Well the Pittsburgh Pirates season came to a close last night but it was a terrific season for the Pirates. The Pirates won 94 games in the regular season which gave them the #1 Wild Card spot. The Pirates won the Wild Card game versus the Reds and lost in a tough 5 game series that went the distance to the Cardinals. While there are questions to answer for the Pirates, I am here to tell you good days are ahead.
Next season you can write down in the everyday lineup McCutchen, Marte, Alavrez, Walker and Martin. Barmes, Byrd and Morneau are free agents. So who will be the starting shortstop, First Baseman and Right Fielder come opening day? The Pirates rotation will be started by Cole, Liriano, Locke. Figure Morton for one of the back end spots. AJ Burnett is a free agent and will be gone as well as Wandy Rodriguez I believe. The Pirates will bring back that excellent deep bullpen.
Top Prospects Very Close: Continue reading Pirates Season is Over But Good Days are Ahead
Going into Wednesday’s action on August 14th the Pittsburgh Pirates had a 70-48 record (.593 Winning Percentage). They lead the NL Central by 2 games and have the 2nd best record in Baseball only behind the Atlanta Braves (trail the Braves by 1 game in the loss column). But how are the Pirates doing it with the 4th lowest payroll in baseball (66.3 Million)? It’s really all about the pitching but lets take a look at the Pirates bats.
The Lineup: No doubt Andrew McCutchen is having an MVP type of season with 17HR, 68RBI, 73R, 24SB, .314 Avg, .388 OBP, .513 SLG and .901 OPS.
But when you think about what McCutchen has been working with in terms of the everyday lineup his year is exponentially more impressive. Yes Starling Marte has been a really good leadoff man especially for such a young player (75 Runs scored & 30 Steals but OBP of .343 is not outstanding) and Pedro Alvarez has provided thump with having the 2nd most HR’s in the NL with 28 (But Alvarez is only .236 with a .297 OBP). After that the Pirates have been using a multitude of players to find just enough offense between Neil Walker, Russell Martin, Garrett Jones, Gaby Sanchez, Jody Mercer, Jose Tabata, Clint Barmes and Travis Snider. Continue reading Pirates It’s all about the Pitching
For the third year in a row, the Pittsburgh Pirates find themselves in the part of a midseason playoff race. In the past two seasons, the Pirates failed to get out of August alive, extending their almost eternal postseason drought. With a 51-30 record good enough for first place in the highly competitive National League Central, will 2013 be the hat trick for Pittsburgh or is the third time the charm?
It is a mystery how Pittsburgh has climbed to the best record in baseball considering they do not have a hitter batting over .300 and only two qualifying players are batting over .260. As a team, the Pirates have the 6th worst batting average at .241.
Unsurprisingly, Andrew McCutchen is the team’s leading hitter at .292 while young left fielder Starling Marte is batting .288.
Other than McCutchen and Marte, the Pittsburgh lineup has produced mediocrely at best, aside from third baseman Pedro Alvarez’s power. Alvarez has already clubbed 20 homeruns this season, however the rest of the team has combined for just 62.
Alvarez is also leading the team in RBIs with 53, but only three other players have more than 30, McCutchen with 42, first baseman Garrett Jones with 32, and catcher Russell Martin with 30. The Pirates have also struck out a fifth worst 685 times. Continue reading Pittsburgh Pirates: Is This the Hat Trick or Will the Third Time be the Charm?