That is, as opposed to a month or two later. I’m talking about people like Neil Walker, Brad Lincoln, Pedro Alvarez, and Jose Tabata.

This may seem like a facetious question, but it is not. Timing is often important in baseball and in real life. In this case, for two reasons.

The first has to do with things like arbitration eligibility and free agent status. As things stand, the above-mentioned rookies will be arb eligible in 2013, and free agents in 2016 (Unless we send them back down to the minors to deprive them of time in the majors,which is an even worse option).

If we had called them up after the half way point of the season (as we did with people like Zach Duke and Paul Maholm in 2005), the period of club control would have extended another year.

It’s true that people like Andy LaRoche, Jeff Clement, Akinori Iwamoto, and possibly even Lastings Milledge were no better than stopgaps until better players came along. They were basically in a “use them or lose them” situation. But for the reason mentioned above, they should probably have been used at least until the All-Star game. We’re paying them, anyway.

The other reason has to do with the fact that the Pirates were headed for a bad year anyway, which is to say that there was no reason to try to make it better at the expense of future considerations like those discussed above. And the one below.

In the corporate world. companies will often “kitchen sink” their losses. That is, if they are likely to have a bad quarter or bad year, they will search through the whole company for possible losses, and dump them all in that one quarter or year. Meaning that these losses would not show up in the future.

The new players might not be enough to keep the Pirates out of the National League cellar (even compared to other cellar dwellers in the East and West divisions). But they might be enough to keep us out of the absolute cellar (including the American League’s Baltimore Orioles). Which would again mean the second, rather than first, draft pick next year.

Some people would say, don’t “throw” the season just for a draft pick. Besides, the rookies need playing time to succeed in the future.

Fine. But then call them up in July, not June. That way, they’ll be around a year longer.

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