Pittsburgh Pirates Wake-Up Call – taking care of business


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 your way from around the web as well.

Taking care of business

The entire NL Central continued to take care of business last night, as the Cardinals, the Cubs, and the Pirates all won. Yes, it is still mathematically possible for the Pirates to catch the Cardinals in the division despite all of the doubters out there, though it will require a minor miracle. And while the Pirates will try to keep their collective foot on the gas to keep the pressure on the Cardinals, they’ll also be trying to hold off the Cubs to try to get a home playoff game locked up. The Pirates, unfortunately, may just be the victim of one of the best divisions in the history of baseball. According to a great article from CBSSports.com, if these three teams hold onto the three best records in baseball, it would be a first in baseball history. That’s fascinating stuff, and it speaks volumes about all three of these teams and the competition each faces within the division.

The future of Neil Walker in Pittsburgh

I recently linked to an article by Rob Biertempfel of the Tribune-Review in one of our Wake-Up Calls here at RumBunter and discussed it in depth in our most recent podcast (if you didn’t get a chance to check that out, you can read it here). In that piece, Biertempfel offers up some very revealing quotes, in which both Neil Walker and Neal Huntington implicitly acknowledge that Walker’s time in Pittsburgh is coming to an end. This is intriguing solely for the fact that both parties were pretty open about their thought’s on Walker’s future, not necessarily because this is big news to us. We as fans have been sensing the end of Walker as a Pirate over the course of this season, even though many have probably battled with the thought of extending Walker in the past.

More from Pirates News

In my opinion, extending Walker would be a bad idea. His injury history, coupled with the fact that a small market team like the Pirates can’t afford to give big money contracts to older players, should propel the Pirates to search for a new second baseman elsewhere. The real decision, however, comes down to whether the Pirates should try to trade him this offseason and get something in return, or keep him for the 2016 season and let him play out his contract.

This situation has become more complicated in the past week, with an injury to Jung Ho Kang that will keep him out most likely until June of next year. Alen Hanson also has yet to take a major league at-bat, and with Aramis Ramirez retiring after this season and the future of Pedro Alvarez murky, Walker could and maybe should very well be a Pittsburgh Pirate next season. This will be a big story line to follow for the Pirates this offseason.

Around the net

Over with our good friends at the Tribune-Review, Joe Starkey chimes in with a piece on Pedro Alvarez and whether the Pirates should start him in a potential Wild Card game. It’s a question we’ve all been asking ourselves for some time now, so make sure to check out his perspective here.

Stephen J. Nesbitt over at the Post-Gazette answered some questions about the Pirates in his latest chat transcript. Give that a read here.

And while we may think that the Pirates are the best or second-best team in all of baseball, ESPN placed them fourth in the league in their latest power rankings.

Hopefully by the time all of you read this, the Pirates are headed back to the playoffs.

Next: Will Andrew McCutchen ever get another pitch to hit?