August Preliminary Report: Pirates

Pittsburgh Pirates
• Despite starting off the month with two 3-game win streaks, the Pirates finished July with a 10-18 mark; their dismal .234 team batting average was a major contributor to their lack of success.

• With an 0-5 mark for July and a 3-12 record on the year, starting pitcher Don Robinson has been moved to the bullpen in hopes of changing his luck, while spot starter Bruce Kison has taken his spot in the starting rotation.

• Pittsburgh has five players on their current roster who can play third base, but none have an error rating of less than 7. With second baseman Rennie Stennett not playing up to expectations, Phil Garner has been moved from third to second, and Ken Macha (E3) has been called up from Columbus to take over at third.

• Any thoughts that Buc management might’ve had of calling up infielder Jim Fregosi from their AAA affiliate in Columbus disappeared when he was hired to manage the California Angels in June; the move depleted their minor league system even more than it already was, leaving Steve Brye as the only position player available to the parent club.

• To make room for Macha, pitcher Jerry Reuss (3-4, 6.13 ERA)  has been sent to Columbus.

• The Pirates will switch from a 5-man rotation to a 4-man, to take advantage of their three PB 2-7 starters: Bert Blyleven, John Candelaria, and Kison. Left-hander Jim Rooker (PB 2-6) will round out the starting staff.

• Backup catcher Duffy Dyer, who hit .343 in July, will see more playing time in August.

2 responses to “August Preliminary Report: Pirates

  1. OK, maybe not a Bucs question, but I know from playing the game how important the PB rating is for pitchers. Without doing a ton of research, are there a few pitchers who have completely outplayed (or underplayed) their PB rating for the season? Also, Reuss was 29 years old and had 100 major league wins under his belt before this trip to the minors. I wonder how many 100 win pitchers have been demoted for things other than rehab assignments.

    • Off the top of my head, and for July only, I can think of Charlie Williams of the Giants and Pedro Borbon of the Reds both doing better than I’d expect with their PB 2-5 ratings. Otherwise, PB 2-5 pitchers get their asses handed to them on a daily basis, which is why Reuss headed downstream, at least until September rolls around. I just can’t afford to have these guys giving up handfuls of runs every time they appear. At some point, I’m going to make a list of W-L, ERA, and saves for each PB rating, and see how it looks.

      And the two that surprise me for underplaying their PB’s are Montreal’s Steve Rogers (PB 2-8) and Cincinnati’s Tom Seaver (PB 2-7). I’m hoping both can turn their seasons around soon. As for 100-win pitchers being sent down, and as far as the SP78 season goes, Wilbur Wood is getting very close to seeing what life is like in downtown Des Moines.

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