The Official 2018 Pittsburgh Pirates Thread

Crusaders

Moderator
Well, 2018 is off to a great start: Gerrit Cole to Houston and Andrew McCutchen to San Francisco for a handful of meh prospects.

These trades were clearly money-saving moves, the sort of moves that harm fan interest and result in poor crowds. I honestly expect to see shockingly low turnouts and TV ratings this season.

It's not even so much the trades that's upsetting but the piss poor management. I've been on board with the philosophy of trading talented guys before they become unaffordable as free agents to replenish the farm. But the fact is, these trades should have happened two years ago when Cole and McCutchen still had high-end value. It's nice they got some prospects (it's better than nothing) but as far as I can tell, none are projected to amount to more than middle of the road starters. Maybe they'll get lucky and one of them will be a surprise, but I'm not hopeful.
 

Indiandad

Well-known member
Well, 2018 is off to a great start: Gerrit Cole to Houston and Andrew McCutchen to San Francisco for a handful of meh prospects.

These trades were clearly money-saving moves, the sort of moves that harm fan interest and result in poor crowds. I honestly expect to see shockingly low turnouts and TV ratings this season.

It's not even so much the trades that's upsetting but the piss poor management. I've been on board with the philosophy of trading talented guys before they become unaffordable as free agents to replenish the farm. But the fact is, these trades should have happened two years ago when Cole and McCutchen still had high-end value. It's nice they got some prospects (it's better than nothing) but as far as I can tell, none are projected to amount to more than middle of the road starters. Maybe they'll get lucky and one of them will be a surprise, but I'm not hopeful.
The best thing that can happen to the Pirates is lose 100 games next year. They need to move Harrison, Marte and Polanco if they want any kind of decent returns. Couple that with tanking for high draft picks and they can be back in contention in 4 years.
Don't pull a Cincinnati and drag out the rebuild by holding on to decent players until they have no value.

Trade and Tank.
 

Crusaders

Moderator
I'm not sure I've ever seen a team going into Opening Day with 4 bench pieces on the 25-man (including the backup catcher), but the Pirates are doing it:

25-man
IF

C: Cervelli, Diaz
1B: Bell
2B: Harrison
SS: Mercer
3B: Moran, Freese

OF
LF: Dickerson
CF: Marte
RF: Polanco

U: Rodriguez, Frazier

P
SP: Taillon, Nova, Kuhl, Williams, Musgrove
RP: Kontos, Feliz, Brault, Glasnow, Smoker, Neverauskas, Santana
C: Rivero


The bullpen does look pretty good. Probably the strength of the team...lol
 

Crusaders

Moderator
Same old Pirates in the top of the 1st. Frazier led off with a double, and the following batters went: K, pop-out, pop-out.
 

Crusaders

Moderator
This offense is making Jordan Zimmerman, who had a ERA over 6 last season, look like an All-Star.

5 Ks, 3 1-pitch outs through 3.
 

Crusaders

Moderator
Trevor Williams is pitching well. Hardly any solid contact.

The baserunning continues to be an issue for the team. Twice they've been thrown out at 3rd on unnecessary gambles.
 

Crusaders

Moderator
Pretty unexpected sweep of the Tigers. Not sure how much to take from it considering the Tigers will probably battle for their divisional basement. Still, a sweep is a sweep and there were some encouraging signs from some of the younger players.
 

Crusaders

Moderator
4-0 to begin the season. Not at all what I expected.

I think they'll be sending Santana down to AAA as soon as they can. He's been wild and nearly blew a 5-1 lead today.

The game should not have been close. Taillon was mowing the Twins down (9 Ks in 5.1 IP) and left the game with a 5-1 lead. The bullpen has to be better, and on offense, they have to start plating guys when they get bases loaded - twice today they had an opportunity to put the game away in that scenario but came up with nothing.
 

Crusaders

Moderator
It will be interesting to watch Brault tonight. He's a decent pitcher in that he has good command and solid pitches, but he has been relegated to the pen due to a lack of efficiency. In 11 major league starts, he's made it 6 innings just twice.

On the bright side, thus far I have more confidence in the offense being able to score than I did for most of last season and the SP match-up isn't bad. We could have a 6-5 type of game tonight.
 

Crusaders

Moderator
Brault seemed to have some nerves for the first couple of innings, culminating in a run scored on a wild pitch. After that he did fine. Had some luck and good defense to keep the Reds to 1. I thought they may have him pitch the 6th but they went with Santana instead. Santana looked way better than he had this far, getting out of the inning on 7 pitches. Hopefully we see more that of and less of his wild command.

I was hoping the Pirates would at some point be able to strengthen their bullpen by dropping Smoker and adding Kevin Siegrist, but Siegrist refused assignment and is no longer with the team. Disappointing.
 

Crusaders

Moderator
Nova had a much improved outing, going 7 innings, 3 ER, 0 BB, and 5 K. Most of the Cubs hits came off weak groundballs into gaps or against the shift, but they did manage a couple HRs.

The bullpen needs work. Santana came in with an 8-3 lead and nearly blew it. Hurdle had to pull him with bases loaded and brought in Rivero, I mean Vazquez, to finish the game. The closer should not have had to come into the game today. Ridiculous.

The offense continues to rake. There's not much else to say. They're getting hits from 1-8 nearly every game.
 

Crusaders

Moderator
In "Former Buccos" news, Andrew McCutchen is off to his typical piss-poor Spring. He did manage to have a huge night on Saturday (6-7 with a walk-off HR), but other than that he's hit 3 of 32. That's a .094 BA.
 

Irwin20

Well-known member
If the Bucs can improve the middle relief they may be on to something. I think 80+ wins is a possibility barring major injuries.
 

Crusaders

Moderator
Great series win against the Cubs. They have real chance to improve to 12-3 now with a series against the Marlins this weekend.
 

Crusaders

Moderator
A rough last couple of days. The offense has really struggled the last week or so. It was good to see them hang 10 on the Rockies today. Hope it's a sign they'll get back to hitting.
 

Crusaders

Moderator
With Harrison out they could try him at 2B as well. He could play some OF too. Just rotate him around to keep his bat in the lineup.
 

Bballer05

Active member
Taillon bounces back after two bad outings but we can't win with Polanco and Bell hitting as poorly as they are. Those two need to improve. Especially Polanco.

JHay will be back soon. That should help.

Dickerson and Moran have been very solid pickups.

Not sure what will happen with Kang or how long it will take him to work his way up to being the roster but i'm sure it will take a few weeks, right? no idea on that one.

needed that one last night because we face Scherzer tonite. i probably won't even watch.
 

Crusaders

Moderator
I've seen enough of Frazier. He's a bench bat and nothing more. I think they should swap him out for Osuna and give Bell a couple days off.
 
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