The Pittsburgh Pirates had a great farm team, with the likes of Jose Tabata, Neil Walker, Brad Lincoln, and Pedro Alvarez. As recently as early last year, that even included Andrew McCutchen. Not to mention, Garret Jones.

Now, with the exception of Alvarez, they’ve been called-up to fill some fairly big holes. Alvarez’s arrival is anticipated as soon as he’s ready

McCutchen replaced Nate McLouth, who was traded for pitching talent, and Jones was supposedly the “new Nady.”

Neil Walker is mostly playing second base, where Akinori Iwamura has been a bust replacing Freddy Sanchez. Tabata is playing left field, pushing Lastings Milledge to right field and Garrett Jones to first base, where he replaces a light-hitting Jeff Clement.

Brad Lincoln is the latest in a line of would-be fifth starters, having pushed out Brian Burres, meaning that the Pirates basically don’t have enough talent to competently fill-out a rotation.

With the exception of Alvarez and Burres, there’s not much left in the Pirates’ farm system.

Steve Pearce may finally amount to something, after all these years. Otherwise, the McLouth trade brought in two candidates, Gorkys Hernandez and Jeff Locke—three if you count Charlie Morton, who’s being rehabbed in the minors after a reasonably promising start in 2009.

There’s also pitcher Tim Alderson, received for Freddy Sanchez. Josh Harrison is also left, and he may have moved ahead of Kevin Hart as the more valuable piece of the Tom Gorzelanny trade.

However, the list of good prospects just about ends there. It doesn’t include the Brians, Bixler and Morris (the latter’s first name is spelled somewhat differently), the two Craigs, Monroe and Hansen, or the two Vazquez’s, Ramon and Virgil. It probably doesn’t include the “other” McCutchen, pitcher Dan.

But players can only be in one place or another. With the past year’s call-ups, the farm team doesn’t look so good; and with the exception of McCutchen and Jones, the call-ups aren’t fully established major leaguers yet.

For now, the Pirates have a bunch of players that are “neither here nor there.”

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