It's been over a week since my last post, so let us catch up on some holiday news:
The 2007 Pirates ZIPS projections were released, and they were scary. If these are even close to accurate, the Pirates are going to be in trouble this season.
Aubrey Huff signed with the Baltimore Orioles. I was against the Pirates signing Huff, so I was glad to see this. However, the list of available free agents continues to get shorter and shorter, and the Pirates have yet to address a single need this offseason. Unless DL pulls off a decent trade, 2007 could be a long season.
Pirates Roundtable #6 was posted, and included questions about veteran relievers and Ryan Doumit. Take a look for various opinions on these topics.
Changing gears for a moment, the Steelers finished 2006 with an exciting overtime win over the rival Cincinnati Bengals. The Steelers finished 8-8 and missed the playoffs, indeed a very disappointing season. But they finished strong after an absolutely terrible first half, and received the satisfaction of knocking the Bengals out of the playoffs. Greg Easterbrook (aka Tuesday Morning Quarterback) awarded the Bengals the worst play of 2006 for their role in the winning touchdown by Santonio Holmes. Here's hoping Bill Cowher chooses to return for another season in 2007.
The Pirates resigned Jose Hernandez. Don't get me wrong, I am a Jose Hernandez fan. He is a solid 25th guy that has been around the game and can play almost anywhere on the field. But that doesn't help a team with a complete lack of offense. He will only take at-bats away from younger players who need development, and will put up numbers that are mediocre at best. Also, don't let the fact that he was signed to a minor-league contract fool you. Jose Hernandez will without a doubt be on the Pirates opening day roster. I have never been more sure of anything in my life. This signing was absolutely worthless, but not surprising at all.
Dejan reports that the Pirates are interested in free agent pitcher Brian Lawrence. Lawrence was a decent pitcher for the Padres a few years ago, but missed all of 2006 with a severe shoulder injury. Pirates' officials would know more about his health than I do, but I do know that torn rotator cuffs are pretty serious.