After yesterday’s lame off day (always built in the day after the opener in case it rains), the Bucs are back in action tonight at 7:05. First, though, some quick notes:
The Trib did an interesting interview with former Pirates minority owner Jay Lustig. Lustig opines that Nutting is “too rational,” saying that he puts as much money as he can in to the team while keeping it profitable. According to Lustig, no small market team can win without losing money–which isn’t quite true (Oakland, Tampa, and a few others have pulled it off, and the Pirates nearly did so last year) but his point is that the Pirates are and pretty much always will be at a significant financial disadvantage. Lustig also expressed a desire for Nutting to sell the Bucs to some multi-billionare that would use personal finances to help the team, but that doesn’t seem very realistic. This isn’t groundbreaking info (we’re well aware of the fact that the Pirates have to outsmart other teams instead of outspend them), but it’s an interesting perspective nonetheless.
This tweet raised a few eyebrows in Pittsburgh:
Opening Day in Indy won’t be Cole vs Bauer. Cole’s being matched up with 5 starter for Pittsburgh, which says he won’t be around long.
— Will Carroll (@injuryexpert) April 2, 2013
That could be a coincidence, but it’s certainly encouraging for those that want to see Cole in the Burgh ASAP (and that group will grow quickly if Jonathan Sanchez pitches like we expect him to). Cole will have to do well in Indy to make this relevant, but if he does, the Bucs could probably call him up as soon as May while still maintaining his extra year of control if they’d be OK with him achieving Super Two status (which would give Cole four years of salary arbitration instead of three). Indy’s opening day is tomorrow, and we’ll certainly be keeping a close eye on Cole every time he takes the mound.
The Bucs lost minor league pitcher Hunter Strickland to the Giants via waivers. Strickland was DFA’d when Jonathan Sanchez was added to the roster.
Here’s a great collection of jerseys spotted at the opener on Monday.
The Pirates will have a bit more than $8.8 million to spend on this year’s draft, which ranks 5th (because they have the 9th and 14th picks).