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Pittsburgh Pirates 2019 Outlook


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Coming off an 82-79 season with almost the entire 25-man roster returning. Could be a really interesting team to watch in a loaded NL Central.

 

Dickerson - Marte - Polanco is one of the top trios in the national league. 

 

Bell - Frazier - Moran locked in at 1b, 2b, 3b, but SS is an interesting situation. Recently acquired Erik Rodriguez (from Cleveland for Jordan Luplow and Max Moroff) is an option as is Kevin Newman, but the Pittsburgh higher-ups are probably hoping Jung Ho-Kang can be the guy holding down everyday SS responsibilities. Fantasy owners probably are as well, but I doubt it at this point. Of course all that can change if the Pirates surprise everyone and re-sign Mercer or pick up the Harrison option. 

 

Obviously Cervelli and Diaz will handle the catching duties.

 

Taillon - Archer - Musgrove - Williams - Nova leave much to be desired. Nick Kingham was atrocious in 2018, so he can only go up from here, right? Chad Kuhl isn't an option with his blown out elbow, but I'd expect/hope to see Mitch Keller at some point.

 

Vasquez - Crick - Kela - Rodriguez, the bullpen is the best it's been since I can remember. 

 

 

Thoughts from the Yinzers?

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Not a yinzer, but the complete lack of power on this team is going to hold it back in an era where even bums can hit 20 homers. I expect .500 again from the tram. They have okay balance overall, but nothing to get excited about either. Brutal division as well. 

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The Archer trade was senseless. The Pirates already had a really good rotation with top prospect Keller waiting in the wings. They need exciting offensive players, they have few. A guy like Meadows should have been no touchy policy. The cheapness of the Pirates is another factor. I live here and this city buzzes about how good the Steelers and Penguins are, but even during the Pirates 13 game winning streak last year, NO ONE, and I mean NO ONE I talked to had any confidence in this organization. It's sad, because PNC is an incredible baseball experience. 

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14 hours ago, kwolf68 said:

The Archer trade was senseless. The Pirates already had a really good rotation with top prospect Keller waiting in the wings. They need exciting offensive players, they have few. A guy like Meadows should have been no touchy policy. The cheapness of the Pirates is another factor. I live here and this city buzzes about how good the Steelers and Penguins are, but even during the Pirates 13 game winning streak last year, NO ONE, and I mean NO ONE I talked to had any confidence in this organization. It's sad, because PNC is an incredible baseball experience. 

 

Yeah Austin Meadows and Glasnow was a complete over pay in my eyes and for what?  To fall 10 games short of the playoffs?  That's a pretty terrible miscalculation by management if you ask me.  In the next year or two Meadows and Glasnow could both be single handedly worth more than Archer.

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1 hour ago, FouLLine said:

 

Yeah Austin Meadows and Glasnow was a complete over pay in my eyes and for what?  To fall 10 games short of the playoffs?  That's a pretty terrible miscalculation by management if you ask me.  In the next year or two Meadows and Glasnow could both be single handedly worth more than Archer.

And the Rays also will have control over Glasnow and Meadows longer than the Pirates will have Archer too. (He's a FA in 2022). But wait there's more! The Rays also got Baz in the deal too he was a top pitching prospect out of the 2017 draft. He's 19 so who knows what he ends up being but yikes that's quite a haul for a 30 year old Archer who had not even been pitching well at the time too..

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On 11/23/2018 at 12:16 PM, FouLLine said:

 

Yeah Austin Meadows and Glasnow was a complete over pay in my eyes and for what?  To fall 10 games short of the playoffs?  That's a pretty terrible miscalculation by management if you ask me.  In the next year or two Meadows and Glasnow could both be single handedly worth more than Archer.

 

Yep, you got it. I know Glasnow was very shaky at times, but you don't just toss that kind of arm into the trash. Meadows is a legit OF, if that power comes which it looks like it may, he has 20-20 potential with a good average written all over him. 

 

The Rays have some excellent young players, their farm is good and their 2018 draft was outstanding as they added at least two legitimate arms to the mix, and have many more pitchers in their system. Their current starting rotation lacks depth, but if Honeywell makes it back in 2019 and they let Yarbrough just be a starter that helps right there. 

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When did Glasnow become such a good pitcher? Even comparing last year his time with the Bucs is pretty much the same as the time with the Rays. He will be facing better teams in worse parks with the DH instead of a pitcher to face in lineups. The only thing positive is the Rays pitching coach who is tall, like Glasnow, and might be able to help him from the standpoint of repeating his delivery. Otherwise, he is what he is a 4AAAA pitcher. Solid in AAA and a head case when promoted. 

 

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On 11/22/2018 at 7:07 PM, kwolf68 said:

The Archer trade was senseless. The Pirates already had a really good rotation with top prospect Keller waiting in the wings. They need exciting offensive players, they have few. A guy like Meadows should have been no touchy policy. The cheapness of the Pirates is another factor. I live here and this city buzzes about how good the Steelers and Penguins are, but even during the Pirates 13 game winning streak last year, NO ONE, and I mean NO ONE I talked to had any confidence in this organization. It's sad, because PNC is an incredible baseball experience. 

Yeah went to PNC for first time last year, it was great, game was a rough watch at times, Dbacks and Bucs scoreless into extra innings.  That was a horrible deal for Archer IMO.  I guess maybe they felt like they needed to "go for it" after getting into contention in a year where they dealt their most popular player in Cutch and probably second most popular in Cole.  Whats ironic is I didnt think they got good returns on those guys and then they overpaid I thought for a declining Archer.  

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  • 8 months later...
  • 1 month later...

Don't really disagree with the actual move, but it's still in pretty poor taste to fire Hurdle before the final game of the season when it's also the final weekend for Steve Blass.  Yes, he had his night on TV on Friday and then had his (unfortunately slightly shortened) ceremony and day yesterday, now all they are going to talk about really is Hurdle being fired now.

I know they aren't the only team to fire their manager before the end of the season, and obviously not the only one today, but it's still something I would have waited to do until at least after the game or tomorrow.

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Typical of a rudderless Pirates organization.  Can't even fire the manager without slipping on a banana peel.  I'm not a Buccos fan, but this town deserves a baseball club that isn't a laughing stock.  They had a core of young players and they never committed the resources to putting the right supporting cast around them.  A new manager and pitching coach aren't going to save this team.

Everyone craps on the Archer trade, and rightfully so, but the warning signs have been there for years that this owner and front office don't have what it takes to put a winner on the field.  That it's Hurdle and not Huntingdon taking the fall suggests to me that the pierogi races might be the only thing worth watching at PNC Park for the next 5+ years.

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I'm in the minority, but Steve Blass kinda annoys me on broadcasts. Respect Steve and his longevity and loyalty, but I'm looking forward to Walk or Wehner on every broadcast from now on. 

As for the Pirates warning signs, it's not a matter of not having what it takes - they do, as evidence by their 3 straight playoff appearances in the mid-2010s - they simply don't want to. Huntington's Archer deal will go down as one of the biggest whiffs in MLB history and now he is also a fool for not trading vasquez, but he did compile some good teams a handful of years back that turned the corner. Even last year was a great team (by Pirates standards) - a >.500 team is a truly important milestone for the franchise. The problem has never been solely the GM, the staff, the manager, the scouts, etc., the problem has always been the owner. Bob Nutting took an 82-win team with $91M payroll in 2018 and cut it to about $70M for really no rhyme or reason.

Buccos brought in roughly $254M in revenue in 2018 despite attendance dropping. Win or lose, it doesn't matter, the Bucs are extremely profitable and because of that there is really very little incentive to try to win. For Nutting, it's an investment and a higher payroll does nothing but take away from his bottom line.

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