did at AA/AAA in ’13. Lambo would get the bulk of playing time with Gaby taking over when Hurdle sees the “lefty of kryptonite” enter the game.

    • scott stevens

      Lets see take a gamble at 1st base, were already taking a gamble in RF and the worst FA oitcher pick up this year and your just fine with it. I don’t know about you but I want to win a World Series. What this cheap as crap owner is doing is a disgrace. I’m glad the apologists are standing by Nutting who is laughing his way to the bank.

    • Tj Streib

      I want to win a World Series too FYI. I also don’t want to see another Jeromy Burnitz or Derek Bell… or Clint Barmes (too late!) free agent risk when we may already have the answer in house. Give Lambo his shot & if he shows early on he’s MLB ready, we’re good! If not, there’s still time to make a move (as we saw with the starting rotation last year – remember Jonathan Sanchez?) As for RF, there’s no need to panic there eihter – Polanco is getting closer. But yeah, cheap owner.

      As for Volquez, I cringed just as much last year when they added Melancon… & Liriano… & Mazzaro… & Gomez – you get the idea. Here’s hoping Searage saw something he can fix (which I presume to be the case)

    • Bucsfan2014

      Why’s everyone like Decker? I’ve heard nothing but good things about Decker, but the guy’s a send off from the Padres where he hit .154 over 13 games. What’s everyone see in this kid?

    • Tj Streib

      You’re basing your opinion on 13 MLB games? Then you would have given up on Cal Ripken Jr. & George Brett

  • lonleylibertarian

    The bigger question in my mind is what is the first base pipeline – maybe they can squeak by this year with Sanchez/Lambo – but I don’t see a good 1st base option in either Altoona or Indy – unless I am missing something. I know there is depth in pitching – and OF – might need to move an OF 1st base for the future

    • Bucsfan2014

      I hear that Matt Curry is next in line for promotion to AAA. But Justin Howard hit .314 for AA Altoona at first as well. Other than them, Lambo, (who has all of 30 total games at first) and Matt Hague, the cupbord is bare..

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  • billv923

    with the mariners signing corey hart and logan morrison they now have 5 firstbasemen kendry morales, mike jacobs and justin smoak. mike jacobs a left handed batter had 32 homeruns for the marlins in 2008. justin smock who i think the pirates could get very cheaply bats from both sides, he hit 20 homeruns and 50 rbis, and hes only 26 , what is neal waiting on

    • Tj Streib

      Morales is a free agent still. They have talked Smoak before

    • Bucsfan2014

      I think one of two could definitely be in our future.. NH won’t overpay though.

  • Tj Streib

    I’m not liking what I’m seeing – Loney to the Rays for $7 mil/year – we couldn’t beat that??? And we couldn’t offer the Marlins a better pitcher than CARTER CAPPS for LoMo??? (or better than Will Smith for Aoki???)

    • Bucsfan2014

      Ahhh… let him go. Huntington wasn’t going three years all along. Loney wasn’t worth it anyways. Logan Morrison would have been nice though. NH hates dealing pitchers.

    • Tj Streib

      But Aoki would have been real nice. Ryan Reid, who we just DFA’d, would have been better than Smith

  • ABQPirate

    OK Loney is gone. I believe Mike Carp of the Red Sox would be a nice pick up. He can play outfield and first, has a decent bat. Probably wouldn’t take much to get him too. Lets get it done Pirates!!

    Lets throw in Bryan Morris & Hughes that should get it done