Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Another Contest Winner....

I offered up a choose for the Let's Go Bucs Contest against the Marlins.  It was a 2 game series.
 The Pirates won the first game 3-2, thus splitting the series and guaranteeing a winner for the contest

Unfortunately Kevin Correia got hit hard early and the Pirates lost 6-2 in the second game.

High Five Man get's a choice of one of the cards offered up.
Which one do you want Justin?
The Lee Gardner Auto or Josh Beckett Bat card?

The Pirates face off against the Nationals tomorrow for a 2 game series in Washington, then it's off to Detroit for a 3 game series against the Tigers. 

I haven't decided what I'm giving away for the Nats series, but it will not be an auto or jersey relic.  Maybe just a combination of rookie cards featuring the Nats 1st round draft picks over the years.  Anyone want a Bryce Harper rookie or Anthony Rendon rookie?  Perhaps a Strasburg rookie?  We'll have to see what I have laying around.  Let's Go Bucs!

To recognize the upcoming series vs. the Nats, I thought I would show off a jersey/auto of a player the Pirates traded to the Nationals.  The Pirates traded Nyjer Morgan and Sean Burnet for Lastings Milledge and Joel Hanrahan back in 2009. 

A lot of nonPirates fans look back at all the trades the Pirates have made over the past 2 decades and say "they always trade away their good players for nothing".  While that may sometimes be the case, the Pirates win this trade from the Nats. I'll explain a little later, but first I want to address why Nyjer Morgan as electrifying as he is on the baseball field can be considered to be a bad team mate.

Nyjer Morgan has had issues behaving in the clubhouse and on the ballfield throughout his career.  He had thrown a baseball to a fan in Philadelphia and was given a seven game suspension.  A week later there was a benches clearing brawl when Morgan charged the mound after being hit by a pitch.  The night before being hit with a pitch he ran into the Marlins catcher, seperating his shoulder.  The brawl lead to an eight game suspension.  Upon his return he plowed over the Cardinals catcher who didn't even have the ball to tag him out nor attempting to block the plate.  He did not serve a suspension for that incident.  By that point in the season, the Nationals had seen enough and chose to trade him to the Brewers during the offseason for Lenny Dykstra's son. 

So essentially the Pirates traded 1.5 year of Morgan for 1.5 year of Milledge and the remaining years of Burnett for Hanrahan. 

Looking at it that way, here's the breakdown
Milledge in Pirates uniform(1.5 years)
599 AB .282/.332/.386
11 SB/7 CS
58 R
54 RBI
8 HR
Morgan in Nationals uniform (1.5 years)
700 AB .280/.339/.347
58 SB/24 CS
1 HR

Take away the SB and it's basically the same level of production (Milledge was 0.8 WAR while Morgan was 0.7 WAR)

Now how about the other 2 players involved in the trade who are actually still with the Pirates and Nationals respectively
Joel Hanrahan in Pirates uniform (4 years)
6-6 .500 winning %
53 saves
2.62 ERA in 188 Games/182.1 IP
103 games finished
1.174 WHIP
10.5 K/9  (212)
3.5 BB/9 (71)
0.4 HR/9

Sean Burnett in Nationals uniform (4 years)
7-13 .350 winning %
8 saves
2.85 ERA in 188 games/155IP
33 games finished
1.187 WHIP
7.4 K/9 (127)
3.3 BB/9 (56)

The numbers again are pretty similiar, but if you need a guy to deal with pressure in the 9th or extra innings, there's clearly one guy you want to hand the ball to especially if you need a big strikeout against a big threat.  Joel Hanrahan wins this trade for the Pirates as he narrowly beats out Burnett with WAR (3.9 vs 3.4).

All that being said, Nyjer was a very fun player to watch in his short time in Pittsburgh and when the Brewers aren't playing the Bucs, I still get excited to see him and his antics on the field as he stretches singles into doubles and slides past the bag getting called out.  That used to drive me nuts!!!!  One thing is for sure, that Nyjer wears his emotions on his sleeve and I like that about him.