View from afar ... Did 2013 change the perception of the Pirates?

Share with others:


Print Email Read Later

The Pirates failed to upgrade a lineup that scored a mere 3.9 runs per game last year or a rotation that will have to compensate for the loss of A.J. Burnett and is awash in question marks. Francisco Liriano is a good candidate for regression, 23-year-old sophomore Gerrit Cole is expected to be an ace coming off a 53-inning increase, Wandy Rodriguez is coming back from injury, Charlie Morton is expected to have his first 30-start season at the age of 30, and Edinson Volquez is coming off a season in which he had the worst ERA+ of any qualified pitcher in baseball. Beyond that, the Pirates' success last year had a lot to do with an exceptional bullpen performance, the likes of which is ripe for regression."

-- Cliff Corcoran,
Sports Illustrated

 

"So, what now? If the Pirates are going to improve upon a storybook 2013, they must rely on their farm system after a relatively quiet offseason. [Gerrit] Cole may need to become this year's [A.J.] Burnett, after the veteran signed with Philadelphia, while Jameson Taillon assumes Cole's role as the star midseason call-up. Keep an eye on Gregory Polanco; the stud right fielder could be in the everyday lineup by June."

-- Jon Morosi,
Fox Sports

While not having realized the Sisyphean task of winning a World Series, GM Neal Huntington, et al, have constructed a Pirates club that both (a) qualified for the playoffs in 2013 and also (b) would appear to have a reasonable chance of repeating that outcome in 2014. If the Pirates don't make their way to the postseason this year, it likely won't be the fault of their field players."

-- Dan Zymborski,
Fansgraphs.com

Gerrit Cole might not qualify as a true "sleeper" anymore but he's still one of the top breakout candidates in all of baseball. The big right-hander picked up 10 wins and posted a 3.22/1.17 line in 19 starts as a rookie last year, giving us a glimpse of his tremendous upside."

-- Brad Pinkerton,
The Sporting News

I get a very 2012-13 Orioles vibe from the Pirates. They exceeded expectations and came out of nowhere to win 90-plus games, but they rested on their laurels over the winter and now may slide back to an 85-ish win team. ... The Reds are a weaker team now than they were a year ago, but the Cardinals are probably a bit stronger. I have a real hard time seeing the Pirates knocking St. Louis from the NL Central perch this summer, but I do think Pittsburgh will seriously contend for a wild-card spot again. I think they're no worse than the sixth best team in the NL right now, which puts them right in the postseason mix.

-- Mike Axisa
CBS Sports


Join the conversation:

Commenting policy | How to report abuse
To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to socialmedia@post-gazette.com and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.
Commenting policy | How to report abuse

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

You have 2 remaining free articles this month

Try unlimited digital access

If you are an existing subscriber,
link your account for free access. Start here

You’ve reached the limit of free articles this month.

To continue unlimited reading

If you are an existing subscriber,
link your account for free access. Start here