As we know, the Pittsburgh Pirates are putting up some very weak offensive numbers. We guess it’s what can be expected after the baseball gods struck down Pittsburgh Pirates who were counted on to provide power in a young lineup.
But the Pittsburgh Pirates lack of slugging is starting to reach proportions even we didn’t think possible when the season began. It was thought the Pedro Alvarez would build on his sixteen homers he put up last season. Of course that hasn’t happened as Alvarez is recovering from a lower body injury that must be a little more than originally thought.
At the time of the initial injury it was thought that Alvarez would go on the disabled list immediately. The decision was made for Alvarez to continue to play through that injury and the Pirates are paying for that decision.
Lyle Overbay and Ryan Doumit were sources of power early in the season, but we all know the current buzz on each of those players. Overbay will ride the pine during the Orioles series after putting up three doubles and a triple in his last 60 at-bats and there is no definitive date for Doumit’s return.
Andrew McCutchen is the slugging leader for the Bucs at .468, Doumit had the second highest, with Garrett Jones checking in third with a .423, Neil Walker is fourth with a .398 and Chris Snyder is fifth.
As a team, the Pirates are slugging at a .349 clip. Good for second worst in the National League. In the month of June, McCutchen has slugged at a .522 clip with six doubles and a homer. Jones has three doubles and a homer this month while Walker has homered twice and hit a triple as his slugging percentage has taken a drop.
Add it all up and the Bucs simply don’t have the power needed to match up against the better offensive teams. For the Pirates to make it into July still in coversations with the NL Central leaders, a surge of power will be necessary.
We have to believe it’s coming as McCutchen, Walker and Jones certainly can’t help but to run into a few shots. Also Xavier Paul is making the most of his opportunity with increased time in right field. One other name to watch is Jose Tabata. He is only slugging .319 this month with three doubles, no triples or homers.
The Pirates simply can’t go on putting up barely over two runs per game. Can they? Can they? Someone answer me.
For a comparision, the Boston Red Sox who roll into town this weekend are on a serious power streak in their past 29 games. The Sox are slugging .516 over that stretch and are burning up scoreboard light bulbs at a 7.2 runs per game clip.