Grading the Pirates through the break

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Grading the Pirates' performance through the All-Star break, player by player, for those who spent more than a month on the active roster:

Starting pitchers Grade NoteworthyIan Snell A 5th-lowest ERA in league, staff-best 93 strikeouts. Outstanding.Tom Gorzelanny A 8th-lowest ERA in league, staff-best 9-4 record. Outstanding.Paul Maholm C- Twenty losses? Not now. Past nine starts have been solid.Zach Duke D- With .364 opponents’ average, every hitter was Ted Williams.Relievers Grade NoteworthyDamaso Marte A- Maybe majors’ best lefty specialist: Lefty hitters went 4 for 42.Matt Capps B+ 9 for 9 in saves as new closer, despite giving up too many hits.Shawn Chacon B Not so hot as starter, but averaging K per inning out of pen.Masumi Kuwata C That touchdown by the Brewers July 2 blew up his numbers.Salomon Torres C- Losing closer’s job, six blown saves, overshadow great May.John Grabow C- Struggles with fastball control responsible for 5.32 ERAJohn Wasdin D- Won job in spring training. Has not pitched well since.Tony Armas F Joins Burnitz, Randa on list of recent free-agent flops.Catchers Grade NoteworthyRyan Doumit B+ No telling what he might have done if he played more.Ronny Paulino D Offense, defense and even effort called into question.Infielders Grade NoteworthyFreddy Sanchez B Who can complain about .300, even if it is not a batting title?Jose Bautista C+ More needed from bat, but glovework has been golden at timesAdam LaRoche C Despite horrific start, on pace for 25 home runs, 100 RBIsJack Wilson C His .985 fielding percentage 3rd among league shortstops.Jose Castillo C- Fared well when starting, but rarely started. Not a bench guy.Don Kelly D Fell well short of becoming Pirates’ next Jose Hernandez.Outfielders Grade NoteworthyXavier Nady A- Platoon player? Not with 14 home runs, 50 RBIs. A leader, too.Jason Bay C+ Big reminder yesterday: He has 13 home runs, 56 RBIs.Nate McLouth C- Bats .293 as starter, but 4th outfielder 6 for 36 as pinch-hitter.Rajai Davis D+ Speed matters little with low average, erratic routes in outfield.Chris Duffy D Has yet to show he can perform in first half of a season.


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