I know, very lame title to the post.  But what can I say?  I for one did not want to incur a “missed opportunity.”  See:  Last post. 


     According to Keith Law, The Craig Hansen he has seen this season is not a “Big League” pitcher, and I cannot disagree.  However, Craig Hansen still has a nasty slider, and with the velocity on his fastball, I still think that he can salvage a “Big League” career.  Thrown into a pennant race, with his personal problems probably still lingering within his own mind, was probably not the best setting for Hansen to learn how to get “Big League” hitters out.  But now, he has an opportunity to work on his craft…for a few years, at least.


     The thing that is most promising about Craig Hansen, outside of his “stuff,” is the fact that he is only a 24 year old pitcher.  And now this 24 year old pitcher moves to a place where winning just isn’t as much as a “priority” as it was in Boston.  It is not that the Pirates organization does not want to win, it is just that realistically, they are not good enough to win, and I think this season they finally found a complete realization in this.  They moved their best player in Jason Bay, and they moved a player in Xavier Nady whose stock will never be higher than it is right now.  The return was nothing special, a bunch of solid prospects, some whose value is lower than it had been in the past because of the struggles they came across.  But they need solid players to surround stars, and if the organization builds a team, then it isn’t unlikely that they could sign a few Good free agents once the base is built. 


     And that right there would be the definiton of the saying, “But I digress.”  Back to Hansen…No pressure now.  Craig Hansen can pitch for a big league club and try to become the pitcher that all the scouts thought he could become.  He can work in situations where there is some pressure, but not the kind of pressure that costs the team a playoff spot.  And it doesn’t hurt that the league itself is thought to contain a little less talent than that of the American League.  So, maybe, just maybe, Hansen can record a few more outs, build up a little confidence, and try and become a “Big League” pitcher.   


  1. joefromnewhampshire

    I still have a hard time believing that Gammons is THAT lost, haha. But he did say that Brandon Moss had the potential to be better than Mantle ever was… 🙂

  2. steve_t

    Joe, I pray that was a joke or I’ll have to drive ol’ Gammo to the crazy house myself. I was getting tired of Hansen this season to the point where I was doubting his major league ability, yet when he was traded my gut reaction was damn, he was so close to being good. Oh, well, I wish him the best. I think he gave it his best shot. Maybe a less demanding venue will give him time to straighten out.

  3. bryant05

    It didn’t appear that Craig Hansen was going to be able to make the “leap” to the pitcher everyone thought he could be in Boston. Perhaps you’re right, the venue was too large for such a young player. We can’t forget that within 6 months after pitching for St. John’s in college he was up in the majors with huge expectations. The Sox may have pushed him too fast and this could be exactly what he needs to develop.

    Either way he needs to work on keeping his composure and throwing first pitch strikes. I’ll be keeping an eye on him for sure. Hoping he does well in the NL Central.


  4. mikeeff

    listen i’ll give old gammons a LOT of credit–he totally took the ridiculous steve phillips to task on baseball tonight right before the trade–phillips was not so subtly suggesting that with better “management” the sox might not have so much trouble with manny etc…and that they needed him to win the series-or even get there again.

  5. joefromnewhampshire

    What did Gammons say in response to that?

    Derek, I will be keeping an eye on him too, but through the use of statistics, as the Pirates aren’t a team I see much.

  6. mikeeff

    joe- he went on and on and systematically and somewhat angrily destroyed every argument phillips was trying to make–i wish i could remember all the details for you- but i was very proud of the grand old man. he basically stood up for the integrity of the great red sox organization. kudos to him.

    ( he was dressed as an easter egg it seemed…)

  7. Tanner

    even though im a red sox fan, i love the city of Pittsburgh because i live just 40 miles away from it. So i would love to see the Pirates have at least 1 winning season, so the fans can be satisfied. Since their GM, Dave Littlefield, is out, maybe they can acheive it soon with the offense they have. But their pitching is still far from being at least considered average. If Hansen can pitch how he is capable of pitching, he can help them. But they still need a lot of work there.

  8. joefromnewhampshire

    Yes, they have finally taken a step in the right direction, knowing that Jason Bay staying around wasn’t going to change much.

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