The Pittsburgh Pirates slide got me to thinking about a doomsday scenario. Forgive my subconscious mind for such evil when it comes to the hometown ball club that is two games over .500 and a couple games out of the wild card. The Pirates are one good Gerrit Cole start from stifling that part of my brain.
After tonight’s game, the suddenly 64-62 Pirates will put Pittsburgh in the rear view mirror and hit the road for three division games against the NL Central leading Brewers at the House of Horrors. Bring your gas mask.
The Cardinals and Reds then come to PNC Park for three game sets next week to close out the month.
The Pirates have lost for a week straight and the recent slide has most of the fan base reaching for the panic button. The upcoming schedule should elicit August pennant chase excitement, but as the team battles health concerns, it instead leaves the blood cold. So let’s think about this, what if by the time next Saturday rolls around, the Pirates are below .500 and five games out of the Wild Card, or worse?
When does the team start looking ahead at 2015? Would Russell Martin, Francisco Liriano and Edinson Volquez appeal to teams with higher aspirations for the post season, or more probable due to the waiver wire–what about a team like the Red Sox who are preparing to contend again in ’15?
Before the losing streak, we considered, a Pirates trade target, for all kinds of different reasons, but that Angels ball club is flying high in large part due to a rebuilt bullpen that went from blowing saves on a nightly basis, to now locking them down.
So, let’s focus on a familiar trade partner of the Pirates. You know, just in case the Pirates doomsday apocalypse should occur over the next week. So let’s go to the cellar dwellin’ Red Sox. Wait. The defending Champions of the World, Boston Red Sox. Apologies.
Jason Mastrodonato writes that the Sox could be willing to make some moves in this article: GM Ben Cherington: Boston Red Sox will consider trading prospects ‘for the right player’
“I don’t think we’ve ever been unwilling to trade prospects,” general manager Ben Cherington said on Tuesday. “It’s entirely contextual. For the right player, yeah, of course we’d consider trading prospects. We just have to see.”
As most of you realize, the Sox are loaded with prospects, especially pitchers, third baseman, and of course…wait for it… catchers. The Sox are also near the top of the list in regard to waiver claims. So immediately we perked up–trying to think how a doomsday scenario might salvage something from a soul crushing season.
One of the players mentioned in the article by Mastrodonato is Blake Swihart, one of the top prospects in the game. Mastrodonato goes on to say this:
They’ll have to decide either to stick with Christian Vazquez as their No. 1 catcher and find a way to utilize Blake Swihart, who is hitting .297 over Double-A and Triple-A this season while throwing out 48 percent of attempted base-stealers, or trade one of them.
The big question we have, is this, if this death spiral were to continue through the end of the month, would the Pirates have the kahunas to start trying to work deals as…take a deep breath….sellers? Just what would it take to land a talented player like Swihart from the Sox?
The more video and research we do on Swihart, we wonder just how long he could remain at the catching position due to his slender-ness. But the answer to all of that is, if the switch hitting bat of Swihart continues to deliver, a position change could occur. The switch-hitting Swihart might not be ready for a jump to the big leagues to begin the 2015 season either which further complicates the Pirates situation, so while not an ideal target, it’s a target nonetheless.
Let’s trust our inner doomsday prepping idea never needs to get out out of the basement. But just in case you need it, we are here for you.
Tags: Pittsburgh Pirates