Ohlendorf and Maholm need to lead the Pirates road improvement in 2011

Pittsburgh Pirates 2011 Spring Training Countdown

Three more weeks of suffering for Pirates fans.

The Pittsburgh Pirates will begin showing up in Bradenton to prove that the past three years of rebuilding are paying dividends. Pirates fans are itching to find out that their patience will provide dividends.  There are signs it might be…


The Pirates fate in 2011 rides on the young dogs.

How Long Could ‘The Young Dogs’ Keep  Hitting Last Year?

 The Pirates young core seemed like it could continue to hit until Christmas.  It was really encouraging to watch those guys thrive instead of fade down the stretch in 2010.  Each of the Pirates young players went out with a bang.

Somebody, think it was Rocco DeMaro, once said, always leave them wanting more. The Pirates did that in a big way.  Hell, so did Rocco now that we think about it. 

The Pirates  young dogs will sell some tickets this year.

Can Andrew Lambo prove he deserves more than a Spring Training orientation in 2011?

What will Spring Training Prove?

I can’t see anything being proven in Pirates Spring Training. Neal Huntington went on record as saying it doesn’t matter how well Ryan Doumit performs-Chris Snyder is the guy. 

In regard to the starting rotation Huntington said the following on Pirates.com

“We don’t want to make Spring Training evaluations, but in some cases we’re going to have to.  I think the reality is that we’re going to need more than five starting pitchers next year, so whoever doesn’t make the rotation out of Spring Training, we’re going to need the sixth, the seventh, the eighth one.”–Neal Huntington

The camp certainly matters to Steve Pearce as Pirates beat writer Colin Dunlap found out:

“Steve is going to compete to make our club.  He has the ability to play first and right. … The maturation process of Steve Pearce is a great story, but unfortunately, when it was all beginning to come together last year at the major league level is when he rolled his ankle.”  Neal Huntington
One would like to think if some of the younger players on the invite list showed some promise, like Andrew Lambo,  they might get a longer look.   We thought this team would get starting pitching in the offseason too.  So there is no way that will happen.  D’Arnaud, Friday and Lambo will be gone quickly–plan your Bradenton trip accordingly.

But who is going to develop these players?  Who will help them take that next step?  Maybe instead of locker checks, someone could teach tangible skills that will help the big league club.  If the Bucs are going to pluck mid-tier prospects from other clubs, they must make them better with their development team.

All of the Pirates prospects desperately need to make improvements in 2011.  We trust the Pirates have the right men in place to make it happen. 

Will Relying on Internal Improvement Payoff?

There is no question the Pirates front office thinks they have pitchers who can make an impact.  They were arrogantly determined last season to prove it.  It didn’t work.  So the recipe for 2011 will be to add Kevin Correia to the mix and re-stir.  Tim took a good look at internal improvement in this post.



Road Warriors

Something must change.  The Pirates road woes were hideous. 


Fuck you and your regression talk...



They were evident at many levels. Each of them spread throughout the season.  From Iwamura to Walbeck, McDonald to the heavy blow from minor league injuries and major league blowouts, some people called Walker a surprise, of course that wasn’t us, but we digress….2010 was a wild ride.  Hell, it had everything a disfunctional organization could want.  Write the damn movie script. 

But some hope flickered.  The minors showed some upside, most everywhere except Indianapolis.  To their credit, the Pirates are working desperately to change results in Indy in 2011. 

Taking a look at the minor leagues as a whole…..it’s starting to look respectable in relation to other clubs.  Heh, like Neal Huntington said, it’s only been three years.  Yeh, just three Neal….what’s the rush?

We have waited through some serious shit to be told by Huntington….”it’s only been three years.”  That’s a slap in the face of the loyal fans.   If Huntington wants to keep a timecard, that’s fair, but when you tell us how long you have been employed, remember who your audience is, we have been at this our entire lives.

Maybe this year it will pay off.

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Tags: Jose Tabata Neil Walker Paul Maholm Pirates Blog Pittsburgh Pirates Pittsburgh Pirates Blog Ross Ohlendorf

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