I was thinking about this recently and thought I would pose it to you guys. Say Alvarez is struggling to start the season, what would you think of Harrison playing 2B and moving Walker back to 3B? Obviously this would not be permanent (only until Alvarez got on track) but both Harrison and Walker have experience at those positions
As for a scenario where I would be in favor of moving Walker back to 3rd, lets be more positive. Alvarez mashes this season but shows he is unable to play 3B consistently. d'Arnaud lights it up in the minors but Barmes plays well enough in the majors to hold him off.
I think that sets the perfect game of musical chairs for next season, Alvarez to 1st, Barmes to 2nd, Walker to 3rd, d'Arnaud to SS.
Also, Morton will start season on 15 Day DL
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Until that day the Pirates will go with 4 starters. They are still deciding whether to carry an extra reliever or extra bench player.
Also Juan Cruz has made the team, a corresponding move does not need to be made for a few days.
Ugh JMac.... Why can't you be consistent.....
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Glad Cruz made it...
Pedro 2-5, with only two K's
Also I'm happy Cruz made it but I'm curious who gets released. My thought was either Welker or McCutchen.
I would have to think that anything under 3K's a game with a hit is leaps and bounds of progress at this point
I think moving Walker from second to third is a bad idea. Offensively he’s an above average second basemen but would be a significantly below average third baseman. Keep him at second and if Alvarez fails go to McGehee. If McGehee fails go with Harrison or Navarro. Replacing bad with below average is not the way to go.
Seriously though the fact that we are even talking about Daniel McCutchen or Duke Welker shows how much the Pirates have improved. When talking about who should be dropped you are really dealing with basically the bottom 5 guys on the 40 man roster and in the past no way did that include a good reliever (McCutchen) and a late-inning relief prospect (Welker).
You can also see progress with the latest minor league releases. Similar players to guys who were just released used to be thought of as significant pieces. For example Josh Rodriguez compared to Jim Negrych or Brian Friday (it was hoped one of those two would assume 2nd base) and Calvin Anderson compared to Brad Eldred or Carlos Rivera (it was hoped they could help at 1B).
It might be baby steps but the fact that these decisions are getting harder is a good sign of progress.
At Pirates Prospects they just did a piece very similar to something I do every year and determined the average starter at 2B has an OPS of .733 and at 3B it is .746.
Walker's OPS last season was .742. So yes from that he is better than a league average 2B and below a league average 3B but we know he can do better (~ .770 OPS).
Bottom line though I agree with you I am still not in favor of the move at the present time.
Take this for what its worth but this is from ESPN's Matthew Berry in his bold fantasy prediction article:
Erik Bedard wins the NL Cy Young. That's right. You heard me. I'm a slave to tradition, and Bedard is my fantasy kryptonite. Seriously, though, it's always health, not talent, with Bedard, and he's landed in a good spot for him.
I'm all for wishing and hoping but I wouldn't be surprised if he lost his job for that comment alone lol