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Tag:Jeff Karstens
Posted on: October 13, 2010 6:33 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 11:56 am
 

R.I.P. Pirates: 18 losing seasons and counting

As the sports world waits for the crowning of a champion, 22 other teams are busy preparing for spring training. What went wrong for these teams, and what does 2011 hold? MLB Facts and Rumors here at CBS Sports will be answering those questions through all of October. Now: the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Oh, Pirates. So sad. But hey, you've got one of the best ballparks in Major League Baseball, maybe one day you'll have a real major league team.

WHAT WENT WRONG

Where to start?

Well, let's avoid the debacle that was the Akinori Iwamura trade, and go straight to the biggest problem.

The Pirates' starting rotation was Paul Maholm, Zach Duke, Jeff Karstens, Ross Ohlendorf and Charlie Morton -- each lost at least 10 games. Now, I know we're smart enough here not to judge a pitcher based solely on his W-L record. But all but Ohlendorf had an ERA+ of 83 or lower. That ain't good.

WHAT WENT RIGHT

James McDonald Several young players showed glimpses of being productive big leaguers in the future. Pedro Alvarez, Jose Tabata and Neil Walker (pictured, lower right) join Andrew McCutchen as a lineup that can play.

How about the trade of Octavio Dotel and cash to the Dodgers for right-hander James McDonald (pictured, left)? McDonald, 25, started 11 games for the Pirates after the trade and went 4-5 with a 3.52 ERA. McDonald has impressive stuff and is one of the few strikeout pitchers on the roster.

HELP ON THE WAY

Stop me if you've heard this one before, but the Pirates do have some good, young talent. Unfortunately, not much of it is ready for the big leagues.

One of the few that could help soon is Bryan Morris, a 23-year old right-hander who went 6-4 with a 4.25 ERA at Double-A Altoona.

There will certainly be players to watch in the team's minor league system, but it'll be in the lower levels in guys like Jameson Taillon, Stetson Allie and Luis Heredia.

Neil Walker EXPECTATIONS FOR 2011

It's the Pirates, the expectations don't change. There are none besides playing 81 home games.

SUGGESTIONS FOR 2011

Oh, how about this crazy idea. You know that money you get from other teams in revenue sharing? Why not spend it on players? Radical, right?

Now, who do you sign? Right now you go for bargain innings-eaters. Maybe someone like Kevin Millwood or Brad Penny. They're not great, but they can be had and could stick around a little longer.

It's not like Carl Crawford is going to sign in Pittsburgh, but that's not the type of player the Pirates need to target at this point, instead it's filler until the real talent comes along.

2011 PREDICTION

The Pirates will record their 19th consecutive losing season and finish at the bottom of perhaps the weakest division in baseball once again.

Check out the rest of the R.I.P. reports here .

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .



Posted on: September 7, 2010 8:16 pm
 

Pirates to keep Burres in rotation

Brian Burres The Pirates have opted to keep Brian Burres in the rotation following his strong start against the Braves on Monday, reports MLB.com's Jennifer Langosch .

Burres hurled six innings of one-run ball, limiting Atlanta to just five hits without allowing a walk and striking out three. The 29-year-old was making his first start since May 29, a four-run stinker that saw him sent to the minors.

He returned to pitch out of the bullpen August 28 but made the emergency start Monday after incumbent Jeff Karstens was scratched with shoulder pain. Karstens is "slowly" recovering, according to Langosch, but if he returns to action before the 2010 closes, it will likely be out of the bullpen. The 27-year-old Karstens has a 4.88 ERA in 121 2/3 innings, starting 19 games and coming out of the 'pen for seven games. He only strikes out 5.3 batters per nine, but pairs that ratio with a 2.0 BB/9 mark, solid enough marks to make him a viable back-of-the-rotation starter.

Burres has a 5.75 ERA on the year in eight starts and seven relief appearances. His career numbers are worse, with a 6.03 ERA in 316 2/3 innings, walking almost as much (4.2 BB/9) as he strikes out (5.4 K/9).

Even though Burres may stick in the rotation the rest of the way, it's hard to imagine him making the 2011 squad as he is at this point, a fungible journeyman. If he can piece together a few strong starts down the stretch, that may be enough to get him a look at spring training as a possible swingman, but not much more.

Of course, Burres is also a lefty, so that automatically guarantees him countless more opportunities to stick with a major-league club.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .


Category: MLB
Posted on: June 8, 2010 8:16 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 11:36 am
 

Strasburg's fifth inning

Against the bottom third of the Pirates' lineup, Stephen Strasburg again went 1-2-3 in the fifth inning and recorded his eighth strikeout of the game.

Strasburg struck out Ronny Cedeno and Jeff Karstens, while Jason Jaramillo grounded out to first.

Strasburg has now thrown 70 pitches, 45 for strikes through five innings.

He is still working in the 97-99 mph range with his fastball and threw 14 fastballs of his 16 pitches in the inning. The slowest fastball was at 96.9 mphand fastest was at 98.7.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans



Posted on: June 8, 2010 7:42 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 11:37 am
 

Strasburg's third inning

In his three innings in the big leagues, Stephen Strasburg now has six strikeouts, retiring the Pirates in order in the third.

Home plate umpire Tom Hallion is doing his best Enrico Pallazzo impression, emphatically calling strikes and so far 25 of Strasburg's 40 pitches have been strikes.

Jason Jaramillo struck out looking at an 83 mph curveball, pitcher Jeff Karstens struck out on four pitches and then Andrew McCutchen grounded out to third baseman Ryan Zimmerman.

Strasburg will bat for the first time in the bottom half of the inning.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans


Posted on: June 8, 2010 5:33 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 11:38 am
 

The extras for tonight's show

The Pirates have tabbed these nine meant to walk the plank versus Stephen Strasburg.

Andrew McCutchen cf
Neil Walker 2b
Lastings Milledge lf
Garrett Jones 1b
Delwyn Young rf
Andy LaRoche 3b
Ronny Cedeno ss
Jason Jaramillo c
Jeff Karstens rhp


Everyone will be watching how these batters do tonight, but nobody will be paying too much attention to them -- just what their results tell us about Strasburg.

In the end, one of these nine will tell their kids he was the first to be struck out by Strasburg, another may say he had the fist hit and yet another could be the first to hit a home run off the most hyped pitcher in a generation.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans





 
 
 
 
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