Found August 13, 2013 on
Andrew Lambo’s promotion could finally give the Pirates the best 25 players in Pittsburgh. (Photo Credit: David Hague)
There has been a lot of talk from various Pirates writers about having the “best 25″ in Pittsburgh. You could make a strong argument that the Pirates didn’t always have the best 25 players on the active roster this year. In some cases the upgrades were minor, such as upgrading the last two spots on the bench by getting rid of John McDonald and Brandon Inge. In other cases, the upgrades were more substantial. I feel that’s what we’re seeing with the move to call up Andrew Lambo.
I’m not sure yet if Lambo will immediately step in as the starter in right field. I feel that he should. He’s had some impressive numbers in the upper levels of the minors this year. Meanwhile, the right field options in Pittsburgh have not had impressive numbers at all. Travis Snider had a great April, and has struggled ever since. Jose Tabata has decent numbers, but looks better as a strong fourth outfielder off the bench. Alex Presley is more of a fifth outfielder or a depth option, and with a first base platoon, there’s not much room for him with Lambo on the active roster. Of course that’s assuming Starling Marte isn’t hurt bad enough to go on the disabled list, which would be bad for the Pirates.
Assuming Marte is healthy, and based on his tweet after getting hit in the hand it seems like he is, it’s time to revisit the “best 25″ concept. Obviously the best 25 aren’t in Pittsburgh right now, because guys like Wandy Rodriguez and Jason Grilli are on the disabled list. But both have a good shot of being back by the playoffs, so in the long-run they’ll be in the mix. As it stands right now, here is the 25-man roster, with thoughts on whether the Pirates could find an internal upgrade.
Catcher (2)Â - You don’t need to upgrade Russell Martin, and Tony Sanchez is a better backup than the recently signed Kelly Shoppach.
First Base (2)Â - The Garrett Jones/Gaby Sanchez platoon has struggled at times, mostly because Jones hasn’t been hitting right-handers consistently. But the Pirates don’t have an everyday option at first, and Jones is pretty much the best platoon option.
Second Base (2) - Neil Walker is the starter. Josh Harrison is the guy off the bench. Both have been performing well in their roles, and I couldn’t argue for anyone better. I could argue for a platoon of these guys, with Harrison hitting lefties.
Shortstop (2) - Jordy Mercer has better offense, and Clint Barmes has better defense. They are the top two shortstops in the upper levels.
Third Base (1) - Pedro Alvarez is the best option, and pretty much the only option in the system.
Left Field (1) - It’s hard to beat Starling Marte. Let’s hope he’s healthy.
Center Field (1) - MVP, Andrew McCutchen.
Right Field (2) - Andrew Lambo andÂ Jose Tabata. I’m guessing Presley will go down. I don’t know if Lambo is going to come up and immediately carry his power over to the majors, but it would be hard to do worse than the right field trio this year. He was also the top option in the minors.
Starting Rotation (5) - Francisco Liriano, A.J. Burnett, Jeff Locke, Gerrit Cole, and Charlie Morton. Some might argue that Charlie Morton shouldn’t be in the rotation. I’d say they’re wrong. Other than that, I don’t think the rotation gets any debates.
Bullpen (7)Â - There’s no debate on Mark Melancon, Justin Wilson, or Tony Watson. I also think that Vin Mazzaro and Jeanmar Gomez have played themselves into “best 25″ territory. When it comes to Jared Hughes and Bryan Morris you’ve got two guys who are as good or better than the Triple-A options, so there’s not an obvious upgrade available. However, when Wandy Rodriguez and Jason Grilli return, those are the two guys who look like the odd men out.
At this point I’d say the Pirates finally have the best 25 *healthy* players in Pittsburgh. If everyone remains healthy, and Wandy Rodriguez and Jason Grilli return, the Pirates will have the best 25 in Pittsburgh. The best 25 doesn’t necessarily mean there’s no room for upgrades. In some cases above, you’ve got players who need to upgrade their own performance this year. In other cases you’ve got positions where the Pirates could get a better upgrade externally, if only the opportunity were there. The trade market was weak, and it will be hard for the Pirates to land an upgrade on waivers or in August trades.
So at this point, once Andrew Lambo arrives, we’re going to see the bestÂ group of healthyÂ the Pirates can put on the field. And best case scenario, the Pirates will keep everyone healthy, get Rodriguez and Grilli back, and have the best group overall that they can have as the playoffs approach.
What are your thoughts? Do the Pirates have their best 25 in Pittsburgh with the Lambo promotion?
Links and Notes
**Check out the newest episode of the Pirates Prospects Podcast:Â P3 Episode 16: What Would the Piratesâ Playoff Rotation Look Like?
**Pirates Roundtable Live â Episode 5. James Santelli hosts, and this week’s guests include:
Pat Lackey from Where Have You Gone, Andy Van Slyke?
Cory from Three Rivers Burgh Blog
Travis Sawchik from Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Ed Giles from In Clemente Weather
Michael WaterlooÂ from The Punxsutawney Spirit
**Pirates to Call Up Andrew Lambo.
**Pirates Agree to Terms With Kelly Shoppach.
**Prospect Watch: Stetson Allieâs Strikeouts Are a Concern.
**Minor League Schedule: Kris Johnson Tries to Keep Impressive Streak Alive.
BEST OF MAXIM
If you missed it, and I’m sure you have not, the Pirates made it official today that Andrew Lambo would be joining the club in time for the start of this week’s series against the St. Louis Cardinals.
We all know the breakout season Lambo has had this year and when you couple that with the fact that the Pirates right fielders have combined to produce the worst offensive numbers...
Andrew Lambo has been freed. (Photo Credit: David Hague)
The Pittsburgh Pirates will call up Andrew Lambo tomorrow, according to a Pirates press release. There was word on Twitter earlier today from what appeared to be a family member of Lambo’s that he was being called up. The corresponding roster moves have yet to be announced. The Pirates won’t need to make a 40-man move,...
The Pirates have finally answered the cries of nearly every fan that reads regular minor league updates, checks Twitter, or just wants to see some offense out of right field. They are calling up Andrew Lambo for tonight’s game against the Cardinals.
Lambo is a 25 year old that was acquired years ago in the James McDonald / Octavio Dotel trade. He had been a fairly pretty disappointing...
Andrew Lambo is free.
Andrew Lambo is finally free. The Pirates will call the right fielder up today after watching him hit 31 homers in the minors this year. Lambo became the first Pirates minor leaguer to do that since Steve Pearce in 2007. The story of how Lambo got to this point isn’t a traditional prospect story. He was formerly a top prospect, saw his stock fall, saw that...
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The Pittsburgh Pirates will call up outfielder Andrew Lambo on Tuesday, hoping the outfielder can give the team's beleaguered bench a boost heading into a pivotal series with the St. Louis Cardinals.
The 25-year-old Lambo hit a combined .284 with 31 home runs and 97 RBI in 117 games between Double-A Altoona and Triple-A Indianapolis this season. The Pirates, who lead the NL...
The #Pirates officially select the contract of Andrew Lambo and option OF Alex Presley to @indyindians
— Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) August 13, 2013
After a breakout season in both Double-A Altoona and Triple-A Indianapolis, the Pirates have officially called up OF Andrew Lambo. Alex Presley will be optioned to make room for him.
Lambo, who just turned 25 on Sunday, has hit...
Andrew Lambo has been officially called up. (Photo Credit: David Hague)
The Pittsburgh Pirates have officially called up Andrew Lambo, and have optioned Alex Presley to Triple-A. The Pirates had to add Lambo to the 40-man roster, although no corresponding move was needed since there was an open spot.
Moving Presley down made sense, as the Pirates can’t carry two bench outfielders...
Well… He’s free. Hot hitting outfielder Andrew Lambo has been called up by the Pittsburgh Pirates. Lambo’s power has been nothing short of astounding this season between AA and AAA. A lot of people assume Lambo is older than he is. He’s only 24 despite spending seven seasons in the minors. For Lambo it’s the…
On last Tuesday or Wednesday's ROOT Sports broadcast, there was quite a bit of talk about how Andrew Lambo was "forcing Neal Huntington's hand," which I interpreted at the time to mean that we'd be seeing Andrew Lambo in black and gold in relatively short order. It looks like that guess was right, as this news was just tweeted out by the Pirates' official...
The Pirates announced Monday their plan to add minor league outfielder Andrew Lambo to the active roster Tuesday bringing one of the Pirates' best minor league hitters this season to a team in need of offensive help.
Lambo a left-handed hitter who turned 25 Sunday has a .350 on-base percentage and 31 home runs this season between Class AA Altoona and Class AAA Indianapolis....
The Pittsburgh Pirates scratched Jose Tabata due to flu-like symptoms and plugged in call-up Andrew Lambo, who has hit 31 homers in the minors this year, to make his major league debut against the Cardinals.
The 25-year-old Lambo, recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis, replaced Tabata in right field and was batting seventh Tuesday night. He was hitting .278 with 17 homers and 51 RBIs...
It is moving day for the Pittsburgh Pirates — Andrew Lambo will join the team in St. Louis for a three-game series against the Cardinals, and Kelly Shoppach heads to Triple-A as the Bucs’ new emergency catcher.
Let’s talk about these moves (and MORE!) on the Monday Night edition of Pirates Roundtable Live. The Bucs are coming off a week in which they swept the Marlins and then...
Last night, me, James from Pirates Prospects, Cory from Three Rivers Burgh Blog, Ed Giles, Michael Waterloo from Pittsburgh Sporting News and the Punxatawney Spirit, and Travis Sawchik from the Trib got together for the fifth Pirates Roundtable. We covered a lot of ground, from Andrew Lambo, to playoff rotations and pretty much anything in between. You can watch the video above,...
Scouts` takes on Giancarlo Stanton, Jon Lester, Joey Gallo, Andrew Lambo, and other interesting players.