Found July 06, 2013 on
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Pedro Alvarez’s power could be a huge asset to the NL All-Star team. (Photo credit: David Hague)
The Pittsburgh Pirates will be a little busy when the All-Star Game rosters are unveiled at 6:30 p.m. on FOX. The Bucs face the Chicago Cubs at 4:05 Eastern at Wrigley Field and will be hoping to wrap up a road series victory while their All-Star fates are announced to the world.
There are six legitimate Pirates candidates vying for spots on the National League squad, as Tim detailed Friday:
Outfielder Andrew McCutchen (2nd in NL outfielder WAR, 4th in OBP)
Third baseman Pedro Alvarez (1st in NL third base homers, 2nd in slugging)
Catcher Russell Martin (3rd in NL catcher WAR, 4th in OPS)
Starting pitcher Jeff Locke (2nd in NL ERA)
Closer Jason Grilli (1st in NL reliever WAR and FIP, 2nd in strikeout rate)
Setup reliever Mark Melancon (1st in NL reliever ERA, 2nd in reliever WAR and FIP)
You could also add left fielder Starling Marte if the players or NL manager Bruce Bochy are impressed by his defense. Anything more than two or three Pirates All-Stars (Grilli is the only sure thing) might be too much to hope for, but seeing any of those six players on the squad would not be shocking. Plus we could see one of the Pirates’ snubs make the Final Vote (where he will lose to Yasiel Puig) or make it to New York City as an injury replacement.
Clint Hurdle managed the NL squad in 2008, part of the current era of the winning league earning home field advantage in the World Series.
“When you’re given the responsibility of managing the game, with what’s at stake now, there’s no doubt your focus is to win the game, not to make people happy or to be cool or trendy or any of that.” Hurdle said. “The decisions I made were all based on putting the best team I could together to win the game.”
With that mindset, Hurdle made a case for his third baseman Alvarez to make the team behind likely voted-in starter David Wright of the Mets.
“You’d like to have a guy on the bench that can change the direction of the game with one swing of the bat,” Hurdle said. “He would be as opportunistic, as important to have as anybody.”
Perhaps Alvarez falls into the same category as the Dodgers’ Puig, though, a player that could help the team and has swung a hot bat for the last month but perhaps does not have other accomplishments on his résumé.
“Generally, guys that go to the All-Star Game are guys that have a great first half, not a great three weeks,” Bochy said about Puig a couple weeks ago before softening his stance. Expect Bochy to lean heavily on rewarding players who have had a successful first half, not necessarily long-term accomplishments.
Fans and the players will find out in a matter of hours. Melancon, Alvarez, Locke, Grilli and Marte will wait to see if they are named “All-Star” for the first time.
BEST OF MAXIM
The Pittsburgh Pirates have agreed to a deal with 11th round pick Erich Weiss, according to Weiss on Twitter.
So thankful that the Pirates have given me the opportunity to chase my dream!! Can't wait to get started! UT has been great, I will miss it!
— Erich Weiss (@ErichWeiss6) July 7, 2013
Weiss had good numbers in his first two years with Texas, then slumped in his junior...
TOP OF THE SYSTEM
A look at how the current top 20 prospects did today. Note that this list doesn’t include players currently in the majors. If a player is in the majors, he will be removed, everyone below him will be shifted up a spot, and a new player will be added to the bottom of the list. Rankings are from the mid-season rankings, and links on each name go to their Pirates...
Francisco Liriano is now 8-3 with a fantastic 2.20 ERA. (Photo Credit: David Hague)
This is under “Pirates Game Recaps,” so allow me to recap by saying this was a great victory by the Pirates on both sides to get back on the winning side 6-2. If you are looking for more details because you didn’t watch the game and had other duties on Friday, neither did I. So we’re in the...
Jamestown will finish their game from 6/27 prior to the start of today’s regularly scheduled game. West Virginia had their regularly scheduled game from yesterday and makeup game from the day before, postponed due to weather. The Power have off today. Altoona has a noon start time today. The GCL Pirates, as well as both Dominican League affiliates, were off yesterday. For a look...
The Pittsburgh Pirates activated right-handed pitcher A.J. Burnett from the disabled list to start Sunday against the Chicago Cubs.
Burnett has been sidelined since June 8 with a strained right calf. He is 4-6 with a 3.12 ERA in 14 starts.
Right-handed reliever Ryan Reid was sent down to Triple-A Indianapolis to make room for Burnett on the roster. Reid had a 1.64 ERA in 11 innings...
For the first time since 1981, the Pirates are sending four players to the All-Star Game. Andrew McCutchen, Jason Grilli, Pedro Alvarez, and Jeff Locke will represent the Bucs in New York on the on the 16th.
Obviously the Bucs were in a position to get a good number of representatives this year because of their success. They still aren’t the most-represented team, but four is a...
This may seem strange to say, but breaking his arm last Christmas while he was playing with his kids might have been one of the best things that could happen to Pittsburgh Pirates Francisco Liriano.
When Liriano came into the league back in 2005 he was touted as being the next great thing to hit baseball. While he did look great at times, injuries and inconsistent play kept...
Reese McGuire is one of three top 20 prospects on the GCL squad.
The Pirates went with a lot of upside this year in the draft. They also signed a lot of prep players, including a few over-slot guys after the tenth round. I was looking over the GCL roster this afternoon, and realized that in a few weeks this could be one of the biggest upside rosters in the system. Consider the following...
The Pirates drafted Max Rossiter last year in the 32nd round, but he decided not to sign and went back to Arizona State for his senior year. They took him again this year in the 15th round, and this time they signed him. Rossiter went to Jamestown, where he went 1-for-3 with a walk and two RBIs in his debut on June 19th.
That was his only game as a pro. He’s currently listed on...
Your browser does not support iframes. AJ Burnett returned from the disabled list to start for Pittsburgh on Sunday, and his Pirates teammates welcomed him back with a familiar prank. Burnett went to the rosin bag after walking Chicago Cubs catcher Welington Castillo in the fourth, and the bag opened up on him. Burnett threw [...]
Charlie Morton pitched through traffic successfully (7 hits in 6 innings), but couldn’t solve Alfonso Soriano.
Pedro Alvarez hit a home run for the Pirates, his 22nd of the year, but Alfonso Soriano hit two home runs for the Cubs, his 11th and 12th, to raise the “W” flag in Chicago 4-1.
The goal for Charlie Morton is to give up as few hard-hits as possible. In his successful...
The high-flying, first place Pittsburgh Pirates will welcome back staff leader A.J. Burnett to the rotation in time to start Sunday's game against the Chicago Cubs. The 36-year old, has missed the better part of a month with a Grade-1 calf-muscle tear and will forgo a rehabilitation stint in the minor leagues to promptly return to action.
As his calf healed, Burnett stayed...
The Pirates wrapped up a bad week and a bad series at Wrigley with a tough extra inning loss on Sunday afternoon, wasting a dramatic Starling Marte homer in the ninth inning.
A.J. Burnett made his return to the rotation and was pretty solid, although he didn’t dominate the Cubs as he has in the past at Wrigley. That’s understandable since it was his first start in a month. Burnett...
Francisco Liriano pitched his second complete game today, and the Pirates’ offense gave him more than enough support. Every player had at least one hit, even Gaby Sanchez, who came in late as a defensive replacement and only had one at-bat. Liriano helped his own cause with a hit and an RBI, and the Pirates…
The Phils’ offense give Cole Hamels his third win of the season as they defeat the NL Central leading Pirates, 6-4.
The Pirates took the lead in the bottom of the third as, with runners on second and third, and with two men out, Andrew McCutchen hits a two-run single, knocking in Starling Marte, who had earlier singled, reached second base on Jose Tabata infield single, before...