Things Are Going to Potpourri (2/12/12)

  • Even if the Pirates and Yankees work out all the details of the trade that would bring right-hander A.J. Burnett to Pittsburgh, the deal isn’t likely be announced until Monday. With so much cash involved in the transaction, it would require the obligatory approval of the Commissioner’s Office.
  • Bring on Burnett: Love the upside of this likely move. Returning to the NL after a six-year AL misadventure can only help him. Through his first seven seasons with the Marlins, Burnett had a career ERA of 3.73 — a figure he never reached in any single season with the Blue Jays or the Yankees.
  • Yet, Burnett could be a big weapon during Interleague Play. He has a lifetime record of 27-19 against the Pirates’ 2012 AL foes (Tigers, Royals, Orioles, Twins and Indians).
  • Burnett (2009 Yankees) would double the number of players on the Pirates’ roster with World Series rings (Rod Barajas, ’01 Diamondbacks).
  • Speaking of Barajas, the last Pirates catcher to hit as many homers (17) as he has averaged the last three seasons was … Jim Pagliaroni, in 1965!
  • Pirates manager Clint Hurdle says “It’s hard to read a lot into Spring Training performances,” and that’s a good thing to keep in mind as camps open and when Grapefruit League play begins. Last spring, both eventual World Series participants had losing exhibition records (Cardinals 14-16, Rangers 13-16) while the best record was the Royals’ 20-10.
  • I may be missing something, but why do so many people assume the guy bumped from the Pirates’ rotation by Burnett would be Jeff Karstens? Yes, he already has considerable bullpen experience. But Karstens did a lot of the heavy lifting while the Bucs were making their move last season, going undefeated in eight starts from June 3 through July 15, with a 1.26 ERA and .193 opponents average.
  • When did Flavor Flav become the Waldo of sporting events? He and his bling-bling have been popping up everywhere, from Indianapolis to Broadway to Las Vegas.


Who is assuming it would be Karstens? I have been hearing (and rightly so, IMO) that Correia would go.

I’d vote for Correia but I DOUBT they will bump him from the rotation at the start of the season. Given his 2012 salary, he will get a shot at repeating his opening 2 months of 2011. I’m not saying I agree with the move, just saying this is likely what the Pirates will do. If Karstens is unable to be 100% for April, that gives the Bux an easy out. Or, if any one else gets hurt during spring, that will help make the decision easier.

They don’t need a fifth starter for most of April so that doesn’t really help them in making a decision on Burnett. The person most likely to benefit from that is Charlie Morton and his hip.

The Pirate’s limitations are still in their lineup, without any power outside of McCutchen. I’m not sure why they feel like they need to add another starter and pay out some decent money there (depending on how much the Yankees eat). Are there any legit 1B’s that the Pirates could trade for? I guess the Angels are still sitting on their stockpile for the time being, but that’s what I would be looking to do. If Burnett comes, I’d agree to put Correia back in the pen. He’s had more success there than he has as a starter. After last season, Karstens deserves the opportunity and a long leash. He doesn’t have great stuff, but maybe he’s just figured out how to pitch.

The only place I saw about Karstens being bumped was on Tribune. I wanted to comment on that but couldn’t. Why in the world would you bump your best starting pitcher in 2011. As far as him not being ready? Did I miss something here? I am not aware of any reason Karstens would not be available. It does help if Morton is hurt to start the season. I will say with Karstens issues of not lasting through a season. If Morton is hurt and We get Burnette, Karstens may be an option to be skipped the first time through the rotation just to push his innings count back a start. But I am not sure what is meant there. The other pitcher that could be skipped in a start would be Correia. Personally if you look at his career he has never really proven to be able to pitch through a complete season. He also has had his best career numbers when pitching out of the bullpen for the Giants. He has more bullpen experience then Karstens. I also dont think you ever let money decide that one person stays in the rotation over another. You let the performance do that. Also Karstens is set to make $3.1M, Correia is someone help me but I believe $4.5M so its not like we are talking a big difference here.

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