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Sunday, July 31, 2011

MLB.com: Pirates trade for Ludwick

A day after adding Derrek Lee, the Pirates acquired Padres outfielder Ryan Ludwick just minutes before Sunday’s non-waiver Trade Deadline for a player to be named.

Ryan Ludwick, like Derrek Lee, is a person who plays professional baseball.  They didn’t cost the Pirates anything, though, and the Pirates have some big holes in the lineup that professional below-average players can fill.

Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 31, 2011 at 10:30 PM | 32 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: minor leagues, padres, pirates

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. Mash Wilson Posted: July 31, 2011 at 11:07 PM (#3889919)
Yeah, they have big holes, but they're in the infield. Is Ludwick even an upgrade over Presley and/or Paul? Or is this really just a depth acquisition and/or a "look here, fans, we care, we did something!"?
   2. The District Attorney Posted: July 31, 2011 at 11:15 PM (#3889923)
Presley is hurt, and it probably wouldn't be all that prudent to entrust the position to him anyway. With Garret Jones and Presley both being lefty hitters, there is certainly room for Ludwick to contribute in some form.

I suppose the really big hole on their team based on this year's stats is 3B... but maybe it's not a good idea to tell Pedro Alvarez that when it really counts, we trust Ty Wigginton or whoever more than we trust you. I dunno.
   3. Mash Wilson Posted: July 31, 2011 at 11:55 PM (#3889930)
Eh, I still think it's probably in everyone's best interests to put Alvarez at first and let him forget about trying to battle third base to a draw and focus on hitting. Obviously that option will still be on the table for next year if they want to. You can get their reluctance to move the guy, though, seeing as how you spent a few seconds thinking "what third baseman might have been gettable for cheap?" and came up with Ty Wigginton.
   4. Mattbert Posted: July 31, 2011 at 11:59 PM (#3889933)
MCoA: Your lead-in was quoted by Neyer on Twitter. You may blush...wait for it...now.
   5. rr Posted: August 01, 2011 at 12:05 AM (#3889936)
It's easy to clown Ludwick and the Pirates, but as noted above, he may actually help the Pirates against LHP. He is a little better out of PETCO, like all hitters, and a little better against LHP.
   6. The District Attorney Posted: August 01, 2011 at 12:08 AM (#3889939)
Yeah, I thought after last year that the logical move was to get a good defensive 2B and do the infield do-si-do that moves Neil Walker to 3B and Alvarez to 1B. Although apparently Walker has improved a little on defense, I still think that'd be optimal. But, you can't do it midseason with no warning.
   7. McCoy Posted: August 01, 2011 at 12:22 AM (#3889942)
Their season is just about over.
   8. Mash Wilson Posted: August 01, 2011 at 12:44 AM (#3889955)
Not by a longshot, McCoy. Their playoff hopes may be over, but there's still the Quest for 82.

EDIT: I just looked up the numbers and yeesh, Walker is a bad second baseman. Kind of Jeteresque in that he can play the position and still hit well despite being so terrible in the field it would get into the head of most guys.
   9. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: August 01, 2011 at 12:55 AM (#3889961)
Sad to say, but when you're in playoff contention, and yet you can improve your team easily by adding players that no other team wants because of how over the hill they are, it's a sign that your playoff contention is a mirage.

I suppose the really big hole on their team based on this year's stats is 3B... but maybe it's not a good idea to tell Pedro Alvarez that when it really counts, we trust Ty Wigginton or whoever more than we trust you. I dunno.

Speaking of Ty Wigginton, his post-Pirates performance is almost as surprising as Jose Bautista's to a Pirates fan. He seemed like he was about two weeks away from starting his high school coaching career when they let him go.
   10. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: August 01, 2011 at 01:10 AM (#3889965)
Their season is just about over.

4.5 back on August 1? Not exactly dead and buried, especially considering they just ran the Braves/Phillies gauntlet and are now done with those teams (which the Brewers and Cards are not). They've also got 10 games left with each of the teams ahead of them; the division will be decided there (and in the 12 remaining Brewers-Cards games).

Not that I think they'll probably win. But stranger things have happened.
   11. Tom Nawrocki Posted: August 01, 2011 at 01:24 AM (#3889971)
I've been watching Ty Wigginton for the Rockies all season, and I think he's two weeks away from being delighted to talk to me about my insurance needs.
   12. NTNgod Posted: August 01, 2011 at 01:43 AM (#3889984)
Sad to say, but when you're in playoff contention, and yet you can improve your team easily by adding players that no other team wants because of how over the hill they are, it's a sign that your playoff contention is a mirage.


This IS the NL Central we're talking about.
   13. rr Posted: August 01, 2011 at 01:49 AM (#3889986)
This IS the NL Central we're talking about.


STL and MIL start a series tomorrow. AZ and SF as well.
   14. The District Attorney Posted: August 01, 2011 at 02:01 AM (#3889992)
players that no other team wants
Not quite, as Cleveland definitely seemed to be in on Ludwick; in fact, some people reported yesterday that he had been dealt there. That being said, of course it's true that these were not the marquee players available. It'll be interesting to see whether, when the Pirates do have a really serious shot, they are willing to make a deal such as the Ubaldo one that would require paying someone major league money.

In any event, as post #8 alludes to, just hanging around the pennant race and finishing up with a winning record would be a humongous boost for this franchise. So it's certainly worthwhile for them to make some low-upside, low-downside deals.
   15. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: August 01, 2011 at 02:08 AM (#3889996)
STL and MIL start a series tomorrow. AZ and SF as well.
If the Pirates can make some hay and close the gap over the next week---4 against the Cubs and 3 against the Pads--they've then got a long stretch mostly against the teams they need to beat:

@SF for 3
@Mil for 3
vs STL for 3
vs CIN for 3
vs MIL for 4 (in 3 days)
@STL for 4
   16. Mash Wilson Posted: August 01, 2011 at 02:20 AM (#3890005)
Eric J: Yeah, but they're 4.5 games behind a team that is much, much better than they are. Just a glance over the rosters makes me think it's near-miraculous that the Pirates are this close. And it's a little mystifying that the Brewers aren't already 8 games ahead of the Cardinals, much less the Pirates. I guess the half of the game where the Brewers have to wear fielding gloves is holding them back or something.

And Benji, yeah, that's why I'm still feeling pretty good about betting the under on 77 wins for the Pirates. It's going to be a pretty ugly finish for them... yet 76 wins and fourth place would STILL represent the best year they've had since the first Bush administration.

And if Fielder (near certain) and Pujols (unlikely but possible) both walk this offseason, the Pirates may well be the second-best team in the division on paper going into 2012. That's why I hope Pirates fans are breathing a sigh of relief that the team didn't give up any young talent gunning for the playoffs this year. 2012-2014 is their window. 2011 ain't, and it appears their front office was smart enough to realize it.
   17. hokieneer Posted: August 01, 2011 at 02:29 AM (#3890014)
And it's a little mystifying that the Brewers aren't already 8 games ahead of the Cardinals, much less the Pirates. I guess the half of the game where the Brewers have to wear fielding gloves is holding them back or something.

You do realize the Brewers have outperformed their pythag by 5 games, and are only 6th in the NL in run scored.
   18. Tom Nawrocki Posted: August 01, 2011 at 02:37 AM (#3890021)
It'll be interesting to see whether, when the Pirates do have a really serious shot, they are willing to make a deal such as the Ubaldo one that would require paying someone major league money.


Ubaldo will make $3 million less this year than Derrek Lee will.
   19. The District Attorney Posted: August 01, 2011 at 02:44 AM (#3890026)
Sure, but you know what I mean. Are they willing to commit to paying anybody tens of millions of dollars?
   20. Mash Wilson Posted: August 01, 2011 at 02:46 AM (#3890029)
You do realize the Brewers have outperformed their pythag by 5 games, and are only 6th in the NL in run scored.


I know. It's bizarre. They should be lapping this division. I guess Casey McGehee ain't helping.

Also, am I the only one that feels like the best thing for the 2012-2014 Pirates would be for this year's team to crater and lose 90 and get Hurdle fired? I hate to say that about a guy but man... he isn't doing that team any favors.
   21. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: August 01, 2011 at 02:52 AM (#3890033)
Eric J: Yeah, but they're 4.5 games behind a team that is much, much better than they are.

When healthy - but Weeks is out right now, which closes the gap to some extent.

That's why I hope Pirates fans are breathing a sigh of relief that the team didn't give up any young talent gunning for the playoffs this year.

I'll agree that going all-in this year would have been a bad idea, of course. And again, I'm not exactly betting on them to make it.
   22. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: August 01, 2011 at 02:56 AM (#3890035)
Sure, but you know what I mean. Are they willing to commit to paying anybody tens of millions of dollars?

Even in the horrendous Littlefield era they tended to re-sign their own players to big contracts, despite never ever signing other teams' free agents. Locking up McCutchen, Walker, and one of the starting pitchers is the least we can expect.
   23. Mash Wilson Posted: August 01, 2011 at 03:23 AM (#3890054)
McCutchen may well turn out to be the kind of superstar the Pirates have no prayer of locking up, though. Walker and some pitchers, sure. I doubt McCutchen's sticking around in Pittsburgh unless what we're seeing now is as good as he's going to get.
   24. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: August 01, 2011 at 04:03 AM (#3890069)
Sure, but you know what I mean. Are they willing to commit to paying anybody tens of millions of dollars?


The Pirates under Nutting have always been willing to spend millions on players. The trick has been finding players who were willing to take it.

Contending this year probably won't hurt their chances any in that respect going forward.
   25. cardsfanboy Posted: August 01, 2011 at 04:56 AM (#3890080)
I know. It's bizarre. They should be lapping this division. I guess Casey McGehee ain't helping.


I'm not sure if this is some weird bizarro comment, but why would anyone think that the Brewers should be lapping this division? Cardinals much better offense, pretty much the same level of pitching, if it wasn't for bullpen breakdowns the Cardinals would have pretty much put this division away by now.
   26. Babe Adams Posted: August 01, 2011 at 05:42 PM (#3890380)
One little thing about the Lee/Ludwick acquisitions: these guys more or less replace Overbay and Matt Diaz, who were supposed to be the veteran placeholders this season. I'm not really sure is these deals can be winners for the Pirates, since they're just replacing recent acquisitions who are generally considered to be flops.
   27. Tom Nawrocki Posted: August 01, 2011 at 05:48 PM (#3890385)
I'm not sure if this is some weird bizarro comment, but why would anyone think that the Brewers should be lapping this division? Cardinals much better offense, pretty much the same level of pitching, if it wasn't for bullpen breakdowns the Cardinals would have pretty much put this division away by now.


Brewers have a much better manager.
   28. cardsfanboy Posted: August 01, 2011 at 05:58 PM (#3890394)
Brewers have a much better manager.


Not sure that would make any difference. Offensively Cardinals have the Brewers at pretty much every position, and with recent changes to the roster probably have as good if not a better bullpen so the issues that have plagued the team for the first half of the season or so shouldn't be as big of a deal(although McClellan seems to have forgotten how to pitch in relief)
   29. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: August 01, 2011 at 06:01 PM (#3890397)
McCutchen may well turn out to be the kind of superstar the Pirates have no prayer of locking up, though. Walker and some pitchers, sure. I doubt McCutchen's sticking around in Pittsburgh unless what we're seeing now is as good as he's going to get.

I don't know. Best analogy is probably Longoria in Tampa. If the management can convince McCutchen that the team will be good and he can be the homegrown cornerstone, it might work.
   30. Greg Maddux School of Reflexive Profanity Posted: August 01, 2011 at 06:06 PM (#3890403)
Best analogy is probably Longoria in Tampa.

They already missed their opportunity to force a below-market contract as a condition of being called up.
   31. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: August 01, 2011 at 06:33 PM (#3890429)
Offensively Cardinals have the Brewers at pretty much every position...


You're not counting Weeks because he's hurt, then?
   32. cardsfanboy Posted: August 01, 2011 at 07:08 PM (#3890459)
You're not counting Weeks because he's hurt, then?


Actually either or, I said at pretty much(hedging bets there) didn't mean "every position" just most of the positions. Cardinals at short(not saying much), third, center, right and catcher, push at first and left and Brewers get second.

Either or, it doesn't matter, just trying to figure out how the Brewers should be lapping this division, no team has stood out right now and if you really had to separate who should be winning the Cardinals seem like the more logical choice than the Brewers. (especially when you factor in the easy interleague play the Cardinals got that the Brewers and Reds didn't get a chance to take advantage of)

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