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 Pirates-related items from around the web.
And they just keep on winning
Despite the fact that we as Pirates’ fans always find something to complain about with this team, the truth is, it’s a damn good team. After winning in walk-off fashion the night before, the Pirates used great pitching from start to finish to take the series against the Diamondbacks. J.A. Happ apparently met with Ray Searage after his debut start with the Pirates and since then, has only allowed one run across 11.1 innings pitched in his last two starts. How is he doing it? Well, nothing truly sticks out. He’s limited hits, but he hasn’t struck out a lot of batters and he’s still walked a few guys. He’s also still allowed a decent number of fly balls, too. Maybe he’s gotten lucky, or maybe he’s just throwing good pitches. In either case, I’ll take these starts from Happ no matter how he’s getting it done.
The trifecta at the back-end of the pen in Joakim Soria, Tony Watson, and Mark Melancon did what they were brought together to do and shut down the Diamondbacks at the end of the game. It’s hard to shut down the highest scoring team in the National League, but the Pirates did it in the final game of the series.
Huntington’s trade deadline deals look very good so far
Aramis Ramirez is the only play that Neal Huntington acquired before the trade deadline that has had a negative WAR value in his time with the Pirates, and that’s largely been due to his poor defense at third base. But even Ramirez has gotten hot as of late, as he’s batting .355 over the last seven days.
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Joe Blanton has a WAR of 0.7 since joining the Pirates and may well have been Huntington’s best pickup at the deadline, having only given up one run across 13+ innings in relief. He’s making everyone forget all about Vance Worley. Joakim Soria has an ERA of 2.16 with the Pirates, and while he got off to a rough start, he’s recovered in his last few outings, striking out two of the three batters he faced in last night’s appearance. Even Michael Morse has been okay in very limited at-bats, managing to get four hits in 14 at-bats and adding two walks as well.
Needless to say, while they were all minor deals, Huntington seems to have done very well at the deadline, at least so far.
Thoughts on the Travis Snider trade
As most of you know, the Pirates picked up the beloved Travis Snider on a minor league deal yesterday. Snider was rumored to be of interest to the Pirates after he was released by the Orioles, and those rumors came to fruition. How can you not like this deal? He doesn’t take a roster spot away from anyone at the moment because it was a minor league deal, and he was always liked in the clubhouse by the players. Even if he helps just by pinch-hitting and by being a presence in the dugout, that will be alright by me.
Around the net
Unfortunately, the hero of the second game of the series, Pedro Florimon, was designated for assignment yesterday and pitcher Josh Wall was called up from Triple-A Indianapolis. This was a move to add immediate help to the bullpen, so don’t expect Wall to be a permanent fixture at the big league level this year.
I was never a big fan of Ramirez hitting in the cleanup spot over someone like Jung Ho Kang, but Bill West of the Tribune-Review writes that Ramirez is starting to click in this cleanup role. And he’s not wrong based on Ramirez’s recent success at the plate.
Unfortunately, the Pirates still sit five games behind the Cardinals in the NL Central, but with the Pirates’ recent winning ways and the Cardinals’ recent injuries, the division is still within reach. Here’s to a series victory over the Giants!