After last season’s debacle, at least we can say that your favorite Pittsburgh baseball team (yes, still ahead of the Pirates) aren’t standing pat. The Studdabubbas will welcome 6 rookies to their Big League roster—3 of whom will start right out of the gate. Plus, the Studdabubbas have been making some deals to get some much needed arms into their system. You may not recognize your team in Season 19, but making wholesale changes to the worst team in the league sure seems to make sense.
Rookie Matt Buchanan is the guy who chased Nate Girardi to Atlanta in free agency. Pittsburgh fans are calling him the next Willie Drew. Management is expecting more.
Second baseman Duffy Strong was traded to Atlanta for a promising starting pitcher named Alejandro Gomez who was assigned to Pittsburgh’s AA team. This opened the door for rookie Tim Dresden who will start on opening day.
At short, 31 year-old Frank Turner, who played for Kansas City for the last 6 years, was claimed off the Waiver Wire after Wilton Martin was let go and Wascar Blanco messed-up his back.
In right field, rookie Hong-Gu Suh will get the call because last year’s starter, Fernando Hernandez, was asking for too much money. Currently, Fernando is on Detroit’s AAA team.
The Studdabubba’s had been toying with the idea of trading Aaron Bennett for years and finally pulled the trigger. Bennett and a couple pitching prospects returned SP Daryl Isringhausen from Los Angeles. Last season’s back-up catcher, Arthur Anderson, will likely be the starter but the Bubbas have some depth here. It looks like they might try rookie Jimmie Henriquez as a backup but not because he is a good catcher.
Those are the changes in the field as Buzz Abernathy (3B), Charlie Bird (CF) and Tony Grove (LF) remain the starters from last year. Another rookie, Pablo Andino, has also been called up to the Bigs as a utility guy.
The pitching seems to have improved a little this season but that’s not saying a whole let. Brand new starter Darly Isringhousen will also be joined in the rotation by J.J. Scott who, along with releiver Jesus Diaz was acquired from salary-conscious Scranton for two prospects.
Francisco Delgado was the lone free agency signing for the Studdabubbas this season (way to spend that money, ownership) but he, and rookie Cole Rossy, should help solidify the horrific bullpens of Pittsburgh past.
It may seem even longer, but it's been a long 5 seasons since the Pittsburgh Studdabubbas made the playoffs. In seasons 9-14 they won the NL North 5 out of 6 times. Hopefully, the young nucleus of this club are a step in the right direction to being a relevant, competitive team in Hunter again.