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  #1  
Old 03-28-19, 03:41 PM
Crusaders Crusaders is offline
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2019 Pittsburgh Pirates Thread

Not much hype for 2019 after a mostly uneventful off-season. The biggest acquisition (Jung-ho Kang) wasn't really an acquisition.

The rotation is strong 1-4 with Jameson Taillon, Chris Archer, Trevor Williams, and Joe Musgrove. Chad Kuhl being out for the season from TJS has left a hole at #5. The Pirates brought in Jordan Lyles to possibly fill the role, but he wasn't all too impressive in ST and was placed on IR today. For the moment, it looks like it will be Nick Kingham, who had a rocky go last season as a SP (5.32 ERA; 1.408 WHIP). The other option is Steven Brault, who only made the roster because of Lyles' injury.

The bullpen looks to be a strength. Richard Rodriguez, Kyle Crick, Keone Kela, and Felipe Vazquez could/should be among the best in the league, and Nick Burdi looked good in ST as well. However, long relief is a little concerning. Francisco Liriano had a decent ST and my fear is Hurdle will overuse him the same way he's overused aging veterans in the past. Once Lyles returns, one of Kingham or Brault will be in the role as well. I'm not sure how I feel about that.

Catchers will be Francisco Cervelli and Jacob Stallings to start the season. The normal #2, Elias Diaz, missed ST with a viral infection and isn't expected to play for a few weeks. The biggest concern here is Cervelli. How many more concussions can he take? He's very susceptible to them and takes a lot of punishment behind the plate. The Pirates have been trying to get him to play some 1B but he hasn't been enthusiastic about it. I wouldn't be surprised if Diaz is the starter by the end of the year.

1B is Josh Bell. Colin Moran or Cervelli may play some but it will be Bell there the vast majority of the time. Bell really needs to figure out his hitting. The last two years have been very disappointing and his ST was abysmal. Confidence in him at the plate right now is low.

2B looks to be Adam Frazier and Kevin Newman. Frazier will get the bulk of the PT and will bat lead-off most days. Newman probably brings better defensive ability, so expect him to be the 2019 favorite for the late-inning defense substitution Hurdle is so fond of.

SS has turned into a small disaster. The Pirates let Jordy Mercer go and brought in Erik Gonzalez to compete, and he's seemingly won after neither Kevin Newman or Kevin Kramer showed much of anything in ST. The Pirates even have an "emergency" plan of using Kang there. It's really not good to have such problems at the most valuable infield position.

3B was won by Kang, who hit 8 or 9 HRs in ST and showed much better defense than his competition, Colin Moran. Moran has been bumped down to being the #2 at both corners, which is fine as far as I'm concerned.

The outfield will miss Gregory Polanco for the first month or so. Starling Marte has CF locked down and Cory Dickerson should get the bulk of play in LF. Filling in for Polanco will be veterans Melky Cabrera and JB Shuck - later Lonnie Chisenhall who will miss time with a broken finger. For depth, they have youngish (25) Pablo Reyes. He's a bit of a spark-plug type. Fun to watch, but not sure how consistent he can be.

The team really needs Bell and Kang to bring power from the corner IF positions if they're going to be successful offensively. If Bell hits only 12 HRs again, I think all of Pittsburgh will scream in frustration at one of the biggest wastes 6'4" 245lbs in baseball history. But if they do, the Bucs could actually make some noise. Frazier, Marte, Dickerson, Polanco, Bell, and Kang hitting well is formidable. Add Diaz, who has a better bat than Cervelli, and the hole at SS isn't such a big deal.

Prediction: 86 wins.

Last edited by Crusaders; 03-28-19 at 06:21 PM..
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  #2  
Old 03-28-19, 03:47 PM
Crusaders Crusaders is offline
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Today's lineup:

Frazier - 2B
Cabrera - RF
Dickerson - LF
Bell - 1B
Cervelli - C
Kang - 3B
Shuck - CF*
Gonzalez - SS
Taillon - P

*Marte out with a migraine.
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  #3  
Old 03-28-19, 04:05 PM
Crusaders Crusaders is offline
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For some reason I thought today's game started at 5:10

Josh Bell with some shockingly bad defensive play in the 3rd. No real harm done thankfully but just more of the same from him.

Pirates' batters continue to display their inability to lay off fastballs down and away. Doesn't seem to matter how many times they change their hitting coach, this remains a problem.
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  #4  
Old 03-28-19, 06:33 PM
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Negatives:
- 3 or 4 missed plays by the infield
- Taillon fell apart after 6 strong innings
- Rodriguez was rocked out of the bullpen
- Offense was asleep until the last 4 innings
- Josh Bell at everything. 2 strikeouts, no hits, no walks. Bad throws. Bad fielding. Botched a rundown.

Positives:
- Kang's timely hitting
- Cervelli's aggressive base-running to tie the game
- Nick Burdi striking out the side on 13 pitches
- Cory Dickerson at the plate

I'd grade this game a C+ overall. Hopefully the offense comes alive before the 6th on Saturday.
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  #5  
Old 03-28-19, 08:17 PM
Irwin20 Irwin20 is offline
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Nice breakdown Crusader. I saw where MLB.com had the Pirates Bp @#3 and Starters at #7 in MLB. If they can be close to that rating and hit even a little above average I think 86-88 wins is possible. I think there will be 3 teams from the NLC in the playoffs this year like a few years back. Pirates have about a 30% chance of being one of the wildcards.
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  #6  
Old 03-29-19, 10:56 AM
wolves82 wolves82 is offline
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Sorry, but no way that roster wins 86 games in that division. More likely 76.
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  #7  
Old 03-29-19, 11:24 AM
troyboy73 troyboy73 is offline
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Go gettem Buccos on Saturday.
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  #8  
Old 03-29-19, 01:17 PM
Crusaders Crusaders is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolves82 View Post
Sorry, but no way that roster wins 86 games in that division. More likely 76.
They won 82 last year and this team has better pitching and with Kang, more power. A 4 game win increase is pretty reasonable
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  #9  
Old 03-29-19, 07:39 PM
Irwin20 Irwin20 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolves82 View Post
Sorry, but no way that roster wins 86 games in that division. More likely 76.
Don't forget you didn't see the Bucs two best offensive threats yesterday- Polanco, Marte. The roster isn't bad and the pitching will be better than last year.
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  #10  
Old 03-31-19, 04:54 PM
troyboy73 troyboy73 is offline
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Bucs win today over Reds 5-0. 1-1 on year.
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  #11  
Old 03-31-19, 05:05 PM
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Great to see Williams pick up where he left last year. Since the 2018 ASB, he's tossed a 1.28 ERA. Incredible.

The Reds really did all they could to hand the Pirates the game. 4 errors, bad pitching, and really nothing going at the plate (though Williams undoubtedly had a bit to do with that last part).

The Pirates must hit better with RISP. Twice they had bases loaded and failed to knock anyone in. They only managed to score 1 run and it came from a walk.
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  #12  
Old 03-31-19, 08:09 PM
EagleGuy EagleGuy is offline
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My city's Class A team recently inked a two-year deal with the Pirates after being associated with the Marlins for 16 years and the Yanks before that. Hopefully, the partnership will be a long one and help develop some great players for the Bucs. (Don Mattingly and Bernie Williams had stops here, for example).

https://www.milb.com/greensboro/news...er/c-295469884

"We are extremely excited to begin a new relationship with the Greensboro Grasshoppers franchise," said Larry Broadway, Pirates Senior Director of Minor League Operations. "It is a first-class operation that plays in a first-class facility in front of a first-class fan base. We are looking forward to the player development opportunities that this new partnership will present. We are also looking forward to becoming entrenched in the greater Greensboro community by, among many other connections, bringing our Pirates Community Commitment Program in to ensure that help our players impact the community in a positive way."

I heard this announcement recently on the news, but the article dates the deal back to last September. I must have been asleep. Zzz-zzzz-zz...
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  #13  
Old 04-01-19, 04:51 PM
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Another rough day for the bullpen. Rodriguez, Liriano, and Burdi blew a 4-0 lead. Vazquez blew a 5-4 lead in the 9th. Brault and Kingham gave the Cardinals the lead on a bases-loaded wild pitch that deflected off the umpire.

Bottom of the 11th, Bucs down 6-5
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  #14  
Old 04-01-19, 05:00 PM
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Just an all-around bad loss. Horrible performance after Archer left the game
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  #15  
Old 04-02-19, 07:43 AM
Irwin20 Irwin20 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crusaders View Post
Just an all-around bad loss. Horrible performance after Archer left the game
Without a doubt. Looked like a HS team from 6th inning forward.
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  #16  
Old 04-05-19, 07:01 AM
Crusaders Crusaders is offline
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Nice to see the bullpen not blow a game

Corey Dickerson is expected to miss at least a month with a shoulder issue. I'm really glad they traded their best OF prospect last year. They could really use Austin Meadows with both Polanco and Dickerson out until sometime in May or June.
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Old 04-05-19, 10:11 AM
troyboy73 troyboy73 is offline
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Its nice to see the Pirates berat the Red Stockings!!
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  #18  
Old 04-05-19, 05:23 PM
Crusaders Crusaders is offline
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Crick to the DL with a triceps issue.

Hurdle has Colin Moran, a corner infielder and possibly the slowest player in the major leagues, playing LF at PNC tonight. I don't even know what to say other that I hope it isn't a complete disaster
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  #19  
Old 04-05-19, 06:38 PM
Irwin20 Irwin20 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crusaders View Post
Crick to the DL with a triceps issue.

Hurdle has Colin Moran, a corner infielder and possibly the slowest player in the major leagues, playing LF at PNC tonight. I don't even know what to say other that I hope it isn't a complete disaster
Watching the game now. I was wondering what he was doing out there.
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Old 04-06-19, 01:28 AM
Crusaders Crusaders is offline
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Nice win. Looks like the bullpen is figuring things out. Just need the offense to start clicking
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  #21  
Old 04-06-19, 10:39 AM
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Looks like we're getting the Sunday lineup a day early:

Martin LF
Marte CF
Moran 3B
Bell 1B
Cabrera RF
Newman 2B
Stallings C
Gonzalez SS
Williams P

Going to need another lights-out performance from Trevor. I don't foresee many runs coming from that lineup.
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  #22  
Old 04-06-19, 11:27 AM
Irwin20 Irwin20 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crusaders View Post
Looks like we're getting the Sunday lineup a day early:

Martin LF
Marte CF
Moran 3B
Bell 1B
Cabrera RF
Newman 2B
Stallings C
Gonzalez SS
Williams P

Going to need another lights-out performance from Trevor. I don't foresee many runs coming from that lineup.
Who's pitching for the Redlegs? Sooner or later someone has to hit a HR I mean they are in the majors? What do the Bucs have 2 Hr in 7 games?
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  #23  
Old 04-06-19, 06:24 PM
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To be fair, they're missing two 20+ HR guys in Corey Dickerson and Gregory Polanco. Still, I agree. You'd expect a major league club to have more power than they've shown, so it was nice to see Bell go yard today. That is much-needed and hopefully a sign of more to come. We will see.

Williams started out well then sort of lost his mojo after the error. Good to see the offense come through when the pitching wasn't at its best.
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  #24  
Old 04-06-19, 06:52 PM
Irwin20 Irwin20 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crusaders View Post
To be fair, they're missing two 20+ HR guys in Corey Dickerson and Gregory Polanco. Still, I agree. You'd expect a major league club to have more power than they've shown, so it was nice to see Bell go yard today. That is much-needed and hopefully a sign of more to come. We will see.

Williams started out well then sort of lost his mojo after the error. Good to see the offense come through when the pitching wasn't at its best.
Williams basically lost it on 3-4 batters in one inning. He was pretty good otherwise. He was in line for the win till Votto's HR in the 8th. With any support and good health he will win 16-18 games.
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Old 04-07-19, 07:33 AM
Irwin20 Irwin20 is offline
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Pirates on pace to win 92 games. Lol
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  #26  
Old 04-07-19, 02:14 PM
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Bit of an ugly game today but entertaining. What a bomb by Josh Bell. 4th longest in PNC history and dead center
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Old 04-07-19, 04:08 PM
Irwin20 Irwin20 is offline
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Now the Pirates have to beat someone other than the Reds.
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  #28  
Old 04-07-19, 04:21 PM
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The Cubs aren't exactly on the tear right now, which means they'll come out playing their best ball of the season tomorrow

Taillon has the mound tomorrow. Going up against Lester, I believe.

Hopefully the offense continues to hit, they have hit Lester well in the past. Need to see more from Kang, though. He was 0-4 today with 2 SOs and 4 LOB. .154 BA on the season. Ouch. We may see Moran at 3B tomorrow.

Last edited by Crusaders; 04-07-19 at 04:32 PM..
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  #29  
Old 04-08-19, 11:32 AM
Bballer05 Bballer05 is offline
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The Cubs aren't exactly on the tear right now, which means they'll come out playing their best ball of the season tomorrow

Taillon has the mound tomorrow. Going up against Lester, I believe.

Hopefully the offense continues to hit, they have hit Lester well in the past. Need to see more from Kang, though. He was 0-4 today with 2 SOs and 4 LOB. .154 BA on the season. Ouch. We may see Moran at 3B tomorrow.
Lester a lefty, correct? Probably means Kang is in the lineup.
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  #30  
Old 04-08-19, 02:08 PM
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What a sh!t show this inning turned into. Thanks, Newman
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