Random musings on transactions from around the world of sports.
August 31, 2013
Penn State won its season opener against Syracuse 23-17 behind the arm of true freshman quarterback Christian Hackenberg. The five-star recruit completed 22 of his 31 pass attempts, for 278 yards and two touchdowns. After saying both quarterback would see action, Bill O’Brien decided to play Hackenberg all but one series, as Tyler Ferguson went 1-1 for 18 yards on his drive.
This could indicate that Hackenberg will see the vast majority of snaps this season, barring injury. He was O’Brien’s first marquee recruit, and has the tools to be the best quarterback in State College since Kerry Collins. Over the past 10 years, a bevy of four or five-star quarterback recruits have struggled with the Lions. Anthony Morelli, Pat Devlin, Kevin Newsome, Robert Bolden and Paul Jones all failed to live up to expectations. In fact, Morelli was the only one of those players to even finish his college career at Penn State.
O’Brien needs Hackenberg to succeed, and I believe earning considerable playing time this season could help lead him to long-term success. For complete coverage of what else to expect from the Nittany Lions this season, check out: https://tapins.wordpress.com/2013/08/27/penn-state-football-preview/
August 28, 2013
The Pirates optioned All-Star pitcher Jeff Locke to Double-A Altoona on Wednesday. Although Locke will likely be recalled to the Pirates within the next several days, he has struggled since the All-Star break. Locke’s ERA in five starts in August is 7.94. The lefty’s peripheral stats hinted that a major regression could be possible, and Tap-ins actually predicted such an outcome in an article in July. https://tapins.wordpress.com/2013/07/17/raise-the-jolly-roger-or-walk-the-plank-pirates-midseason-analysis/
August 27, 2013
The Pirates added two veteran bats in a trade with the New York Mets on Tuesday. Pittsburgh acquired outfielder Marlon Byrd and catcher John Buck in exchange for a minor-league prospect and a player to be named. Byrd, one of the top outfielders on the market, is batting .285 with 21 homers and 71 RBIs. He will likely start immediately for the Buccos, with left fielder Starling Marte sidelined with an injury and several players struggling in right field. Buck, who is batting .215 with 15 home runs and 60 runs batted in, while likely replace Tony Sanchez as the primary backup to Russell Martin. Both Byrd and Buck will be free agents after this season.
In exchange, the Pirates sent 19-year-old second baseman Dilson Herrera to the Mets. Herrera, who was ranked the Pirates’ 11th best prospect by MLB.com, was batting .265 with 11 homers in Class A West Virginia. He is not expected to contribute in the Major Leagues for at least three years. The player to be named later must be announced within six months.
August 19, 2013
Former Pitt Panther standout receiver Jon Baldwin was traded to the San Francisco 49ers today. Baldwin, who was selected by the Chiefs 26th overall in the 2011 NFL Draft, has struggled to meet expectations. In his two seasons, Baldwin has recorded 41 receptions for 579 yards and just two touchdowns. With injuries to Michael Crabtree and Mario Manningham, Baldwin could potentially start for the 49ers. In return, Kansas City will receive second-year wideout AJ Jenkins.
August 12, 2013
The Pirates called up 25-year-old Andrew Lambo today. Lambo will arrive with the Buccos just in time for their important 3 game series with the St. Louis Cardinals, who sit exactly 3 games back in the National League Central Division race. Hitting a combined .284 with 31 dingers and 97 runs driven in through 117 games combined between Double-A Altoona and Triple-A Indianapolis this season, Lambo could be the coveted power bat that the Pirates were unable to secure near the trade deadline. For more details: https://tapins.wordpress.com/2013/08/12/pirates-to-test-drive-lambo/
August 9, 2013
Steelers wide receiver Plaxico Burress sustained an apparent torn rotator cuff, and he will likely miss the entire 2013 season. As a result, Antonio Brown, Emmanuel Sanders and Jericho Cotchery are the only established receivers on the roster. Third-round selection Markus Wheaton has been impressive in camp, while an array of other receivers will battle for one or two spots. These two could crack the lineup: https://tapins.wordpress.com/2013/08/08/former-psu-teammates-hoping-to-catch-on-with-steelers/