Friday, August 11, 2017
Buccaneer and Far
After a few years of contending, having some great teams, and making the playoffs, the Pirates have sadly faded back into the back half of the NL. This isn't to say that they're bad this year, just...not as good as a lot of the competitors.
It's not due to a lack of trying- Ivan Nova and Gerrit Cole have been great this year, and Felipe Rivero has stepped up in a big way as the closer. Plus, Andrew McCutchen's having his best season in years, Josh Harrison's making a case for Pittsburgh sans-Cutch, and Josh Bell's having a pretty damn nice rookie season. So, while good performances are being had, it's the weight of the three teams ahead of them in the standings, and the fact that way too many positions are marred with counter-productivity or injuries, that's keeping them this low this year.
The core of the lineup has aged a bit, as the Pirates have been relying more on older pickups and less on a farm system in terms of populating the lineup. Josh Bell is the first real sign of improvement on that end, though Josh Harrison and Gregory Polanco are young enough that they won't really show signs of aging for a while. It's people like Cervelli, Freese, Jaso, Sean Rodriguez, and, hell, even Cutch, that aren't at their peak levels, and are pulling the team down with them.
I want to see the Pirates improve, but I'm not sure how many rebuilding moves they are from that.
Coming Tomorrow- One of the many hitters trying to spin the Mariners back into the Wild Card race.