BUCN Trade Targets

By Christopher Bradley and Andy Burdick

We’re roughly five weeks away from the trade deadline and pundits across the blogosphere already have ruminated on possible trade targets for the Pirates. The Tri-State of Mind staff has done some ruminating of their own on recent podcasts as well. This article will dig deeper into the rumor mill and help provide a more in-depth analysis of some of the names being bandied about the hot stove by allowing us to have a seat in the Pittsburgh Pirates’ imaginary general manager’s chair.

Armchair General Manager

“This is the best job ever!”

It’s no secret that Pittsburgh’s starting pitching has been less than stellar this season, as the starters have posted the eighth worst ERA in baseball at 4.16.  This is a far cry from their 2013 success, in which the starters finished the season with a 3.50 ERA, which was the fifth best in baseball.  With no options to bolster the rotation ready on the farm, this means the Pittsburgh Pirates’ hot stove is scorching and ready for a starting pitcher!

This article will examine the art of the trade in three distinctly different capacities.  First, as armchair general managers, we will examine who we feel the Pirates should trade for.  Then we will predict who we feel the Pirates will trade for, as the fans’ predictions are usually distinctly different than the reality that unfolds.  Finally, we will examine the aphorism the best trades are oftentimes the ones that you never make, as we take a look at moves that have have been discussed, but we believe should not be made.

So take a seat in your favorite recliner, crack open an icy cold beverage, and join in on all the trade talk with the Tri-State of Mind staff.  As an armchair general manager like us, you can relax because you’re not actually in charge of the transactions of a multi-million dollar franchise.  The best part of this job is that there are no repercussions for having a wrong opinion.

Let’s talk some trades! Continue reading

Jason Grilli and Ernest Frieri Change Coasts

By Andy Burdick

37 year old Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher Jason Grilli was traded yesterday to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim for 28 year old relief pitcher Ernesto Frieri in what has been describe by many (i.e. everyone) as a classic ‘change of scenery move’ for both players.

Once the beloved media darling and comeback expert extraordinaire, Grilli joined the Pirates after asking for his release from the Phillies in 2011 and for parts of three seasons, was one of the most dominant relief pitchers in baseball, with a lively fastball that averaged 93 MPH.

2011 34 PIT 2 1 2.48 28 4 1 32.2 24 10 9 2 15 5 37 4 3 140 151 3.30 1.194 6.6 0.6 4.1 10.2 2.47
2012 35 PIT 1 6 2.91 64 11 2 58.2 45 20 19 7 22 4 90 2 0 244 130 2.81 1.142 6.9 1.1 3.4 13.8 4.09
2013 ★ 36 PIT 0 2 2.70 54 41 33 50.0 40 15 15 4 13 0 74 1 1 202 133 1.97 1.060 7.2 0.7 2.3 13.3 5.69

This season, his fourth in the Steel City, had been entirely different from his career resurgence. Continue reading

Joe Tabata goes Unclaimed on Waivers…

By Chris Bradley

…And no one was surprised at the move or the fact that 29 other teams didn’t bite.  The Pirates placed Jose Tabata on outright waivers today in order to make room for Neil Walker as he returns from an appendectomy.

First let me detail you some of my greatest fears:

  1. Dying in a fire.
  2. Drowning.
  3. Spiders evolving to a point where they eat humans.
  4. An Appendectomy.

I have read many accounts and have heard first hand accounts about how immensely painful the time leading up to and after the operation are, and let me tell you, I am happy to say my mysterious non-functioning organ is still in there. Continue reading

Gregory Polanco Season Update: Vol. 2

By Andy Burdick

Gregory Polanco started his Major League career with about as much fanfare as any prospect in recent history and has done little to disappoint Pittsburgh Pirate fans through his first twelve games.

2014 22 12 61 55 11 19 1 0 1 6 1 0 6 8 .345 .410 .418 .828 135

Pittsburgh has gone 7 – 5 since his call up and in that time Polanco has already provided a five hit game, a 13th inning go-ahead home run, and had a 10 game hitting streak. Continue reading

Tri-State at the Plate Episode #53: BUCN TOOTBLAN and Other Acronyms

In the deafening absence of podcast co-host Jason Ruggiero, Tri-State at the Plate is pleased to welcome its newest co-host, Chris Bradley.  Chris joins Andy Burdick this week to talk about the unfortunate passing of one of the greatest hitters of a generation, Tony Gwynn, as well as a Clayton Kershaw no-hitter that may have been better than a perfect game.  The duo then discuss the Pirates TOOTBLAN issues, whether or not the Pirates should be buyers or sellers, as well as the Shark Tank’s bullpen woes.  They also discuss the trade market in Cleveland before a SeaWolves Shout Out that is intentionally Steven Moya-heavy before concluding with Tweetmails from Buffalo, New York and central Pennsylvania.

Wanted: Rolaids Relief Men in Pittsburgh

By Andy Burdick

Pittsburgh Pirates bullpen Shark Tank

The Pirates’ bullpen was a ferocious relief pitching machine last season.

Last season everything came up roses for the Pittsburgh Pirates as it pertained to their bullpen.  Justin Wilson hawked six victories in close games for the Buccos.  Jason Grilli had resurrected himself as one of the most exciting bullpen options in baseball.  Mark Melancon had turned himself into a Renaissance man, bestowing the beloved ‘Shark Tank’ title to the fierce bullpen after his off season adventures.

Pittsburgh had one of the best bullpens in baseball last season, as evidenced by just about every major statistical category.  Last season Pittsburgh’s bullpen threw 545.2 innings, walked 2.89 batters per 9 (4th best in baseball), surrendered .59 home runs per 9 (3rd best), had a left on base percentage of 78.3% (5th best), had an ERA of 2.89 (3rd best), and induced a ground ball rate of 52% (best in baseball). Continue reading

@El_Coffee’s Strong Start

By Andy Burdick

Pirate fans have been anxiously waiting the start of Gregory Polanco‘s Major League career and the new Bucco right fielder is doing nothing to slow down the hype-machine that started this off season.

Polanco quickly endeared himself to Pirates fans everywhere after his June 13 game in Miami in which he went 5 for 7 with a game winning home run that catapulted the Pirates to an 8 – 6 victory in extra innings against the Miami Marlins.

Continue reading

Tri-State at the Plate Episode #52: The Chisenhall – Polanco Internet Explosion

On an extra-long episode of Tri-State at the Plate Jason and Andy discuss the potential baseball career of Johnny Football. Andy then discusses at length Pittsburgh losing a one-hitter, a trouncing of the Brewers and Gregory Polanco’s arrival in the Steel City. Then Jason covers the Indians recent turn-around that’s been fueled by good hitting, good pitching and actual defense before telling everyone “I Told You So” about Lonnie Chisenhall. The duo then finishes up with the second-consecutive week of Step-on-the-Scale with questions that range from the probability of Vance Worley pitching in Pittsburgh this season to the catching situation in Cleveland.

Noise on the North Coast – June 2

By Jason Ruggiero

Noise on the North Coast


It’s been a tumultuous set of weeks along the North Coast and I’m about ready to dub the 2014 club as the “Inconsistent Indians”. I’ll get into that, and more, in this week’s edition of Noise on the North Coast.

Continue reading

Bryan Morris traded to Miami Marlins

By Andy Burdick

Bryan Morris Miami Marlins

Jeffrey Loria had better not back out of his promise of free Marlin rides to new players.

Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher Bryan Morris is now Miami Marlins relief pitcher Bryan Morris.

Morris was traded to the Marlins today for the 39th overall pick (a competitive balance pick) in the 2014 Major League Baseball draft, which will take place this Thursday.  The departure of Morris leaves a 25-man roster spot open on the Pirates’ roster, which will presumably be filled prior to tonight’s nationally televised game against the Dodgers. Continue reading