The Pittsburgh Pirates are in the death spiral of terrible baseball season and folks are making quite the scene out of Ben Cherington’s quote up there when asked if this is what he expected.
Quite some time ago, probably all the way back in the SI days I wrote a piece that essentially called for transparency from this front office in order to try to rebuild the trust that Bob Nutting and the last regime had so badly damaged.
Now, truth be told, it wouldn’t matter what any of them said, you have a winning percentage below .300 and you’ll not win much favor from anyone. Here’s the thing though, I actually believe him on this one. I believe he did thing this club would be more competitive, note, that’s not compete for anything per se, but be a bit more competitive.
Name a position player you truly believe in now heading into 2021. Let me guess, the 20 game deep rookie right? Bryan Reynolds still have your faith?
This club is going to make changes if only because there is little choice but to change. The set up of the roster construction says so, the record says so and Cherington has said so, but what exactly happened to an offense that in 2019 quite frankly despite being power deficient was at least fun to watch if not down right effective.
Hayes of course wasn’t here, but literally every other offensive player on this club has taken a downturn. All the injuries to the pitching staff don’t mean a hill of beans if they can’t score. This is an offensive league now, it’s all about the homerun and the strikeout. No surprise the two worst clubs Texas (3.67 RPG) and Pittsburgh (3.52 RPG) are in the exact same position in this category as they are in the standings.
We always here things like that don’t we? This is a Homerun League! Launch Angle and hard hit rate are the most important hitting metrics! These Pitchers need to miss more bats. Just look at the last 6 games for the Pirates, a stretch that has seen them get 5 really nice starts and only win one game. In the one they did win, a huge three run shot from Polanco. Boy, if we’re waiting for Greg to hit homeruns to win next season we’ll have around 25 wins.
Why do the Pirates have to try to play the same game as the rest of the league? They simply don’t have the homerun hitters to keep up, so why not coach this team to match the skillset of the talent here? They all suck, yeah, yeah I get it, but hey, just in case some of these guys are closer to what they put on tape in 2019 than 20, maybe they have a little more to give.
This is all going somewhere, I think Rick Eckstein should probably be on thin ice, but I’d love to know how much Shelton was interfering in his responsibilities.
This has been a trend across the league, some of the top offensive talents in the game have struggled to get their footing, I mean look no further than that Cubbies lineup. I guess it would be May or so by now in a regular season so, sure many of them could turn it around.
Mike Trout sure did, he actually had people asking questions on ESPN about weather he was ok, well, he’s turned it on since and amazingly the Angels stopped competing with the Pirates for last place.
100% flipping of this roster isn’t in the cards, I’ll do a much deeper dive on this as we move forward but if you’re expecting them to move everyone and start over with 3 or 4 guys staying, you’ll be disappointed my friends. We better hope that Ben is at least a little right and they can indeed do better.