So the big news out of Pittsburgh yesterday (other than Flugtag, of course) was that the Pirates decided to make some post-trade deadline moves. Will this mean they’ll arise from the dead and contend for the NL Central, which is still very much up for grabs? Probably not, but let’s evaluate the moves:
In their first move of the day, the Pirates re-acquired utilityman/pyschopath who beats up Gatorade coolers Sean Rodriguez from the Atlanta Braves.
With guys like Philip Gosselin (.150 BA/.190 OBP/.175 SLG), John Jaso (.214 BA/.306 OBP/.388 SLG), and Max Moroff (.145 BA/.239 OBP/.210 SLG) providing “depth” for the Pirates infield this season, it was only a matter of time until someone in the organization realized all of those options stink, and that it would be smarter to go after any other player with a beating heart on the open market. So why not Sean Rod? He’s coming off his best season as a pro in 2016 (.270 BA/.349 OBP/.510 SLG with 18 home runs and 56 RBIs in 342 plate appearances), he’s already played two years with the Buccos, and quite frankly, he was having trouble cracking the lineup in Atlanta after missing the majority of the season due to injury. In my opinion, with Jung Ho Kang likely never coming back to the United States for the foreseeable future, this was a move the Pirates should’ve made months ago. However, acquiring Sean Rod does come with a potential drawback. Back in January, Rodriguez and his family were involved in a pretty nasty car accident that resulted in Sean being on the receiving end of a shoulder injury. The injury was serious enough that it forced him to miss the first three and a half months of the 2017 season. Since his return in mid-July, Rodriguez has posted a .162 BA/.326 OBP/.351 SLG in 47 plate appearances. Although that’s just a small sample size, there’s very real concern that his shoulder still may not be close to 100% healthy.
In the second move of the day, the Pirates claimed right-handed relief pitcher George Kontos from the San Francisco Giants. After losing setup man Tony Watson at the trade deadline, the Pirates could use help to bolster their bullpen (other than acquiring Joaquin Benoit LOL), which has been mediocre at best this year. The 32-year old Kontos has posted a 3.83 ERA, 0-5 record, and 55 strike outs in 51.2 innings of work this season for the Giants. Although those aren’t the sexiest numbers, there’s always the real possibility that pitching coach Ray Searage can work his magic to revitalize Kontos’ career in the Burgh (CC: Jason Grilli, Francisco Liriano, and A.J. Burnett). People forget that.
B- for both moves. Each player will definitely be a welcomed face replacing a hole on the Pirates’ depth chart. However, there’s that little phrase that goes something along the lines of “too little, too late.” Let’s face it, folks. The Cubs are still (somehow only) 5.5 games in front of the Pirates, and the Pirates are continuing to lose games to the goddamn Padres. The season is over. I hope I’m wrong, but it’s not looking pretty.
P.S. – Is it just me or is it LOL funny that the Pirates are pimping this move to re-acquire Sean Rod like we just brought back Barry Bonds or someone?