Welcome to the Pittsburgh Pirates Wake-Up Call, a daily feature here at RumBunter.com. Every morning at 9 AM, one of us will give you our random thoughts on the goings-on around the Pirates’ organization, and we’ll throw out a few links to some good articles from around the web concerning our baseball team as well.
Sweep the Mets! Come on out and… sweep the Mets!
The Pittsburgh Pirates have now won four straight games on the backs of a three-game sweep of the New York Mets. The sweep was impressive for a few reasons – the least of which is a quality road sweep against a legitimate National League playoff contender. Perhaps most impressively, the Pirates completed the sweep with the very epitome of a “B-Squad” going on Sunday. With Andrew McCutchen, Jung Ho Kang, and Francisco Cervelli getting a breather, it was up to the likes of Pedro Florimon, Travis Ishikiawa, and Chris Stewart to get the job done. Of course, it doesn’t hurt your chances when the Big Bull is locked in. Pedro Alvarez flexed his muscles, going 4-for-8 in the series, including an El Toro Bomb to help kick off the scoring in today’s series finale.
I’ve said all along starting at the beginning of the season that a more focused Alvarez at the plate would be a welcomed sight, even if it meant a dip in power. I think that’s exactly what we’re getting right now with Pedro. The magic number for Alvarez has always been .250. Many have said that if Pedro can stay at or around that average, it would be a huge step. He is at .246 as I type this. His strikeout rate is still high on the season at 28.8%, but with a respectable batting clip, many would absolutely live with that.
Oh, and not sure where that heading above comes from? Pull up a chair and get some knowledge.
As Neal Huntington caught up with Pittsburgh Pirates announcer Greg Brown for his usual weekly Sunday chat, I was driving around running errands. In between the usual GM-speak that goes along with these kind of things, Neal dropped a bomb.
The Pirates expressed interest in bringing back freshly-released Travis Snider.
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Once I got done cleaning up the coffee I spewed all over my dashboard, my mind started running through scenarios. Where would Snider play in an already crowded field? How many starts would we see from him on a weekly basis? And what would we possibly be able to wring out of a .236/.318/.341 hitter with a gand total of 20 RBI on the season? Well for one, anyone can easily see that this would be a move for bench depth only. This is clearly not a repeat of last year’s scenario. Gregory Polanco has come too far this year to deserve anything less than remaining the full-time starter in right field for the foreseeable future. Things became much clearer to me when I began to think about who would go down or be outright released when Jordy Mercer and Josh Harrison return. One of the obvious choices would be Travis Ishikawa, and if he does indeed depart, Snider can slot right in as the left-handed bat off of the bench. I have heard many folks say that the structure of any potential deal may involve stashing Snider away in the minors until September 1st, when expanded rosters take effect. This would make complete sense and would not force any further demotions or releases. In that scenario, the Pirates would effectively “kick the tires” on Snider to see what he can bring to a postseason roster.
Pirates talk on the web
Our friends over at Bucs Dugout give us a great early look at what the Indianpolis Indians could look like in 2016.
That’s it for today’s wakeup call. What a different feeling around Pirateland after four straight wins! With the Cubs and Cardinals also losing yesterday, maybe the sky isn’t falling after all.