Sunday, March 26, 2006

Santos and Duckworth battle to a draw

Listened to the game in the car yesterday, and both Santos and Duckworth pitched decently in their battle for the fifth rotation spot. Either would be adequate as a rotation replacement for Josh Fogg or Mark Redman and a temporary placeholder for Burnett or Gorzelanny. Sifting through the scrap heap to find these kinds of league-average guys at a low cost is a skill that teams like the Pirates have to develop to survive, and that they now have two competing for this role is not a bad thing.

According to Paul Meyer, though, the Pirates may be interested in filling this role with the Braves' John Thomson, who could come in a deal for Craig Wilson. A cursory look at Thomson's numbers doesn't induce enthusiasm, but Baseball Prospectus points out that his career ERA is inflated by stints at Coors Field and The Ballpark at Arlington, as well as what may have been a premature return from a finger injury last year in Atlanta. Thomson, with a $4.5M contract, would be something more than a scrap-heap acquisition, and would apparently cost the Pirates their second-best offensive player. I'd prefer that the Pirates have courage and go with either Santos or Duckworth. Since, as a Rule 5 player, Santos would have to be returned to Kansas City if he doesn't make the team, the most likely scenario is that Duckworth will go to AAA.

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