By Jared Lankes
We all know about what went down at the trade deadline for the Pirates. There is no need to recap once again. All in all, the Pirates dumped two pitchers and got three. One will be in AAA to start for contract reasons ( Drew Hutchison) while Ivan Nova will fill in the rotation and Antonio Bastardo to the bullpen. The moves have a overlying effect obviously, but they also have an underlying one. That underlying effect is that the Pirates should just give the reins to the young guys on the team.
Firstly, let’s look at the rotation. Gerrit Cole, Jameson Taillon, and Ivan Nova are spots 1-3. Then, Hutchison will be in there in September probably. Other than that, the Pirates are deciding to use Jeff Locke and Ryan Vogelsong. I personally think they’d be better off using the young guys and seeing what they have. Tyler Glasnow (when he gets healthy), Chad Kuhl, Steven Brault, and Trevor Williams are all options the Pirates should consider just to see what they can do for the rest of the year. It’s better for now and the future to do that than to toy around with Locke and Vogelsong which you know what you have with them. Honestly, the young guys are better than those two as well. It makes a lot of sense now to give them a long look since they didn’t majorly upgrade the rotation at the deadline.
As for the position players, it makes sense to see what you have with Josh Bell and play Adam Frazier against righties. Firstly for Bell, his defense may be lackluster but the Pirates and other teams have proven you can overcome less than stellar defense. Also, Bell’s offense is undeniably good and would likely outweigh his defense anyways. John Jaso has not provided any spark lately and the Pirates need a spark right now.
Now, transitioning to a guy that’s been a spark, Adam Frazier. He has been very good when he’s been up in the MLB and has certainly deserved more playing time because of it. Though he hits lefties well, Josh Harrison does too. Frazier vs lefties and righties split isn’t even that noticeable anyways. It would make sense for a platoon situation at second base. I like Josh Harrison a lot, and that’s why this move would be great, honestly. This would be the type of move that would put Harrison in a better position to succeed. Also, Harrison and Frazier could both provide a good spark and a matchup problem for a pitcher late in games off the bench on days they aren’t starting, if used right. Both would also represent very good defensive replacements if needed as well. This would certainly be a move that would benefit both players and the team as a whole.
The Pirates are in position where they are still in playoff contention and need a boost. What they did at the trade deadline didn’t provide a boost. The young guys could provide that boost. While I don’t like the idea of relying on a bunch of young guys and rookies, given what they did, or didn’t do, at the deadline, they might as well go with the young guys and see if they can provide something. Sometimes a youth movement can do more to a team than a move for a veteran, and I hope that is the direction the team decides to go now that all the dust has settled.