Friday, March 31, 2006

More trimming

The Pirates made a couple of roster moves this afternoon that go a long way towards clearing up what the final roster will look like though they don't go quite as far in making me think that Dave Littlefield is competent. First off, they sent Brandon Duckworth down to minor league camp. That's fine with me, honestly. I don't see much difference in him and Santos. Ducky had a better spring, but Santos has had a better career, I really think this one is a push. Add in the "use or lose" factor on Santos, and I really don't see this as that bad of a move. Sending Duckworth down opens up a spot on the staff for Matt Capps, who's had a great spring. Yeah, there are concerns about him only really having one pitch and only having played a few games above the A level, but I dunno, I don't have an awful feeling about this. Relief pitchers can move up faster that just about any position, so his lack of experience doesn't really terrify me. I just hope DL has a real quick hook if he struggles.

Next up they purchased the contract of Jose Hernandez. Not really much of a choice here, DeCaster missed a chunk of spring with the WBC, Mike Edwards is, well, Mike Edwards. This is about as surprising as the sun coming up in the morning.

And finally, we have the head scratcher. Nate McLouth has earned a roster spot this spring. There's not really any doubt about that. You can probably argue that he's even earned a spot in the starting lineup over Chris Duffy, who really hasn't earned much at all this spring and has kind of given the impression that he might still be hurt, not matter how many times DL assures us that he isn't. The thing with McLouth and Duffy is that they will both be better served by, you know, playing baseball, than they will be by being 5th outfielders. Of course, assuming one of the two HAD to be sent down would've been a mistake, because you can never underestimate Dave Littlefield. He instead sent down Jody Gerut, his ready made 28 year old fifth outfielder. That leaves Duffy and McLouth, two guys that need to play, to battle for one spot in the 'Burgh.
I would say I'm stunned, but I'm so immune to stuff like this right now that when I first heard about it, my only thought was, "eh."