TIOPS Inside Buzz


It was just a couple weeks ago where the Pirates looked like they had the best of both worlds.

They moved out lots of salary at the trade deadline, yet were putting themselves in prime position to earn a fourth straight playoff berth.

Now the wheels have completely fallen off with what can only be described as a ball club imploding.

The crowd that hated the Melancon trade and Liriano salary dump is loving this collapse. Even some in the media who have a personal vendetta against Pirates GM Neal Huntington seem to be loving the Pirates implosion.

Neal Huntington has long been thought of as the king of building a bullpen on the cheap.

The last three weeks, though, proved that you can’t just throw anyone into the closers role during a playoff chase and expect them to give you the type of stability that an All-Star closer in Mark Melancon gave you.

For an organization that was trying to thread the needle of having one foot into 2016 and one foot into 2017, the bullpen situation backfired in a big way.

Since trading Melancon, the Pirates have lost three games that they led after the seventh inning and two games that were tied after seven innings.

Tony Watson has blown three saves since the Pirates traded Melancon.

The Pirates are currently 5.5 games out of the wildcard.

Regardless of how the Pirates finish, Clint Hurdle is safe for 2017.

Anyone really think the Pirates would pay him not to manage?

The bigger issue long-term is frustrations inside the clubhouse among core players towards Hurdle in what has been described as [hide] “over-coaching” by Hurdle and his staff.

hurdleHurdle trying to micromanage nearly every aspect of the ballclub has some close to the situation believing players are starting to tune Hurdle out and the type of collapse the Pirates are having sometimes makes it impossible for managers to ever win back the room.

Another thing that can’t go unnoticed is star players regressing this season under Hurdle.

The question has to be asked, is Hurdle the right guy to get the Pirates to the next level?

david-decastroIt’s taken a little longer than the Steelers anticipated but an extension will be finalized between David DeCastro and the Steelers this week. One team official anticipated an announcement coming on Friday.

The total value and guaranteed money portion of the deal has been finalized and the two sides plan Thursday to put the finishing touches on minor aspects of the contract tomorrow.

In addition to acquiring Justin Gilbert, the Steelers also looked into acquiring former Eagles cornerback Eric Rowe via trade. Rowe was a second round pick in 2015 and was given consideration by the Steelers in round 1.